I went to Australia earlier this year and did quite a bit of research before I left. Local blogs in Melbourne and Sydney proved to be really helpful, along with dining sites that had gluten-free search options. I thought I'd give back to the community by making a traveler's dining guide for Portland. I'll only list the restaurants that I have personally eaten at and which have strong adherence to gluten-free safety. There's a more comprehensive list over at Gluten-free Portland dot org.
New Cascadia Traditional Bakery - This dedicated gluten-free bakery serves bread, pastries, coffee, pizzas, and sandwiches.
Tula Bakery - An excellent dedicated gluten-free bakery in Northeast Portland.
Hawthorne Fish House - Almost all the food served at this establishment is gluten-free. See the full review here.
Deschutes Brewery - They bake their own gluten-free buns and bread sticks in a separate kitchen, and they brew their own gluten-free beer!
Iorio Restaurant - This Italian restaurant serves GF pasta as well as a whole host of other Italian dishes you've been craving! Their fryer is dedicated gluten-free, so feel free to indulge in the calamari. See a full restaurant review here.
Andina - Peruvian food with a full gluten-free menu. See full review here.
Fratelli Cucina - I found Fratelli Cucina through Triumph Dining's The Essential Gluten-free Restaurant Guide. Our server was gluten intolerant himself, so he really took care of us. They are not a dedicated gluten-free establishment, but they have both risotto and polenta on the menu that are typically made gluten-free.
Clyde Common - This is a trendy upscale establishment downtown. See the full review here.
Mississippi Pizza - Gluten-free pizza baked in a dedicated oven and GF beer.
Dick's Kitchen - They can serve any of their burgers or sandwiches on a gluten-free bun. See the full review here.
There are many more out there, and I'll be sure to update this list as I try new places. For a list of additional restaurants with gluten-free options, click here.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
What a difference a server makes.
I like Clyde Common. The food has always been amazing, and their mixed drinks are equally amazing. I still remember the first time I went there. It was New Year's Eve, and for some reason the mood struck me to get a Bloody Mary. I almost never order that drink - it's usually too sweet or salty for me. Well, this one was made from a chili sauce. It was spicy and perfect.
Another reason to like Clyde Common is that many of their dishes are gluten-free without having to make substitutions. They aren't trying for it; they are just really high-end. The food is cheffy, which typically means they don't rely on a lot of wheat products. Wheat is boring and mundane, after all. Gluten is passé.
So I took a gluten-free friend to Clyde Common this winter. We got our fancy cocktails and we checked out the dinner menu. There were several things that looked doable as a gluten-free dish. I told our server about our dietary restraints and then said we had picked out a few things that we thought would work gluten-free, and he should let us know if any of it wouldn't work. (Caveat: this is not my typical strategy, nor is it the best one for informing the server of a food allergy.)
The place was crowded, so we waited a while for the food to arrive. Once it did we were pretty hungry. However, I looked at my plate and suddenly doubted my choice. Everything seemed saucier than I imagined from the description. As you can imagine, sauce is something that strikes my heart with fear. I caught my server's eye and asked him if he was sure that everything we had been served was gluten-free? He got this blasé expression on his face and told me, "Well, I think everything should be gluten-free."
Then I gave him this look. Internally, I was formulating my response. However, a verbal response proved unnecessary. My look said it all. My look said, "Do you really expect me to eat something at your restaurant that could make me sick?" Suddenly, before I could verbalize my thought, the server got a stricken expression on his face. He was suddenly scared of me. He quickly pulled himself together and blurted out that he would go talk to the chef and double-check!
He was right back. He assured us that he had consulted with the chef and that everything was 100% gluten-free. He seemed really relieved that he hadn't given me reason to cause him bodily harm. We indulged heartily in our winter repasts.
I wasn't very impressed by that customer/server interaction, so I didn't go back for several months. Then, the other day I happened by there and remembered that they usually had several things I could eat. My plan A had fallen through, so I decided to go for it. They had a beautiful chilled celery soup that they served without croutons to make it gluten-free.
Have you been to Clyde Common? What was your experience?