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gluten-free Bbq In The Southern States
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Hi friends,

I'm a celiac halfway through a road trip through the American South: Tulsa, Memphis, Nashville, Montgomery, New Orleans, Austin. I've been having varying results avoiding getting sick, and in particular I've been avoiding barbeque.

But man, would I like to have some. I'm trying to decipher the component parts of classic Southern barbeque, and determine if it would be possible to give it a go. It seems that most bbq sauces will likely contain malt, so I'd best avoid them. But what about the dry rubs that go right on the meat? My guess is that most varieties of dry rub would be ok. But I managed to get badly sick from eating a plain grilled/lightly seasoned steak in Memphis, so my guard is up.

Can anyone comment on the viability of safe gluten-free bbq in the South?Particularly in NOLA or Austin?

Thanks for your time,

Jedd

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I live in KC . My experience has been that most BBQ meat is gluten-free. I have never see a BBQ sauce with malt? You will need to ask questions - if they don't know the ingredients or what gluten-free means, don't eat it.

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I have seen BBQ places with gluten in the sauce.. a lot of times I have asked if it is soy sauce, and they say yes.  I wouldn't put it past them to have malt in the sauce, but it seems soy sauce is more common.  Usually it is the crap chain places that has that in their sauce anyways.  Dickeys BBQ is a popular chain around here and I don't know why because their meat is gross and half of their stuff has ingredient lists 40+ items long and contain gluten.  So stay away from them.

 

In Austin, check out Salt Lick BBQ and Stubbs BBQ.  Salt lick's original sauce is gluten free (do verify that before you consume at the location) and stubbs sells bottled sauces, marinades, and BBQ meat that is all gluten-free in area grocery stores.   I know both are very gluten-free friendly, but I don't know to what extent the Austin locations are.  Both of those places are Classic Austin BBQ places as well.  Salt lick has a mustard based sauce and it is not real Texas BBQ because of that :P  LOL, okay, that was just my opinion and a sentiment often tossed around :)  But when I go to DFW airport I eat salt lick BBQ with ketchup, LOL.

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my 'friend' jeff does bbq in knoxville, tn that is just smoke, no rub, no sauce.  pork butt and it is to die for.  if you are going to head this direction, let me know and i will find out the name of his place.   i just put a little sweet baby rays sauce on it :)   i had some yesterday and it was so good!

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Thanks for your thoughts and recommendations! I'll be sure to check out those places in Austin.

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I went to Kreuz in Lockhart with great success. I realize now that Texas BBQ is a relatively safe bet because their meat generally comes dry. Like @notme! said—just heat and smoke. Amazing food, and no celiac reaction.

Wholly Cow downtown was also a gem—they asked if I was celiac and had their cook staff wore gloves while making my burger.

My experience in New Orleans (eating in general, not bbq) was mostly dreadful: servers don't know or care what gluten is. One fellow at a crawfish place simply told me "you came to the wrong city" for avoiding gluten. Perhaps true, but the point is that folks don't know, and they don't care to help.

That said, we were alright at fancier places like Muriel's and SoBou. They care about their menus and they know what goes in their food. Clearly you have to pay a premium for knowledgable staff, and indeed my experience suggests that this holds for most of the deep-fried South.

I had a wonderful time in the southern states, but I wouldn't go back until the gluten-free movement seeps into the culture down there (if ever), and/or some geniuses develop lactaid for gluten.

Edited by jddh
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..and that south is what I call home! This gluten-free ride has been quite rough!! I've found a little lunch stand in the French market that cooks an amazing gluten-free crab cake sandwich. It's my go-to when in NOLA. Hopefully all this deep-fried, roux based culture (that I'm part of) will catch on soon! Here's to hoping, anyway.

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