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Dairy & Soy Free Dining Options?

Hi all,

My wife and I just had our daughter 3 months ago and it looks like she's sensitive to either dairy or soy. As a result, my wife is now completely dairy- and soy-free while we're figuring out which, and now we're both tired of eating chicken and rice and veggies (plus cooking time is scarce with a little one).

Does anybody know of any good chow-ish places to eat (bonus points for delivery to Fresh Pond/Cambridge) that would have a decent selection of dairy and soy-free food? I've called a few places, but I thought I would also see if anybody else had been in this situation.


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  1. Red Lentil has a lot of vegan choices. Good food. There's also Grasshopper in Allston. Mostly Asian, all or nearly all vegan. You have to check individual items for soy.

    1. Maybe you could check with Blue Ribbon in Arlington to see which of their dishes are dairy-free, unless of course she is also meat-free. Also, I bet Gran Gusto would be happy to make something special. I don't think either does delivery, though.

      Congrats and enjoy your little one!

      1. You mention chicken. Does this mean meat in general? Because you can eat meat most anywhere.

        Peace o'Pie in Allston/Brighton has, I think, dairy free pizza. They deliver to Cambridge.

        1. True Bistro in Teele Square is vegan, though not sure of the soy quotient.
          And I am willing to bet they will happily do take-out for you.

          1. Thanks, everybody. Meats are good, although we have to watch out for things like tandoori chicken (marinated in yogurt) or lamb kebabs (often have soy-based filler). I had thought about Red Lentil, so we'll definitely give them a try.

            lergnom - thank you for that link to Peace o'Pie - that place looks great. My wife is really craving a pizza right about now...

            1. Some of the Middle Eastern places in Watertown might have good grilled meat that doesn't involve any soy. Are things like hummus and tahini still okay?

              Also, in case you're not aware, there's a Special Diets Chowhound board now, which you can see here: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/90

              It's good that you posted your question here on the Boston board, since it's specific to this area...but if you want, you can also post a pointer thread on the Special Diets board with a link to this discussion. And that board might be a good resource for you for more general cooking/eating questions that aren't specific to Boston.

              Good luck, and let us know what options you find!
              Dave MP

              1. Flatbread Pizza/Sacco's in Davis Sq has a vegan pizza option that *thankfullly* gave me my pizza fix while I was dairy free after my daughter was born

                1. All these suggestions are great! I called Tamarind House, in Porter Square, and they said they could make almost anything dairy- and soy-free, and if they couldn't they'd let me know.

                  And every fiber in my chowhound body screams at this, but the big chain restaurants are really great about allergen info. We hadn't eaten at Burger King in years, but we did discover that their chicken nuggets and fries are safe to eat, so that was one of the first meals on the new regime :-)

                  Trader Joe's is also really good for folks with allergens - they have a lot of options for the various stuff-free people.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sdwr98

                    What about a basic fish place, like say Moulton's in Medford? Broiled scallops and fries?

                    Was going to suggest regular Italian places, but I forgot about the butter...

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      But I bet for Italian, Gran Gusto would be happy to skip the cheese and use evoo.

                  2. Not sure about delivery to your area, but Veggie Galaxy, Elephant Walk and Muqueca would be some choices for a meal out. They are all relaxed and would welcome a baby. Veggie Galaxy is typically packed with people of all ages, especially on the weekends. But if you plan your timing wisely, you'll get seated pretty quickly. Muqueca uses coconut milk for some of their best dishes. And they do deliver through MixMenu.com but I do not know what their delivery range is. We are two thirds dairy free in our household and it is pretty easy once you get used to giving up Ben and Jerry's and whipped cream.

                    1. Scott, We just went through (and are still going through) the same thing & found that in general, any mid-to-higher end restaurants can alter most of their dishes in order to accommodate. A lot of Middle Eastern food tends to be both dairy & soy free. Whole Foods is great. Haven't ventured much into Cambridge, but in Boston, we had really good luck recently @ Abe & Louis & Globe Cafe. I actually put a list together for my job of generally allergy friendly restaurants (most can do soy-free,dairy free): http://boston.cbslocal.com/top-lists/...

                      1. Thought I'd reply back with our latest find. After several incidents where we think restaurant employees either weren't thorough enough or they just messed up, we cut way back on our eating out. It's annoying, but not as annoying as a grumpy baby!

                        One bright spot, however, has been Not Your Average Joe's. They've won national recognition for being extremely sensitive to food allergies. We went to the Arlington location on Saturday, and they were tremendous. Our server detailed who in our party had what sensitivities (gluten for my brother-in-law, dairy+soy for my wife), then reported back on what we ordered and offered customization for every dish with non-offending alternatives. It's really mind-blowing what has soy or dairy in it. My wife originally ordered salmon with a balsamic glaze, pineapple salsa, veggies, and rice. As it turns out, the balsamic glaze, pineapple salsa, and rice (!!) had soy in them. But huge kudos to NYAJ for a) knowing all that and b) offering lots of alternatives. We were so pleased we ordered dinner to go for additional variety at home. They may not be as chow-ish as our pre-baby favorites (sigh, Golden Garden), but the food is solidly good and I'm bowled over by how good they were about the ingredients.

                        1. Not sure if you're suffering for desserts as well, but JP Licks has recently started doing coconut-milk ice cream that I *think* is also soy-free. Might be worth a look.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: TimTamGirl

                            I have a dairy free child and have had good experience with the JP Licks ice cream. They've been trying different recipes - I think they've retired the hemp for good, but I believe it was soy based one month. The coconut based should be fine (soy free), but ask. One issue to note... They were out of it one day as they were switching from one recipe to the other. That killed my kids plan for a treat.

                            There are also several "casein free" or GFCF registries of restaurants and menus. "Elimination diets" are a big thing with parents right now, so if you look for those keywords online you may find some places you didn't think of. I found, for instance, that nearly everything, excepting cheese and SC, at Chipotle is milk product free. Also, a good Chinese restaurant, Sichuan Gourmet for example, will be very friendly in helping to avoid milk since most of their dishes won't have any to begin with.

                            1. re: Foodie_BBQ

                              FYI, the So-Delicious brand makes several wonderful coconut milk ice creams that are really yummy. I have found them in WF and Shaw's Wild Harvest freezers. I think they are mostly agave-sweetened as well.

                              1. re: Science Chick

                                Also like Almond Dream brand a lot too. One tip: the non-dairy 'screams get very hard in the freezer so you need to leave them out a few minutes before scooping.

                          2. Have you tried House of Chang near you? I would call and ask for Jasmine or Kathy to confirm. They are incredibly accommodating and educated when it comes to gluten free (as well as once with a friend who had a tree nut allergy), so I would assume they would be just as willing to do the same for dairy and/or soy for you?

                            1. You may also want to try some kosher restaurants/places. If they are "meat" they won't have ANY dairy in their products/meals at all (to be certified kosher) - you'll just need to check on the soy part.

                              In Brookline/Coolidge Corner, this would include places like Rubin's Delicatessen or the Chinese Restaurant (never been there) Taam Chinese.

                              The kosher grocery stores (Grape Leaves and the Butcherie) also will have food to-go/be-reheated/items that may fill a craving and be dairy-free. They have a lot of dairy-free desserts (cakes, etc.) -- some are also soy-free.

                              1. Also meant to add that Legal Seafoods are also very allergy-sensitive and will likely be accommodating.