Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 26, 2007 07:53 PM

Very Constrained Diet visiting Union Square

So my mom's coming to visit me tomorrow and despite her limitations I'd really like to take her out to a restaurant. However, her stomach isn't what it used to be and her constraints include:
No gluten (wheat)
No lactose (milk, butter)
No soy
Nothing remotely spicy
No caffeine
No sulfites (wine sauces)
And clearly, no joy, because she leads a very sad gastronomic life. She's good with rice, potatoes, most vegetables, and meat. Anyone with any suggestions on a restaurant around Union Square that isn't very pricey that could cater to her needs? There are of course salad and sushi places, but I wanted to do something a little more dinnery than that. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. a few options. you can go to Blue Water Grill and get simply grilled seafood and a vegetable or salad. or there is Pure Food and Wine - there may be some soy on the menu, but because it is raw vegan they should be sensitive about ingredients and pointing out things she cannot eat. Shaffer's City is on 21st between 5th and 6th and should also be able to accomodate her dietary issues. have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: eeee

      I'll second that about Blue Water Grill. Incredibly fresh and awesome. I think if pompom explained the situation to the staff, they would be able to get something for her mom that is delicious and suits her dietary needs.

      1. re: Vermicelli

        How about Knickerbockers on 9th and University. The lounge menu is affordable and theres a steak dish that inexpensive. Theres also live jazz at 9:45.

    2. At Pure Food and Wine, the only thing worth ordering, in my view, is the sensational lasagna. It's layered vegetables (no pasta), and the "sauce," as I understand it, is composed of nuts. Since the restaurant is vegan, there won't be any milk or butter But, of course, you would have to be sure there isn't any soy. If you do go and the weather is conducive, the back garden is beautiful.

      Barbounia, on the corner of Park Av. S. & 20th St., serves very good Mediterranean cuisine. They do a fine job with whole grilled fish. Grilled lamb chops are also on the menu. Service is excellent, the huge space has attractive decor, and the vibe is upbeat.

      Angelo & Maxie's is on the corner of Park Av. S. & 19th St. Not the best steaks in the world but certainly decent. A salad + a baked or sweet potato and your Mom can have a pretty tasty meal. The only drawback might be the noise level, which can get pretty high.

      1. Take her to's a Brazilian Churrascuria with fantastic meats, fish and poultry and an array of sides, including veggies, potatoes and rice. It's a fun and lively place.

        1. While rodizios like Porcao and Churrascaria Plataforma may work for your mother's dietary needs, they are much, much more fun to do with a group than with only two people. Just my view, of course....

          1. How about Zen Palate on Park Ave South (either 15th or 16th St.). They are so nice about special orders and needs.

            4 Replies
            1. re: debraksolomon

              As I've mentioned before, I've been to the original Zen Palate on 9th Av. once, and the food was awful! I suspect that would be no different at any of the other locations, so I would strongly recommend against it.

              1. re: RGR

                I've been to the Zen Palate at Union Square a number of times now. I've never had a problem. The food was amazing especially the celestial tofu. But I don't think this would be a good place cause there is wheat/gluten and soy in of chinese vegetarian food.

                1. re: kelea

                  I'm not a fan of Zen Palate at all, i think the food used to be good years ago, but it has gone way downhill, and is bland and not prepared well. but I was also going to mention that if it is a place you are interested in you should check the menu, because as kelea mentiones most of their menu items are either made with soy or wheat gluten in some form or another.

                  1. re: twiggles

                    perhaps you are all referring to the fact that vegetarian cuisine has come along way and left zen palate 10 years behind....