Besides avoiding wheat, barley, and rye, many gluten free compatriots are also avoiding restaurants for fear of eating another salad, or losing what your eat a half hour later due to incorrect assumptions of ingredients. But don’t fall into a food rut, I’ve done the homework for you, and have found reliable and safe restaurants with gluten free options. Beer, pizza, and Chinese, oh my!
For the pasta lovers, many choices exist, but the best are Noodles and Company and Maggiano’s. Noodles and Company has a wonderful dish named Pad Thai, that’s not only delightful, but also affordable. The staff at Noodles and Company is beyond accommodating, as my normal dining companion is vegan and gluten free, making us the most obnoxious and picky diners at any location at any given time. The manager told us that the rice noodles could be substituted in any of the other dishes to make it gluten free. If you are in the mood for being served, dine at Maggiano’s, where the chef personally comes to your table to discuss options. While the service is excellent, and having the chef personally talk to us was stellar, I have to say that my favorite part of this experience was drinking gluten free beer with the pasta. Beer connoisseurs will agree that gluten free beer isn’t the best beer around, but it’s beer.
It was devastating to say goodbye to Chinese food, it was like saying to goodbye to a friend. A greasy, fried friend I would normally see after a long night at the bar with coworkers. But we were reunited when I found out that the back of the PF Changs menu is dedicated to being gluten free, and still includes favorites of lemon scallops, beef and broccoli, and street noodles. PF Changs also has gluten free soy sauce, another restricted item that I sorely have missed, as has my rice.
Mitchell’s Fish market has an amazing array of seafood available that is fresh caught every day, and shipped to the store. As a seafood lover, I was excited. As a wine lover, I was enthralled, for on their wine list, was one of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc’s as a wine by the glass. J Lohr is also a fabulous addition to their wine list, and the wine list is a definite reason to keep going back and trying different cooking styles to compliment the fresh, sensations seafood.
As a former employee, I was beyond excited to hear that The Melting Pot had changed certain ingredients in their fondue to make it gluten free. True, it’s hard to imagine cheese fondue without bread or chips, but literally speaking- is it necessary to dip carbohydrates into a vat of cheese with a beer base? Think of being gluten free, in this case, as saving you those unnecessary calories and starches. All four courses can be gluten free, and without the bread in the first course, it may be possible to make it to dessert.
Yats is fun, affordable, and as there website states, dead sexy Cajun food. The menu differs daily, and by locations, but there will always be gluten free option, or two, or five. The gluten free list includes Cajun favorites of Red beans and smoked sausage, and if you get there early enough there’s a possibility of the crowd favorite Jambalaya; other Yats specific gluten free options include B&B, Creole Chicken, and the funky Ropa Vieja. All Yats employees are incredibly friendly and accommodating, and will always be willing to hand out samples of their crazy concoctions to assure any patron that this restaurant will probably be their new favorite locale.
Café Patachou, is in Keystone, and its sister restaurant, Petit Chou is in Broadripple, and in Clay Terrace. Only one word is necessary to understand why you must patronize these cafes besides Mimosa’s, and that word is Toast. Yes, toast. When I was younger, I jokingly referred to bread and butter as prison food when my dad would try to pass it off as breakfast. Now that I can’t eat this standard breakfast accompaniment, it was practically a gift from the culinary god to see a restaurant offer gluten free toast. I know that whatever I ordered was exquisite, but I can’t remember what it was because I was having a love affair with the toast. One persons prison food, another person’s delicacy.
Scotty’s Brewhouse and Puccini’s offer two must haves for any red-blooded American, gluten free cookies, and gluten free pizza. Or maybe those are must haves for my inner fat child, as my favorite comfort foods are pizza and cookies. While Scotty’s offers salads, burgers, and amazing Thai peanut skewers, I was really excited about the cookie monster being gluten free, since hundreds were consumed when I was student at Ball State. Besides Scotty’s, the other part of my freshman 15 was pizza, which I haven’t eaten in months since I became gluten free. I had gotten used to eating before hand, or getting a salad from the same place when others had ordered pizza. But now there is Puccini’s delicious, medium sized pizza that includes many delectable toppings that can now satisfy any pizza lovers craving.
These are only a few of the restaurants with gluten free foods that I have found on my search for a wheat free existence. Most restaurants are more than willing to accommodate any patron, as long as it’s clearly explained what can, and cannot be consumed. It shouldn’t be an issue at these establishments, and this will bring normalcy back to a gluten free existence, much less it will bring back toast, cookies, and pizza!