Weather confusion notwithstanding, March has arrived. The month of March brings with it blooming mountain laurels, milder temperatures (most of the time), and in Austin, SXSW. Austin’s population necessarily swells as people arrive to participate in the tech, music, and film event of the year. Many of these visitors will be looking for gluten-free dining options: this post is for you.
Tarka Indian Kitchen: this restaurant has a glutenl-free menu. My two Celiac children like the food at Tarka Indian Kitchen, and they’ve never been glutenized by the restaurant.
Mighty Fine Burgers: I regularly eat burgers from this burger place. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post recommending Mighty Fine Burgers; I never seem to get around to it. The employees at MFB are extremely careful when they take gluten-free orders. They also know what’s gluten-free and what’s not (the chili, sadly, is not).
Russian House: This restaurant on 5th street serves authentic Russian food; it has a gluten-free menu.
BJ’s Brewhouse: I recently ate at BJ’s Brewhouse for the first time. Someone recommended the gluten-free menu to me. I have to say that for a chain restaurant, the food quality was pretty impressive. I ordered watermelon feta salad and a gluten-free double cheese pepperoni jalapeno pepper pizza. I will definitely visit that place again. By the way: the waiter paid close attention to my dietary need, as soon as he saw that I was looking at the gluten-free menu. I felt pretty certain I would be protected from cross-contamination at BJ’s, at that point. I was right.
Thundercloud Subs: Thundercloud subs has gluten-free buns to die for. Thundercloud subs is my go-to quick meal after a run on Town Lake. I absolutely love the sandwiches from Thundercloud, and I am so grateful that the restaurant offers gluten-free buns. Here’s a caveat about the delicious subs: one has to be careful to ask the person making her sandwich to use fresh paper and a fresh knife. The employees don’t do so automatically, when one orders a gluten-free bun: at least not the people who have waited on me. Additionally, go without mayo. The thunder sauce, mustard, and other condiments are in squeeze bottles. The mayonnaise is in a large jar that requires employees to use a spatula to get out and spread on the sandwiches. They seem to spread the mayo on the sandwich buns and then stick the same spatula back into the mayo when they use it again. Another hint: We get subs from both Riverside locations. The people at the W Riverside location seem more amenable to doing things the gluten-free way. One’s experience at the E Riverside location varies, depending upon who is working. One older woman who works at the E Riverside location seems absolutely annoyed when I ask whoever makes my sandwich to use fresh paper and a clean knife. No matter where this woman is behind the counter, she stops what she’s doing to tell me that no one can guaranteed that my sub will not be cross-contaminated. Nevertheless, the people who make my sandwiches are careful when I ask them to be, and I’ve never been glutenized at either location. We’ve been eating at the W Riverside location for about 35 years (except for the years between the time I was diagnosed with Celiac the time Thundercloud began offering gluten-free buns). Not much about the decor of this location. It looks much the same now as when we first began eating there. Gotta love it!
Taco Cabana: Let me be clear: I recommend Taco Cabana merely for its lengthy gluten-free offerings at rock bottom prices. I do not recommend the restaurant for its food quality. Gluten-free people attending SXSW who run low on funds (or sobriety) will find they can eat safely and cheaply at this restaurant.