In the first of a series, Ask a local, Mike (aka @glutenfreenme) gives us the scoop on where to find the best Gluten Free restaurants in greater Boston and the surrounding Massachusets area. My fiance’ happens to be from Mass so this post will be very helpful on our next trip back east! See the end of the post for more info on Mike and his blog.
No. 9 Park.
Located in Boston, they don’t have a gluten free menu, but will accommodate. I’ve been going here for years, both before and after I went gluten free. The chef/owner is Barbara Lynch, who occasionally pops up on Food Network and Top Chef. This is an expensive restaurant…definitely a special occasion kind of place. The menu changes based on what is fresh, so I can’t tell you, “You must try this.” Back in 2010, Gayot guide named No. 9 Park one of the top 40 restaurants in the U.S. My advice? Tell your waiter that you are gluten free, and leave yourself in the very capable hands of the staff. Oh, and order a Palmyra, their signature drink.
Located in Cambridge, they don’t have a gluten free menu, but will accommodate. Let me tell you a story. The first time I went there after I went gluten free, I asked if the chef could do anything for me in regards to the fried soft shell crabs. I thought maybe he would prepare them differently. Instead, they dredged the crab in corn starch along with of the seasonings, and fried it in fresh oil. EVOO has dishes for everyone. Some bold, some subtle, but always delicious. You’ll feel just as comfortable in a jacket and tie as you will in a polo shirt and a nice pair of jeans. The menu changes based on what is fresh, so this is another place where I always get something different.
Located in Winthrop, this is a Mexican restaurant that has had a gluten free menu for roughly 6-9 months. This is exactly what you want in a Mexican restaurant. If I want something on the lighter side, it is nice to be able to have fish tacos in a corn tortilla. Why do other restaurants insist on a flour tortilla? If I want something a little heavier, the pork carnitas are full of flavor. Relatively inexpensive, this is a terrific place to go.
Located in Essex, this is everything you want in a clam shack. They have gluten free clam chowder, so it isn’t as thick as most chowders, but still pretty good. Want a lobster? Pick the one you want and they will boil it right in front of you…or not, if you’re squeamish. As for the fried clams, they are gluten free. Something someone who is not from New England should know is that these are not clam strips. These are the whole clam, belly and all. The only way to eat them! Get there early, there is usually a line out the door.
Blue Moon Grill.
Located in Wakefield, this is far and away my favorite breakfast place. The owner is very gluten free conscious. All of their pancakes can be made gluten free. The Bliss Pancakes are decadent. If you want Eggs Benedict, they will use silver dollar gluten free pancakes to substitute for the English muffin. The place is small, and if you get there too late, you will wait for a table. But it is worth the wait!
I’m not new to being gluten free, as I started over four years ago, due to back pain. I don’t claim to be an expert in being gluten free, but I do love to eat, so I have had to learn as much as possible, and whatever I learn, I like to pass on if I can. I’m brand new to blogging and twitter, having started that in March of this year. I’ve been married for nearly 22 years to a wonderful and patient woman. Did I mention she was patient? You can read my blog at http://glutenfreeandmeinboston.blogspot.com, and you can follow me on twitter @glutenfreenme.