wheatless in seattle, part 2

Monday, December 16, 2013

Since my last two posts were all about death, let's focus now on food. Because cannibalism comfort eating.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Seattle is an incredible food town. I'm constantly making a mental list of places to eat -- there's an endless parade of restaurant openings (I really want to go to Loulay, hint hint), pop-ups, food trucks and hole-in-the-wall ethnic spots. Not to mention the tried-and-true, late-night, drinky dives with all of the fried goodness. (I know everyone loves a hot bag of Dick's, but give me Taco Time. And yes, I had to phrase that sentence exactly that way because I'm really mature.)

So without further delay (and terrible jokes), here are my latest gluten-free favorites:

Capitol Cider: Since I can't drink beer anymore, I've started drinking cider as an alternative -- the drier, the better. And Washington, with its plethora of apple varieties, is cider heaven. The list of options at Capitol Cider is endless -- both on tap and by the bottle. And you can buy bottles at retail to take home. And everything -- yes, every single dish -- on the menu is gluten-free. I highly recommend the fish and chips. (Dear gluten-free people: Did you ever think you'd ever have fish and chips again? No? This will change your life.)

Ma'Ono Fried Chicken & Whisky: Ate here last night for Belle's birthday. I kind of want to go again tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after that. Because the food is ridiculously good, and they're awesome about accommodating gluten-free requests. The best part is the gluten-free fried chicken -- thick, crispy skin that isn't greasy or heavy. I kind of want to marry it. (Just make sure you order your bird ahead of time -- they require 24 hours advance notice for the gluten-free version. Half chickens and full chickens are available, and they come with rice, dipping sauce and kimchee veggies.) 

Coffee & A Specialty Bakery: Located on the back side of Pike Place Market and super close to my office, this teeny-tiny bakery is a favorite lunch option of mine. Everything in their bakery case is gluten-free, from quiche and egg-and-bacon tarts (seriously) to madeleines and breads. They also feature a different sandwich special every day. Last time I was there, I got a fried shrimp po' boy with a side of fries. (The fries were a little soggy, but the sandwich was all kinds of drool-worthy, especially the shrimp.)

Pho Big Bowl: So far, my absolute favorite pho place in Seattle. It's dirt cheap (two people can eat for about $12), they don't use MSG, service is fast and friendly, and since it's in Ballard, I can go vintage shopping or eat molten chocolate cake afterward. Bonus points: Free soda or a mango pudding dessert with each order (just make sure you ask for it -- they don't ask you if you want it otherwise), and there are vegan options too.

Samurai Noodle: I HAVE FOUND GLUTEN-FREE RAMEN; GOD EXISTS. The broth is the same, but the noodles are lighter -- a little more on the pho-like side -- which also makes it easier to slurp up the entire bowl without feeling too full. Pretty much a win in my book.

And there you have it. The real reason I do triathlon: Permission for shameless gluttony.

(If you're curious, my first "wheatless in Seattle" post can be found here.)

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