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Athens, Ga gluten-free - Anyone?


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#1 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 15 April 2006 - 05:09 PM

Hi I'm moving to Athens, GA in June and I was wondering if anyone knows of restautants that have gluten-free options. I have heard that EarthFare has a lot (it is a market - similar to Whole Foods, I guess). Is there anywhere else? Also, looking for a place that has gluten-free beer (I have yet to try any of them). Thanks for the help!!

-michelle
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#2 lpellegr

 
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Posted 16 April 2006 - 06:02 AM

I spent a week in Athens a while back, living in a motel with a fridge and microwave, and managed to live on Amy's meals from Earth Fare and things like Bush beans and tuna from the local supermarket. Earth Fare is small, but had a reasonable selection of gluten-free food. I didn't look for breads, so I don't know how much gluten-free bread they had. There is an Outback Steakhouse a few miles out of town in a shopping center, and when you feel like treating yourself go there for the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under. I only tried one restaurant in the middle of town, and did make them understand what I wanted and got a good meal - if I can think up the name I'll post it later. I found the hardest thing to find was a place to eat breakfast - they don't have diners there, as far as I can tell, and breakfast is all about pastry and biscuits down there. No good place to have eggs. I asked on this forum before I went and nobody had any restaurants to recommend except restaurants in Atlanta (too far away). Athens is a really nice town, but they could use a little celiac enlightening. I would suggest searching the internet for health food or natural food stores to see what's there besides Earth Fare. Maybe somebody at the U of GA will know about the beer - college students are usually up on that subject and in a student population that big, there must be a few celiacs.
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Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

#3 kimjoy24

 
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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:08 AM

As far as I know, there is no gluten free beer available in the state of Georgia yet. We have very convoluted liquor laws that make getting any new alcohol products in the state about as difficult as applying for sainthood. I have inquired with Whole Foods and the like and they have told me the ball is really in the beer maker's court- they need to start the process to be distributed in Georgia. Just about 2 years ago, Georgia started allowing the "high gravity" beers (alcohol above 6%) to be sold- unfortunately for me, I was already beginning to exclude gluten from my diet at that point.

The closest retailer that carries gluten free beer (Bard's Tale in particular) is just across the border in SC.

As for Athens restaurants, you might try East West Bistro or Five and Ten. No, they are not dedicated gluten-free restaurants (I don't think you'll find those anywhere in GA) but they are well-respected and have talented chefs that seem to care about their patrons. If you want to pick the brain of East West Bistro chef Lamar Thomas, he posts on Atlanta Cuisine frequently. (You do have to register to post on their board).

Five and Ten

East West Bistro
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#4 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:20 PM

well, that's a start - thanks.
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#5 grrtch

 
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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:39 PM

I'm from Athens! Welcome to town! I'm new to this gluten-free diet, but after a month of following this way of eating, here's what I've figured out:

Groceries:
Earthfare is my savior, like a small Whole Foods without gluten-free baked goods.
Phoenix Natural Foods - on the edge of downtown, the stalwart natural food source in Athens, short hours, I don't get there often.
Daily Foods Co-op - On Prince Ave, tiny, but makes good bean and avocado salad.
I know Daily and Earthfare both carry rice pastas, too. All three have alternative flours in bulk at least... still investigating.
Kroger - Surprisingly, the health food section has several gluten-free products, incl gluten-free brownie mix, etc.
Whole Foods/Harry's Farmers Market (same) - 45 min away in Duluth at 2025 Satellite Pointe (just off of south of Pleasant Hill on Satelite Blvd.) Except for their gluten-free baked goods, you can get most anything that they carry in Athens, so I go there to load up on scones, biscuits, etc.

Restaurants:
Five & Ten I'll totally second them!!! Not only THE best restaurant in Athens, a slam dunk top notch take on southern fusion cuisine, but also highly service oriented, dedicated to accomodating dietary limitations. MY absolute favorite dinner out.
the Grit - the vegatarian comfort food place. Kind of aggro that they make a point to mark what's vegan but not gluten-free. The servers tend to be young and a little slow on the needs of gluten-free diners, too, but they will find out if they don't know.
The Last Resort - also accomodating and downtown.
Taco Stand - but I can only vouch for the location on Milledge Ave. My husband runs the joint there, and I have taught him how to make me a tortilla-less burrito in a dish! Yup, he's a dear, learning how to read ingredients. :D
Bombay of India and Taste of India - have yet to investigate how much I can eat there, but except for the breads, I'm sure they have plenty. Both yummy!
Suri Thai - in the Bottleworks on Prince, my favorite place to Thai one on! They also have a real cheap lunch deal.
Farm - their menu changes daily according to what's fresh and available, but they try to keep their dishes simple, without too many sauces, etc. Beautiful converted warehouse space with a dramatic bar. Nice patio during the warmer months, too.

Breakfast:
Grit - weekend brunch is good even if the choices are limited... their potaoes and veggies dish comes freakin' smothered in brewers yeast which is a bummer, but next time I'm asking that they just leave it off. Of course grits are corn, but ask to see if they have any dairy even if they aren't sold as "cheese grits". Some folks cook them with milk.
Bluebird - vegatarian, serves breakfast all day as well as lunch and now dinner
Big City Bread - might be dicey of you are super sensetive, but they have a yummy egg and smoked salmon dish. It would be really cool if they would clue in and see about making some of their beautiful rustic breads and pastries gluten-free.
Grill - downtown, right on College, across form the campus.

Other gluten-free pals in town have told me to just get used to eating at home more, but I'm trying to make it work. I'm still learning, so if you get to town and discover something I haven't mentioned, please share!
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#6 grrtch

 
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Posted 27 April 2006 - 05:11 PM

Oh, and I forgot Fook's Asian Foods...

Here's a handy article:
http://www.earthfare...asp?news_ID=267
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diagnosed hypothyroid April 19, 2004
gluten free since April 5, 2006
also taken off soy and cow's milk

mooo no more.

#7 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:20 PM

grrtch - WOW thanks so so much!! my husband is from the area and he is jumping for joy that i can eat at taco stand - it is an added bonus that your hubbie runs it :), someone who understands the importance of gluten-free for us celiacs. Do they carry corn tortillas? that is always an option for us. We will totally visit his location!! our move is in june 1. i was worried, because i know that athens is cool, but small, so i wasn't sure if it would be hard to find places to eat out - i love eating out, but obviously it is a challenge with the celiac (and right now, i am off dairy - but goat cheese is ok sometimes, but knowing there are a bunch of vegan places that i can eat at is nice...i don't eat meat either - just seafood). okay, so you totally made our night - we can't wait to eat out in our new home-town!!! thanks thanks thanks again!

-Michelle
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#8 GreySaber

 
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Posted 28 April 2006 - 01:23 AM

There's a nice little place in dunwoody, which is just barely on your side of Atlanta. That's a bit of a drive, but it's a nice little shop. Let me know if you want Directions. IT's called Atlantis.
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#9 grrtch

 
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Posted 03 May 2006 - 02:49 PM

Hey Michelle, yeah, I'm off dairy and soy, too. Challenging even though the food culture in Athens is getting more sophisticated.... Can't yet vouch for the corn taco shells yet at the T-Stand, but their "spanish" rice is okay, but the yellow "fiesta" rice has soy in it, even if it is way down on the list. Their veggie chili has bulgar, too. Their tofu is marinated in a mixture that contains nutritional yeast which I'm assuming is wheaty yeast. The Grit also is way liberal with nutritional yeast, which stinks cuz I think their tofu is the best ever.

** if you are super sensetive, by no means is the T-Stand's fryer set-up totally allergen-proof, but their chips that they fry in-house haven't glutened me so far! :D

What brings you to Athens? Having just earned doctorates, I'm assuming teaching?
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diagnosed hypothyroid April 19, 2004
gluten free since April 5, 2006
also taken off soy and cow's milk

mooo no more.

#10 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 05 May 2006 - 01:05 PM

Hey Michelle, yeah, I'm off dairy and soy, too. Challenging even though the food culture in Athens is getting more sophisticated.... Can't yet vouch for the corn taco shells yet at the T-Stand, but their "spanish" rice is okay, but the yellow "fiesta" rice has soy in it, even if it is way down on the list. Their veggie chili has bulgar, too. Their tofu is marinated in a mixture that contains nutritional yeast which I'm assuming is wheaty yeast. The Grit also is way liberal with nutritional yeast, which stinks cuz I think their tofu is the best ever.

** if you are super sensetive, by no means is the T-Stand's fryer set-up totally allergen-proof, but their chips that they fry in-house haven't glutened me so far! :D

What brings you to Athens? Having just earned doctorates, I'm assuming teaching?


Yeah, it is a challenge. I am disappointed to hear that nutritional yeast is used at the Grit. Have you tried requesting them to not use it - or is that impossible for them to do? I have been able to eat soy lately - but sometimes have cross-reactivity problems with tofu (and sometimes not - so it is confusing). I can sometimes eat goat cheese.

We are now in the dissertation phase of our doctorates. My husband is from the area, so we are "moving back." We are currently looking for jobs - but we have tons of friends and family there.

I am excited about the T-stand chips. Eating out is always a risk (no place is allergen proof)- but I will take your word for it and try the chips =). After we get there (only 3 more weeks!!) I'll post any successful experiences that I have on here for you. Oh - which reminds me - we did visit in Feb. for a weekend and we went to The Grill - I got eggs and grits and they were totally fine (they use vegan margarine in the grits - oh but I am not sure whether it is soy based - hmmm, that could be and issue for you). Plus, the waitor listened well even though it was late night with quite a crowd.
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#11 grrtch

 
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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:19 PM

Oh - which reminds me - we did visit in Feb. for a weekend and we went to The Grill - I got eggs and grits and they were totally fine (they use vegan margarine in the grits - oh but I am not sure whether it is soy based - hmmm, that could be and issue for you). Plus, the waitor listened well even though it was late night with quite a crowd.

Ha! rare for the Grill! hahaha! but thanks for letting me know that they can work with me. sigh, I'll miss their fried okra and mashed potatoes.

As for the Grit, some stuff they can leave the yeast off of, but other stuff, like the tofu, it's so integrated that I doubt they could. There's still more on the menu that's totally yeast free. I know the owners, so I'm tempted to have a chat with them about noting more gluten-free foods on the menu. I mean, as long as they are going out of their way for vegans, is it too much to ask for the same consideration?

good luck dissertating! :D
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diagnosed hypothyroid April 19, 2004
gluten free since April 5, 2006
also taken off soy and cow's milk

mooo no more.

#12 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:06 PM

As for the Grit, some stuff they can leave the yeast off of, but other stuff, like the tofu, it's so integrated that I doubt they could. There's still more on the menu that's totally yeast free. I know the owners, so I'm tempted to have a chat with them about noting more gluten-free foods on the menu. I mean, as long as they are going out of their way for vegans, is it too much to ask for the same consideration?

good luck dissertating! :D
[/quote]

Thanks! Yeah, please talk to the Grit - my husband wants to be able to eat there so badly because we don't eat meat (by choice - well, seafood and eggs - but that is all). Anyway, he was upset to hear about the nutritional yeast. I've never been there and he is dying to take me - he was hoping that since, like you said, they are good about marking stuff as vegan, that they may at least be celiac (or other food allergies) aware. Tell them that we will be promoting them all over this board if they help us out!! =).

-michelle
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#13 grrtch

 
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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:59 PM

The yeast isn't all over everything, just the golden bowl (fried cubes of tofu over rice with the option of cheese and/or veggies) and two brunch dishes: tofu and veggies and potatoes and veggies, and on those two, it'd be easy to leave out the yeast. It's only the golden bowl that the tofu cubes are rolled around in yeast and then fried. Their menu has all sorts of stuff we can eat plus daily veggie specials. It's just that I used to happily woof down a golden bowl, but no more. :( Anyway, enough of my whining... Here, see fer yerself!
http://www.thegrit.com/
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diagnosed hypothyroid April 19, 2004
gluten free since April 5, 2006
also taken off soy and cow's milk

mooo no more.

#14 Guest_mvaught_*

 
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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:04 PM

The yeast isn't all over everything, just the golden bowl (fried cubes of tofu over rice with the option of cheese and/or veggies) and two brunch dishes: tofu and veggies and potatoes and veggies, and on those two, it'd be easy to leave out the yeast. It's only the golden bowl that the tofu cubes are rolled around in yeast and then fried. Their menu has all sorts of stuff we can eat plus daily veggie specials. It's just that I used to happily woof down a golden bowl, but no more. :( Anyway, enough of my whining... Here, see fer yerself!
http://www.thegrit.com/


yeah - that is a bummer. i also see that the golden bowl has soy sauce, so that is no good either....hmm and black beans with bulgar, again not for us. hmmm - so i wonder if the curry rice and veggies are ok, have you had it? well, does seem like there is enough to hold us. i want to try to talk places like that into carrying corn tortillas as an option instead of flour - for us celiacs. plus, actually the are less carb than the flour - so maybe they can market it like that to non-celiacs. anyway, well, in a few more weeks there will be at least two of us around bugging people about menus and stuff. hopefully, there will be more awareness. and i totally am going to try to get some place around there to carry the New Grist =).
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#15 grrtch

 
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Posted 17 May 2006 - 09:10 PM

cool! keep me posted on what you discover! Me, I'll see if I can cross paths with the Grit owners soon.
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diagnosed hypothyroid April 19, 2004
gluten free since April 5, 2006
also taken off soy and cow's milk

mooo no more.




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