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Athens, Ga gluten-free - Anyone?
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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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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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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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well, that's a start - thanks.

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

Here's a handy article:

http://www.earthfare.com/news2.asp?news_ID=267

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

I just went here - nice little store. Have you been to the natural food warehouse (not sure exactly what it's called) off Old Alabama Connecter by Northpoint Mall? I heard they have good prices. Just trying to find the cheapest place to buy this gluten-free food (I'm new to this and don't have time to drive around all over town to investigate!). Also, any restaurant recommendations for tha ATL area? We live in Dunwoody/Norcross/Alpharetta area but I work dowtown and (used to) go out to lunch quite often.

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'Lo - I'm in Athens as well - I work downtown and will second Last Resort. Porterhouse is also very accomodating, as is Doc Cheys - the Red Curry there is gluten and casein free (and delicious). I shop at Kroger - they have just about all the things I need from Earth Fare except the occasional Nanas cookie and Risotto. East West can be tricky because they have soy sauce in a lot of their dishes. Five Star is delicious but probably not safe, I hate to say it. Stay away from Wild Wing - nothing safe there. I haven't been to Five and Ten yet, but I will plan on it!

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'Lo - I'm in Athens as well - I work downtown and will second Last Resort. Porterhouse is also very accomodating, as is Doc Cheys - the Red Curry there is gluten and casein free (and delicious). I shop at Kroger - they have just about all the things I need from Earth Fare except the occasional Nanas cookie and Risotto. East West can be tricky because they have soy sauce in a lot of their dishes. Five Star is delicious but probably not safe, I hate to say it. Stay away from Wild Wing - nothing safe there. I haven't been to Five and Ten yet, but I will plan on it!

Julie, good news about Doc Cheys! I have yet to check them out since my doc laid down the law. East-West never much impressed me. Never drawn to Wild Wing so yet another reason not to set foot in there. Have you checked out Clocked? Know anyone downtown serving potato vodka? And yeah, you may be able to get a week's worth of groceries for what a meal at Five and Ten can set ya back, but oh my god! can you say happy mouth? :D

Also, notice the gluten-free markers at Earthfare? I think those are really great! I was at a Whole Foods today, and I do believe I saw more gluten-free stuff at Earthfare than at WF!

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Does that mean teh Doc Chey's in Atlanta is ok too? (hope hope hope) :)

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I am almost sure the one in Atlanta is ok too, but be sure you ask (post back if they say it's not so I can grill my people again. :) I hadn't seen the gluten-free markers at EarthFare! That's great - I will have to go back. I am always in the store, thinking, why don't they just put all the gluten-free stuff together. That would make sense. If someone is just looking for flour, they are not looking for gluten-free flour. If someone is looking for gluten-free flour, you can likely get them to buy more stuff by putting all your yummy other gluten-free stuff nearby. At publix the gluten-free flour is right smack next to the hard core super duty organic wheatiness. They might have all the same gluten-free things that other stores do, but it is so spread out that I will never find it. At least kroger has their frozen organics together with the organic shelved stuff. I call it the "weird people" section and can't wait till get to that part to see if the Gluten-free Casein-free waffles are on sale.

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WARNING - if you get the Red Curry (or anything else with rice) at Doc Chey's - get white rice. Their brown rice contains gluten. I learned this the hard way.

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WARNING - if you get the Red Curry (or anything else with rice) at Doc Chey's - get white rice. Their brown rice contains gluten. I learned this the hard way.

!!!!!!

Do they slather it with soy sauce or some other such nonsense?

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'Lo - I'm in Athens as well - I work downtown and will second Last Resort. Porterhouse is also very accomodating, as is Doc Cheys - the Red Curry there is gluten and casein free (and delicious). I shop at Kroger - they have just about all the things I need from Earth Fare except the occasional Nanas cookie and Risotto. East West can be tricky because they have soy sauce in a lot of their dishes. Five Star is delicious but probably not safe, I hate to say it. Stay away from Wild Wing - nothing safe there. I haven't been to Five and Ten yet, but I will plan on it!
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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

Where is the Bards dist. in SC?

I think I will make a roadtrip...

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Where is the Bards dist. in SC?

I think I will make a roadtrip...

Here is a link from their Web site...I'm not sure if their revamped product is back on the market yet...when that happens, they should post what individual stores are selling it again. But this link will show the distributors in each state:

http://www.bardsbeer.com/distributors.asp

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