In the past I’ve posted lists of gluten-free / gluten-friendly restaurants
for the benefit of out of town guests attending Austin City Limits and SXSW, in Austin. Look here, here, and here for previous lists. To these lists I’m adding to more restaurants:: Max’s Wine Dive and Cenote.
If you want to cry for joy, for longing, for nostalgia, for something once lost but now regained, run as fast as you can to Max’s Wine Dive and order the gluten-free fried chicken.
Yes, it is fried in a dedicated fryer. Yes, it is prepared slowly so that the chicken you bite into will have that delectable, delightful, sensual crunchiness that simultaneously gives way to that tender, juicy oh-so-flavorful meaty interior for which you grieve when you sit in a home-style restaurant, surrounded by people munching away in their fried chicken reverie while you comfort yourself with a sour-grapes story that at least your dry, flavorless gluten-free grilled chicken tenders are healthier than the double-battered, deep-fried thick chicken legs and breasts being happily devoured by your fellow gluten-immune diners. Really, it’s ok. Just admit it. Just confess to yourself (if not to your closest friends), that every once in a while you would like to eat a big ol’ plate of fried chicken.
Oh, wait, did you say you would like mashed potatoes with that fried chicken (after all, you may as well go all the way, once you’ve given in to your craving for some of that comfort food)? You are in luck. At Max’s Wine Dive, those large, plump, juicy pieces of succulent, exquisitely fried chicken come on top of a mountain of creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes. Oh, you can feel good about part of this meal: the greens that top off the potatoes (as they form a nest for the golden brown chicken pieces).
The chicken does take a little white to prepare (which is one of the reasons for its quality, so just order a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy a plate of gluten-free deviled duck eggs with pickled okra while you and your dining companions recap the days events.
Now, if you’re into sandwiches and you’ve been missing, since you started eating gluten-free, the ability to just walk into a restaurant and order a hearty sandwich on gluten-free bread that doesn’t ACT gluten-free, you will be pleased with the gluten-free sandwiches at Cenote.
Cenote uses bread baked by the gluten-free people at Misty Morning Bakery. I recently had Cenote’s Cubano sandwich on gluten-free bread, and it tasted so delicious that I had that moment of fearful doubt that hits all Celiac / gluten-intolerant people when we eat that first bite or two of really good-quality food off the gluten-free menu at a restaurant: someone in the kitchen made a horrible mistake and served me the “regular” version!
Cenote also offers a full menu of coffee drinks and tea, so if you just want a light snack with a nice cup of coffee, you may order a gluten-free pastry, baked for Cenote by Sippie’s Studio.