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Jan 2, 2009 04:16 AM

Gluten free dining in Southern NH

My sister was diagnosed with the gluten allergy a few months ago. Since then we've only gone out to eat a handful of times - to mixed results. One didn't get it at all, and she got sick. One totally got it and she was fine. We called ahead to another and they said they had tons of options, but really there was only salad. Any suggestions for places where she can get a good gluten free meal?? Anywhere between Nashua and the Seacoast would be great.

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  1. If you don't mind a little bit south in Lowell, Ma. you might be able to get this at Life Alive. Food is fantastic and they could most likely point you in good directions too. Their website does mention gluten-free.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lexpatti

      oh, that reminds me. in lowell, there's a south indian restaurant called udupi bhavan that's actually pretty good. a great deal of south indian food is naturally gluten free. the OP should call ahead and ask just to make sure, of course, but safe items include regular dosa (avoid rava dosa), utthapam, iddly, vada, and avial. everything except the avial is bready / pancakey, which could be esp. good if your sister is missing those textures.

    2. hey pastry, this is a sometimes-helpful registry that lists gluten free and gluten conscious restaurants by state. i notice there are a few places in nashua.

      for a few add'l non-chain restaurants:

      you'll want to be careful even at steakhouses, i've heard, because some places actually use a little bit of flour to brown the meat more attractively.

      more generally, one of my celiac friends carries around a card listing ingredients that have "hidden" gluten in them to give to the staff at restaurants we visit. sometimes people don't even realize that bread has wheat in it, believe it or not.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        Thanks cimui, that is actually what has been the problem - hidden ingredients. Some things that you would think are naturally gluten free, can have gluten in them depending on the preparation. Pre-shredded cheese is one problem. Cheese is fine, but the agent they use to keep the cheese from clumping in the bag has gluten in it. So a restaurant could think they were serving you something gluten free, when actually they aren't. It's almost impossible to find a place that will go to that level of detail.

        1. re: pastryprncess

          yes, it's really tough to find a place that really knows how to address the needs of celiac diners, i agree! a lot of nicer establishments in nyc are pretty conscious since celiac disease is actually a pretty common condition these days. but a few weeks ago, a well known restaurant served him a gluten free dish... only for it to be contaminated when the person who came around with the bread basket reached over his plate with a roll dusted with flour, and some fell into his dish.

          a few places in nashua look pretty interesting and according to their websites, the staff at both places are evidently trained to prepare celiac-safe dishes:

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        1. How close are you to Alton Bay??

          1. re: jspear

            Weare is just west and a bit north of Manchester, not near Alton Bay but could be sort of on your way if you live south of Manchester

        2. Buzzs Bakery Takeout Cafe on 77 Lafayette Rd
          North Hampton, NH sells very tasty gluten free baked goods. My mother has Celiac and eats the worst foods ever. However, Steve at Buzz's somehow found the secret to making these foods taste wonderful. It's worth the trip there!!

          1. It's not a restaurant, but people looking for Gluten Free may be interested that there is a new all Gluten Free Market in Hillsborough called White Birch Gluten Free Market. Hillsborough is between Keene and Concord just off of Route 9 in southwestern NH. It has a huge selection.