Getting Gluten’d In Seattle Isn’t Easy


Well, hello there sunshine! I’ve missed you. Not that there wasn’t something amazingly romantically depressing about living, walking, and eating, all in the greyness of Seattle where the grunge movement began. There was. Also amazing? If you actually talked to people about your food sitch, they listened and took very good care of you in the Emerald City. Which means it was actually quite difficult to eat gluten if I didn’t want it. Yet, I did it. Of course I did. But first, let me wow you with tales of dining out that will make you want to book your next trip to Seattle, pronto.

The first event I went to was sponsored by Whole Foods, where we learned the sad plight of the honey bee. You guys, it’s scary. And awful, and we should all be constructing hives in our backyards if we want to keep eating food. I might be getting that wrong, so look here to learn more. And look here to see the very first thing I ate after arriving in Seattle.

I haven’t had a gluten-free sandwich in like a year or something. So I shoved three in my mouth. They also had gluten-free cookies. However, the ginger sugar cookie I started to eat tasted so good I was convinced it was filled with gluten and I abandoned it. That may have been the wrong call.

Next up, thanks to my fellow BlogHer Food panelist, Jess of Foodette Reviews (note to self: never try to talk about humor as part of a panel discussion, as that is NOT funny) three of us on that humor panel found ourselves at the Skillet Diner. Oh the yumness. After buying a jar of bacon jam to take home to my very grateful husband, we all picked a meal that suited our tastes, and our food issues. (Poor Lillian can’t eat gluten, diary, soy, grains, or cane sugar. Phhhhpt on that.)

Skillet Diner, formerly Skillet Street Food served up in an airstream, was so on top of this food thing.  I was allowed to enjoy fennel braised pork shoulder with corn succotash, pickled fennel and grapefruit salad with house made bacon. Yes, this –

All gluten-free, people. Mason jar specialty cocktails drove home the point that you are basically in the hottest spot in all of Seattle. Except for that place that serves cocktails in the newest trendy way — via IV. Okay, that’s not actually a thing. Moving on.

Meet Daniel.

Daniel was our waiter at the über food allergy friendly restaurant, Boka. Daniel doesn’t read, but he does know how to please his customers with food issues. Also, the menu has a special marker so you know what can be made gluten-free. RAD. Even without that little cross designation, we knew we were in a safe place when my dining companion (the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free and cane sugar-free girl — oy) announced her situation to the hostess, and that lovely lady clapped her hands and cheered. She was seriously like, “Hooray for people with food issues!” I know. It was like being at one of those gluten-free sleep away camps, or maybe Portland. I had the Long Valley Ranch Kansas City Strip, and Lil had the scallops.

I realize that might have been a gratuitous boob shot, but her scallops were just so much more interesting than my steak — even though it was totally delicious.

And then I had my second gluten-free sandwich of my trip at Pear Delicatessen & Shoppe down at the Pike Place Market. And, that’s a gluten-free beer called Omission that I’ve been searching all of California for. Found it! Then the guy at Pear told me that Omission is losing its gluten-free status since they actually use wheat, but remove the gluten. His slant was that this seems ridiculous because there is less gluten in that than say, one of those beers that does not use wheat but has a low gluten level. All of this, needless to say, went over my head and I just enjoyed my gluten-free pork and cheese sandwich with a beer.

So the gluten-ing. One day I needed to hole up in my hotel room and work. And The Fairmont Olympic is a lovely hotel if you’re holing up. Lovely. So I ordered room service. Here’s where I get all ridiculous. I thought I would order an omelette and be safe. Yet, I didn’t mention that gluten thing. Instead, I ate my omelette (that did seem a little overly fluffy upon inspection — pancake batter added, mayhaps?) and hash browns (hey, were they rolled in flour? who knows? because I didn’t ask). I wound up down for the count. Only, it didn’t have to go that way because later I was looking at the room service menu and –

Yes, there’s a gluten-free option on that bad boy. So when I called to get a cheese tray, to eat with my own gluten-free crackers, I just mentioned that I couldn’t eat gluten and the lady was all, “Oh, we’ll mark your orders gluten-free.” Yeah, should have done that in the first place.

So I missed the closing night party at the BlogHer Food but don’t cry for me, because I took a $40 cab ride to buy cupcakes at Cupcake Royale. Turns out my iPhone was pulling my leg, as there was actually a Cupcake Royale that I could have walked to from the hotel. Here’s $48 worth of delicious gluten-free cupcakes.

Which I ate for breakfast on Sunday. Thus, kicking off my plane ride home fully caffeinated and sugar’d up. I’ve never been so excited to see my family.

Seattle rocks, you guys. Gluten-free, or gluten-filled. I can’t believe how many other gluten-free friendly places were recommended to me, yet I had not enough time to explore. I’m coming back, Seattle and I will be in you.

What’s your fave gluten-free joint in Seattle?

6 Comments

Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Getting Gluten’d In Seattle Isn’t Easy

  1. I’ll take you next time you’re in Seattle! Although it sounds like you did pretty well for yourself. :)

  2. Royale is a little beany for my taste–they use Bob’s (though I think they may have changed recipes lately). The Great Harvest in West Seattle makes better GF stuff than any of the GF bakeries around. Vanilla, raspberry, not just chocolate-to-cover-the-garbanzo.

    This is an excellent round-up, though it’s my kids and my dad who have celiac, not me (so far) so when I want chi-chi food it’s all gluten for me. :)

  3. Pingback: Problem #589 With the Gluten-Free Diet | Gluten Is My Bitch

  4. Cafe Flora is my ultimate favorite gluten free place in Seattle. The desserts? Ugh… Heaven… Better than sex. I too was scared of getting gluten sickness later because it was too good to not have gluten in it.

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