Gluten free dining in the Twin Cities? MSP
A friend will be in town Aug 25 - 28 and she sticks to a strict gluten free diet. Any ideas on good restaurants. We are pretty flexible on location, we go anywhere if it's good. We both like almost any kind of food but I understand many sauces have hidden gluten so I want to make sure it's really gluten free. Thanks for any ideas you have!
Cafe Agri specifically has gluten free things on their menu, and lots of them. But they haven't had the best reviews. But it would be sweet of you to bring her somewhere that is gluten free for sure.
Asian food is generally out since it has MSG, which is gluten. Also I think a lot of soy sauce have wheat in them. You could do sushi if she can go without soy or if you can make sure the soy sauce is without wheat.
Any of the high end restaurants will be able to provide gluten free food. Just make sure you call ahead of time and see what they can offer and let them know you are coming. They will appreciate it. They make something special if asked.
It is my understanding that wheat gluten is the protein part of the kernel which contains natural glutamate – an amino acid which is found in many vegetables. MSG is quite different I believe - a human made product. Certainly for a gluten-free (wheat-free pancakes) organic breakfast try the Seward Community Cafe near 22nd and Franklin in Minneapolis. The Madwoman Bakery on 47th and Nicollet also serves up gluten-free products.
Pizza Luce has gluten-free nights at their St. Paul and dt Minneapolis locations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I haven't tried the gluten free menu items, but in general Luce does a good job of things.
Pizza Luce Downtown
119 N 4th St Ste 508, Minneapolis, MN 55401
1183 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104
I went to WA Frost with a friend with Celiac's disease last fall for lunch. They were quite accommodating for her. Essentially the waiter went and asked the kitchen what could be made gluten-free and came back with ~4 options from the regular menu that could be adjusted. In general, I think the food at WA Frost was good, not great, but the space is nice as is the neighborhood.
Ecopolitan - which is actually raw food vegan but has food that is quite remarkable in my opinion. I've taken some die hard carnivores there and they have loved it.
Seward & HardTimes cafes - kind of grungy hippie/ vegetarian places but again, the food is good IMO. All three of these options so far have colorful characters working there and dining there, and are rather slow to serve. But if you are adventurous and like to people watch...
Some of the local Vietnamese Thai and Japanese restaurants can be good options because of the rice noodles and rice options, but make sure to call ahead and see if they are familiar with the concept and have things like gluten free soy sauce. I know some people with Celiac will eat authentic Mexican but many are wary because of cross contamination issues.
Oh, and it isn't a restaurant but madwoman bakery on Nicollet is very good. I buy things there for my uncle when he comes to visit - he liked the hamburger buns so much he wants me to mail him some. :)
French Meadow has explicitly gluten free items on their breakfast/lunch menu. They are very aware and careful.
That Twin Cities celiac-friendly restaurant list is great! I'm sending along to someone newly allergic to wheat who will no doubt appreciate it.
Another bakery that is strictly gluten free is Cooqi in St Paul off of Cretin and Marshall (the continuation east of Lake St). I can't vouch for the taste, since I am not afflicted, but just wanted to put that out there.
Moto-i, at Lake and Lyndale has a special, gluten-free menu that they provide if you ask for it.