Overwhelmed and distressed by the news that they would need to avoid so many familiar foods, a good friend recently emailed me for advice on gluten free dining options after her husband tested positive for Celiac Disease. Dining out with food allergies is a source of stress for many – and one that I am very familiar with. I was diagnosed Celiac in 2008 and my husband and I have a food venue at the 2nd Street Market, The Chef Case, which is dedicated to allergy conscious food. It seems to me that every Saturday I meet more and more newly diagnosed Celiacs. The good news is that the necessity of taking a closer look at what we are eating causes us to embark on a journey of food education and results in a more healthful, nutrient dense diet.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of gluten in unexpected places. Inexpensive burgers, grill steaks, lamb meat, sausage and similar meat products almost always contain gluten. Imitation crab meat is made with modified starch. Wheat flour may be a hidden ingredient in ice cream, ketchup, mayonnaise and even instant coffee. Gluten is often lurking in low fat versions of products, as it is used to make these items thicker and less watery. Most prepacked grated cheese is coated in flour or modified starch to keep it from sticking together in the package. This may seem easy to avoid but think about all the restaurants that use grated cheese, how many of those do you imagine grate their own cheese? Monosodium glutamate (MSG), often listed in ingredients as ‘flavor enhancer’, is manufactured with gluten as are most soy sauces. Any alcoholic drink made from grain, beer or whiskey for example, is also a source of gluten.
After successfully eliminating gluten from the diet, the antibodies that helped to move gluten through the body are no longer produced. Without these antibodies, consuming even a small amount of gluten creates a much more severe reaction for Celiacs which we refer to as “being glutened”. Those of us with food sensitivities are all advocates for each other, charged with helping to educate food service providers. As gluten intolerance becomes more prevalent and gains exposure, education and menu accommodation continue to increase. From the entire Dayton Area Gluten Free community, thank you to area chefs who have taken the time to understand Celiac Disease and offer gluten free menus, options and substitutions!
Below please find the first installment of the Guide to Gluten Free Dining in Dayton.
Restaurants Specializing in Gluten Free or Offering a Gluten Free Menu
Olive Coming Soon, promises to have a gluten free menu!
PF Chang One of the first and most extensive gluten free menus.
Spinoza’s Pizza Have a gluten free beer with your gluten free pizza!
The Chef Case Specializing in gluten free food! Gluten free panini sandwiches, bake goods and prepared foods to enjoy at the market or take home by the pint.
Restaurants Offering Special Gluten Free Alternatives or Options
C’est Tout Chef Fortin will prepare any menu item gluten free!
Butter Cafe Gluten Free bread available but, avoid the potoatoes which are dusted in flour.
Coco’s Bistro Gluten Free on request.
Crepe Boheme Offers gluten free and gluten free/soy free Crepes!
Rue Dumaine Chef Kearney and her staff are very well educated and happy to accommodate Celiacs!
The Wine Gallery Featuring gluten free crackers and starting next Tuesday 4/10/11, gluten free pizza!
Naturally Gluten Free Cuisine
El Rancho Grande Always ask… all of ERG sauces are made with flour and the pollo loco has flour dusting the chicken breast. Otherwise, avoid the flour tortillas and dig in!
Linh’s Many dishes feature rice noodles just hold the soy sauce!
Limited Gluten Free Options or Not Gluten Aware Yet
Bravo A Chef will come out to discuss allergy concerns but they offer no specifically gluten free dishes and no guarantees.