I was visiting a friend in Florida recently, and had one of the more unique meals I’ve ever eaten: Thai-Mexican fusion from Nitally’s in St. Pete. They mix Thai curry with Mexican mole, use chipotle in stir fried rice, and put cilantro on everything.
They have a dedicated gluten free menu, which was great since I’m always wary of lurking soy sauce or fillers in curries and Asian food.
We started with the tofu appetizer, which came with peanut and sweet and sour sauce for dipping and fresh cilantro.
For an entree I had red curry tofu tacos, which seemed odd, but were crazy good. There was a ton of fresh cilantro on top, which I love. The corn tortilla/rice/curry sauce combination was unexpectedly addictive, and I ended up eating way more of the huge portion than I anticipated.
I think next time I get Thai food take out I’m going to just dump it on a bunch of tortillas. It’s a whole new way to eat it with no chopsticks required!
2462 Central – St. Pete (25th St & Central Ave)
Nellie’s Sports Bar is best known around DC for their weekly drag brunch. They also happen to have great happy hour specials and (most importantly) gluten free arepas!
They offer a bunch of things that you can fill the arepa with, I chose scrambled eggs and avocado, with sour cream, pico de gallo, and black beans on the side.
A gay bar may not be the most likely place to find a delicious and affordable gluten free meal, but I will definitely be back to try some other fillings and take advantage of their cheap drinks!
Have you found gluten free food in any unlikely locations?
It seems like when it rains, it pours when it comes to new gluten free finds in this city. Here are a few things to check out!
1. Churchkey and Birch and Barley are getting gluten free flatbreads
They already have the best gluten free (and general) beer selection in DC, and now they’re going to be introducing gluten free flatbreads to their menu.They already had gluten free chickpea crackers, but this is taking it to a whole new level. I always salivated over the regular flatbread options on their menu and now I actually get to try one!
Chefs prepping the gfree dough, via the Churchkey Facebook page:
Just picture this thing becoming gluten free:
2. The Protein Bar will be opening on Wednesday at 7th and D
This place serves healthy, high protein meals, many of which are gluten free! The amount of quinoa on their menu makes my heart do a happy dance. They also have a full allergen guide to refer to.
The Almond Berry Bowl, Black Bean Fiest Bowl, Vegan Quinoa Chili, and Superfood Vegan Salad are on my to-eat list. All of their blended protein drinks are also gluten free, and will make a nice substitute when I get one of those intense frappuccino cravings.
3. Pete’s Apizza makes a solid gluten free pizza. Broccolini continues to be gross.
I don’t know why I keep ordering broccolini – it’s bitter and ruins everything it comes in contact with. I ended up picking it off of my pizza, but loved the rest of it! Pete’s also has delicious gluten free pasta that I sampled at the DC Gluten Free Food Expo.
Anything else going on in the district that I should know about?
I wouldn’t have expected this in a million years, but I had possibly the best gluten free pizza I’ve tried in Michigan a couple weeks ago. In an unassuming restaurant called Biga Pizza I ordered a wood-grilled pizza. I had pretty low expectations, considering some of my other experiences with gluten free pizza in Michigan, but I was truly blown away.
I got the farmer’s egg pizza with zucchini and ricotta. The thin crust and wood-grilled crispness made this pizza something special. My friend tried a slice and said that she really couldn’t tell the difference between the gluten free crust and the regular one. Next time I’ll make sure to stay for the Lemon-Raspberry Parfait– (gluten free sponge cake, layered with lemon curd, raspberries and rum marscapone mousse). Mmm.
Another find in Michigan was Commonwealth in Birmingham. I got a ratatouille omelet and sweet potato hash for breakfast. I have to figure out how to make that hash at home – it has roasted peppers, green onions, and red onions, all caramelized and a great savory/sweet mixture.
Commonwealth also has a quinoa tabouli, which you don’t see every day. The hunt for good gluten free food in Michigan continues, but this trip really impressed me!
Going out to breakfast or brunch can be a challenge for celiacs. French toast, pancakes, English muffins – gluten seems to be the star of the show in most dishes. Nine times out of 10 I end up eating an omelette or some kind of eggs, which is mostly okay with me. Except for the fact that they usually come with hash browns or home fries, and I’m always skeptical of how they are made (they could be fried, put on a griddle next to the toast, come from a mix that has them coated in flour, etc.)
So when a restaurant has grits on the menu, they are always my go-to substitute. They’re creamy, cheesy, buttery, and good ole’ Southern cookin’.
These are my top three restaurants for grits that I’ve found in DC yet.
1. Ted’s Bulletin
Seriously amazing cheese grits. They’re like a finer, condensed macaroni and cheese.This isn’t the most colorful plate in the world, but so delicious.
Nice and cheesy, just how I like ’em. These come with big pieces of cheddar on top. Try them with the smoked salmon omelette.
3. Art and Soul
I only had a taste of my friend’s grits here as a part of their shrimp and grits dish at dinner, but they serve them as a side dish at brunch as well. If Art Smith can’t make a good pot of grits, then I don’t know who can.
Any places I’m missing for good grits? Or anything else you substitute for toast while eating breakfast out?
Posted in Restuarant Reviews, Tips
Tagged breakfast, Brunch, celiac, celiac disease, dc, eggs, Gluten, Gluten-free, restaurants, washington dc
Last month I attended a social media workshop in Brooklyn, which was great because even when I lived in NYC I didn’t go over the bridge very often. It doesn’t hurt that this was the view from the office the workshop was in in Dumbo.
For lunch, the restaurant Rice happened to be just a few blocks away, and I’d been wanting to try it after seeing it pop up on a few blogs.
I started with a bowl of butternut squash soup, but it was really nothing to write home about. What is something to write home about were their veggie meatballs.
It takes a lot to make tofu taste indulgent, and not like health food. But this did it. I really don’t know how they make these things. I’m guessing they put the tofu and some kind of spices in the food processor, then reform them into balls, fry them, and coat them in this delicious sweet and sour type sauce.
If I would have known better I would have gotten something other than boring brown rice. Having black rice or sticky rice would have made it all the more delicious.
Locations in Nolita and Dumbo
Brunch in DC is a sacred event. Without fail, every Saturday and Sunday between 11 and 4, everyone and their mom is at brunch. Restaurants cater to the brunch crowd with unlimited mimosas, multiple course and all-you-can-eat deals.
I’ve had some great brunches in DC. But I’m declaring right here and now that Ardeo Bardeo in Cleveland Park is the best brunch in the city. It just is. Don’t even try to argue.
- Two courses and unlimited mimosas for $25 – most places in DC are $15 entrees without unlimited mimosas, or they’re $25-$30 for unlimited mimosas, but they only give you one (usually kind of crummy) entree. Ardeo Bardeo gives you two delicious courses, plus they keep the champagne flowing!
- They are knowledgeable and friendly about making their dishes gluten free – I have had the nicest servers at Ardeo Bardeo, and they are always really accommodating. They check with the kitchen if they have questions, and know exactly what to do if you tell them you need your meal to be gluten free.
- I don’t have to eat eggs – About 90% of the time when I got to brunch I end up getting an omelette. While that’s all well and good, Ardeo Bardeo has a ton of other gluten free options. From salads and soups to salmon and risotto.
For my first course I always get this salad because it’s freakin’ amazing. Spinach salad with braised fennel and mushrooms with truffle vinaigrette.
I’ve gotten the Scottish salmon a few times because it’s also just perfect. Crispy skin, perfectly cooked, with brussel sprouts, fennel puree, golden raisins, and lemon yogurt.
And last time I switched it up and got the rock shrimp and grits with arugula, lemon, and lobster emulsion. Yeah, lobster emulsion…that just happened.
I don’t know why more people don’t know about this brunch spot. People line up for an hour outside of Open City, but there are always tables open here.
Go! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
3311 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008