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Where to Eat–Early October Edition

Where to Eat–Early October Edition

Where to Eat Austin 102013This last week has been super busy and as a result we’ve eaten out a bit more often than usual. While I normally love trying new places, this gluten-free thing means I have to do a fair bit of research before heading out for a meal. I’m starting to learn (and remember) which restaurants have gluten-free menus and a heightened awareness of the needs of diners with gluten intolerance or celiac.

Maudie’s Tex-Mex

ATX Gluten-Free has been a good resource for GF friendly restaurants, and that’s where I learned that Maudie’s has a special gluten-free menu. Maudie’s has long been a favorite of mine–we used to go there about once a week, either after my Jazzercise (don’t laugh!) class on Thursdays or before Paul’s D&D game (okay, laugh!) on Fridays.

While my usual favorite isn’t on this menu because a flour tortilla is involved, pretty much everything else I like in on it. By which I mean chips and queso. Okay, I do like more than that, but chips and queso is a requirement. I think nearly all of their sauces are GF, including the chili con carne, which I’ve noticed is not GF at all restaurants. The staff are clearly educated about the menu and the needs of diners. My tortillas even came to me marked “gluten-free” on the foil. Good stuff, and glad a favorite can still be standby.

Tärka Indian Kitchen

Tärka is one of the newer places near our neighborhood, and it’s affiliated with one of our favorite “grown-up” restaurants, Clay Pit. They also have a special gluten-free menu that offers a huge number of their usual dishes.

Our go-to dishes are almost always channa masala and saag paneer. And let’s talk about pakoras, because I’ve been missing fried stuff a lot and pakoras dipped in chutney are so crispy and salty and spicy and delicious. Again, the staff are knowledgeable about the gluten-free menu and make sure that gluten things are packed separately from the GF dishes.

East Side Pies

Pizza is another thing I’ve been missing, and I’ve woken in a cold sweat having nightmares about the loss of pizza from my life. Maybe not really, but it’s been close. I’m writing about East Side Pies this time for two reasons: I literally just discovered them this week, and their GF pizza is affordable. There’s another nice GF pizza I’ve tried, Via 313, but it’s cost-prohibitive on a regular basis.

You may think I’ve been living under a rock. I haven’t, but I was living in Uzbekistan, so I deserve a bit of a pass for not being on the East Side bandwagon until now. East Side is known for their large thin-crust slices and creative toppings, including special sauces such as spinach curry and hummus. They use tons of produce from local farms, including our CSA Johnson’s Backyard Garden. But back to the gluten-freeness of it all. East Side gets its crusts from a local company called Smart Flour Foods and I was happily surprised by the texture, flavor, and quality. It’s a thin crust and it bakes up very crispy. As GF bread products go, this one uses mostly whole-grain flours, so it’s a more nutritious alternative than many GF products. The crusts are available in a few local markets, so I’ll be looking for them. Can’t wait to try some grilled pizzas on these!

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