Friday, January 30, 2015

Gluten-Free Feature Friday: Stumbling Upon the BEST Gluten-Free Pancake in the Chicago Suburbs

Check out The Point Pancake House in Gurnee IL for the best gluten free pancake!

It is hard to believe that Christmas break was only a month ago (it seems like its been much, much longer!) It was wonderful to be back in the 815 and spend time with my amazing boyfriend, Anthony. I love when we get long periods of time together because we always have fun adventures (exploring new restaurants, trying crazy recipes. Yes our adventures normally revolve around food.. Hence, foodies.)

Well, we have (somewhat) of a tradition of going to the incredible and beautiful Christkindl Mart in Chicago every year! (I say "somewhat" because we have really only gone once, but we plan to make it a tradition :-D) This market only happens during the holiday season (Thanksgiving - Christmas Eve) and is one of the largest authentic German markets in the US! They have everything from German toys, chocolates, candies, handmade glass ornaments, food, clothing, you name it! All straight from Germany.

And, of course, beer! But I don't go for the beer.. I go for the wine. The Glühwein to be exact! Glühwein is German mulled wine, and when you get some at the Christkindl Mart it comes in a cute German-inspired mug that you get to keep! So not only do I get wine in a cute mug, I get hot wine (which is much needed in the chilly Windy City!)

Photo credit:
Here is a picture of the 2014 mugs! So cute!
Well, this year Anthony and I were set with our plans to visit the ChristKindl Market once again. We are lucky enough that he lives about a half hour from the train station in Harvard, IL that can take us all the way into the city. The train ride is about 2-hours and you don't have to deal with the insane Chicago traffic, or obnoxious toll roads... It's a great way to travel there!

Our plan was to catch the 9:15AM train, get to Chicago about 11:15AM, and then have the whole day to explore the city. However, we both overslept... a bit... (Hey, it was a Monday morning and I was on vacation!) We ended up leaving for the train station late and (despite Anthony's awesome and safe driving skills) we pulled up to the train station just as the train was pulling out of the Harvard station...

Now, we had a decision to make. Go back home and find something else to do with our day, OR drive into the suburbs and see what fun we could find. Anthony suggested that we head to Gurnee Mills Mall for the day since we hadn't been there in a while and we were already halfway there. That was better than any plan I could think of, so off we were to make better of an unfortunate situation (no hot wine... :( )

As we started back on the road, Anthony and I both agreed that we were STARVING!! We didn't have time for breakfast since we had woken up late, so all I grabbed was some LiveGFree Granola and dried figs to eat on the drive. And I had not had my cup of coffee that morning... so this was only asking for trouble. 

He asked what I wanted for breakfast and I gave him that, "You know what I want for breakfast" look. When he saw my face, he smiled and immediately said, "Pancakes.." (He knows me so well! :) ) So, he told me to go on to the FindMeGlutenFree app to find a place on our way that has gluten-free pancakes. After searching and searching and searching, I finally found somewhere that was not completely out of our way!

The Point Pancake House in Gurnee, IL!

This restaurant was only 5 minutes from the mall we were planning to go to and, according the the FindMeGF reviews, have some pretty kick-butt gluten-free pancakes! Now, if you want to know the way to my heart, it is an out-of-this world gluten-free pancake! Anthony always teases me because I am always eating pancakes... (They are just soooo good!!! Not the most nutritious, I know...)

So we pointed our compass towards The Point Pancake House and off we went, appetites at the ready! When we finally arrived, it looked like your everyday mom-and-pop diner. The menu had all you would expect for a diner, complete will skillets, burgers, and entree dinners. 

Since I already knew I was going to get the gluten-free pancakes, my only other decision was if I wanted to get eggs or potatoes or anything with it. Anthony and I finally both decided to get a skillet, since every skillet came with a side of pancakes. We have never seen this option before at any of our usual gluten-free friendly breakfast joints. It is usually just the pancakes, eggs, and some sausage or bacon. So getting a whole skillet with our pancakes seemed like a pretty sweet deal!

We ordered our meals and while we waited, we snuck one of the kids menus and starting playing tic tac toe (I beat Anthony once! Yes!) When our meals came out, we (unsuccessfully) tried to hide the evidence of our theftery. But our remorse immediately turned to elation when we saw the feast we were about to indulge in!

A delicious "Sorry-I-Can't-Remember-The-Name-Of-It" skillet

and a glorious side of gluten-free pancakes!

Yeah, it's ok.. I can give you a minute.....

O.K. all good!? Great! Yes, the reviewers on FindMeGF were definitely correct! These were dynamite GF pancakes! Probably the most "Really? This is gluten-free?!" pancake I have had to date (seriously, I think that is what I said to Anthony! :-D) 

And the skillet?! It was rock your world awesome! Sorry that I can't remember the name. :-/ Nor do they have a website I can peruse to try to jog my memory. But Anthony loved his skillet as well, so it is probably a safe bet that no matter what one you get, it is going to rock your socks.

So even though I did not get to indulge on my highly-anticipated mulled wine, I did get to satisfy that pancake-loving gal inside of me once again! And Anthony and I still had a fantastic getaway to Gurnee! We spent most of the day going through the stores at the mall smelling candles. We are kinda on a candle fetish. 

And had we have gone with out original plan for the day instead of being spontaneous, we would have never found our FAVORITE new gluten-free pancake joint! Seriously, we can not wait to go back in the very-near future to have some more delicious pancakes!

That just goes to show that sometimes the most wonderful things in life can come from the unexpected and unforeseen. :)

And it ended up being a cold, snowy day in the Chicagoland area, so it was really a great day to spend inside a mall. And that is one of the many things I love about my relationship with Anthony is that no matter what we do with our day, we always have a great time and enjoy each other's company. :)

If you are ever in the Chicagoland area near Gurnee, IL, I highly recommend you check out The Point Pancake House, regardless if you eat gluten-free or not! Judging by the reviews on Yelp, they have some pretty great food all around. :) My order, however, will always be those gluten-free pancakes!

Where is your favorite place to go for pancakes, gluten-free or not?! I would love to know for future travel reference. :)

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for the next time your in Chicago!!

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