For Hopkinton families, going out to eat after a long week or ordering take-out on a busy weeknight is standard fare. However for those requiring gluten-free meals, until recently, dining out has been anything but fun or easy.
With the regular, crazy schedule of most families, I longed for the chance to put away the crockpot and just pick up dinner somewhere. But, with three-out-of-five of us eating gluten-free, I knew that was not an option.
Until I saw a sign.
Just when I needed it most, during a dinner-hour carpool to Framingham it appeared: a placard at La Cantina that simply stated, “GF Menu.”
Finally! After Fall's baseball double-headers in Holliston and swim-meets at Framingham's Keefe Tech pool, regular pizza nights were back in at our gluten-free home. It may seem silly, to enjoy food from a box, on the go. But to us it was special. It was fun. It was easy.
Thankfully, La Cantina, like many national chains and some other family-owned restaurants, offers a full gluten-free menu. These reatuarants are accommodating a growing demand for those with celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten intolerance.
Keep these local eateries with gluten-free menus in mind for planning business dinners, catering parties, or going out to dinner with friends with gluten free needs.
Dino's Pizza http://alturl.com/bpe99
La Cantina www.golacantina.com
British Beer Company www.britishbeer.com
Tavolino at Patriot Place www.tavolinoristorante.com
UNO Chicago Bar & Grill (also in Framingham, & Wrentham) www.unos.com
Outback Steakhouse (also in Bellingham) www.outback.com
Ted's Montana Grill www.tedsmontanagrill.com
The Chateau www.chateaurestaurant.com
Not Your Average Joe’s www.notyouraveragejoes.com
PF Changs www.pfchangs.com
Lola's Groceria & Deli www.lolasnatick.com
Franco's Trattoria: http://www.welovefrancos.com/
In the United States 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease. People with Celiac Disease cannot digest gluten, which is the binding element in bread, most baked goods and is used in many other foods. (Note: Some foods that are wheat-free are not gluten-free.) If a person has Celiac Disease, gluten damages his or her digestive tract so he or she must stick to a gluten-free diet.
While celiac disease is not new, advances in testing have resulted in an increase in diagnosis. This has created awareness and market demand for gluten-free restaurant and grocery items.
Because gluten-free food has to be prepared in a separate area and uses substitute binding ingredients such as xanthan gum or guar gum and subsitute flours made from rice, potato, chickpea, soy or other grains for wheat flour, it tends to be more expensive than conventional food.
Beer and Groceries
Colella's Supermarket in Hopkinton has a full range of gluten-free foods throughout the store. Shoppers can get a list of those foods at the front of the store. Colella's also carries gluten-free meals in its deli (sold-out Feb. 19 and 20).
Warehouse Liquors http://www.warehousedwine.com/ in Framingham has gluten-free beer.
Wine doesn't ordinarily have gluten in it. A caveat there too: Though most foods in the outside aisles of groceries - dairy, meat, fish, produce - don't contain gluten, food-manufacturers sometimes add gluten as a binder to dairy drinks, ice creams or cheeses. Read the labels on the package, on the manufacturer's website, or ask a grocery clerk.
- Ruth Ann Cote