Last Friday, I was lucky that my schedule and Gena’s aligned so we had a lovely meal on one of the very few nights it was pleasant enough to sit outside. We were both coming off grueling weeks, so the combination of fantastic company, a nice setting and good food was just what was needed. It seems like Gena felt the same way!
Gena suggested Open City Diner as they have a gluten-free menu.
I called the restaurant to ask about gluten cross-contamination prevention – while the restaurant does not have a dedicated gluten-free station, I felt pretty comfortable with the representations made. For example, the kitchen staff is trained in cross-contamination, no flat-top grill use for gluten-free items, separate saute pans for individual gluten-free meals. The pizza is from Still Riding and Open City makes use of the screens that Still Riding provides to bake the pizza. (note, Still Riding pizza is not vegan as it contains egg whites. For gluten-free vegan pizza crust, check out Pete’s Apizza). Bottom line, the gluten-free menu is pretty extensive.
There are also quite a few vegan options on the menu, though not too many that are both gluten-free and vegan. Fortunately, there were enough to put together a pretty fantastic meal with multiple course, as well as a few more gluten-free vegan sides I am planning to try when I return.
We also had the nicest waitress ever – Lara was so patient with our multiple questions (including my “can you confirm the quinoa is really gluten-free”) and she was the one who suggested we try the blueberry iced tea, which was unsweetened and scrumptiously refreshing.
We split the hummus plate – as someone who considers hummus a food group, I will attest that this was an impressive hummus. Well-seasoned and satisfying. We also both got the large house salads with smoky paprika vinaigrette, which was amazing.
We also shared the quinoa with corn and broccoli. I so rarely see quinoa on a restaurant menu, I always get really excited. This quinoa needed salt, but once that was remedied, it was quite delicious:
I also ordered the tofu scramble, which Gena tried as well – it is a mixture of tahini, chickpea and tofu, but somehow the tahini and seasonings give it a distinct feta-like flavor. Paired with more salad with smoky paprika dressing, this was crave-worthy:
The only false note of the meal was the roasted vegetables, which were too oily for my taste:
Overall, though, after a week of rushed chia puddings, smoothies and salads (remember, while I eat a lot of raw foods for taste and health, I also really like the time-saving element) it was such a treat to linger over a filling meal with a variety of cooked and raw textures. I love cooking, but sometimes it is just so very nice to go somewhere, get a spread of gluten-free and vegan foods and enjoy being out and about.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers