What’s Gluten-Free in Portland? Oh, Just Everything


gluten-free portlandAlternate headline: April is About to State the Obvious.

It has come to my attention that most of my gluten-ing happens within 8 miles of my home. I don’t know if it matches the car accident formula which is when you’re in unfamiliar territory you are less likely to let your guard down. But even if I had, while in Portland, Oregon I would have been FINE. So fine because the very first restaurant I walked into—unbeknownst to me—was TOTALLY GLUTEN-FREE. Yep. Verde Cocina is all gluten-free, all the time. Those are kale enchiladas wrapped up in house made corn tortillas.  I went more for the traditional, but still super interesting gringas con mole with local pork. Yep.

gluten-free portlandThe next night was my big shindig at Widmer Brothers Brewing Company where they made not one, not two, but THREE recipes from my gluten-free book! And served gluten-free beer. Oh, not just beer, but an honest-to-goodness gluten-free IPA. Omission has all kinds of beers going on, but the IPA is my new BFF. Mmmmmm . . . .

gluten-free beerAnd there was also a super rad burger joint that also served Omission alongside a gluten-free bun surrounding a delicious burger that was damn tasty. Maybe the best bun I’ve ever had? Thinking about it, thinking about it . . . Dick’s Kitchen rocked my world. Rocked it.

gluten-free portlandAnd then came Tula’s Bakery and Cafe. Home of the gluten-free hand pies, and a million other delicious things, all gluten-free.

gluten-free portlandI had a ham and cheese situation that felt almost like a fried croissant. This is a great thing, just in case that isn’t obvious. My kids had cupcakes and tarts, and all of it was ah-mah-zing. Portland. I love you. I LOVE YOU.

22 Comments

Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Reviews, Uncategorized

22 responses to “What’s Gluten-Free in Portland? Oh, Just Everything

  1. Julie

    I need to move!!! Amazing!

  2. Anne

    Great post! If I ever get to Portland, I will check out those restaurants! On the topic of Omission beer, I wanted to let you know that Oregon is the only state in the U.S. where Omission can legally be labeled gluten-free. Apparently the process they use to remove the gluten from the beer (which is made with barley) doesn’t really remove all of it. Here’s a good article about it: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2013/06/pressing_the_case_of_omission.html

  3. Carie CPink

    Word up. The dream of the gluten intolerant is alive in Portland.

  4. That GF bun looks scrumdiddlyumptious.

  5. Karen

    Love the Portland GF plug, but as a resident it is my responsibility as a citizen to inform you and your readers that if you like blue sky and sunshine come here in July and/or August and sometimes September. Otherwise it’s mostly overcast and grey (which I love) or raining (which I don’t mind mostly) for at least 8 months out of the year. Might be worth it though for all the GF lovin’ you can get here.

    Oh, and thanks for the Verde Cocina, it looks awesome!

    Cheers!
    Karen

  6. Nathan

    Omission is a dangerous beverage. It’s not gluten free but it’s being marketed as if it was. I don’t get it. You know what’s great though? Green’s Amber Ale. Best truly gluten free beer I’ve tried yet.

    • Hi Nathan,

      I know people who are concerned over the Omission process. After meeting with him, I, however feel safe. After drinking it, I really feel safe as I’ve never had a reaction. It’s well below the international requirements of gluten PPM. They are open to talking with anyone who wants to know more. Please shoot me a note and I can connect you guys if you’d like to know more.

      • Hey, thanks for the reply. I did a little more research on Omission and I still would not be comfortable drinking it, even though the brewer himself is gluten intollerant. While I understand that there may be very little gluten or gluten fragments remaining in the beer, I would be concerned that I might still have a reaction, which for me is never a fun couple of days. (I’m at the point where I’d rather go hungry than get glutened.) Even if I didn’t have a reaction, I’m also concerned that the remaining gluten might still harm me or continue to sensitize me to the allergen. No one knows at this point. I mean, a couple of months ago I had to give up Yogi teas after I realized they were giving me issues — and there’s no gluten in the teas. If a slight bit of cross-contamination on a boiled bag of leaves can gluten me, I’m going to stay away far, far away from anything associated with barley.

        By the way, did you happen to come across Harvester Brewing while in Oregon? Discovered them while looking up Omission. They seem to be the real deal, but their distribution area is pretty small at this point.

        Anyway, I appreciate and really enjoy your writing. Thanks for all the great restaurant and food tips, even if your tolerance for risk is a bit higher than mine. :)

      • I am a risk taker. I believe in my book I say (more than once) “No doctor would recommend this, but . . . ” And have nothing but respect for those who want to minimize the risk as much as humanly possible.

        I think I had Harvester once here in LA, but I don’t see it very often. I have heard good things, however.

        And a tea reaction??? GAH.

      • I got sick drinking Estrella which is made by the same process… Also, the ELISA assay is not currently validated for fermented products.

      • What is ELISA assay? I’m not following. Ugh, I’m sorry you get sick from Estrella!!!

  7. Cory

    That burger looks SO good! A burger and beer, my favorite meal *drools*

  8. Mal

    There are SO MANY MORE, too! I love living here. Back to Eden bakery, Petunia’s Pies and Pastries, Departure, Deschutes Brewery… oh! The next time you’re in town, try the blood orange-braised beef empanadas at Torta-landia (in the Foster-Powell neighborhood). They’re deep-fried masa harina pockets that will make you cry for joy.

  9. Jeni

    Just went to Dick’s Kitchen last night and the burger was just as good as it looks! Yum yum.

  10. Also, gluten fragments are what triggers the celiac immune response. The enzyme may break down the gluten but the question is whether or not it breaks them down in to pieces that are safe. The immunotoxic fragment may be as little as 10 amino acids.

  11. You just highlighted why I want to move to Portland. My first academic conference post-celiac diagnosis was in Portland, and I loved feeling safe just about anywhere. Yes, the dream of carefree gluten-free living *is* alive in Portland…

  12. mj

    I don’t know what they did to Omission but it’s gotten way more gluteny in recent months. I was living in PDX when it was released and could drink it just fine now I get really sick when I try to consume it. Next time you visit check out HUB they have great cider’s and a delicious burger bun

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