I’ve been gluten free for a little over seven months. I knew one week in to the “two week GF test” that this was the culprit for the stomach issues and bloating that I’d struggled with for years.* As a fish eating vegetarian I was already use to working around menus to avoid meat. However, being GF is a whole new ballgame of cutting items from my diet. I’m in the early process of learning where gluten (the protein in wheat, barley and rye) is hiding in my pantry, key words on food labels and dining in local restaurants.
Over the last few months I’ve discovered numerous GF options while dining in the Old Mill District. Servers are aware of the issue, ready to answer questions and quick to point out GF options or offer up a GF menu. Here’s a quick summary of some of my favorite options at the many restaurants in the Old Mill District.
Kona Mix Plate has a tasty GF sauce used for cooking up their fresh mahi mahi and vegetable stir-fry. Be sure to order the stir-fry over white rice as I recently learned that the brown rice is cooked in a chicken stock with gluten. I also recommend the grilled mahi mahi (or chicken).
I was happy to find out that Greg’s Grill and Anthony’s both have standalone GF menus. Enjoying the summer sunshine a few weeks ago I ordered the roasted garlic prawns with a GF rice for lunch. My colleague had the copper river salmon salad that looked fantastic and served with a generous piece of salmon (note: salad dressing in picture is not GF).
Before heading into the Steely Dan concert I enjoyed the salmon sliders that can be order GF with a lettuce wrap. (This option is also available for hamburgers.)
While watching a World Cup soccer game last week at Greg’s Grill my husband and I enjoyed the hazelnut pear salad and the grilled Ahi off the GF menu. Lots of other options too at Greg’s.
At Pastini Pastaria my go to pasta is bowl full of broccolini, arugula, cherry tomatoes, lemon/herbs with parmesan and toasted hazelnuts. On the menu with orecchiette, but can be made with GF spaghetti or penne. Pastini also has a fabulous GF tiramisu.
At Flatbread Community Oven you can order both GF pizza and flatbread. Two appetizers I’ve yet to try at Flatbread sound scrumptious—Baked Goat Cheese with Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Fontina Fonduta both served with a GF bread option. Wow!
While working in the Old Mill District I often order the tuna unwich from Jimmy John’s for lunch. (An unwich is a lettuce wrapped sandwich minus the bun.) My version is to chop it up on a plate and eat it like a tuna salad. Be sure to add the sweet hot peppers which spice up any of the sandwiches at Jimmy John’s.
Café Yumm’s hot & jazzy bowl with beans, rice, yumm sauce and jalapeno sesame salsa is the Yumm! bowl I most often order. This restaurant is known for its vegetarian and vegan menu items and are well versed in GF options. The Asian Man Salad is one of my favorites and can be GF with either chicken or turkey.
Café Yumm’s salad dressing and Yumm! sauce are also GF. Cafe Yumm’s salad dressings (Ginger Miso, Asian Slaw and Toasted Black Sesame) and Yumm! sauce are also sold to go. From my under a year GF experience, I can tell you that trying to find an Asian inspired salad dressing made without a wheat based soy sauce is extremely hard and Café Yumm! has three to choose from. Awesome!
I’ll cover Level 2, Hola, Mio Sushi and Red Robin on my next GF blog highlighting some fall dishes.
* I know from my recent experience that I feel so much better on a GF diet. This article is based on my personal experience and I am not an authority, by any means, on Gluten Sensitivity or celiac disease. Be sure to ask questions of your server at any restaurant as dishes and ingredients change. Remember salad dressing, broth, gravy and soy sauce are sneaky places to find gluten when ordering out. Here’s information on Gluten Sensitivity from the National Foundation Celiac Awareness. Looking for recipes to try at home I like GF on a Shoestring, GF Mama and Kalyn’s Kitchen.