Pizza!

pizza  Feast your eyes on this beauty.  I recently had the good fortune of dining at Mellow Mushroom on Oak Street.  Not only is the location great, but they also have gluten free pizza AND beer!  Mellow Mushroom has a large selection of gluten free pizzas.  While I can’t say it was the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had, it was certainly good.  (The crust was a little sweet for my taste.)  Plus, the kitchen takes steps to prevent cross contamination, which is always nice to hear.  If you’re in the mood for pizza and beer (I mean, who isn’t?), definitely head on over to Mellow Mushroom.

Great food and a ghost!

If you’re visiting New Orleans, you absolutely must try Muriel’s Jackson Square.  The restaurant is in a great location in the French Quarter and it has an ambiance that you’ll only find in New Orleans.  What’s even better is that they have a fantastic gluten free menu and are very knowledgable on cross-contamination issues.  On my most recent visit I had the wood grilled half chicken from the gluten free menu (see photo).  It was seriously amazing.  I kind of wanted to order the other half of the chicken when I was finished…  Oh, and the restaurant is haunted if you’re into that sort of thing.  Which I am. 

Muriel's

I need a beer…

redbridge  One of the toughest things for me about going gluten free has been giving up beer. I mean, sometimes you just really need a cold one… Unfortunately, New Orleans is not the land of gluten free beer. In fact, I’ve only found one bar in all of New Orleans that serves a gluten free beer. If you’re craving a cold one, head to Avenue Pub on St. Charles Avenue for a Redbridge. Statistically speaking, there must be other places in New Orleans that serve GF beer, but I haven’t found them yet. (Last I heard New Orleans ranked 3rd on the list of U.S. cities with the most bars per capita.) When I do, I’ll most definitely update this post. Until then I recommend sampling one of New Orleans many notorious cocktails. Perhaps you could try a voodoo at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop or a sazerac at the Roosevelt Hotel. Or wine. There’s always that. ;-) Is it happy hour yet?

Aug. 2013 Update:  Mellow Mushroom in Carrollton also has a gluten free beer, not to mention delicious gluten free pizza.  My experience was definitely worthy of its own post.  Coming soon.

El Gato Negro @ the French Market

My boyfriend and I were craving Mexican food on Sunday afternoon and we decided upon El Gato Negro at the French Market, primarily because I had heard good things (but had never been). As I walked in I spotted a gluten free menu out of the corner of my eye. It was calling to me. How could I have not known about this?? Seriously, how could I have not known about this?? I’m still baffled by my ignorance… Moving on. We had a fantastic meal. I ordered the stuffed poblano pepper and my boyfriend had the steak tacos on corn tortillas. The portions are large, but that’s okay by me! They packaged up our leftovers and we had a Mexican feast again the next day.

As most of you probably know, Mexican food can be fairly safe for those of us who are gluten-challenged, as long as you stay away from the flour tortillas. (As a side note, be careful of black beans.  I recently ordered black beans at a restaurant, but the chef alerted me to the fact that there was flour used to thicken the beans.  More on this later.)  The gluten free menu at El Gato Negro is big — one of the biggest gf menus I’ve ever seen. The corn tortillas are the only tortillas that are homemade. Not only does that mean they are fresh and delicious, which they are, but it also means there isn’t a bunch of wheat flour flying about in the air. Here’s a link to the gf menu:

http://elgatonegronola.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/glutenfreemenu.pdf

I’m out. I’m heading back to El Gato Negro. Like now.

Lunch in the Arts/Warehouse District

IMG_20130617_130419  If you find yourself in the Arts/Warehouse District at lunchtime, Carmo Cafe on Julia Street is a must. Every salad on the menu is gluten free and delicious*. (Gluten free items are designated as such on the menu.) In addition to the staff being incredibly knowledgable about gluten, the restaurant has an open kitchen which allows you to watch your food being prepared. There is a dedicated area where the salads are made and it’s kept incredibly clean. In other words, chances of cross-contamination are minimal.

*Okay, so I haven’t tried all the salads yet.  Only most of them.  So far the broken noodle salad and the carmo salad are my favorites. (I had the carmo salad for lunch today — see the photo above!)  Here’s a link to the menu for your viewing pleasure.  Yum.

http://cafecarmo.com/index.php?page=menu

 

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…

Pimm's Cup  If you aren’t familiar with New Orleans, you may not know what a big deal the Bloody Mary cocktail is here. Practically every bar and restaurant puts their own spin on this classic drink. Unfortunately, for those of us with gluten sensitivities, it’s best to skip the cocktail. The Bloody Mary mix of choice in New Orleans is Zing Zang. Although Zing Zang makes a killer Bloody, it also contains wheat. (I learned this the hard way.) Your best bet for a safe Bloody Mary is to make one at home.  I have a few recommendations for some delicious gluten free Bloody Mary mixes that I’ll post later. If you’re just visiting and don’t want to bother buying or bringing your own mix, I’d recommend trying a Pimm’s Cup, perhaps at the Napoleon House. It’s refreshing and gluten free.  Oh, and don’t forget your to-go cup.  Cheers!