Tag Archives: washington dc

Celiac in DC? Don’t eat here.

I typically try to put a positive spin on living and eating out with celiac disease. But there’s nothing that gets my blood boiling more than a restaurant trying to take advantage of the gluten free trend by offering a gluten free menu without putting in place the proper measures needed to make the meal actually gluten free.

These restaurants have all either gotten me sick, have told me about practices I believe are dangerous, or have been negatively reviewed multiple times for their mistakes or bad service. While they may be okay for those trying out the gluten free “trend,” I wouldn’t recommend them for anyone with celiac disease or a serious need to avoid gluten.

  1. Pizzeria Paradiso - While Pizzeria Paradiso offers gluten free pizza, they have told me that none of their ingredients or preparation is separate from the regular pizzas. That means shared utensils and surfaces. I’ve voiced my concerns to their manager and walked out of their restaurant.
  2. Jackson’s 20 – It saddens me to add this place to the list, but they were misinformed and rude when I asked for a simple brunch meal of scrambled eggs and grits. They claimed that flour in the air would get me sick just sitting in the restaurant (?), and that real celiacs just shouldn’t eat out. A comment on Facebook confirmed this attitude for me.
  3. Masa 14 – A lot of people pat Masa 14 on the back for their gluten free menu, so this might just be my experience. Not only did I feel like a burden to my server, but they brought out a sauce containing gluten on my plate. I ate the sauce before the server came over to inform me that it had gluten, and that was the reason they had put it on the side. I got sick and won’t eat there again.
  4. Ping Pong Dim Sum - This place is widely known for being on DC’s most wanted list for bad gluten free menus. Actually, their menu isn’t gluten free, it’s “gluten friendly,” meaning that it’s only about 75% gluten free, and you have to grill the server for what is actually in everything. I wound up ordering the most plain things I could in an effort to not get glutened. See reviews on Yelp confirming.
  5. Domino’s – Another confirmed no-no for celiacs. Because they use the same ingredients, pans, and utensils as the regular pizzas you can bet there will be gluten all up in your pizza. Check out the FAQs from the NFCA for more information.

While Yelp and other online reviews aren’t always to be trusted, here are a few that I have put on my radar.

  1. Nature’s Table“I explained to her that I asked for it as a bowl as I have a gluten intolerance. So what does she do? She tries to pour the contents of the burrito into a container rather than making it again!”
  2. Silver Diner - “Be very careful with their GF breakfast options. No separate griddle.” “Staff didn’t get the cross-contamination piece of things. Brought me my GF meal with a biscuit on the plate.”

Do you have any restaurants on your “never again” list? Tell me about them!

Who’s Who in DC Gluten Free Blogging

Me with Gluten Free Foodies Review’s Sean Dillon and Kelly Sajonia.

Last week I attended The Hour happy hour event for the second time and met a few new gluten free bloggers based in DC – so I thought it would be a good time to put together a listing!

City Life Eats (Valerie) - “I am passionate about thriving in all aspects of life – professional and personal. For me that means working long hours as an attorney and strategizing to balance the demands of job with my interests in food, healthy and mindful living.”

Glutie Foodie (Shira Kraft) -“This blog is a place to critique my dining out experiences in Washington DC and beyond and to provide a platform for conversation. Knowledge, experience, and outreach are the best defenses for us gluten-challenged. With your help, my mission is to reclaim fellow gluties’ culinary freedom, one reservation at a time.”

Gluten Free D.C. (Lauren Katz) - “Follow along as I discover gluten-friendly (and some not-so-friendly) spots in the District.”

Gluten Free Foodies Review (Sean Dillon and Kelly Sajonia) - “Here you will find reviews of restaurants, products, GF-focused websites, and travel. Additionally, articles with tips for living a gluten-free life are published. Our goal is to enrich the lives of those who are gluten-free.”

Gluten Free Goodness (Cheryl Harris) - “This is the spot for my recipes and musing on food and self-care.”

Gluten Free Jet Set (Anna) – “Gluten-Free Jet Set is your resource for locating the most delicious gluten-free food around the world. Here you’ll find tantalizing food photography, thoroughly researched restaurant reviews, and tried-and-true advice on staying healthy by eating right while traveling. Don’t let your gluten-free lifestyle hold you back from traveling anywhere or tasting [nearly] anything!”

Jules Gluten Free (Jules Shepard) - “Jules is one of the top experts on gluten-free living in the Washington area; Time magazine, ABC, and other major media outlets line up for her advice. The Celiac patient got her start five years ago by sending out a newsletter that featured new gluten-free recipes and products; now she has her own blog, website, and line of gluten-free flour, and has penned three books.”

Tayler Made (Tayler Lofquist) - “I started Tayler Made in 2011 to share my experiences in living with food allergies. Since then, I have been fortunate to reintroduce some of those once-forbidden foods back into my diet, but I will always have a passion for good, allergen-friendly cooking.”

It’s crazy how many blogs have come and gone in the last few years. All of these blogs have been updated recently so you should be able to count on them for updates! Let me know if I missed anyone! 

Upcoming gluten free events in DC

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease I had never met anyone else who had it. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some awesome gluten free friends, and I love being able to talk about food/life in general without feeling like I’m boring them with my gluten free drivel.

That’s why I’m excited that there are a few events coming up in the DC area where I’m sure there will be plenty of time to talk gluten, while enjoying some great food and drinks.

1. The Washington Post is hosting a gluten-free pizza and beer party at Pizzeria Paradiso

(source)

The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. on June 17 at the Georgetown Paradiso. It costs $65, including tax and tip, and includes full pours of all the beers. Pizzeria Paradiso beer director Greg Jasgur will introduce the beers and take questions about them. The menu looks awesome!

I also asked on Twitter about the cross-contamination precautions they take at Pizzeria Paradiso, and they said the restaurant uses different equipment and cutting surfaces just for gluten free pizzas and prepares the dough daily before the regular dough is made.

2. Some brilliant girl I haven’t met yet named Emily started a gluten free happy hour meetup group

The first meetup is on Wednesday, June 12 at one of my favorite bars, The Board Room in Dupont. There are already 15 people signed up to attend, and I’m looking forward to having a Brunehaut beer and playing games with some new people!

3. Dishcrawl is hosting a gluten free restaurant crawl on Barrack’s Row featuring four restaurants with gluten free dishes

Details are still forthcoming, but it will be held on July 16 and costs $45. I’ll have to miss this one, but it looks like it will be a ton of fun!

Hope to see some of you local gluten free folks at one of these events!

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

A few new things happening around DC. I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with the number of places that I can get tacos in the District at this point – can I get a gluten free bakery, bagel, or sandwich shop to open at some point soon? Someone get on that.

1. The Chupacabra food truck now has a store front on H Street

With a ton of gluten free and vegan options on the menu, now you don’t have to chase down a restaurant on wheels to get some squash and eggplant tacos, chicken tortilla soup or fried yucca.

2. DC Gluten Free Expo is coming June 2

dc gluten free expo

I had a great time at the expo last year, and can’t wait to see what they’ll have this year. So many new products have come out and I’m excited to mingle and gorge myself on samples. This year I’m making a promise to myself to slow down though since I left the expo with a tummy ache last year due to over indulgence. If you want to burn some calories before the expo, you can also run in the Making Tracks for Celiacs Run/Walk in Arlington in the morning.

3. Lavagna in Capitol Hill has gluten free pasta

I’ve been to Lavagna twice for brunch, but now I’m going to have to stop by for dinner and mangia on some pasta. Thanks to Gluten Free NOVA Girl for the tip off on this one!

Let me know if you know of anything else coming up around the DMV!

Recommendations for a Gluten Free Inauguration Weekend

This is my first inauguration in DC, and boy am I excited! There’s a buzz of excitement in the air and as hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the District, I thought I’d compile a few recommendations for gluten free travelers!

1. Eat like the Obamas

On the following list of the Obama’s favorite restaurants,I recommend you try these gluten free options:

#4: Fries at Five Guys

#5: My favorite kale salad from Lincoln

#9: Tacos from Oyamel

#18: Cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes 

2. Try a specialty inauguration cocktail 

154 bars in DC will be open until 4:30am during inauguration weekend. Way past my bedtime – but here’s a map of where they are!

3. Go to brunch on Monday

If you haven’t experienced a true DC brunch, this is your opportunity! There are quite a few restaurants opening on Monday for brunch, and my recommendation is Firefly in Dupont, since they have a gluten free menu, and are a bit removed from the action on The Mall, but still very accessible. Get yourself some grits, drink some mimosas, and celebrate four more years!

 

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Tickets are now available for the DC Gluten Free Gala

This year I am finding a way to pay the $250 to go to this. A cocktail reception and a three course meal, plus getting dressed up and wining and dining in a completely gluten free environment sounds like total bliss. (Although what’s with the poached pear for dessert? Can we get Happy Tart in there or something?)

2. B.J.’s Restaurant and Brewhouse coming to Tyson’s Corner

According to Eater DC, there will soon be a B.J.’s restuarant opening. Their gluten free menu has thin crust pizza and broccoli cheddar soup! And gluten free beer!

And (stop the presses) a gluten free chocolate chip pizookie! It’s a pizza-sized cookie topped with ice cream. Completely unnecessary in its size, but perfect for the moment you give up your New Year’s resolution.

pizookie

3. Gluten free pasta making class from LivingSocial

There’s still time to sign up for one of these classes, where you will learn how to make gluten free ravioli!  I’ll be going to the January 23rd class!

Sign up here!

Anything else going on around the District that I should know about?

Check out what I’ve been eating lately on my Facebook page: Gluten Free in DC!

Find DC gluten free eats on my Facebook page!

I’ve taken the plunge: I started a Facebook page! So often I’m out to eat, or just roaming around DC and I find great gluten free food that deserves to be shared! On the page I’ll be posting pictures and news specifically for my gluten free folks in the DC area. I’m excited to see what happens!

And thanks to my first two followers, Sue and Hope! :)

Click here to Like Gluten Free in DC on Facebook!

Click to Like!

 

DC Gluten Free News Round Up

1. Bier Baron now carrying Omission beer

After a glorious Michigan victory over Michigan State this weekend, I headed to Bier Baron in Dupont for a gluten free beer. Watching your friends drink beer all day at a bar while you have mixed drinks can sure make a girl thirsty!

I was psyched to see that Bier Baron now has Omission pale ale on their menu. However, they were out when I went :(

But, our awesome waiter was kind enough to bring me all three of the other gluten free beers they have, on the house! After passing them around the table, my friends confirmed that the New Planet Off Grid is kind of funky. I’ve never been a fan of New Grist, but when you have them side-by-side, it actually tastes quite like the St. Peter’s (both are sorghum based and light beers, so it makes sense).

2. Vace Italian Deli in Cleveland Park has a crap ton of gluten free pasta

Even though I live about a five minute walk from Vace Italian Deli, I only went in once before since I only ever saw people buying pizza there. A reader tipped me off (thanks, Fede!) that they have a bunch of authentic Italian pastas that are gluten free!

They have corn riccioli, rice gigli, and one pasta made with squid ink (plus the naturally gluten free risotto). Pair one of these with a homemade sauce (they carry them fresh and frozen), and you’ve got yourself a meal! One more win for my neighborhood!

3. The Maryland crab soup at Clyde’s is gluten free

I went to the last game in the NLDS series (heartbreaker), and was freezing cold and standing up for about six hours. So when I got to Clyde’s in Chinatown and found out that their Maryland crab soup is gluten free, I was overjoyed. Two bowls later and I was feeling slightly better about the Nats losing, and much warmer.

Just a few things happening around this great city in the gluten free realm!

Best grits in DC

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.

2. Vinoteca

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? 

Gluten Free Grey Market DC: Second Edition

On my first trip to the DC Grey Market, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of gluten free options. Although I did have some amazing nut cookies from Sweet Nuttings.

This time, there were two vendors with gluten free products. First up was savory taro fritters from Noshables. I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t a fan of poi or taro when I went to Hawaii, but I decided to give it a go.

It’s greasy, chewy, and unique tasting. Basically it’s ground or shredded taro, mixed with tapioca starch, sugar, and water – then rolled into balls and deep fried. A recipe for them can be found here.

I ate that while I walked around looking for something sweet, which I found at Whisking Through Life in the form of gluten free carrot cake.

Honestly I went against my better judgement in trying this cake because they had the samples of the carrot cake right on top of the regular samples, which indicates to me that the baker isn’t exactly stringent about cross contamination. But it looked so good, and the cake itself was separate from the other things, so I got a slice (and thankfully didn’t come to regret it).

That’s after I ate half of it. It was really good! Full of grated carrots, coconut, and raisins. And the slice was so big it took me three days to finish.

Next time hopefully my friend from Kate Bakes can get a spot at the Grey Market and up the representation of gluten free vendors!