Before you roll your eyes at this post title and think, "God, I'm so ready for that trend to be over," (as I admittedly have done on previous occasions), consider that gluten-free dining is not just a casual lifestyle for many Americans. One in
three 133 (apologies! -ed) Americans suffers from some form of celiac disease, which makes digestion of grains not only impossible but seriously deleterious to their health. Although many Houston restaurants technically offer gluten-free options, I recently learned that often these items are still at risk for contamination from being prepared and/or cooked near other foods containing wheat. Here are five restaurants that offer a range of delicious gluten-free dishes safe for celiacs and wheat-haters alike.
5. Hugo's. Hugo's more well-known claim to fame is that it's home to Houston's best margarita. Its barbacoa also made EOW headlines via its inclusion on our 100 Favorite Dishes list. But Hugo's also deserves accolades for having a staff well-versed in the restaurant's gluten-free specialties. Servers are quick to advise patrons on which menu items are definitely friendly (or unfriendly) to celiacs.
4. Ruggles Green. Although Ruggles Green vends a host of gluten-free options (spicy shrimp tacos, spinach dip, hamburgers), it's probably most revered for its pizzas, an especially tricky food to prepare well without using wheat. Of special note is the standard margherita and the dressier Dale's pizza, with ham, bacon, crème fraiche, basil, thyme, roasted garlic, and mozzarella.
3.P.F. Chang's. Boasting not only multiple locations (hey, chains are good for something) but also an entire gluten-free menu, P.F. Chang's is a reliable, moderately-priced, and celiac-safe restaurant. Carnivorous as well as vegetarian gluten-free dishes are available, including shrimp with lobster sauce, Singapore street noodles, stir-fried garlic snap peas, and a flourless chocolate dome dessert.
2.Indika. A restaurant that's upscale, Asian, and gluten-free? Sounds like a clue for the Scavenger Hunt From Hell for celiacs. The solution is Indika, where the majority of dishes are (or can be made) without wheat.
1.Taco Milagro. Considering one of the owners has celiac, it's not terribly surprising that wonderful gluten-free options abound at Taco Milagro. Everything on the menu, with the exception of the flour tortillas, hamburger buns, and fried fish tacos, is sans gluten, a boon for the wheat-loathing (and Tex-Mex-loving) diner.