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Northern New Jersey Restaurants

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For those of you in Northern to Central New Jersey, there is a great Italian place in Lyndhurst, NJ - Michael's Riverside.  The owner (the actual "Michael") has gone gluten-free himself and has added a gluten-free menu.  There are also items on the "regular" menu that they can make gluten-free upon request.  While I was talking to him he explained how they cook the gluten-free food separately and avoid any cross-contamination issues.  Our office holds many parties there and yesterday was my first time there since going gluten-free.  I got the eggplant parm with penne - my first experience with gluten-free pasta - and I couldn't tell the difference from the "normal" stuff.  It was awesome!!

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I just discovered an amazing Italian place in Clifton, NJ - La Riviera Trattoria.  The chef's daughter is Celiac, and she works in the restaurant with him (he's also the owner).  They have a full gluten-free menu... as in a full 2-sided menu.  They use separate pots/pans, dishes, etc.  They are a bit pricey, in my opinion, but well worth it!  I went with a non-gluten friend and she said the gluten food was really good too.  They get their pasta imported from Italy and sell it there in the restaurant too.

 

If you call ahead and let them know you're coming, they'll have gluten-free bread ready for you.

 

Apparently they have gluten-free parties on Monday nights - I think she said once-a-month.  The restaurant is closed on Mondays, so it's just the gluten-free people mingling and feasting on everything from pizza to pasta to seafood to dessert.

 

Check out the "Our Story" link on their website for more background information:

http://www.larivieratrattoria.com/

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There is a Houston's in the Riverside Mall in Hackensack and they now also understand the true meaning of Gluten Free - and actually know what Celiac is.

 

Houston's is an upscale steakhouse - quite expensive, but the steak is to die for.  I only go there about once or twice a year.  When I went last year, they kinda knew what gluten free was and I was safe with a naked steak and a naked baked potato.  I went there about a month ago and as soon as I told the waiter that I had Celiac, he knew exactly what I could have and not have.  And get this... <drum roll please> they have Gluten Free fries!  And yes, that includes a dedicated frier.  They had a variety of sides that can be made Gluten Free and they had my food carried out to the table by a separate waiter so it wouldn't get cross-contaminated by my date's Au Jus - which they warned me not to touch, just for good measure.

 

I can't speak for other Houston's around the country, but this one knows what they're doing.

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I just found out that there is a "The Counter" that opened in Clifton, right on Rte 3.  I haven't been to the Clifton one yet, but I've been to the one in Reston, VA and the one in Times Square, NYC and they are awesome!  Some of the best burgers I've ever had.

And... their fries AND sweet potato fries are gluten free.  And they are the best sweet potato fries I've ever had.

They have a separate gluten free menu and they are well trained about cross-contamination.

They do have gluten free buns, although I've never tried them - but they do this "burger in a bowl" thing, where they serve the burger on a salad.  And you can build your own burger - meaning you pick the cheese, toppings, and what you want and don't want in the salad, as well as which dressing.

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