Due to popular request, several Connecticut restaurants and food emporia have added gluten-free menu items. Some shops, such as Health in a Hurry in Fairfield and Sweet bakery in Bridgeport, specialize in gluten-free, or “GF” goods.
“So many people come to me with food allergies and food restrictions,” said chef Sue Cadwell, who has been serving a number of dairy and gluten-free soups, salads and entrees at Health in a Hurry since 2005. Cadwell says she always asks her customers if they have any restrictions, then gives them a spoonful of her latest gluten-free menu item, such as her kale-pesto quinoa or Asian wild rice.
But it’s not just health food shops that have decided to get into the gluten-free groove. Local pizzerias such as Abate in New Haven have begun to do the same. Restaurant chains such as Olive Garden, Uno Chicago Grill and Ninety-Nine Restaurants now offer special gluten-free menus, too.
Pat Viamis of Prospect, Conn., whose 11-year-old daughter Mary has been gluten-intolerant since age 3, is thankful for the gluten-free pizza crust at Baki’s restaurant in her neighborhood. She said, “One of the best things for my daughter is the ability to go out and eat GF pizza at a restaurant. It is a joy for her to be like everyone else. She also enjoys being able to go to the Olive Garden and have GF pasta out. Even though it is not the best, it still gives her the ability to order something other than a plain piece of chicken.”
For some gluten-free restaurant locations in Connecticut, click on the map below.
Check out the following list of restaurants that now cater to gluten-sensitive diners (list/article produced by Fairfield County Weekly / the Hartford Advocate):
For celiac-safe restaurants throughout the United States, you can also search the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program’s Gluten-Free Registry.
Madelyn Smith, program manager of the registry, said, “The GFRAP program is not just a list. Each of the restaurants that are on our website have received resources enabling them to understand the gluten-free diet, and better meet the needs of gluten intolerant people by following guidelines regarding menu creation, ingredient selection, food preparation, and service to patrons following this medically required diet.”
Smith said that each of the restaurants on the GFRAP Web site, www.glutenfreerestaurants.org, has voluntarily chosen to participate in the gluten-free awareness registry.