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75th B-day dinner for Celiac dad on May 2,3 or 4

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Greetings N.O. hounds! Mmmm, hmmmm! Can't wait to decend on NO this week for my dads birthday and for the Jazz Fest!

My parents moved to N.O. from Chicago 9 years ago. They are well versed in the whole range of restaurants in the New Orleans proper, from the mom and pop to the uber fine dining establishments. I need your help in finding a special restaurant for his birthday celebration. We are all adventurous eaters and huge cooks...we'll go anywhere for amazing food...it's more of an obsession really. It's going to be a busy week. I don't know where we will find the time to make the Boulliabaise (I have yet to taste one better than mom and dads), seafood Paela, mole rojo, & mole verde.

Here's the catch; My dad's favorite is the BYOB down-to-earth mom and pop type restaurants. I am looking for something reasonably priced with amazing food in a cozy, fun, festive atmosphere.

Dad as well as my sister and I (that makes three of us) are Celiacs. My dad and I were diagnosed only recently. Yep, we avoid gluten laced food and drink like beer, pasta, bread & cakes, pizza, etc, YIKES!! It's actually easier than you might think to find a gluten-free meal.

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  1. Vietnamese food is very celiac-friendly...rice noodles rather than wheat ones predominate, and rice is a standard accompaniment to many protein entrees. Why not Tan Dinh? You can have goat curry, jellyfish salad, and lots of other interesting treats...the place is nice enough--it definitely has a neighborhood feel.

    Another option might be Laurentino's for paella.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Hmm, tell me more about Laurentino's. Price range and location? My parents live along the Marina in the West Bank. We usually go to Lola's although it was only so so on my last visit.

      Here's the problem with Asian in general including Thai and Vietnamese, most resort to using soy sauce (made with wheat and contains gluten) even though it's not typically used in their cooking methods. Even the seemingly most authentic Vietnamese or Thai restaurants will frequently use soy sauce. I'm not counting it out though. We love Vietnamese. How good is Tan Dinh? I have an entire Vietnamese neighborhood in Chicago. It's great fun!

      1. re: amoncada

        Soy sauce IS an "authentic" vietnamese ingredient (China ruled Vietnam for more than 1,000 years). Sorry that you can't have it, but you can easily ask your server to point out items that don't involve soy sauce in a marinade.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Yeah, I see your point about asking the server to have the chef exclude soy sauce. It's a little more complicated in that there are cross contamination issues in Asian restaurants with their cooking surfaces, re-used utensils and pots and pans, etc. Celiac is a royal pain in my ar...se !!

          BTW: I think I'll give Lola's Spanish restaurant another try. The next challenge is to find a fantastic Brunch with a buffet (I hear that the breakfast buffet is not as typical as the dinner or lunch variety).

          I'm thinking Mr.B's, Biggs, or The Wyndham for brunch.

          1. re: amoncada

            Casamento's states that all of their fried seafood is gluten-free. You can read this on their web site. I believe that if they put this claim on their web site that they understand the complexities involved in eating gluten free. Unfortunately I have never eaten there so I personally can't vouch for the restaurant. However, I have heard many good things and I definitely want to try it soon.

            1. re: LisaDenise

              The seafood is coated with cornflour & cornmeal and fried in lard. Combine that with homemade fries and you have a gluten-free feast.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Wow that sounds delicious. I will definitely have to make it before they close in June this year.

                1. re: LisaDenise

                  I'm thinking Mr.B's, Biggs, or The Wyndham for brunch.

                  I am a nola native, AVOID Mr B's, not pleased at all with it.

                  Haven't been to the Wyndham, but have heard nothing about it, what is Biggs?
                  You are looking for a breakfast/brunch buffet downtown?
                  Have heard good things about
                  http://www.lepavillon.com/menus.htm

              2. re: LisaDenise

                Thanks for the info on Casamento's. I will look into it.

      2. What about Rio Mar? Great ceviches and fish dishes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: malenky

          Ooh, a good suggestion. La Boca is another good choice for gluten-free options.