Restaurant Reviews - The USA and Canada

 

As I visit restaurants, any stand out performances (good and bad) will be added here.

CALIFORNIA

Acre Coffee

I walked into the Petaluma location of Acre Coffee and was resigning myself to just order a cup of tea when a little plate in the display caught my eye: “Gluten Free Cookies.” I asked the server what the ingredients were, the flours and sugars were safe and less than 2 minutes later I was enjoying a cup of tea with a chewy, chocolatey biscuit. I was good, though. Mum and I shared it – they were pretty big and full of chocolate, as you can see…

Boudin Bakery Cafe

The Boudin Bakery proudly uses the same mother dough from 1849! That’s incredible; I can’t even keep a house plant alive for more than 6 months.

The sourdoughs are properly fermented, taste amazing and need to be consumed within a day, or frozen to keep fresh. I will definitely buy more of their bread, if I’m ever in San Francisco again. Their method of cooling the loaves post baking is also unique and fun to watch.

Lighthouse Cafe

I had researched places to have brunch in Sausalito before we even left Seattle. We were on a tight schedule (did I mention Ev and I like to plan our road trips to the second?) and we needed a cafe that would accommodate both a fructard and a vegetarian and it needed to be open by 10 am. Luckily, Lighthouse Cafe ticked all the boxes and not too long after we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, we were tucking into big portions of omelettes, pancakes and French toast… depending on who’s plate you looked at. I had the omelette with potatoes and green capsicum and gave my toast to Ev.

Max’s Opera Cafe

On the surface, there were not too many suitable options at Max’s but we were getting hungry and hey, with FM it was probably as good a place as any to try out. I was pleasantly surprised that they were happy to tailor an order for my needs – I chose the loaded baked potato (grated carrots, capsicum and chives) served with the Caesar salad sans croutons and dressing on the side. Delicious and filling, it easily kept me going for another 6 hours of walking around San Francisco until we collapsed back at the hotel before dinner.

OREGON

Rodeo Steakhouse

After a very underwhelming dinner the night before, we were a bit reluctant to go to the Steak House next to the Super 8 motel in Coos Bay… especially with my vegetarian father. Well, we needn’t have worried; the waitress was very friendly and understanding, was happy to order my salad sans onions and croutons/dressing on the side and even put in a special order for my dad (a giant plate of stir fried veggies, onion free). This place was much better than any other motel-adjacent restaurant we visited on our drive up the west coast.

WASHINGTON STATE

Bacco Cafe

I can’t go into Seattle during the day without stopping off at Bacco Cafe for lunch. Their coffee is good (and so are their juices and smoothies, according to non-fructards) and I love their simple breakfast and lunch fare. My staple meal is the salmon and eggs Benedict, served on polenta instead of the English muffin. The little bit of sauce isn’t enough to make me sick but they can put it on the side if you wish. It comes with greens or potatoes – I seem to choose potatoes in winter and greens in summer.

The Flying Apron Cafe

The Flying Apron is a GF and vegan cafe that, while it does not cater to FM exactly, is obviously very allergy aware. They have all ingredients listed in front of each delicious looking selection of baked goods and potential allergens (soy, corn starch etc) are highlighted. I haven’t noticed that anything with fructose has been highlighted but then we know which fruits to stay away from and I haven’t seen agave syrup listed in anything, either.

Oh, they also have fresh baked breads daily – a roster is up online so you know what they bake each day of the week.

Grand Central Bakery

I have tried modest amounts (as in one slice) of both the rye/wheat and wheat sourdoughs from the Seattle branch of this bakery and have been reaction free after each trial. The bread is soft and you know it’s proper bread, as it doesn’t last more than two days. I find it best to slice and freeze, so I’m not tempted to gorge myself.

Peaks Frozen Yogurt Bar

The girl that served me here pulled out the giant folder full of all their ingredients – listed by flavour – and let me look at it so I could decide what I could eat, if anything. They do have corn syrup in all their flavours (low FODMAP but FYI in case you have a separate corn intolerance) but as for being understanding of allergies, the Bellevue location was great. You can check out the flavours and ingredients on their website – a warning, some do have fructose as an ingredient. I wouldn’t eat this every day but as a once a month treat, I’m okay with it.

Poppy

  • Website: http://poppyseattle.com/
  • 622 Broadway East, Seattle 98102
  • FODMAP Friendly options: Sort of, make sure to call ahead.

I wish I had the name of the young guy who served me here – he was fantastic. I visited Poppy with friends on Friday the 4th of October, 2013 and I was nervous about the menu, considering it was a tapas/thalis style restaurant. Considering the confusion that FM normally causes, I would normally skip this sort of place but it was a new job celebration for a friend so I didn’t have a choice. The water made note of everything I said I couldn’t eat and suggested the vegan meal with a few alterations and it came out perfectly… except for the naan bread slice served on top but I gave that to a friend!  If everyone is treated as well here as I was (my whole table really) then I would have no trouble recommending this place. One note, though – I can handle a little onion and garlic, so it is easier for me to find suitable meals when out.

Portage Bay Cafe

“Eat like you give a damn.” This place is amazing, and very affordable.

Portage Bay Cafe manages to serve fresh, local and delicious foods without coming off as pretentious… no mean feat. None of their options are labelled as FODMAP friendly (in the US I would hardly expect that) but they have the best (and I mean that) gluten free bread that I have ever eaten that they are happy to sub in for normal bread in their French toast meals/as a side and they were more than happy to check other ingredients for me. Did I mention the buffet bar that they have, full of fresh fruits, whipped cream and any other topping you could want to garnish your meal with?

Top nosh, 5 stars, I’ll be back.

Purple Cafe Wine Bar

After spending the morning touring wineries in Woodinville – such a hard life – we were looking for a place to eat lunch. I had heard good things about the Bellevue location of this cafe from a friend (no allergies) and we decided to give it a go. At first, I was a little worried about the menu. Nothing was mentioned about GF options – like many American eateries, the lunch menu was based largely on sandwiches and burgers – and all the salads seemed to have onions or apples in them. Eep. But the waiter assured me that they made everything from scratch and they could customise anything I liked.

Why hello, Cranberry Chicken Salad. You do look delicious… which is why I couldn’t resist taking a few bites before I took a photo and then unsuccessfully tried to hide it at the back.

Redhook Brewery

  • Website: http://redhook.com/
  • 14300 NE 145th St, Woodinville WA, 98072
  • FODMAP friendly options: Yes

I had been to the Redhook Brewery previously for a drink stop last summer while we were cycling up in that area – they stock gluten free beers, as well as brewing their own, and have a a couple of ciders and wines available, too – but I hadn’t eaten there before. I have now eaten there twice and they were happy both times to adjust an existing menu item to my tolerances. I have so far enjoyed a chicken burger wrapped in lettuce, sauce on the side and the spinach and steak salad, minus the onion and dressing on the side. Service was great, the food and drinks enjoyable and the brewhouse has a pleasant atmosphere, both indoors and out. The only thing I would say is that it gets very busy during peak hours, so plan ahead if you can.