I am a Glutie Foodie. Allow me to explain.
For the first 23 years of my life, restaurant offerings were limited by my religious dietary restrictions. Dining out meant ignoring most items on the menu, questioning soup bases, fat sources, and unlisted added ingredients. After years of inner reflection and temptation, I made a decision that unleashed a “foodie” I never knew existed! With eyes opened wide, I became a diner who tried everything and loved most of it.
Then came year 27 when my culinary explorations were brought to a sudden and disheartening halt by a shocking diagnosis I did not expect…I had Celiac Disease. This time I had no choice. Dining out would once again be wrought with restrictions and uncomfortable inquisitions.
Every gluten-free diner knows that restaurants can be anxiety provoking, stress inducing, and all-together depressing. Well, enough of that! 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.
Please be advised: I am not a medical or health professional. Practices for keeping a gluten-free diet and sensitivities to gluten vary greatly. My practice is to always carefully check with restaurant staff to ensure that the food I order does not contain any gluten ingredients and is not fried in the same oil as gluten containing foods. Cross-contamination in the kitchens of reviewed restaurants on this blog could be a concern for very sensitive individuals. In addition, restaurant policies, menu items and ingredients used in dishes mentioned on this blog are subject to change. Gluten-free diners should always speak with the restaurant staff regarding their dietary concerns to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
September 5, 2012 at 11:42 pm
Hi! I’m a friend of Jeff’s and fellow merchandiser. I have started my own blog regarding this subject, in addition to a few others. Thank you so much for sharing your experience regarding your gluten free experiences. Just 6 weeks ago, I was told I had to give up gluten AND dairy (in addition to a list of other severe food intolerances) and I can totally identify with the feelings of stress and anxiety while dining out– especially with the amount of traveling that I do to visit stores. Thank you for sharing your experience and I can’t wait to read more and possibly integrate some of this into my experience as well!
September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am
Is there a comprehensive list of gluten laden foods
September 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm
There are many resources to help navigate a gluten-free diet. Endless information can be found online. One resource I trust is the Celiac Disease Foundation site . There are also great books on the subject. I recommend Celiac Disease, A Hidden Epidemic, by Peter H.R. Green, M.D. and Rory Jones. Dr. Green is the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and is a pre-eminent expert in this area.
January 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm
I’m thrilled to have found you, Shira! (The article in DCist sent me here.) Thanks for this resource. Now, if you could only get Tom Seitsema of the Washington Post to follow through on his tease (from many months ago) about looking for a way to include in his restaurant reviews information about how the restaurant handles gluten free diners… I sent in a recommendation, but he’s been silent.
Keep up the good work! 🙂
January 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm
I’m so glad you like the blog! Did Tom really say something about including information on gluten-free accommodations? I missed that. It would be my dream to guest review for him, or be his g-free correspondent. That is exactly what The Post needs! Maybe we’ll get somewhere. Keep up the reading 🙂
May 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Hello Shira, I also found you through the Post. I’m hoping you can help me with some suggestions for bakeries in the D.C. area, preferably Ballston or Clarendon, with a good selection of gluten free cupcakes, cookies, etc. ? I lived in VA for 12 yrs, moved away 3 yrs ago, and visit a few times a year now and I will be in town on my birthday and would love to celebrate with a yummy cupcake. I just came back from NYC and visited Babycakes for the first time- heavennnnn!
May 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm
Thanks for following and for your comment! There are a number of options to supply your birthday with some gluten-free treats. My personal favorite is the Happy Tart Bakery in Alexandria, VA. This is the closest dedicated gluten-free bakery to Ballston/Clarendon and is sure to please (see my review of Happy Tart here). Another local baker who sources her ingredients from Lancaster, PA is Goldilocks Goodies. Her homemade touch offers really scrumptous products and I had her chocolate caramel and carrot cakes at my own birthday celebration this year. Orders and deliveries can be arranged through her website. Gluten-free cupcakes at establishments such as Georgetown Cupcake and Red Velvet Cupcakery are also tasty options. While I haven’t tried it yet, I have heard through another gluten-free source that the red velvet cake at Westover Market in Alrington VA is amazing. A bit further out is Triple Oak Bakery in Sperryville, VA. While I haven’t tried their products, I have heard they are quite good and can be ordered and shipped. Good luck and happy birthday!
July 14, 2013 at 9:34 am
Great article, we like B Too a lot!