Monday, August 16, 2010

On the newfound joy/rage of eating gluten free in restaurants

Saturday night was my first experience eating in an unfamilliar restaurant since taking the gluten free plunge.

My little brother turned 23 this week, so the family was headed out to our annual celebration at Ruth's Chris Steak House.  A little googling brought me to this site: http://gfrestaurants.com/ruths-chris-gluten-free-menu/#comment-811 which left me super excited, figuring this would be no different than my typical restaurant experience pre-GF, since the menu seemed so straight forward and with plenty of options.

Not sure if it was just my server, but they weren't able to make many accomodations.  As he explained, many items are pre-made or shipped from facilities where things were cross contaminated.  I could take risks with the things on the menu I had seen, but the restaurant "wasn't guaranteeing" anything. Charming! None of their desserts were GF, with exception of the chocolate sin cake.  Except you need to call at least 3 days in advance to order that. Greeeeeeat.  So I sat at the table, pouting, as my family and my brother's girlfriend dug into their respective desserts.

Used all that angry "I WANT CHOCOLATE" energy to bake my first batch of GF cookies with chickpea flour and xanthan gum when I got back to my apartment. Of course I managed to undercook the first batch and burn the second, but that I think that is more the fun of having an ancient oven in an old building in NYC than it is my error. Or that's what I'd like to think, anyway.

My awesome friends have been sending me restaurants which cater extensively to gluten free eating.  While I am not a pizza fanatic, I do like to indulge from time to time.  It's such a specific craving that it is difficult to satisfy with much else.  Thankfully my good friend Laura (THANK YOU!) got me this list of NYC pizza joints with gluten free options that a friend of hers who eats GF compiled.

Pie
Mozzarelli's (also boasting gluten free desserts!)
Risotteria (ditto on the desserts)

Woohoo! Start your lists!  I am also super excited to share that approximately 75% of Rosa Mexicano's regular menu is gluten free.  In comparison to other restaurants, they are delightfully straight forward, listing separate gluten free menus on the main menu page of their website, found here.

It doesn't HAVE to be so freaking difficult to eat gluten free and still enjoy dining out.

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