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  • Gluten Free Dining

    Post #1 - August 14th, 2006, 10:38 am
    Post #1 - August 14th, 2006, 10:38 am Post #1 - August 14th, 2006, 10:38 am
    Greetings All.

    My Mother is coming to town this week and has offered to take my partner and myself out to dinner. But here's the catch: She cannot eat gluten.

    Now, my first thought was Chicago Diner, but I'd prefer to go some place a little nicer (and with better service). Can anyone recommend a mid-price restaurant, in the city, that either has gluten free options or has a kitchen staff that would be happy to whip up a gluten free entree for my mother?

    Thanks!
    md
  • Post #2 - August 14th, 2006, 10:42 am
    Post #2 - August 14th, 2006, 10:42 am Post #2 - August 14th, 2006, 10:42 am
    mdonovan wrote:Now, my first thought was Chicago Diner, but I'd prefer to go some place a little nicer (and with better service).


    Forgive my ignorance here, but isn't a vegetarian place more likely to have dishes that contain gluten in them since there is a higher emphasis on grains? Or is it just that Chicago Diner is specifically accomodating of dietary restrictions?

    There is some mention of gluten-free menus in this post. I hope it's helpful.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #3 - August 14th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Post #3 - August 14th, 2006, 11:11 am Post #3 - August 14th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Forgive my ignorance here, but isn't a vegetarian place more likely to have dishes that contain gluten in them since there is a higher emphasis on grains? Or is it just that Chicago Diner is specifically accomodating of dietary restrictions?


    Thanks! You're right. I was thinking that a vegetarian restaurant would be more accomodating to those with dietary restrictions, but it IS possible that having a higher focus on grains means more gluten-rich foods!

    m
  • Post #4 - August 14th, 2006, 11:21 am
    Post #4 - August 14th, 2006, 11:21 am Post #4 - August 14th, 2006, 11:21 am
    I would definitely stick within the steakhouse, Mexican or Asian realms.

    Adobo Grill does offer a full gluten-free menu. Your mother might enjoy the variety and freedom of being able to choose safely from a full menu.

    I've never been disappointed by their food.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #5 - August 14th, 2006, 4:01 pm
    Post #5 - August 14th, 2006, 4:01 pm Post #5 - August 14th, 2006, 4:01 pm
    Hello MD,
    Adobo Grill is a great option for those of us on a gluten free diet. I've only ordered off of their GF menu one time and it's been a couple of years. I just can't remember what I ate.

    Vinci might be another option as they also have a gluten free menu. Vinci is owned by the same group that owns Adobo Grill and they certainly do know how to prepare safe meals for their gluten intolerant customers. Here's a recent thread on Vinci http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=9536

    If you're willing to drive out to River Grove, a meal at DaLucianos [dalucianos.com] would make your mother a very happy woman. DaLuciano's is a tiny restaurant (8-10 tables) with an extensive gluten free menu. Do NOT go unless you have reservations and if you make reservations make sure you tell them that there are people on a gluten free diet in your party. I've been there many times and each time it has been exceptional. Much of the pasta is brought in from Italy, but they do make some homemade as well(gnocchi and pappardelle). I like many of their sauces, but IMO their cream based porcini mushroom sauce and sundried tomato mushroom have a bit of a pastey mouth feel. The osso buco offered as a special is to die for...tender and full of flavor. If you go save room for dessert. The canolli has a bit of candied orange peel and it's absolutely addictive as are their lemon knot cookies. Oh, the fried calamari is really quite excellent as it has a light batter and it's perfectly tender.

    I would strongly suggest avoiding Asian restaurants. So many of the sauces(soy, hoisin, fish sauce, oyster, etc) they use include wheat or gluten or soy sauce in their ingredients. As the woks are seasoned it would be difficult to get the kitchen staff to scrub them clean enough to avoid cross contamination.

    Mexican or as someone mentioned a high-end steakhouse would be a better alternative to Asian. I wouldn't feel comfortable eating at a vegetarian restaurant that offers grains as a large portion of their menu. There are just too many opportunities for cross contamination.

    Veloute...back to eating vicariously through LTH forum members mouths
  • Post #6 - August 14th, 2006, 4:16 pm
    Post #6 - August 14th, 2006, 4:16 pm Post #6 - August 14th, 2006, 4:16 pm
    Just one thought about dining gluten-free at Asian spots: wheat-free soy sauce does exist, though you should probably ask the kitchen which kind they use.

    I also live the swingin' gluten-free lifestyle (I've been making killah flaxseed crackers lately...mmmm) but am not as sensitive as others with celiac. I frequently dine at Thai Restaurants and Vietnamese restaurants without incident. I guess I'm lucky.

    Thanks for the above recs. I miss being able to order anything I want from the menu....
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #7 - August 14th, 2006, 6:32 pm
    Post #7 - August 14th, 2006, 6:32 pm Post #7 - August 14th, 2006, 6:32 pm
    I just went to the Adobo Grill website and they have a great gluten-free menu!!

    Best of all, I've wanted to eat there for a while, and now I can!

    thanks to everyone who suggested it. can't wait!!
    md
  • Post #8 - August 14th, 2006, 9:01 pm
    Post #8 - August 14th, 2006, 9:01 pm Post #8 - August 14th, 2006, 9:01 pm
    At least two LEYE restaurants (Ben Pao and Wildfire for sure) also have extensive gluten-free menus.
  • Post #9 - August 15th, 2006, 9:17 am
    Post #9 - August 15th, 2006, 9:17 am Post #9 - August 15th, 2006, 9:17 am
    Vinci also has a gluten free menu.
  • Post #10 - August 15th, 2006, 11:01 pm
    Post #10 - August 15th, 2006, 11:01 pm Post #10 - August 15th, 2006, 11:01 pm
    Da Luciano is being discussed elsewhere in this thread: http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=9591
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - August 16th, 2006, 7:13 am
    Post #11 - August 16th, 2006, 7:13 am Post #11 - August 16th, 2006, 7:13 am
    I could probably find out this answer from a google search, but then again, I could probably find it out here. What is gluten? Is it in all grain products, or only some? And if one is allergic to it, how does one know? (I.e., what are the symptoms?) The surprising number of places mentioned here which have gluten-free menus tells me that it's quite a widespread allergy. Maybe I have it!
  • Post #12 - August 16th, 2006, 7:20 am
    Post #12 - August 16th, 2006, 7:20 am Post #12 - August 16th, 2006, 7:20 am
    riddlemay wrote:I could probably find out this answer from a google search, but then again, I could probably find it out here. What is gluten? Is it in all grain products, or only some? And if one is allergic to it, how does one know? (I.e., what are the symptoms?) The surprising number of places mentioned here which have gluten-free menus tells me that it's quite a widespread allergy. Maybe I have it!


    I sincerely doubt you have it. You'd know.

    A lot of detailed answers can be found here.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #13 - August 16th, 2006, 7:43 am
    Post #13 - August 16th, 2006, 7:43 am Post #13 - August 16th, 2006, 7:43 am
    eatchicago wrote:I sincerely doubt you have it. You'd know.

    A lot of detailed answers can be found here.


    Thanks for the link, Michael. Reading through the gastric symptoms, one can see that they certainly are unambiguous. However, further down, the article contains this sentence:

    "Yet other symptoms appear to be emotional, such as depression and irritability."

    So--does this mean in addition to the gastric symptoms? Or, rather, instead of? In other words, are depression and irritability the form that gluten allergy takes in some people, who may not notice any gastric consequences? If so, the allergy may be more widespread than we know.
  • Post #14 - August 16th, 2006, 7:57 am
    Post #14 - August 16th, 2006, 7:57 am Post #14 - August 16th, 2006, 7:57 am
    riddlemay wrote:If so, the allergy may be more widespread than we know.

    Riddlemay,

    Last I saw Michael does not have MD after his name. These types of questions are best directed at the physician of your choice.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - August 16th, 2006, 7:59 am
    Post #15 - August 16th, 2006, 7:59 am Post #15 - August 16th, 2006, 7:59 am
    G Wiv wrote:Last I saw Michael does not have MD after his name. These types of questions are best directed at the physician of your choice.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Or, I would think, to the knowledgable people of LTH--and there are many.
  • Post #16 - August 16th, 2006, 8:04 am
    Post #16 - August 16th, 2006, 8:04 am Post #16 - August 16th, 2006, 8:04 am
    And as medical advice, it will be worth exactly what you paid for it.

    Seriously, advice about where to find gluten-free dining-- LTHForum. Diagnose My Irritable Bowels Online-- not LTHForum.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
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  • Post #17 - August 16th, 2006, 8:06 am
    Post #17 - August 16th, 2006, 8:06 am Post #17 - August 16th, 2006, 8:06 am
    riddlemay wrote:Or, I would think, to the knowledgable people of LTH--and there are many.

    Riddlemay,

    Believing in moderation in moderation I was attempting to gently guide the discussion back to things culinary. Medical advice, by non professionals, and or pure supposition as to whether one has this or that chronic ailment, is not a good direction for LTHForum, a Culinary Chat,, to take.

    Medical advice should be sought from medical professionals.

    Enjoy,
    Gary for the moderators.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - August 16th, 2006, 8:39 am
    Post #18 - August 16th, 2006, 8:39 am Post #18 - August 16th, 2006, 8:39 am
    Thankfully, there are more and more restaurants willing to offer gluten free meals as 1 in 133 have celiac disease, but only 1 in close to 5000 is diagnosed. Having celiac disease is rather difficult for us former foodies who crave the obsure and ethnic foods. Most of the time the restaurants that offer the GF menus are chains. DaLuciano's, Adobo Grill and Vinci are a few of the exceptions in our area. In addition Amanecer Tapatio has been able to offer me many safe gluten free meals.

    Once again...back to living vicariously through your mouths.[/i]
  • Post #19 - August 16th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Post #19 - August 16th, 2006, 8:43 am Post #19 - August 16th, 2006, 8:43 am
    G Wiv, we have one poster here--the OP--who is intimately familiar with gluten allergy, since his mother has it. We have other posters here who are sufficiently familiar with the condition to know of several restaurants in town with gluten-free menus. Saying that my curiosity about this food-related condition must not be directed to these informed people, but rather to a licensed medical practitioner, is roughly equivalent to saying that I need to direct all my dining questions to Phil Vittel.

    I don't get the snark.

    If it's a liability issue--e.g., fear of lawsuits if LTH is seen as a conduit for medical advice that turns out badly--that, I can see as a rationale for heading off a discussion. But I think any reasonable person would understand an informal discussion on a message board is not a substitute for medical advice. If liability is not the sticking point, then I beg the indulgence of the moderators to open up the discussion again, since the topic was deemed appropriate enough to live on the forum in the first place, and since my questions are no more tangential to it than the questions to be found in any other topic here.
  • Post #20 - August 16th, 2006, 8:56 am
    Post #20 - August 16th, 2006, 8:56 am Post #20 - August 16th, 2006, 8:56 am
    Riddlemay, for the third time, we've left the realm of food and entered the realm of medicine, which is not what the site is about. Liability, reliability of what you read here, etc. are all considerations too, but finding a gluten-free restaurant is a culinary chat site question, diagnosing your possible medical condition is not.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #21 - August 16th, 2006, 1:57 pm
    Post #21 - August 16th, 2006, 1:57 pm Post #21 - August 16th, 2006, 1:57 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I don't get the snark.

    Riddlemay,

    Snark? You should have my response before I edited. ;) :)

    As for further discussion on the topic of LTHForum being the appropriate place for medical advice, please refer to A Note on Moderator Decisions in Site Chat.

    Regards,
    Gary for the moderators
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - August 17th, 2006, 7:37 am
    Post #22 - August 17th, 2006, 7:37 am Post #22 - August 17th, 2006, 7:37 am
    Everyone.
    On the advice of fellow contributors, I took my Mother (who eats a gluten free diet) to Adobo Grill in Old Town last night.

    I wanted to pass along to everyone what a GREAT meal we had and how much I enjoyed the restaurant. I've wanted to go there for a while, so finding out that they offered a gluten free menu gave me the perfect excuse to try it.

    The margaritas were VERY tasty, and they had a nice selection of tequilas and mescals, including flights for tasting.
    We had guacamole, which is mashed to order right at your table. I had a very nice sald of jicama and mango, romaine and crumbled queso fresco as well.

    My mother got a pork chop with black beans that she said was really good. I got a pork tenderloin in a black mole with garlicky spinach and corn tamal. My partner got duck breast in a red mole with a corn souffle that was exceptional.

    For dessert, I had the chocolate tamal which was DIVINE!

    I want to encourage people to check this place out. I wouldn't call it exceptional dining, but it was certainly very, very good. The service was good, noise level wasn't too bad, and it wasn't over-the-top expensive.
    The menu is on-line if people would like to check it out before going.

    So, thanks again to everyone for recommending it. Being able to dine out once while in Chicago made my mother very happy!

    md
  • Post #23 - August 17th, 2006, 8:27 am
    Post #23 - August 17th, 2006, 8:27 am Post #23 - August 17th, 2006, 8:27 am
    Glad it worked out so well for you, thanks for reporting back.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #24 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:30 am
    Post #24 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:30 am Post #24 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:30 am
    After a few years spent fighting for proper testing, it now looks as though I either have celiac disease, or at least some level of gluten intolerance. This has yet to be conclusively determined (gastroenterologists have a heck of a waiting list!) but since this may well be the last month I can consume gluten, I am trying to get as much of the good stuff as possible now. So far, my list:

    -Patty's Diner: the Gary
    -Margie's Candies: turtle sundae
    -Nhu Lan: lemongrass tofu
    -A dim sum restaurant: recs?
    -Hot Doug's: everything
    -Weiner and Still Champion: Char cheddar burger and dippin' dog
    -Bleeding Heart Bakery: Derby cookie and original brownie
    -La Unica/90 Miles: Cubano
    -Hoosier Mama: never been
    -Smak Tak: never been
    -Xni Pec: never been
    -Burt's Pizza: never been

    There's a lot more, of course, not that anything jumps to mind prior to coffee. Chime in, folks: if you had a deadline like this, what would YOU eat?
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #25 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:46 am
    Post #25 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:46 am Post #25 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:46 am
    *Don't forget a dipped Italian beef sandwich from Al's. Some gluten-free rolls are really good but they don't hold up once dipped.
    *Baguettes and croissants -don't have any recs though
    *Kit Kat and Twix candy bars
  • Post #26 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:58 am
    Post #26 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:58 am Post #26 - August 23rd, 2009, 8:58 am
    A really good bagel -- maybe one from Fox and Obel? Or heck -- go to NY!

    I'd also kick some butt on baking -- i'd make popovers and cakes and cookies.

    I'm sorry to hear this, Suzy -- luckily there are a lot more options for gluten free food then there used to be.
  • Post #27 - August 24th, 2009, 9:28 am
    Post #27 - August 24th, 2009, 9:28 am Post #27 - August 24th, 2009, 9:28 am
    Paradise Pup - cheddar burger and polish

    Las Asadas - steak tacos on FLOUR tortillas (they taste better because the steak is not obfuscated by the heavy corn tortilla.

    Smoque - brisket sammich

    Khan BBQ - Garlic Naan bread with chicken boti and shami kabab

    Gibson's - ribeye steak sammich on ciabatta bread (w/horsey cream sauce on the side)

    Cemitas Puebla - pick a cemita.
  • Post #28 - August 24th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    Post #28 - August 24th, 2009, 12:20 pm Post #28 - August 24th, 2009, 12:20 pm
    Ooo, some good ones here.

    Ghazi wrote:Paradise Pup - cheddar burger and polish

    Las Asadas - steak tacos on FLOUR tortillas (they taste better because the steak is not obfuscated by the heavy corn tortilla.

    Smoque - brisket sammich

    Khan BBQ - Garlic Naan bread with chicken boti and shami kabab

    Gibson's - ribeye steak sammich on ciabatta bread (w/horsey cream sauce on the side)

    Cemitas Puebla - pick a cemita.


    Khan's. :cry: I'll miss you #11th of all.

    Veloute wrote:*Baguettes and croissants -don't have any recs though


    This is a good one. I would LOVE a rec for a good baguette - to be honest, I haven't had a really fantastic one since I left Berkeley.

    earthlydesire wrote:I'd also kick some butt on baking -- i'd make popovers and cakes and cookies.

    I'm sorry to hear this, Suzy -- luckily there are a lot more options for gluten free food then there used to be.


    I'm planning on having a "Goodbye to Gluten" party. Beer and every baked good in my book. Though really, it's nothing to be (too) sad about - eliminating the thing that has caused me grief for years can only be a good thing. I will miss my devil-may-care food ordering style, though.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #29 - August 24th, 2009, 1:03 pm
    Post #29 - August 24th, 2009, 1:03 pm Post #29 - August 24th, 2009, 1:03 pm
    After you go GF, don't hesitate to visit Rose's in Evanston. As a lifelong fan of gluten I love their brunch and bread/cake offerings. They also do pizza.

    http://www.rosesbakery.com/
  • Post #30 - August 24th, 2009, 4:45 pm
    Post #30 - August 24th, 2009, 4:45 pm Post #30 - August 24th, 2009, 4:45 pm
    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:Khan's. :cry: I'll miss you #11th of all.


    Khan's isn't off limits. I've been there many times using a Triumph dining card and haven't had any problems when eating the chicken boti, chicken tandori, dal, the bhindi, etc.

    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:. I will miss my devil-may-care food ordering style, though.

    This is among the most challenging and frustrating parts of having to follow a gluten-free diet.

    Don't forget to eat those things that you only have a craving for a couple of times a year.

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