Imagine my surprise when I was at The Fireplace, a restaurant in Boston, and I ask the waiter what dishes can be made without wheat, onions, and garlic. Instead of a confused/shocked/sorry look, he asks if I would like to see the gluten-free menu. And then, as I (jealously) look on as my husband and our friend happily slather butter on their freshly baked rolls, a waitress comes out and offers me a gluten free roll. I get a roll? I never get a roll, especially a yummy roll. I typically do not put butter on my rolls, but, that night, I was so excited to be part of the pre-dinner bread routine I slathered it on. I still had to figure out what dishes did not have onions, garlic, and my other trigger foods, but Chris, the waiter, was great and worked with me and the kitchen to figure it out and I had a wonderful salmon dinner.
Boston has many amazing restaurants and more of them are serving dishes and foods for those of us with intolerances and/or allergies. However, most of them are not obvious that they are gluten/allergy friendly so below are some of my recommendations.
In addition to the Fireplace, The Elephant Walk is a great place to eat for lunch or dinner if you have a food intolerance or allergy. They cook French and Cambodian style food and offer gluten-free meals that are clearly indicated on the menu. The waiters and chefs are extremely helpful and willing to modify dishes.
For breakfast or lunch, I like The Paris Creperie. They make a gluten-free buckwheat crepe and will let you swap out ingredients or make your own. My favorite is Lilli’s, made with a parmesan infused crepe, avocado, cheddar, broccoli, roma tomato, asparagus, and spinach. I swapped the asparagus for olives. Paris Creperie is a cute café, but, is a bit small, so plan to go on slightly off times or during the week, which will increase your chances of getting a seat. If you want pizza, I recommend Otto Pizza. They make delicious pizzas, and my favorite is a cheese pizza with spinach, eggplant, and olives. Their gluten free crust is great for those on the FODMAP diet, are wheat free, and have a mild sensitivity to gluten but not appropriate for people with celiac disease. Another bonus to Otto Pizza is that their tomato sauce has no onions or garlic. Otto Pizza serves a thin crust so don’t expect a Chicago style deep pizza. California Pizza Kitchen, which is located all over the U.S. also has a gluten free menu and they make a good pizza.
I have not been to the following restaurants since I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption and put on the FODMAP diet, but they were recommended to me by someone I know who’s sister has celiac disease; Not Your Average Joe’s and LegaI Sea Foods. Legal Sea Foods is a popular seafood chain restaurant in Boston and they have many locations throughout the greater Boston area.
If you want easy, cheap, and fast food, try Chipotle, which is a gluten-free Mexican restaurant (ask the server what has onions) and b.good, a healthy burger joint. And at the end of the meal or end of the day, if you are looking for a little dessert to enjoy I recommend Modern Pastry in the North End, Boston’s Little Italy. Before I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, I would go there for the most amazing freshly made cannoli with chocolate chips, pure heaven and worth the line. They always offer something gluten-free, but the gluten-free choices change regularly.
For more options, you can download the free Find Me Gluten Free app or check out these two websites.
*Always check with the restaurant before you order if you have celiac disease.
Photo taken by Jason Corey found on Flickr