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DarkIvy

gluten-free Restaurants In Denver

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Hey all! I've been spending some time in Denver, and I've been eating out quite a bit more than I normally do at home. I haven't actually had any problems yet, and I was surprised that some of the restaurants were as excellent as they were. So, here are some reviews...

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

I went to the location in Greenwood Village/ Englewood. My boyfriend used to work there, so he suggested that we try it because he knows them to be very diligent about allergies. I asked the hostess about a gluten free menu, and she looked at me like I had four heads. However, when I informed the server that I couldn't have any gluten, she told me it was no problem and they'd have a manager come over to take my order. I was still a little concerned, because judging by the menu it didn't seem there was much for me to eat. However, a manager came over and when I explained that I couldn't have any gluten, she asked "is it celiac?" I was FLOORED that she even knew about it. She asked me what I was thinking of ordering, and told me how those items could be modified and made gluten free for me. I ended up ordering soft shell crab sauteed with lemon butter and it was absolutely fantastic. I didn't have any problems at all.

Maggiano's Italian Kitchen

I'd heard that they stocked gluten-free rice pasta, but I'd never been there before. The server had the chef come out and he talked to me about the sauces that were already gluten free and took my order for me. They were very friendly about it, and again, no problems. The rice pasta was a bit gummy, but it was definitely worth it to be able to order pasta at a restaurant!

Tokyo Joe's

I was actually really surprised that this restaurant could deal with gluten-free customers. I never tried Tokyo Joe's even before I went gluten free, so I was pretty skeptical. My boyfriend and his friend were meeting for lunch and I decided to tag along, figuring I could just order some plain meat and rice or nothing at all if I didn't trust them. When I got to the counter, I actually just asked if they could make something totally plain since I have "severe allergies" to certain foods. The guy at the counter asked what it was I can't eat, and when I said I can't have any gluten, he actually listed off a few sauces and salads that were already gluten free. Again, I was kind of floored. It's more or less fast food, and for the regular counter guys to know what's gluten free and what's not is pretty impressive to me. So, for the third time this week, I had a safe gluten free meal. And it was cheap!!

Dushanbe Teahouse, Boulder, Colorado

I also went to the Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder last night. The server talked to the chef and came back with a list of the gluten-free items... I was actually a bit disappointed with the service last night, but typically it's a lot better. I think the server might have been new, because he rushed through the list and seemed really intimidated by all my questions, lol. I imagine that normally, the restaurant is more flexible about modifying meals, but this server wasn't particularly helpful so I just ordered off the list he gave me. I had the lamb kabob, they were delicious and I didn't react at all. So yeah, go Colorado!

The one thing I really hate about all these restaurants is that they always bring out bread and oil as an appetizer. It really doesn't matter to me if people eat bread in front of me, but it kind of annoys me that they server always passes the bread over my plate, and that everyone else at the table gets to eat while I sit and watch. I'm a total foodie, so it's kind of torture. I think it would be GREAT if some of these restaurants would maybe have some gluten-free alternatives as far as appetizers go so we don't always have to sit around and watch everyone else eat.

By the way, if anyone else has any Denver suggestions, do post! I'm going to be here for a while and I don't know what all is out there.

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My family went to Deby's Gluten Free cafe on Saturday and had a wonderful lunch. I just love eating there. It is amazing to look at a menu knowing I can eat anything. Second, I love being able to share food. Since I am the only one with celiac when we go out I am the only one with a gluten-free meal. At Deby's everyones meal is gluten-free. I had some of my ds fries and dd pizza.

I also like Abrusci's http://www.abruscis.com/index.shtml. I have eaten there twice and love it.

I live in Fort Collins and am only in Denver on rare occasions. Plus I seem to be sensitive and rarely eat out.

Hez

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XDC Bakery in the Highlands area - great bakery. Not a ton of options always, but FAR better, in my opinion then the highly praised, much overrated Deby's. Just not a fan of Deby's.

Chipotle - various locations. Stay away from the flour tortillas, but corn tacos and corn chips are safe. They told me "Our hot, red tomatillo salsa and our chipotle honey vinaigrette has a small amount of vinegar in it and some say that is not safe for those with a gluten intolerance". All their meats are safe. Some folks ask the servers to change their gloves, as they IMMEDIATELY start to touch a flour tortilla when you go to the counter. Depends on how sensitive you are. They've changed spoons for me in the past, which was great, but it's still hitting the same bowl of ingredients the old spoon hits. Chipotle is a good staple for me.

Steuben's - uptown area. I'd say it's a $$ kind of place. But has a gluten free menu. Good comfort food. www.steubens.com

Vesta Dipping Grill - Lodo area. $$$. Sister restaurant to Steuben's. Also has a gluten free menu.

Grand China Cafe - Colfax and Gaylord. Decent Chinese food. I always take my own bottle of Tamari in, with my Triumph Card. Kai is who I try to get to help me - she's great! She's off Tuesday's and Saturday's. It's nothing fancy here. I usually get the Szechuan Beef, or Szechuan Shrimp. I ordered a white sauce once - don't remember what I got, and it was fine, too. I always remind them to please clean the pan out before hand. If you go, definitely go when Kai is there!

Noodles and Company

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Beau Jo's uses Deby's pizza crust and it's good, but I've been cc'd there twice and I give up.

Chipotle - I have loved Chipotle since I walked into store #1 the day it opened, but I've been cc'd there too. I now only go to my neighborhood store so I don't have to explain myself every time. I also go in when it is slow so I'm not inconveniencing the staff.

Great Northern Tavern on Belleview & I-25: I've eaten very well there; chef claims anything (within reason) can be prepared gluten-free.

Mercury Cafe - 20th & California, downtown: the owner is gluten-free, and many entrees are served with naturally gluten-free sides like quinoa and lentils. I just ask my server to tell the kitchen to prepare my meal as if they are preparing their boss's meal. Great organic food, reasonable prices and a laid-back atmosphere.

Mercury Cafe does not take credit cards.

Steve - I heard Elise Wiggins speak too, and she is great! It's worth the price of admission (if there is one) just to hear her say the word "oil" in her southern-fried manner.

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Wow, I can't believe how long this list is already getting.

I LOVE Beau Jo's. I've only been there once- at the Fort Collins location- and didn't have any issues. I love pizza, so it's nice to actually order it in a restaurant!

Hez, I spend a lot of time in Fort Collins, since my family lives there. We should start a Fort Collins listing, too! I never know what to eat when I'm there, but I've had good luck with both Beau Jo's and JeJu. Bring your own soy sauce at JeJu, they don't stock Tamari! I've gotten sick at the Chili's before so I don't eat there anymore. Austin's American Grill is working on their Gluten Free menu, but they don't have it out just yet (or they didn't when I went about three weeks ago). The manager came over and discussed the entire menu in detail with me and I ate an excellent meal.

steveindenver, they said their curry sauce is safe. It's a pretty mild curry, I think it's based off of the Japanese "curry rice" that's pretty popular. It was pretty good. They said the Nikko Salad was also safe, and might have mentioned another sauce but I can't remember what. Still, it's nice to go into a "normal" restaurant and order a "normal" meal and sit with your friends and eat and not feel left out, lol.

Anyone know anything about Qdoba or Illegal Pete's? I prefer those over Chipotle, and they're on "The Hill" in Boulder... I'm going to be living on The Hill next year and the sorority chef doesn't work weekends so I'm trying to find some cheap, fast places to eat. I'm a little wary of the whole "fast food" idea, but I'm in loooove with the nachos at both places, which should be relatively safe since it's a corn chip.

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If you can find info. about Illegal Pete's, good luck and godspeed. I tried last Summer numerous times, both via email and phone calls to their corporate office and no response. The receptionist was rude and I finally decided since Chipotle can accomodate me, I'll give them my business. I don't care to give business to companies that are rude and can't accomodate.

As for Elise Wiggins, yes, it is worth money to hear her say "oil". I'd actually love to be friends with her - she just seems so nice and personable.

Great Northern Tavern - yes, I've eaten there often (my office is two office buildings away). Never had an issue. I've emailed the GM and had great response. I went there about two weeks ago, and had the pork tenderloin.

As for the Mercury Cafe...I haven't been there in YEARS! I am glad to hear they can accomdate. That literally, was the first place I went to when I came to Denver back in 1998 to look around and see if I wanted to move here. Nine years later, still here. I've got fond memories of the "Merc".

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I am sorry to hear you got sick at Chili's. I have only eaten their one time and did okay. I really am gun shy about eating out. My reactions from slight cc are so severe that I really limit going out. I have had great luck at the Outback on the south side of Fort Collins. As well as PF Changs in Loveland. I have also been to Austin's and they did have a gluten-free menu. I did promise not to sue them before I saw it! The Moot House on College is owned by the same group as Austin's. I have heard other celiacs eating there as well. The northern colorado celiac group has a list of places that can accomadate. However, I do not have it since I try not to eat out!

Hez

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Wow, that's a shame about Illegal Pete's, steveindenver. I like them best. Great Northern is excellent, but I haven't been there since before I went gluten free. I'm staying verrrry close to there, so I should give it a shot.

I actually called Cosmo's Pizza in Boulder last night to suggest that they get a gluten free crust alternative, and the guy on the other end was like "lady, we can't just change our recipe for you" and I was like "no, listen, I love your pizza and I want to be able to eat it next year when I'm at school. If you don't care to accomodate me, I won't give you my money because I can't eat there as it stands. I'm not suggesting you make everything on your menu gluten free, just have the option. I assure you this is a common medical condition and you'd get a lot of response from those of us who can't eat gluten."

My boyfriend suggested that he's probably just another stoned college student and that I should call again and ask to speak to a manager, who might take it more seriously. He's got a fair point. I'll remind Cosmo's that Beau Jo's has gluten free crusts, so it can't be that hard for them to do it. It's seriously starting to look like I won't have any places to eat on weekends. Bummer.

Hez, I'm sorry you are so sensitive to gluten. I'd be scared to eat out, too. I think I'm pretty sensitive but I haven't had too many issues. I LOVE eating out so I'm not ready to just give it up. I had no idea Moot House was owned by the same people as Austin's. PF Chang's kind of freaks me out (understand, my boyfriend's family is Taiwanese and I spend loads of time eating authentic Chinese food with them, so I just don't do "orange chicken" anymore. I've become a huuuge snob about Chinese food, haha.) so I don't eat there. I hear Carrabba's has a gluten free menu, too.

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I have heard mixed things about the Carrabba's in Fort Collins. Some of had good experiences others lousy. I have never tried it. I try to look at being super sensitive a blessing. I have no desire to eat gluten! Is there anyway you can eat on the weekends in the sorority house? Do you have access to the kitchen? Sometimes it is fun to cook as a big group and you could control the cc and the menu.

Hez

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Just wanted to add that Fire Bowl Cafe has a gluten-free menu.

It's relatively new, located in Englewood. I think there are plans to open more locations in CO.

There aren't many items to choose from, but some.

Unfortunately they bread all of their chicken so it looks like the options are all vegetarian.

Also, gluten-free items are obviously prepared in a kitchen around gluten items.

Heres the link to the gluten-free menu:

http://www.firebowlcafe.com/menu/gfoption.htm

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