A couple weekends back I attended a talk entitled “Naturally Healing Foods” at the New England Celiac Conference. I must admit, that I avoid all my allergens and gluten, but the idea of “healing foods” is still foreign to me. While I’m open to new ideas, it’s not really my “thing.” However, the demonstration could not have been better! The focus wasn’t on which herbs to eat or the healing properties of specific foods, but rather a demonstration on how to make three Cambodian dishes: Salade Cambodgeinne (Cambodian Cabbage Salad), Crevettes Malika, and Poulet a la Citronelle. Plus, we got to eat all the dishes (and I wasn’t allergic to a single one)! My favorite was the Lemon Chicken 🙂
One of my favorite parts about traditional Cambodian food (at least from the Elephant Walk and their cookbook) is that they don’t tend to use gluten or dairy! Since I’m frequently limited at restaurants with gluten free menus by my dairy allergy, I was close to jumping up and down in the middle of the conference when I learned this. Additionally, while egg is not used in many appetizers or entrées at the Elephant Walk, it is in most (if not all) of the desserts.
My Trip to the Elephant Walk
Now, the Elephant Walk is not a 100% gluten free establishment. They serve both French and Cambodian dishes, and nearly all the French dishes contain gluten. However, they do have a wide array of gluten free options, and I (alongside the other Celiacs I have met in the Boston area) feel comfortable eating there with their awareness of cross-contamination/contact in the kitchen. So while there is always a slight risk, I felt very safe walking into the Elephant Walk for the first time.
Now, I went to the Elephant Walk with one of my friends the day after the Celiac Conference with my buy one entrée, get one free coupon! I decided to try a dish I hadn’t had at the conference, so I went with one of the gluten free beef entrées. The seasoning was much less “traditional” tasting than the ones I had tasted the day before. I enjoyed my meal, but would recommend a meal featuring Cambodian flavors when you visit. With such a wide array of gluten and dairy free options, those in the Boston area will be able to frequent Elephant Walk multiple times without becoming bored too!
As for the “glutening” portion of this review, I feel as though I had a 100% safe experience at the Elephant Walk! I must admit that I had a slightly upset stomach before attending the Elephant Walk, but it certainly didn’t get any worse following my meal. For those of you visiting a Cambodian restaurant for the first time, it’s important to remember that you may react to a new spice or other food product. If you have acid reflux, I recommend asking your waiter/the chef about the spiciness and ingredients in the dish you choose. The Elephant Walk has some milder recipes, so there’s no reason to upset your stomach!
How to Experience the Elephant Walk!
I highly recommend going and enjoying a meal at either their Boston or Cambridge location. You can contact the Boston location (900 Beacon Street) at 617-247-1500 or the Cambridge location (2067 Mass Ave) at 617-492-6900 with any questions. However, they also have a Saturday Cooking Class series where you can learn how to make some of these delicious gluten free dishes! You may even learn how to make this delicious (time intensive) lemon paste that was covered at our demonstration. To learn more visit www.elephantwalk.com. Finally, the restaurant has a cookbook featuring Cambodian food, aka: recipes that are naturally gluten free.