Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

JD Hoyts February 12, 2015

this old-school steakhouse is a bit of an enigma to me~ it’s a really nice place, with it’s style quaintly trapped in a bygone era, located in a bit of a dodgy area downtown (they offer valet). and given all of that, it’s unexpected that beyond the usual steakhouse fare, they seem to have a love of cajun and Jamaican seasonings and food. it’s very unique, which actually makes it fit right in with all the other oddball places nearby in Northeast Minneapolis~ Nye’s Polynaise Room (R.I.P.), Gasthof’s, etc.

so basically, I wasn’t sure what to expect. but I was very pleasantly surprised! steakhouses generally have plenty of gluten free options, given they mostly serve meat and veggies. but JD Hoyt’s has a lot of fun extras thrown in.

first of all, all of the seasonings and spices are gluten free. so if you want the cajun version of anything, it’s probably fine. (obviously check everything out with your server when ordering). they have several apps that are ok~ there’s something called a Buddy Bowl, which is sort of like a jambalaya: rice, beans, peppers and onions, creole sauce, cheese, and some optional seafood mix-ins. they also have “pig wings” which is a shank that’s grilled and covered in BBQ sauce. and there are maybe a few more apps available gluten free.

then I was delighted to find that they offer a gluten free bun for their burgers and sandwiches! it’s such a nice touch, especially since they already have so many options for us. as with everything, the burgers are available with cajun or Jamaican seasonings 🙂 they also have pork chop sandwiches, prime rib sandwiches, Kobi beef burgers, etc in addition to the basic burger.

and in a surprising twist, they also offer gluten free noodles!! this is above and beyond, given that they only offer one pasta dish (you guessed it, cajun pasta!)

most of the entrees are gluten free as well: pork chops, steaks, seafood, chicken. they have lots of fun toppings offered, and are really flexible if you want anything else requested. (be sure to tell them of you allergy, so you don’t accidentally get an onion ring on your steak, or any other unforeseen gluten accompaniments). the entrees all come with a surprisingly large amount of veggies on the plate. so it’s enough to just get an entree… but why do that when they have the most amazing sides?!

the side dishes were my favorite part of the whole meal! most of them were gluten free. and they come in 3 sizes, from a little cup to a huge plateful. I always love a good hashbrown or mashed potatoes (really any potatoes, I’m from the Midwest, after all!) and they of course have a few more veggies to choose from, if you didn’t get enough from the generous heaping on your plate. but the real highlight was the lobster risotto!! I wish that I lived or worked nearby, so I could pick some up regularly! it was so delicious, perfectly cooked pieces of lobster, and possibly mixed with cheese. it was amazing. definitely a must-try!

don’t be fooled into thinking that because it’s a steakhouse, it’s too pricey. if you want to stay on the thriftier side, you could still eat here quite reasonably, as so many things are a la carte. I’d go there for the risotto alone, but the burgers and sandwiches are also very reasonable.

as you can tell, I really enjoyed eating here, and will hopefully make it back there (very) soon.


Capital Grille March 7, 2010

the Capital Grille is an upscale steakhouse, with various locations across the country. the one in Minneapolis is located on Hennepin Ave, near the Target Center. most steakhouses are able to accommodate their gluten-free guests, but the Capital Grille goes a bit further by offering a gluten-free menu.

the menu has gluten-free options in all the categories: appetizers, salads, steaks, seafood, and even several desserts. if you have other allergies, they’re very easy to work with, and they’ll come up with great alternatives for you.

and if you’ve ever been to a Capital Grille, you’ll know how great the food is. it’s very high in quality, and the chefs are great. once they made me a special potato side dish that was fried up with onions and was fairly complex, and I was very appreciative and impressed at how great it tasted, for just making it on the fly. they were also very discrete so that my entire table didn’t have to know about my special “allergy” complications, which I appreciated.

all in all, the Capital Grille has always been one of my two favorite steakhouses in town (the other of which is no longer in business). they cook a great steak, have great seafood (the crab is my favorite, and they even shell it for you if you wish), and their wine list is extensive. but as with many steakhouses, it can be pricey. they use high quality steaks, and the salads and sides (which feed several people) are all extra. so it’s a great place to go for special nights out, celebrations, and business dinners.


Fogo de Chao January 19, 2010

if you’re looking for a good place to go downtown, or a restaurant for special occasions, Fogo de Chao is a great option. it’s a gaucho-style Brazilian steakhouse,. the last time I confirmed, the only item containing gluten are the bread and/or croutons on the salad bar. the cheese bread at the table and everything else is gluten free! you should always double-check these things though, just to be sure.

when you arrive, you are seated and they bring you lots of sides~ all of which are gluten free: cheese bread, polenta sticks (which are topped with parmesan but can be made dairy-free upon request), carmelized bananas, and garlic mashed potatoes (also contain dairy).

then you can start making trips to the huge salad bar, filled with tons of different things. there is either bread or croutons (or both) up there, that are NOT gluten-free. also, the tabbouleh has wheat germ in it, so beware of that. if you have a dairy allergy as well, be careful, as there are many cheese items on the salad bar~ and I found that many of the tongs for the veggies had shreds of cheese on them. in fact, I usually don’t like buffets in general because of cross-contamination, so unless I get there early before people have starting eating much out of it, I basically skip it. and don’t fill up too much on the salad, or you won’t have enough room to try many of the steaks and meats! it’s easy to fill your plate without trying.

now for the main event: the meats! (this is the part I affectionately call “the meat buffet”.) you should again, confirm which meats are safe, in case of any changes, but the chicken legs are soaked in beer, so don’t eat those. and for those with dairy allergies, there is a parmesan pork that you’d need to avoid. but other than that, all of the meats are gluten free!! and there are tons of different kinds! they have all sorts of cuts of steak~ and while my favorite steak is usually the filet mignon, I think my favorite here was the top sirloin (Picanha). they also have lamb, chicken, pork ribs, pork loin, sausage, etc.

they give you a little guide to each of the meats, so you can plan ahead on what you’d like to try, or so when they come around you know if it’s something you’d like (you can also ask them when they come, but it’s nice to be able to see what’s what).

so they have tons of servers carrying these skewers, each with one type of meat on them. each diner has a coaster with red on one side and green on the other. when you want them to stop by with their meats skewers, you signal them by leaving the green side up. if you have plenty at the moment, turn it to the red side up. you can flip it back and forth as desired. the outer edges of the meats are more well-done, so you can have a say in how well done you want your slice to be, and then they shave off a slice of the meat for you to put on your plate.

it’s an (upscale) chain, so there are other locations in the US and Brazil that you can look for when traveling. it’s a bit pricey (flat fee of just under $50 per person, and drinks are not included). but if you can go there for lunchtime, it costs about half as much. if you’re going out for a special occasion, it’s great food, and is really nice to be able to eat virtually everything there, with very little chance of cross-contamination. and it’s definitely tasty, definitely filling! if it weren’t for the cost, I wouldn’t be able to get enough of Brazilian steakhouses like these. love them.