Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus (or just allergy friendly)
There was a thread on this back from 2007, but it seemed silly to add a reply on there! So I'm starting a new one and hoping that this topic hasn't been beaten to death.
I'm ultra sensitive and will feel (basically) like I have a medium-intensity hangover for a WEEK if I eat any gluten, even if it's just a speck or something GF fried in the same oil gluten-y foods are fried in. So...that said, here are the options I've come across and NOT been contaminated:
1) Nebo (by TD Banknorth)...gorgeous pizzas and pastas that are GF, along with some amazing mango panna cotta. The owner is very, very friendly about gluten allergies and actually made our table an eggplant parmesan-like dish for free.
2) Legals Seafoods...we all know they have a GF menu, but I've eaten at several locations and have never been even remotely ill afterwards, so two thumbs up. Also great customer service at all locations.
3) Burton's Grill...have been to the Fenway location 3 times and loved it every time. Tasty, tasty fresh-tasting fried calamari (they have a dedicated GF fryer), yummy fried risotto balls (drool), and a plain old burger on a mediocre bun (just needed to be toasted so it wouldn't fall apart). Also...Redbridge
4) The Fireplace (Brookline)...went once and it was delightful. Had the lamb with roasted potatoes and green beans or asparagus.
5) Veggie Planet...Nothing too special here, but nice to have an option over in Harvard Square and it's on the cheap side (nice!)...had some brown rice with veggies, tomatoes, and cheese
6) Chipotle...oddly enough they were some of the best in terms of customer service. The guy scrubbed his hands like he was about to go into an operating room, got clean gloves, and then pointed out every single thing on the line that was GF. He topped it off by giving me a free drink and a free taco. Pity food. LOVE it!
Just drinks (GF beer available):
1) Washington Square Tavern (LOVE)...they carry Redbridge and I've been told they could easily create a GF dish, but have never tried the food. It smells delicious!
2) Parish Cafe...On Boylston by the shopping, so great location. They have Bard's Tale, I believe and it's not bad. I wouldn't try eating here, personally...they're known for their sammies (bread = no good. :) )
3) Grendel's Den...Harvard Sq. They carry Original Sin cider on tap. Two thumbs way up for that!
4) Publick House...surprisingly Publick House has actually given in and offers several GF drink options: Green's Discovery and Green's Quest. There are also several tasty ciders...
Places I will avoid unless I'm wasting away and can't get somewhere safer:
1) P.F. Changs...I have two opinions on this. It's possible that I was not actually glutened here, but that my body is just not used to handling 1600 calories in a single sitting (chicken and rice, seriously?). That said, I've felt very ill afterwards for several days after 3 separate visits. I do applaud their effort and they have some super nice bartenders.
2) Uno's...wilted brown iceberg lettuce salad? check. Gluten...somehow got in there. I hear they have GF pizza, but no one seems to like it. Again...A for effort.
Where else do I need to try?
B*Good is on my radar, as is Fresh City.
Myers and Chang - I took a kid with severe food allergies there and she had no problems. They even have a gluten free menu.
I think Blue Ginger also takes allergies seriously. I remember reading that Ming Tsai has a kid with allergies so he has some sort of notebook in the kitchen with all these substitutions.
Funny you mention Chipotle... my GF girlfriend and I eat there constantly. They are incredibly sensitive (no pun intended) to her gluten intolerance. They also have little cards behind the counter that show all of their products and which ones contain certain ingredients (milk, gluten, nuts, etc.). The guy making our order recently has a GF girlfriend as well and he highly recommended Burton's Grill. I can't wait to try it!
This thread is fantastic because it was only recently that my girlfriend was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant and we're still in the learning process as far as discovering restaurants that are allergy friendly. Unfortunately, since we are new to this I don't have any additional recommendations other than what's already been posted.
Hungry Mother in Cambridge gets my vote. It's a soul food/classic french restaurant which doesn't sound GF friendly, but it is. EVERYTHING is made in-house all orders are made ala minute which means a lot of things can be made without the wheat. The staff are helpful and knowledgable. They serve New Grist GF beer. The prices are more than reasonable for the quality you get.
re: RI Swampyankee
It is more than making food without wheat. There can be no contamination, different utensils, pans, a check of all ingredients, etc. Celiab disease is not an allergy but an autoimmune disease set off by gluten. I have found Legal Sea Foods to be the best place. They have a separate prep area and the manager serves the meal.
Celiac is indeed a disease, but there are many of us who have tested negative for Celiac but still can't tolerate gluten, so I think we would fall in to the "allergy" category. I tend to use the term "gluten allergy" with restaurant staff, as the word "allergy" itself acts like a trigger for the staff to pay close attention at many places.
This is a great thread. I'm heading up Labor Day weekend and get quite sick for days if I eat any gluten, so these tips are invaluable to me!
My sister is moving here on Friday and has a gluten allergy (not celiac disease). She will be going to BU and will be a "poor college kid." A lot of these places seem great, but are there any places in the area that are reasonably priced (cheap) and easy to access on the B line? Elephant Walk would be a good choice but she is pretty picky and doesn't like a whole lot of Asian foods. Thanks!
The waitstaff at Henrietta's Table in Harvard Square was very knowledgeable about every item on their menu that was gluten-free. My co-worker with is extremely sensitive, gave it her seal of approval.