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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

rpf1007

Hello From Chicago

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I'm newly gluten free and trying to navigate restaurants in Chicago. I've been kind of paranoid of eating out since my diagnosis. I live downtown, and work in the medical district. We usually order food for dinner when we are on call...and I was curious if anyone knows of places in that area that deliver and have had good success with. I've ordered from Ben Pao...but so far that's it. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

Rachel

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Used to go to the Whole Foods on Division St. ( I think). Don't know if there is a Bonefish downtown but it's great place with a gluten-free menu.

ken

think

I'm newly gluten free and trying to navigate restaurants in Chicago. I've been kind of paranoid of eating out since my diagnosis. I live downtown, and work in the medical district. We usually order food for dinner when we are on call...and I was curious if anyone knows of places in that area that deliver and have had good success with. I've ordered from Ben Pao...but so far that's it. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

Rachel

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I'm newly gluten free and trying to navigate restaurants in Chicago. I've been kind of paranoid of eating out since my diagnosis. I live downtown, and work in the medical district. We usually order food for dinner when we are on call...and I was curious if anyone knows of places in that area that deliver and have had good success with. I've ordered from Ben Pao...but so far that's it. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

Rachel

Yup Rachel,

There is a whole foods down town where you can always pick up something. I go to whole foods often even though the price is kinda high.

I order salads everywhere I go and most restaurants will accomodate a slightly different diet. I will ask for extra tomatoes and onions if I don't get the cheese or the croutons, etc.

I look at their entres and see what veggies they have and usually order some steamed or grilled veggies without any sauce. I bring my own home made dressing or in a pinch buy some at WFs.

If you are really hungry a baked potato with salsa is really good. Bring your own if you need one that does not have sugar in it. There are quite a few now that do not have sugar in them.

I hope this helps a bit.

ML :)

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Thanks for the advice! I love Whole foods- eventhough it is expensive...but it has been great, especially when you are new to everything. It made me feel better initially going there and knowing there was plenty I could eat.

I'm thinking salads may be the way to go...i just know I'm going to get so sick of that. We order delivery so much in the evenings at work...and I'm kind of worried the delivery might be worse than if you were there in person to ask/make sure things are not contaminated. Right now I'm bringing two meals to work when I have to be there for both, but it isn't that easy.

I guess it will be a learning process. Thanks again.

Rachel

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Hi Rachel,

I was in downtown Chicago over the holidays and hate to say that I had a very difficult time eating at the lunch hour with something healthy and quick. I didn't eat out much at dinner and didn't do any delivery but had more success with a full restaurant than with a "fast food" or sandwich place (trusted nothing at all at Food Life in WaterTowerPlace looking at the preparation). It is very important, however, that you always specify to the food server that you have celiac disease or if they cannot understand what that is/means even with your explanation you might just want to say allergy which is more commonly understood.

I noted that in many salad prep lines the items are already prepared and in bins. The line cooks just grab a handful from each bin to compose the salad (wearing gloves). You are at a risk of cross-contamination if they have the practice of using the same gloved hand for the croutons that goes back in to lettuce bin for the next customer. You should always ask.

Somewhere on this forum there was a post of Chicago-area celiac disease friendly restaurants but they were mostly on the North side.

Best -

Amelia

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I know I'm really late with this, but I wanted to let you know there was an article in the Sun Times the other day about a restaurant called Ina's in west Loop that is doing gluten-free fried chicken every 2nd Wednesday of the month!! Here's the article:

On a stormy Wednesday evening in the West Loop, Ina's restaurant was serving up fried chicken dinners for a crowd hungry for just a regular night out.

That's because many of the 100 diners were either wheat intolerant or suffer from celiac disease, set off by eating a protein called gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and many processed foods.

That includes the flour often used to make crunchy, juicy fried chicken. Even a dusting of white flour, which contains wheat and barley, can make someone ill.

And that makes it difficult for the gluten-intolerant to enjoy a meal out.

But not on this night.

After the kitchen underwent a deep cleaning, the staff at Ina's, 1235 W. Randolph, set out to make gluten-free chicken.

After soaking 208 chicken pieces in buttermilk (for those who were dairy intolerant and called ahead to let the restaurant's chef know, the chickens were put in a brine of honey and water), chef-owner Ina Pinkney and her staff coated the pieces with a mix that included potato starch, tapioca flour, brown rice flour and white rice flour.

The chicken was then fried in a special transfat-free oil. It was paired with mashed potatoes and special gluten-free rolls. And for those who were so inclined -- and 21 years old -- gluten-free beer and gluten-free vodka also were available.

"Have you ever heard that [spanish] saying panza llena corazon contento -- 'full stomach, happy heart' -- it was that kind of feeling," said Maeve Kanaley, who has celiac disease and was pleased she had leftover fried chicken to enjoy for days.

For some, this was an emotional night out, Pinkney said: "We were getting people choked up, saying this is the first time they can go out with my friends and feel normal."

Pinkney decided to host a meal after talking with customers who found the experience of dining out often exhausting as they questioned the waitstaff about anything from ingredients to making sure the cooking oil wasn't "contaminated" by cooking other foods that contain gluten. So she decided on a gluten-free fried chicken night, advertised it in her monthly newsletter and "it went viral, there are so many Web sites dedicated to helping people with celiac disease," Pinkney said.

Indeed, in the United States alone, 1 in 133 people suffer from celiac disease, according to the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center.

The response was so overwhelming to the May 7 dinner that the restaurant is planning to do it again June 11 -- and every second Wednesday of the month after that.

For more information, visit www.breakfastqueen.com.

How exciting!!! I'm in Springfield, but I can't wait to come up to try it soon!!

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Hi there, I'm late with this as well, but wanted to chime in on the wonderful things happening with gluten-free menus in Chicago-area restaurants.

Of course, there's your PF Changs and Wildfire, both have separate menus. Chipotle is downtown, but make sure you have the people making your burrito bowl put on fresh gloves.

Also, the Flat Top Grill is in a bunch of locations in the Chicagoland area, they do gluten-free, as does the Adobo Grill (but it's hard for me to eat there since they use some sauces made with peanuts and avocados, both I'm allergic to). Another is Uno Pizzeria, but for some ridiculous reason their downtown restaurants don't do gluten-free, but the ones in the suburbs do!?!

There are a bunch of special little restaurants that cater to the Celiac community: Da Luciano's in River Grove, Graziano's in Niles (haven't been there yet, but am told they have a gluten-free menu), also there's Rose's Gluten-Free Bakery in Evanston that is just WONDERFUL. EVERY SINGLE THING in there is gluten-free (although I still have to be careful because of my nut allergies).

The newest big find for me is gluten-free pizza at Marcello's Father and Son, and a bar called Quenchers serves TWO kinds of gluten-free beers.

For the first time since going gluten-free almost 10 years ago, I'm really excited by the restaurant scene in Chicago. We've come a LONG way.

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Hi there, I'm late with this as well, but wanted to chime in on the wonderful things happening with gluten-free menus in Chicago-area restaurants.

Of course, there's your PF Changs and Wildfire, both have separate menus. Chipotle is downtown, but make sure you have the people making your burrito bowl put on fresh gloves.

Also, the Flat Top Grill is in a bunch of locations in the Chicagoland area, they do gluten-free, as does the Adobo Grill (but it's hard for me to eat there since they use some sauces made with peanuts and avocados, both I'm allergic to). Another is Uno Pizzeria, but for some ridiculous reason their downtown restaurants don't do gluten-free, but the ones in the suburbs do!?!

There are a bunch of special little restaurants that cater to the Celiac community: Da Luciano's in River Grove, Graziano's in Niles (haven't been there yet, but am told they have a gluten-free menu), also there's Rose's Gluten-Free Bakery in Evanston that is just WONDERFUL. EVERY SINGLE THING in there is gluten-free (although I still have to be careful because of my nut allergies).

The newest big find for me is gluten-free pizza at Marcello's Father and Son, and a bar called Quenchers serves TWO kinds of gluten-free beers.

For the first time since going gluten-free almost 10 years ago, I'm really excited by the restaurant scene in Chicago. We've come a LONG way.

We have been to Daluciano's several times now and it is incredible!!! Here's their gluten free menu By the way, you NEED reservations there!!! It is a tiny tiny restaurant, maybe would hold 50 people!! They also made a special order birthday cake for my sister -- it was by far the best cake I have EVER had -- with Canneloni filling, buttercream icing, 4 layer cake. Unbelievable!!!

And thanks for the tip on Rose's bakery, I didn't know it was there!! We just moved to Libertyville last fall, I'm going to have to make a trip to Evanston soon!

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I assume you work near Northwestern Hospital? there is a corner bakery right there, and on Mondays and Tuesdays, they have the chicken tortilla soup which is gluten-free. Also, there is a deli/salad place downtown called Goodwins. They use boars head meats and their salads are awesome. they deliver. Dont forget about Vinci which has a gluten free menu in chicago and is awesome. I do chipotle all the time for lunch and love it - there is one on michigan and wacker i believe. Weber grill has lots of gluten free stuff too.

PS. i went to Ina's for gluten-free fried chicken night - its awesome. I will definitely be going next month as well.

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yea! another Chicago Area Celiac lurking around the boards! I have only been diagnosed for 2 months now, but I am finding the food thing a challenge too, although I do not order out much. I just wanted to say "hi" and that I hope you are finding places to eat. The Celiac Sprue Association of Chicago has a link on their website to a listing of restaurants that are gluten free and comments from the people who ate there. Rose's in Evanston is my favorite, and their gluten free brownies are too die for! Swirlz in Lincoln Park have gluten free cupcakes (one of the owners is a celiac) and they have 2 gluten-free flavors every day. The frosting was a little weird, but overall, not a bad treat!

:)

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I live in a Chicago suburb but have found it easiest when I go downtown to go to Chipotle. I know that's not really a place to go to everyday but when I do go there, I feel great afterwards. Us celiacs can get everything besides the burrito and the soft tacos. Beware of the cheese and lettuce bins. The people use the same gloves to get everything out. Sorry this isn't that helpful. Good luck!

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Hi there! About a year since this post has been touched... but here's an update on gluten-free Chicago, specifically downtown, that I've found so far.

Jimmy Johns-- Lettuce wraps

Chipotle-- bowl

Hot Woks Cool Sushi-- now have gluten free soy sauce! The waitress was also gluten free and knew what I was talking about. Since they have gluten-free soy sauce, they can make Pad Thai gluten free now, technically, although they claim it's not as good (I don't care, I just want something resembling Pad Thai!)

Osaka-- sushi and great smoothies

Argo Tea-- They have gluten-free cookies, but they're not dairy free. Many of their quinoa bowls are gluten-free and vegan (and marked), but in my experience they are terrible.

Enjoy!

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