Restaurant Row

Eating at a restaurant and being gluten free doesn’t have to consign you to the salad bar (although there is nothing wrong with salad!) Gluten Free City’s Restaurant Row has reviews of places where you can enjoy a great gluten free meal. We will also talk about some restaurants you might want to avoid and provide tips on how you can minimize being “glutened” when you go out for food.

Survey – Do You Feel Safe When Dining Out?

Ken Scheer at Rock A Healthy Lifestyle has developed two surveys related to eating at Restaurants with food allergies. As someone who consults with restaurants, he is in a great position to share your concerns with them. Please take a few minutes and go to his site to take the surveys.

Survey – Do You Feel Safe When Dining Out With Food Allergies?


Ken goes to SeaWorld (and lives!)

Eating out with any kind of food issue is always a bit stressful. Most times, you pack some emergency provisions and hope for the best. Over at Rock A Healthy Lifestyle, Ken Scheer recounts his day at SeaWorld where he did just that. But he also got some pleasant surprises.

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C Casa – Oxbow Public Market – Napa, CA Review

C Casa calls itself “An Innovative Kitchen” and Kim and I agree. It is rare to find a restaurant that is not only totally gluten free, but has grass fed meat (like buffalo!). Heck, it is hard enough to find grass fed meat locally as it is! They also offer vegan options on most of their dishes.

Located in the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, CA, C Casa is one of several artisanal food, wine and gift merchants in this charming market. After making a quick tour of the place, we discovered that we arrived during a welcome breakfast/lunch time overlap. Yes, if you arrive between 11 and 11:30, you can decide between breakfast or lunch. I had C CASA BREAKFAST (2 eggs cooked your way, served with roasted fingerling and new potatoes, and 2 fresh white corn tortillas with the grilled buffalo patty) and it was really, really good. I have never had buffalo and it was very tasty (and peppery). Kim had two tacos, the C CASA CHICKEN with cotija cheese, avocado, pico de gallo, chopped romaine, garlic aioli, cilantro & chipotle aioli and the AVOCADO with corn relish, poblanos, green onions, mixed greens & avocado crema. She liked them. We also liked the gluten free brownie.

We liked their food so much, that we ordered a WHOLE CHILE CRUSTED CHICKEN to take home for dinner. We also got a couple of more buffalo patties. The chicken was awesome. I would have taken a picture, but it kind of disappeared pretty quickly. The buffalo was great with breakfast the next morning.

There is so much dread that accompanies eating out when you have to absolutely avoid gluten. It was such a joy to be able to go somewhere and have someone else cook without worry. We drove about an hour to get there and it was worth every minute. On our next trip, we will try to go on a day that has their farmer’s market. We will also be trying Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, which is a 100% wheat and gluten free kitchen.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t give a huge thank you to Laura (@gf_traveller) from Gluten Free Traveller. She responded to my plea on twitter for a “clean” (GF only) restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area with a few suggestions, including C Casa. Thanks again, Laura. We really appreciated the tip.

Other reviews of C Casa and the Oxbow Public Market:

C Casa, An Innovative Kitchen — Karen in Real Life has a great review that mentions the buffalo and, frankly, has way better pictures than I took. Check out her site for reviews of the other restaurants at the Oxbow Public Market.

Gluten Free Napa, California — Gluten Free Travellers review of the Oxbow Public Market.

Vegan Napa — Thriving Vegan reviews a visit to Oxbow Public Market.

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S’MAC – Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese (East Village, Manhattan, NY) – Review

S’MAC (Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese) is an East Village restaurant that specializes in very tasty Macaroni and Cheese. It’s pretty simple. If you like Macaroni and Cheese and are in New York City, it really becomes a requirement that you eat here.

I had heard about this place prior to my visit a couple of months ago, but didn’t realize they had gluten free options. As always with a place that isn’t dedicated GF, there is a chance of cross-contamination. I didn’t get glutened here and would gladly go again.

Well, I would if I could fix my gut and eat dairy again.

I still miss cheese.

The picture is a cell phone shot of the “Alpine” (nosh sized — see prior post – I had just eaten a whole pizza two hours earlier!). Sorry about the partially eaten quality, I had started to dig in and remembered that I wanted a picture.This was made with the Brown Rice flour macaroni, gruyere cheese and bacon. I actually could not finish the whole thing, but I did make a valiant effort. I hope to be able to eat there again someday.

Other glowing GF blog reviews of S’MAC:

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese in NYC – A Gluten Free Guide

s’mac – Forgiving Martha

S’MAC – Another Gluten Free Blog


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Keste Pizzeria (West Village, Manhattan, NY): Gluten Free Pizza

What? Another pizza review? You must seriously like pizza!

Yes, yes I do.

I only get to Manhattan once or twice a year and my last two visits have been while I was eating gluten free, but before I cut dairy from my diet.

I miss cheese.

Anyway, on my last trip, I only had about six hours during a really long layover and decided to check out Keste in the West Village. I had read about it on “Gluten Free Gourmande” and decided to give it a shot. They make authentic Neapolitan pizza all week and offer a gluten free crust on Mondays and Tuesdays. I was very glad that I was there on a Tuesday!

There are no reservations, so I got to wait outside for about 20 minutes. It wasn’t a hassle and I got to scope out Risotteria, which is a gluten free Italian restaurant across the street. I will have to hit that next time I am there.

Once seated, you can see the dough being prepared and the frantic staff turning tables at an amazing rate. I got a huge bottle of sparkling water ($4) and the Gluten Free Margherita Pizza ($18). It cut cleanly and tasted like a real pizza. Seriously, not one bit different from a normal pie. I didn’t take a pic of the bottom of the slices, but it was obviously a gluten free dough. I am guessing it is the rest of the ingredients along with being cooked in an extremely hot oven, right on the stone.

I would definitely recommend Keste Pizzeria. I am eager to see what a “no cheese” pizza there would taste like.

Here is another review from Another Gluten Free Blog who wasn’t as taken as I was with Keste, but she still recommends it.

Coming soon: What happened after I walked across town to S’Mac for some gluten free Macaroni and Cheese.

Did I mention that I miss cheese?

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575 Pizzeria (Amarillo, TX): Gluten Free Pizza

Our gluten-free menu started with testing gluten-free dough, but recently we’ve added a couple of gluten-free alcoholic beverages to the mix with Redbridge and Ace Cider. All of our appetizers can be made gluten-free, and we’re working on a gluten-free dessert. What we once believed was a fad, we now see as pressing need by hundreds of Americans right in our own neighborhood, and 575 is excited to be one of the few places in town to serve that need.

575 Pizzeria in Amarillo, TX makes a great gluten free pizza. Thankfully for my companions, their normal pizza is also great. As some of you may know, even restaurants that have gluten free food don’t really understand that we need more than just “no wheat”. As you can see from this quote on their Gluten Free page, these people get it:

575 listened to a few of its customers who suffered from celiac and began testing a gluten-free crust. Testing rapidly moved into developing space in our kitchen to accommodate this new menu item as tons of celiac sufferers heard the news that we were trying a gluten-free crust. Now, we’ve had the pleasure of hearing things like “I haven’t been able to eat pizza for over 25 years” or “this is my first pizza ever” coming from one sweet little 8-year old girl, thanking us from the bottom of her heart.

I had a Pepperoni and Mushroom pizza from their Create Your Own menu. The server was aware of their GF offerings and made me feel comfortable. If you have ever ordered from a person who looks at you sideways when you ask about gluten free menu items, you know how important this is. I never felt like I was going to be “glutened” (and I wasn’t).

The pizza came in a pan that was different from the other normal pizzas at the table, a further sign of the special GF preparation. Their style appears to be to cook the heck out of the toppings. As you can see in the picture, mine had burnt edges. Now I love that sort of thing, but if you don’t, you might want to ask them about it.

If you are in Amarillo, TX, I highly recommend 575 Pizzeria. It is a nice place for you and your non-gluten free friends to enjoy some pizza and relax.

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