So I'd just like to say...Portland is THE MOST GLUTEN FREE FRIENDLY CITY I have been to so far. I found so many restaurants and places to go, that I really can't wait to come back here to try more of them! I stayed in the Cultural District and was able to easily explore up to the Pearl District, but I know are a ton of places I missed out on because they were outside of easy walking distance. So here are the spots that I was able to make it to..
I always like to check out the local Whole Foods wherever I go, because I always find new treats! Here I found Gluten and Diary Free Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups made by Justin's, Abby's Table Nude Ranch Dressing and Dip, and a Pure Blueberry Bar.
Well, the first reason I love this restaurant is that it's almost the same as my first name. The second reason, is that it's Peruvian. Then finally, the third is that they have their own gluten free menu that is just as large as their regular menu.
Oh and then there was the ambiance! It's a two level place where the bottom floor looks like a little city. There was live music, a great bar, and the staff was incredibly knowledgeable and wonderful.
And now, onto the food. It was AMAZING! I love South American food as a general rule, so this was spectacular. Instead of bread they brought me fried yucca sticks (the top picture) and a jalapeno and cilantro dipping sauce. I checked with them and they actually have an entirely separate fryer for all their gluten free dishes. I ordered off their tapas menu and got a causa filled with chicken (the bottom picture) and an avocado stuffed with crab and shrimp. It was all incredibly good and I got to top it all off with a Gluten Free Pina Colada made with actual coconut milk and fresh pineapple. It was delish and so wonderful that the bartender was knowledgeable enough to know which rum's were safe and which were a bit questionable. Their bar menu actually identifies which cocktails are gluten free and vegan.
I went to Prasad for lunch after walking way from an unimpressive looking pizza place that supposedly had Gluten and Dairy Free pizza crusts. It's actually co-located with a yoga studio so they had little signs up to use your quite and soft inside voice. They serve all vegan and mostly raw foods. Their menu was mostly bowls, salads, soups, wraps, and smoothies. The whole menu is gluten free with the exception of two wraps that are made with whole wheat wraps. I got a salad with dark greens, rice noodles, and a tamarind peanut sauce and it was excellent. I wish I had a place like this to go for lunch everyday.
It's my understanding that this is one of Portland's most well know breweries and they also happen to have a good sized Gluten Free Menu and they brew their own Gluten Free Beer!
It's an ESB, which the internet tells me stands for Extra Special/Strong Bitter and I would say that's an accurate description. But it was tasty, I would definitely get it again, however, it's not as easy to drink as my favorite, Bards.
The restaurant carries breadsticks and crostini that are Gluten Free but contain cow's milk yogurt. However, their focaccia, which they use on our sandwiches and burgers, is Gluten and Dairy Free. They actually use almond milk in it, which I found really interesting and kind of unique!
I mapped myself and some co-workers here thinking it was a sit down restaurant, but it's actually a little trailer house that sit's on Alder Street amongst a whole bunch of street food vendors. They have several gluten free soup options that I unfortunately didn't get a chance to try and they also can make a grilled cheese sandwich on gluten free bread from New Cascadia Traditional Bakery (see next item...). I ordered a gluten free grilled cheese with goat cheese and apples and it was really quite yummy. I was a bit uncertain of how they make their gluten free grilled cheese versus their regular grilled cheese, but I didn't get sick. So if you're really sensitive it might be something to ask about.
I couldn't go to a new city with a gluten free bakery without stopping there! New Cascade was a great spot to grab breakfast and some treats on the way out of town. They had a really good selection of pastries, scones, and muffins. I tried the Apple Galette and it was excellent, it reminded me of the gluten full galette's I used to get at farmers markets in California. I also picked up a selection of their other items; an all seed bagel (it's the best gluten free bagel I've had so far), a mexican chocolate cupcake (it had touches of cinnamon and cayenne pepper), a pumpkin ginger quinoa muffin (very fluffy and moist), an all seed bread, and a sourdough bread. I think at this point, New Cascadia is my favorite gluten free bakery I've tried so far.