Saturday, June 5, 2010

Defeating Wheat When Going Out To Eat

Apparently people think that I am completely handicap when going out to restaurants. I get asked frequently if I am able to eat out at all, and what could I possibly order?! I have harped before about eating naturally gluten free and it is easy to do. Yes, even in restaurants. The biggest risk when dining out would be cross contamination, however to be honest I have not had this problem in the restaurants here in Tulsa. Hats off to you T-town chefs and staff!

That said, I wanted to share a few of my favorite places to eat here in Tulsa, and what I have enjoyed without ordering a side of anxiety too. To make this blog reasonable in length, I drew my favorite from each food fare category and only ones that I have recently visited since being diagnosed. Thai, Mexican, even Italian can be tackled in T-town. Just make sure you inform your waiter/waitress that you are gluten free and to make sure that nothing containing gluten comes near your plate. Sounds harsh, but I have yet to get an evil stare back from the other party.

Joe Momma’s Downtown Location – 10” gluten free pizza crust with your choice of any toppings or specialty pizzas

Piatto- Their Insalata della casa is absolutely amazing! Fresh Artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and freshly pulled mozzarella marry a beautiful bed of romaine. For an entrée I have had the chicken rolletini, and chicken saltimbocca and melted into both with every bite. Steer clear of the antipasta section and head for the chicken and pork dishes.

Café Ole- their peppery salsa is the best in town, and their chips are all corn (I inquired about the exact ingredients). The best part about Mexican food is they use a lot of corn products so it makes for an easy g-free establishment. We split a chicken dish the other night, and substituted rice and beans but have enjoyed many delicious dishes here.

Thai Village- I have eaten all the Thai here in town but this one tops them all! We eat here at least once a week because I can order pretty much the majority of the menu. We always start out with their fresh rolls which are filled with delicious shrimp, lettuce, and sliced carrots and come with a peanut dipping sauce to die for. All entrees are served with white rice. My favorite is in the curry section, Pad Pak Curry. I order it with chicken but you have a few choices of protein naturally. Coconut milk, eggplant, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots…Ah, you had me at coconut milk.

Pei Wei/ PF Changs- I am a local food junkie but for asian, this is the only spot I have tried. If you know of somewhere in town that you have tried, let me know! These two have a whole menu dedicated to gluten free gurus. You can never go wrong with a protein and rice. Pei Wei is a more limited menu, so I ordered the Pei Wei Spicy Shrimp.

Organic and Vegan
Café Samana- all organic, all fresh, all of the menu is absolutely amazing. Vegans and Vegetarians, this is your haven. I can order a sandwich for lunch now because Tracy has gluten free bread! Trust me, when you eat sandwiches for lunch 80% of your life, it was a blessing to have somewhere to return to the habit. My favorite is the roasted vegetable sandwich on gluten free bread, and I always try a cup of one of her daily soups which have never failed to wow me. The hummus of the day, hold the pita, is delicious and a filling meal in itself! This is a must try restaurant regardless of you dietary needs.

The Melting Pot- My boys took me here for mother's day and it was such a wonderful time. I remember the last time I visited the establishment I had dipped and dunked my way into a food coma. This time, was completely different. I told the server that we would be dining free and they did a wonderful job accomadating. We ordered the big night out, a three course fondue frenzy. For the first course we ordered the cheddar fondue which was made with a gluten free beer base, the second course was served with a Bourguignonne base – European style fondue in cholesterol free canola oil. The other lighter broth options had gluten ingredients. We finished off the meal with a yin yang of white and milk chocolate. All the dipping ingredients were gluten free for me, and my boys kept their bread separate. My six year old found the experience exciting, and my only reason to be terrified was that I would end up speared with his dipping fork by the end of the night. I left the restaurant delightfully full, and not wounded.

Other restaurants in the market that I have not tried but know they have specific gluten-free menus:

Carrabba's Italian
Kilkinny's Irish Pub
Michael Fusco's
BoneFish Grill
First Watch
Lone Star Steak House

Those are just a few of my faves but I wanted to get this out there so I can hear back from you dear readers. Where have you tried in Tulsa that has tickled your taste buds? Share in the comments box below.

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