Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Springfield (MO) gluten-free restaurant update

3 Corner Bar & Grill is a new favorite.

This past week I wrote to a few popular Springfield restaurants, asking about their gluten-free offerings. Following is the basic note I sent. You’re welcome to copy and paste it into your email or Facebook queries:

“Hi! My family would like to dine at your restaurant. I have celiac disease, however, and cannot eat gluten. I was wondering if your restaurant has a gluten-free menu or if your wait-staff can make recommendations about which dishes are naturally gluten-free.”

Here are their responses to my questions:

Gem of India’s Navi Kaur wrote:

“Hey Linda, I would say half of our menu is or can be gluten free! Just come on in and we can help you out to find your desirable meal.” 

Since I love Indian food, I will definitely give Gem of India a try. The restaurant is located at 211 W. Battlefield.

Carry your own soy sauce!
Blu Sesame-Asian Diner & Takeout also gave a favorable response:

“We do offer Vietnamese noodles that are gluten-free. Our pho is gluten-free, too. We do not have gluten free soy [sauce], but we do offer low sodium sauce.”

I also like pho, and since this restaurant is in easy walking distance from my house, I’ll be checking it out as well. Blu Sesame is located at 431 S. Jefferson Ave.

To solve the problem with Asian restaurants that don’t provide gluten-free soy sauce, I ordered some cute little purse-sized containers to take along with me. Most sushi is naturally gluten-free (excluding tempura-style and sushi made with imitation crab meat), but I’ve found that many restaurants do not carry GF soy sauce. You can order Little Soya gluten-free soy sauce or other GF soy sauce packets on Amazon.

PaPPo’s Pizzeria’s response was not to my liking: “We unfortunately do not have any gluten-free options. I am so sorry!” PaPPo’s Pizzeria is located at 221 E. Walnut (in case your gluten-eating friends want to check it out without you … )

So much for that!

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant: Since I am very familiar with Maria’s regular menu—they have many, many gluten-free offerings, my favorite being El Nacho with Chicken—I thought I’d just ask about their tamales. Their Tamale Tuesday is very popular, and I was hoping I could take part.  Here is Sophia Al-Roubaie’s response:

“Hi there. We use masa to make our tamales. Masa is traditionally gluten-free. However, it may be processed in a plant that also produces flour. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!”

So the ball is back in my court regarding Maria’s. So much do I love tamales—I used to love even those greasy, high-calorie canned versions—I think I’ll take the risk and give Maria’s tamales a try. Maria’s is located at 406 South Ave.

3 Corner Bar and Grill: This restaurant has become a favorite. Chef Riad can make many of his menu items gluten-free—and he even offers a gluten-free bun for his burgers and sandwiches. I love the kebabs with rice and grilled vegetables. This restaurant is located on the corner of South and Walnut.

Rebecca Grille: Sadly this wonderful restaurant has moved away from the Springfield area.

Santa Fe Grill is now Springfield Gourmet Taco Company. Santa Fe Grill had many wonderful gluten-free selections, but they have now changed to Springfield Gourmet Taco Company. I’m waiting to hear back from them about gluten-free menu items. Located at 3120 E. Sunshine.

The HyVee dietitians are keeping a running list of restaurants with gluten-free offerings contributed by attendees at the monthly HyVee Support Group meetings. The following is the list is from the September 9, 2013 meeting. I’ve placed an asterisk beside my personal favorites.

Alexandria’s Cupcake Cottage
Arris’ Pizza
Aviary Café and Creperie*
Carlos O’Kelly’s
Cracker Barrel
Cravin’ Pizza*
Dickey’s BBQ
Enoch’s BBQ
Famous Dave’s BBQ
Farmers Gastropub
Flo Eatery & Wine Bar
Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano
Gem of India
The Grotto
HuHot Mongolian Grill
Incredible Pizza
Longhorn Steakhouse
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant*
McAlister’s Deli
Metropolitan Grill
Migulito’s Wrap & Roll
Mr. Yen’s
Muscle Maker Grill
Nonna’s *
Olive Garden
Outback Steakhouse
Red Robin*
Ruby Tuesday
Tea Bar and Bites

And you thought you couldn’t eat out!

Please let me know if you have any outstanding experiences, good or bad, at these restaurants, and I’ll pass the news along.