After an accident left my back injured, my doctor suggested cutting out gluten to reduce inflammation for a month. I have friends who actually have celiac disease and who become VERY sick if they accidentally ingest gluten, and given how easy gluten finds its way into food—even soy sauce—I’m glad my consequences weren’t more severe!
I found new restaurants who do gluten-free REALLY well!
Hyper-focused on ingredients (the three below are excellent choices for vegans as well!)
- Primal Food & Spirits in Durham, was my absolute favorite and IMO the best place for anyone to go avoiding gluten! From fresh
bread all the way to the croutons in their salad, everything is “safe to eat” so you can indulge without a care in the world. I could live off their hot coconut ginger soup alone.
- Living Kitchen resides in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Stepping in you immediately feel chic, clean and modern. Tip: Check out their seasonal items. We tried the pumpkin pizza in the fall and couldn’t get enough!
- Fiction Kitchen can also be found downtown but touts a totally different vibe and menu. The faux chicken biscuit is a must-try.
Although they may not specialize in gluten-free, the following are STRONG participants:
- Irregardless Café finds the perfect mix of cozy and comfort when it comes to their food. You can opt for gluten-free buns and even kick it up to vegan with their tofu Ruben or black bean burger.
- Flying Biscuit has little “GFs” all throughout the menu making it easy to order, without having to ask… “is this gluten-free?”
- MOD pizza: Sort of like a “subway for pizza” you can custom create the pie of your dreams.
I found new items on old menus
- Brixx Pizza was the ONLY place I was able to find who did gluten-free pizza somewhat justice.
- Simply Crepes had some sweet options, including their bananas & crème crepe!
- Jersey Mikes was a life-saver when it came to fast food. There’s really not many drive-thru or quick meal options that I was aware of, so their gluten-free subs were a game-changer.
I paid almost double for less than half the taste
In need of dinner assistance, I ordered delivery gluten-free pizza from Dominos and found it tasted like cardboard. Thinking maybe a local shop might be a better option I was willing to try again and had the SAME result.
Both pizzas were only available in smalls and super pricey. To put this into perspective a hand tossed basic pizza is $9.99 where my small gluten-free paper and sauce totaled out to $8.99 without toppings.
Realizing pizza delivery wasn’t the most cost-effective (or tasty) option, I was off to the grocery store for more sticker shock. Where your normal bag of bagels costs a little under $3.00 the gluten-free ones I found were just under $7.00, basically doubling in price.
I ate a lot of Mexican
I felt BLESSED that tortilla chips and queso, guacamole and tacos were still on my approved plan. Because so many Mexican restaurants use corn chips and tortillas, I was able to freely continue taco Tuesdays and margaritas without skipping a beat.
I didn’t lose any weight
There’s a common misconception that if you go gluten-free you lose weight. Although this may have been true before we had gluten-free alternatives since those with the allergy couldn’t eat much, it’s not the case anymore. Just read above and you’ll see my diet remained just as terrible as before, but twice the price.
I missed real bread & all that came with it
At the end of the day, there’s just so the substitution of the taste of gluten.
Overall, unless you need to cut gluten out for health reasons, I highly recommend against it from my personal experience. However, it’s good to know if you have to, there are some solid options in the Triangle.