Locally, there are a few gluten-free standouts that deserve my gratitude.
This week, CL Managing/Online Editor Scott Harrell has inspired us to be vocally thankful. And, locally, there are a few standouts — from a gluten-free point of view — that deserve my gratitude.
By now, you probably know that Craft Kafé, where everything is gluten-free, is my safe haven. Teddy Skiadiotis and his crew are the absolute best, and they create quite possibly the best quiche I’ve ever eaten — with a flaky, GF crust. They also did an exceptionally tasty brunch for us the day after our wedding, making all who suffer from what my family calls “The Salustri Stomach” rest a little easier.
Almost any Mexican place worth its margarita salt has plenty of GF offerings, but Nueva Cantina‘s Paul Daubert knows his protocols. Before we knew he was the chef, a friend suggested him for our wedding. He outdid himself with a huge seafood boil that was GF (because clams, shrimp, corn and potatoes don’t have gluten anyway, I don’t know that our guests felt they were suffering because of my stomach’s failings).
I sing the praises of Pia’s Trattoria so much I should be embarrassed. Notice the word “should.” I’m proud to say the owners reacted to my diagnosis by coaching me on what to say and ask at a restaurant, and also added a gluten-free version of their sour orange pie to the menu (they, too, outdid themselves with a GF and gluten-intense dessert table at our wedding).
PJ’s St. Pete Beach, Noble Crust and New World Brewery (hurry up with the new place, please!) all have GF beer that’s not the tastes-like-kitten-tears Redbridge — and Noble Crust also has a tasty gluten-free pizza crust. I’m still exploring — and trying to take off the 30 pounds I gained while feeling sorry for myself and eating crap-packed GF food — but these guys have all made my year infinitely easier.
And then there’s all of you. I don’t know how new diagnoses get through the early stages of going GF without a cadre of readers who have been, quite honestly, amazing.
Earlier this month, I spoke at the Festival of Reading. My book has nothing to do with gluten or the lack of it in my life, but I was pleasantly surprised to meet more than a few of you who knew me from this column. One reader gave me some amazing tea, and another — whom I met some years back while researching my book — brought me a recipe for clementine cake, a dessert I’ll make this week (and report back).
Yes, I’m staying GF for Thanksgiving, which is only the second time I’ve baked in 2017. It’s because of you that I’m willing to try. Your suggestions and reassurance have helped me find the best “flours” (shout-out to our food critic, Jon Palmer Claridge) and ways to bake.
For someone who admits she was a total dick about gluten-free people pre-celiac, y’all have come through in amazing way. I am thankful.
This post appeared originally in Creative Loafing Tampa.