Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Stella’s Fish Cafe July 10, 2015

I always loved going to Stella’s, back when I was gluten free (particularly their rooftop area). but I hadn’t attempted it for many years, after my diagnosis. I just revisited it this week, and was blown away by all of the great gluten free options!! I figured there would be plenty of plain fish options, if nothing else. but the two-paged gluten free menu went well beyond that. it offered lobster bisque, which is a rarity to find gluten free. it also offered lobster rolls (on Udi’s buns), which I’d never heard of until after I’d been diagnosed, and have always wondered how they tasted..). they also offered a hot crab & spinach dip (with chips not fried there, if you order the GF version), which I definitely can’t wait to go back and try! and then many, many more items. I don’t personally enjoy sushi and sashimi, but there were plenty of those offered gluten free as well. another item that popped out at me, for my list to try later, was the stuffed salmon (stuffed with crab meat, shrimp, and brie). and don’t even get me started on the sides.. the loaded hashbrowns were delicious, and unfortunately I didn’t have room for the mashed potatoes, which were loaded with sour cream, chives, and garlic butter. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it!

 

Original Pancake House, Maple Grove February 26, 2015

I didn’t realize at first that the Original Pancake House in Maple Grove is separate from the Original Pancake Houses in Roseville, Edina, and Eden Prairie. it’s unclear as to their connection or former connection.

but what I do know is that the food is just as good, and the menu very similar. the regular menu has a symbol designation for the pancakes, french toast, waffles, and crepes that can be made gluten free. pancake options include buttermilk, blueberry, strawberry, banana, Hawaiian, pumpkin, cranberry walnut, Georgia pecan, coconut, chocolate chip, bacon, peanut butter, and pigs in a blanket. very extensive! waffles have many of the same topping offerings. and crepes add a few new ones: cherry kijafa, mandarin orange, and a couple of fruit crepes with sour cream and liqueur.

not all the sides are labelled as to whether they’re gluten free or not: the sausage links and eggs are marked gluten free, but if you’re wondering about something not marked, the waiter/ waitress should know. I was quite worried at first, but the hash browns were gluten free. whew. that was really important for me 🙂 I didn’t ask about the bacon, but will next time. also, I’m guessing that the omelettes are gluten free, but you’d have to ask on that as well.

and like the other OPHs in town, they take call-aheads to get on the waiting list. and while the other OPHs still make you sit and wait for half your waiting time in the lobby, the Maple Grove OPH allows you to call ahead without being forced to wait for any of it in person, which is very nice! but plan accordingly. with such wild fluxes in waiting times on weekends, depending when you go, it’s always prudent to call ahead to find out when you’ll be expected to get a table before telling the rest of your party when to meet you there. in peak times, 90 minutes of wait time is quite common.

the food is amazing though, with a ridiculous amount of options! and since the Maple Grove OPH doesn’t require you to wait any of it in person, I think it may be my new favorite pancake house. I’m not a huge breakfast person, and didn’t find the urge to check out any of these pancake houses for years. when I was finally persuaded to go once, I was immediately sold. check one out if you haven’t already, just so you find out what you’re missing out on!

 

Day Block January 15, 2015

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This is one of the most unlikely places I thought I’d find a gluten free menu. however, since friends of mine wanted to go, so I called ahead to check. and sure enough, they have a small gluten-free menu!

The reason I say that it was a longshot is because Day Block is one of the local breweries in town. and not the gluten free kind (as Burning Bros is in St Paul). but they do offer ciders and wine, if you want to drink something alcoholic while you’re there (which is more than I can say for a lot of the local breweries).

and as for their gluten free items, the main attraction is the pizza. although they offer a gluten free crust, it’s cooked in the same oven as the regular pizzas. it is on a separate pan, but then shares a pizza cutter. so if you’re not too concerned about the shared oven, I’d suggest getting one uncut, and just cut it with a knife and fork at you table, as you would in Europe.

they have bacon flights, and pickle flights. sometimes there are gluten-containing varieties (the soy sauce glaze on the pickles is out), so check with your server when you go to see if you can have them with the current menus of these (they sound like they change pretty frequently).

other options are the pulled pork sandwich, sans bun. or the caesar salad sans croutons. and there may be more items, depending on the current menu. so be sure to ask each time you go.

Breweries are about the last place I’d expect to find a gluten free menu, so I find it very thoughtful that they offer all of these fun items.

 

McCoy’s Public House May 6, 2014

I recently discovered that McCoy’s Public House has an amazingly large (and robust) gluten- free menu.

it starts off slow, with a few starters, dips mainly. nothing that gets me too excited, but it’s nice that there are some choices. particularly if you go for a happy hour or something (they also have gluten free beer!)

and there are of course many salads to choose from, which don’t generally excite me too much either. however, the BLT salad was actually quite delicious. I may have to pick this up for lunch once in awhile. and it’s great that there are a couple of soups, especially for those cold winter days (tomato basil and bison chili).

and then from here, it really starts to pick up and get to the good stuff 🙂

the burgers have great varieties: beef, bison, turkey, chicken, salmon, even short rib! and great toppings: bacon, avocado, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, aiolis and other fun sauces, tons of cheeses, etc. and they also come with gluten free buns!! the bison burger that I tried last time was amazingly juicy (for such a lean meat), and amazing! I think this will be my go-to, since I still dream about it!

they’ve also got several pizza options that are gluten free (margherita, pepperoni, carbonara, and bbq chicken).

and then for an amazing twist, they also serve gluten free mac & cheese! I haven’t tried it, but it looks rather gourmet and super cheesy. they give the option for you to add-in a ton of fun items too: caramelized onion, broccoli, peas, artichoke, spinach, roasted garlic, bacon, ham, white truffle oil, and that’s only about half of the options available! yum!

then come the entrees, like chicken, fish, short rib/ beef, etc. along with a nice list of veggie sides.

and it all ends with a sweet dessert of (gluten free) cookies and milk!

it’s such a robust gluten free menu that it feels like you’re reading the regular menu! it’s the epitome of accommodation, having options in every category of the menu, plus specialty noodles, pizza crusts, buns, cookies, etc. they go the extra 10 miles and make it a regular restaurant experience for their gluten free guests, and I very much appreciate it. plus it helps that their food is amazing, the atmosphere is great, and it’s in a prime location~ borderline suburbia (located in St Louis Park’s Excelsior & Grand) and just outside of Uptown and the lakes.

 

Falafel King April 30, 2014

I checked out Falafel King recently, because they opened a rather new location near Lake Calhoun that I was interested in.

I love gyros, even if I can’t have the pita bread. although it turned out that the gyro meat was one of the only things that DOES have gluten in it (bread crumbs). upon recommendation of the manager, I ventured out and tried a lamb dish called Kofta. and it was really good! it came with a little tomato and cucumber salad (one of my favorites!) and it was only $1 extra for yellow rice on the side. the Kofta was like uncased sausages. I’m not particularly a fan of sausages or lamb, but this was really tasty. I’d definitely order it again.

the chicken shawirma and/or lamb shawirma are next on my list, also per his recommendation. it’s sliced pieces of chicken or lamb with garlic tahini sauce. tsaziki sauce can be substituted if you prefer it.

other things that are gluten free are the hummus, salads (no croutons or bread, of course), the baba ganouje, and I think the kabobs. make sure to stay away from the tabouli and spinach pie though, and all of the obvious breaded items.

I was told via email that the Falafel was gluten free as well. I don’t know much about falafels, but I thought that they were deep-fried, in which case it’s likely in the same fryer as the onion rings, chicken tenders, and cheese curds… so please check that out before ordering them.

they were very knowledgeable at the restaurant, as they make most of the items there. I will probably ask for the rundown each time I go for the first few visits still, as I usually do, before I’m sure that I have accurate information (sometimes different people tell you different things).

also, a quick note that they have breakfast items as well, which look largely gluten free!

it’s nice to have more quick food options that are gluten free! especially something a little different from the norm!

 

Butcher and the Boar November 18, 2013

 

the pork chop

the pork chop

 

I just went to Butcher and the Boar this week, and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had!

I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like it, as I’m not a huge sausage and meat eater. but I’d heard great things about the place, including that it was a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. and after finally trying it, I loved it!!

the long rib

the long rib 

we tried so many things, it was great. and there were only very few items that I couldn’t have, out of all that we ordered (the appetizer crackers, one of the sausages, and the french fries). and a few things had to be slightly amended~ taking tortilla strips off of a couple of plates, for instance. so there is plenty to choose from, just ask when you get there.

we started with a plate of accoutrements, which included a homemade braunschweiger (hard to eat without the crackers though), a really tasty rooster item that looked like tuna salad to me~ it had the faintest hint of cinnamon in it, though it was not a sweet dish, and the homemade pickles were really good. I wasn’t daring enough to try the pickled shrimp. then we had a plate of three different sausages, two of them spicy. and I loved all three!

and then for the main dish, it was really hard to decide what to order.. there was some maple-glazed chicken (I think they said that this was a full chicken that they serve!), a gigantic pork chop that was like 4-6 inches high, and the long rib, which is what I ultimately chose. it was one rib, with I think they said 16 ounces of meat on it!! and it was amazing.

then we had side dishes galore… the biggest shocker was that the corn bread is gluten free!! and delicious. the mashed potatoes were mixed with sour cream (amazing), as were the grits. out of the red hot brussel sprouts, the caramelized broccoli, and the blackened cauliflower, I’d have to say that the broccoli was my favorite.

the online menu is pretty small, but the one you actually get at the restaurant is much more robust.

I can’t say enough good things about Butcher and the Boar, not only was the food good, but so was the atmosphere, and the people working there seemed to really love it as well. it’s definitely on the pricier side, perfect for special occasions or a night on the town. but I’m just trying to figure out when I can get there again!

 

Rodizio Grill November 1, 2013

I recently went to Rodizio for the first time, which is located in Maple Grove. It was really good, and pretty much what I expected (which was “great”). I love Fogo de Chao, and it was a slightly smaller, suburban version of that. also much less expensive! dinner cost only $35, versus $50 at Fogo de Chao.

there were fewer appetizer offerings at Rodizio. Although they had the same cheese bread (GF) and polenta sticks (yum!), instead of plantains, Rodizio offers breaded banana fritters. so I wasn’t able to eat those. and I read online about some sort of potato appetizer, but there wasn’t any offered on the night that I was there. but the two items I did have were great.

you can stick with just the salad bar for $20, if you like. it’s of decent size, and is nicely labelled for what is gluten free. a few things weren’t labelled “GF” that were online, but I didn’t bother asking on them… I wanted to save my appetite for the meat!

the meat is rotisserie-grilled and brought around by servers, who come when you place your stopper on green. they have a wide assortment of beefs, along with pork, lamb, poultry, and seafood. all of it was really tasty. I wish that I could’ve remembered better which was which for when they came around the next time, but there were just too many to keep track of! and I ate way too much!!

so of course I wasn’t able to try any of the desserts, but they do offer several GF desserts, if you somehow have room afterwards.

this place would be especially great for special events.

if you’re interested in perusing, the menu is here