Let's be honest, sometimes we all just want a good ol' sandwich for lunch. Unfortunately, this can be quite the rarity while on the road and eating gluten free. Especially if your standards for gluten free bread are as high as mine (thanks to some of these bakeries).
To keep myself from the dreaded disappointment of terrible gluten free bread, I don't often eat out for lunch while on the road. Typically I'll make a picnic lunch of rice crackers, a sheep or goat cheese, and dried fruit. However, there are a few spots which I have marked in my memory to always return to while in town. I've been known to even make a totally out of the way trips to a number of these gluten free friendly lunch spots.
Motueka, New Zealand
Up the Garden Path | Big Club Sandwich
Up the Garden Path combines a beautiful outdoor garden, art gallery, and tasty cafe all in one spot. They've got a number of gluten free options labeled on their menu as well delicious gluten free bread and sweet treats. It's not often I find a good club sandwich along with a plate of gluten free friendly fries but their's was superb - complete with a fresh stalk of rosemary in place of a tooth pick. Also, if you find yourself in New Zealand - their version of bacon is incredibly good, much better than the kind we eat here in the United States.
New York, New York, USA
Friedman's Lunch | Nova Bennie
During my month living in New York City, every time I found a reason to head to Chelsea I'd make sure to stop at Friedman's for lunch. While they do have gluten free bread and fries - most of their menu gluten free friendly as well. My favorite dish is the Nova Bennie. An eggs benedict made with no dairy other than butter, with lox instead of ham, and of course on top of a gluten free english muffin. Pro Tip: Head to Friedman's early or on an off hour - it's a tiny place located inside the Chelsea Market and it gets absolutely packed.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Corbett & Hawthorne Fish House | Fried Clams Strips
Until recently when my stomach (and/or age) let me know I don't do so well with fried food, Hawthorne Fish House was another place I always stopped whenever I was in the Portland area. I grew up eating clam strips on the California coast and was overjoyed when I found a a spot to order them again safely gluten free. Both these locations offer a full gluten free menu of all varieties of fish and chips made in a frier untouched by gluten.
Teote Areperia | Simpatico
Around the same time my body revolted against fried food, I heard of a new areperia which opened in Portland. If you've never heard of arepas, think somewhere in between a pita and an english muffin or biscuit but made of corn flour. Teote offers single arepas with varying fillings or full sized plates with generous portions of black beans, cabbage salads, and my personal favorite - plantains. It's now my new must stop whenever I find myself in the Portland area.
San Rafael, California, USA
Sol Food | Deluxe Veggie Sandwich on Tostones
Whenever I plan a trip down to the San Francisco Bay Area, I do my best to set aside enough time in to make the hour and half drive from the South Bay to the North Bay to enjoy a meal at one of my all time favorite restaurants. Painted a bright lime green, Sol Food makes quite the scene in the otherwise neutral toned neighborhood. While most of their Puerto Rican cuisine is naturally gluten free - the real treat is the tostones (twice fried and mashed plantains) which are made large enough to use as gluten free alternative to bread for their sandwiches. While I'm sure the more traditional sandwich fillings are delicious, I'm always partial to the Deluxe Veggie.
Would you travel for a fantastic gluten free lunch?
Where would you go?