In case you missed the Bakery edition of this post, last week I had the opportunity to take an impromptu trip and spend a day in NYC! Before arriving I was excited to sit on the orange couch from Friends at Central Perk and go to Babycakes NYC, but I had no idea what other gluten free options there were in the city.
Find Me Gluten Free, Google, and my blogging friends helped me find some great spots. 3 bakeries and 3 restaurants later, I have only had a glimpse of the celiac friendly options in NYC and I am pretty impressed. Without further ado, let’s dive into the restaurants!
Hu Kitchen is a location I would have never found on my own without my Find Me Gluten Free app. In fact, we almost walked by this restaurant/store in Greenwich Village even with the address. The aim of Hu Kitchen is to be healthy. They’re non-GMO, and a ton of other really cool stuff, BUT most importantly, they’re 100% gluten free. (I love dining at 100% gluten free places when I’m traveling because what celiac wants to be sick for his/her whole vacation?!)
When you walk in there is a huge store with items ranging from chips to juices they make. I loved walking through the entire store and reading about products I had never seen before. Then, off to your right there is a whole section of foods you can order.
The best part about this salad bar is that there is “no gluten, dairy, canola oil, refined sugars, cane sugar, preservatives, or ‘natural emulsifiers.'” For me, the key part is no gluten or dairy because that eliminates my cross-contact allergy worries. I ordered the primal kale salad and summer slaw.
The primal kale salad didn’t have much taste and left much to be desired for me. On the other hand, I’m not a cole slaw fan, but the summer slaw was to die for. It had the perfect sweetness, and I could eat it all day. The dish contains red & green cabbage, carrot, red pepper, garlic, shallot, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. If anyone wants to try to recreate it, I’ll come over and sample in a heartbeat!
Some reviewers noted that it could be a little pricey. My plate above was about $7. I then took advantage of the 10% student discount (with an ID), so I didn’t find it to be outrageous. However, if I had just had the kale salad, then I could definitely see the reviewers’ point.
The Little Beet forms quite a line in the heart of Midtown at lunchtime, and I understand why. Fortunately, this restaurant is Chipotle style, so the line moves quickly. Now, the only reason, I’m okay with eating at this style of restaurant is because the entire place is gluten free, which means I have no cross-contact concerns. 🙂
When I arrived at the counter (and trust me it was busy), I had no idea what I wanted. I started to tell the cashier my food allergies, and she went to grab the “right person” for the job. He told me everything I could eat, and I just stared at him with a blank face. It turned out that I could have my cashier’s favorite menu on the time, the cactus bowl, so I selected that. My only limitation was on the dressing choices (due to safflower oil allergy).
This is my cactus bowl half devoured, so you can see all the parts! It was absolutely amazing, kind of like a burrito without the tortilla. I’ve never actually had millet before, so it was a great opportunity to learn that I love it, and need to do some experimenting at home. Additionally, the portion size is huge. My meal cost $13, and there was no student discount here.
You can order meals from The Little Beet online to avoid waiting in line! I would love to here how that turns out! I only recommend it if you’re only dietary constraint is wheat or gluten, so that you can be certain you’re allergen isn’t in your food.
Overall, I definitely recommend The Little Beet as a place to check out for a quick lunch in NYC, and they serve breakfast as well.
Lilly and Loo participates in the GIG Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program receiving education manuals, training materials, consultation and menu reviews. This is still a regular restaurant containing gluten foods as well, so you need to be sure to identify yourself as a celiac, etc.
Before dining at Lilly and Loo all the reviews were positive except one stating that they didn’t take her dietary request seriously and her meal had to be re-made. However, upon sitting down, I handed my waiter a list of my allergies, and our table was immediately switched to the head waiter who walked through the entire gluten free menu with me.
I was pretty impressed with the range of options. The gluten free menu is extensive, and there are a wide array of options even with my other allergies (including milk and egg).
I started off with one of the soups, filled with more kinds of seafood than I can name, mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots. It smelt a little bit funny to me, but the taste turned out to be perfect. The soup had just a slight bite to it and the spices complimented the seafood nicely. (Note: I’m still one of those people who cannot get over the smell of onion soup, so you may have loved the smell.)
For my next course I had the quinoa salad with beef on top. (They checked that the beef’s marinade was fine multiple times. I’m fairly certain I could actually list every ingredient on the plate.)
Now, I was expecting the salad to be like a traditional quinoa salad, where the quinoa replaces the lettuce, but my plate came out with both lettuce and quinoa. I turned out to love the blend of textures, and the salad dressing (lime) cooled off the spice of the beef marinade beautifully.
Have you dined at any of these restaurants? What’s your favorite celiac/allergy friendly NYC restaurant? I’d love to check it out on my next trip to the city!
Fiesta Friday friends, I feel as though this was the perfect post to set the mood for this weekend, as I’m currently packing to travel to Vegas! And, I already used my Find Me Gluten Free app to find a place I can eat called Wild. Can’t wait to see what y’all are bringing to the party.
Have a great weekend everyone, and happy cooking!
P.S: If you liked this be sure to check out Gluten Free in NYC- Bakeries!
* These dining experiences occurred September 2014.