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NewGlutenFreeChef

I Plan On Opening A Gluten Free Restaurant

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I plan on opening a gluten free restaurant with bakery in Vancouver, WA. I want to know what foods people miss the most and would love to see on a gluten-free menu someday. Right now I am leaning toward like a comfort food cafe of sorts but I want to know if there is a larger need for some of the other types of foods.

Weather it be pasta, sandwiches, breakfast foods, soups, fancy entrees, or Stir-fry and Asian cuisine, also specific baked goods whatever you miss being able to go out and eat. Please let me know.

A little about myself:

I'm 26 and currently attending Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, OR. Last June I went off gluten shortly after the baking class at school as I had recognized a correlation between my energy and mood dropping when I ate gluten filled foods. I was also struggling to keep weight on so was turning to fatty high calorie snack foods such as Little Debbie to keep from loosing weight (little did I know then that they were not helping at all and actually hurting me more if I am Celiac). I feel so much better without gluten in my diet and now know when I have been glutened within minutes.

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For starters, you might browse our answers in a thread another chef started. :)

What I really, really miss in restaurants is having a lot of choices. It's not unusual to go into a restaurant that advertises gluten-free food and be told you can have dry meat, a baked potato or french fries (only they're from a shared fryer when you ask), and the vegetable of the day, plain. If there is a gluten-free dessert, it's typically a brownie. Basically I feel like a second-class citizen in most restaurants. Even places like P.F. Chang's have a pretty limited gluten-free selection compared to the main menu.

I went to Monti's Rotisserie in Santa Rosa when I was traveling and I was floored! They had a huge gluten-free menu that included the rotisserie meats and easily half the food on the regular menu. Everything was prepared from scratch and the chef simply avoided using wheat except in obvious things like breaded dishes. It took me quite a while to decide because everything looked good, which was refreshing. I ended up getting braised lamb shanks served over risotto with a side of sauteed spinach with toasted pine nuts. It was wonderful.

As a general rule, my favorite restaurants pre gluten-free were places where the food was creative. I like grilled meats with interesting chutneys and sauces, fresh, broiled seafood, or long-simmered dishes with great flavor like beef Bourgignon. I'd be thrilled if there was an honest-to-god gluten-free dessert cart with three or four choices instead of the hackneyed brownie. I miss inventive desserts.

If you opened a restaurant in my city with any kind of food where I felt safe and had great choices, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Alas, I'm a long ways from Vancouver.

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Dishes that don't have too many ingredients in them, or that you could sub out, because so many of us have other food intolerances too. I am admittedly a hard case to deal with but at some restaurants there is no problem - others cram so many ingredients into one dish that I can't find one that doesn't have any of my forbidden foods. So the ability to substitute between potatoes, rice, noodles, for example, for some of us could make a big difference. A pizza that doesn't have tomato sauce. Just a plain cheese souffle would be an inspiration. Dishes that have the sauce 'on the side' so that you could choose a different sauce than the one that has cheese in it (for those who can't eat dairy for example).

I am tired of going to restaurants where the only thing I can have is a Caesar Salad and, if I'm lucky, some dried out chicken on it. - and it's made of iceberg lettuce and has no croutons. If you are going to do a gluten free Caesar Salad, for goodness sake use Romaine lettuce and do have some gluten free croutons to put on it, and don't put soy in the dressing.

I hate the Italian restaurants that advertise a gluten free menu and they have pasta dishes that say "order without the pasta." and on the salads "order without the croutons". I mean, really!!! With a Whole Foods store only a couple of blocks away :huh:

I second most of what Skylark posted. Have gravies and sauces that are gluten free - if we can do it at home, it should be able to be done in a restaurant. To be able to order a tasting platter that had gluten free breads and crackers even would be a treat. :) It's the little things that count to make dining out an experience instead of a chore and a disappointment.

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What I miss the most is safe ,convenient food. I miss being able to pop in on my way home for take out or a quick meal.

I am soy free as well as gluten free which makes eating out for me pretty much imposable .Even if the restaurant has a dedicated frier it more than likely uses vegetable (soy) oil in that frier. :( They also more than likly use vegetable (soy) oil on their grill :(

OH and yeast rolls,goodness I MISS yeast rolls. You make a good yeast roll and I may consider moving to WA state B)

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Oh, and fresh gluten-free pasta!!!! I get really peeved when they suggest I order pasta and eat the "rice substitute" when everyone else gets fresh ravioli, etc.

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I'd steer away from using soy and have a lot of df options. Learn about coconut substitutions (wow, coconut shakes). Df goes with gluten-free a lot.

My daughter who has been gluten free for quite awhile just went dairy free. She fought going dairy free for a long time but after having a smoothie made with coconut milk she said " OMG this is better than one made with milk " :lol:

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The things I miss most, which I have to make myself at home, are all comfort foods: macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, BLTs, and gravy on mashed potatoes. In fact, the availability of gravy alone would be great! I've NEVER been able to have gravy on anything at a restaurant. I also miss flaky, buttery biscuits like the kind at Red Lobster.

As another poster mentioned, soy is out of the question for many of us with celiac (and a number of us also can't tolerate oats, regardless of whether or not they're certified gluten-free). Lastly, please note that those of us who have Dermatitis Herpetiformis cannot eat iodine, so I hope that you will ensure that the salt you use and the salt in the shakers are of the non-iodized variety.

Lastly....I miss croissants more than anything else, and I wish I could order a lemon meringue pie (or ANY pie, for that matter).

I wish I lived in Washington!

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I just got hired on at an English tea shop on Main street in Vancouver. as in today and the owner wanted me to work out how to make at least half of their menu gluten free between soups and scones, meat pies, gluten free bread options for sandwiches, pastas`brown rice pasta :( and ancient grain quinoa pasta :) , cookies, brownie bites and cakes, and many of the other specials as well.I will do my best to make many dairy free and soy free options so I will be getting plenty of experience with limited ingredient diets for my future restaurant.

I know the feeling of walking into a restaurant and looking, without much success, for something that isn't dry and tasteless.

Keep the food Ideas coming.

Thanks.

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Yehaa!!!! for you glutenfreechef (you are no longer "new" IMO)

Sounds like you will have one of the best jobs and bosses ever!

I don't have any particular food specific ideas (already cover from earlier posters:)

but I do recommend you (and your new boss) make a massive effort to have an area of the kitchen which is ALWAYS gluten free. This would have to include ingredients (ie wheat flour not stored next to the gluten-free options) and equipment (pretty much everything). You could advertise this and put it on menus etc.

You and your boss need to determine whether you are catering to general gluten-free eaters and/or us super-sensitive and DH gluten-free-ers.

With my dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) as bad as it is .. this "gluten-free kitchen area" would be mandatory for me to eat out anywhere.. needless to say it means I haven't eaten out in many months and probably never will living here -indeed anywhere- in Canberra (Australia).

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I just got hired on at an English tea shop on Main street in Vancouver. as in today and the owner wanted me to work out how to make at least half of their menu gluten free between soups and scones, meat pies, gluten free bread options for sandwiches, pastas`brown rice pasta :( and ancient grain quinoa pasta :) , cookies, brownie bites and cakes, and many of the other specials as well.I will do my best to make many dairy free and soy free options so I will be getting plenty of experience with limited ingredient diets for my future restaurant.

I know the feeling of walking into a restaurant and looking, without much success, for something that isn't dry and tasteless.

Keep the food Ideas coming.

Thanks.

There's a tea shop in Tucson that does gluten-free if you call and ask. If you go to the southern AZ celiac group website you'll find it. Can't remember the name and haven't been there...

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There's a tea shop in Tucson that does gluten-free if you call and ask. If you go to the southern AZ celiac group website you'll find it. Can't remember the name and haven't been there...

You may want to check out 2Good2Be in Encinitas, CA. My family is from Seattle so maybe we will check you out!

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I think what I miss most when I walk into a restaurant, is like the other said a lack of options. What options they have are usually bad, and like the others pointed out since I can't have soy, dairy or potato what little they could offer is also gone as an option, effectively leaving nothing.

I have one brilliant restaurant I go to where they do gluten free and other things. It's the one place I can go to get a meal or take away or dessert that doesn't have gluten, soy, dairy or potato. The reason I go there is that they focus on high quality, fresh foods with simple ingredients which can be easily substituted and flavours and sauces that are unusual mixes. They rely on their interesting flavour combinations and many people who aren't gluten free go there because the food is so damn good.

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I think what others have stated gives a fairly clear picture of what we'd want. Not just stuff we can't conveniently/quickly/easily make at home, and not just "fast food", but plenty of ordinary menu items so that it doesn't feel like a "special" restaurant. So just like anybody, we can sit down and order what we want, not what we must. So the atmosphere is relaxed, and we're relaxed, and there isn't the ever-present fear of impending doom from getting glutened in spite of our best efforts. A place where we don't have to speak to the waiters and the chef, turning the entire affair into a laborious chore instead of an enjoyable experience. Simply not having to knit-pick and inquire about every ingredient would make a world of difference. So I think the menu should spell out a few things, such as when dairy or soy is an ingredient.

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I miss cinnabons. :) my best advice to you though is to write a business plan and find a solid biz advisor. Most small businesses fail, so just make sure you set yourself up for success. And then I'll stop by.and.visit. if I. Come to town! ;)

And Omb typing. On my kindle.is.annoying. I apologize for the.errors!

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Don't forget when your are up and running to contact all the Celiac support groups. Show up at a "gluten free food fair" or run one.

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People make a great point about other problem foods. I'm also intolerant to dairy and nightshades, though I can have a little butter or pepper. I wouldn't eat a potato or a hunk of cheese. I think you can do baked goods without potato starch.

You know, I'd love to sit down and be brought a basket of fresh, warm gluten-free bread or dinner rolls. A resort brought me a basket with a couple slices of freshly-toasted gluten-free bread once and it was so nice to feel normal with a bread basket. That's all I want, really. I want to walk into an American restaurant and feel normal. I want to order without feeling like I'm recreating "When Harry met Sally".

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Pasta, meatballs, and a really good dessert menu. My daughter misses bbq ribs. Homestyle meals such as roast beef with gravy or turkey and stuffing.

And I agree with everyone here. It's more of a welcoming feeling. If the restaurant seems accommodating and welcoming, I'm more likely to overlook the lack of choices on the menu.

I'll be honest though: I'm thoroughly sick of the meal options pretty much being some kind of sandwich without the bread. Seriously? I am NOT eating a cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce!

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Pasta, meatballs, and a really good dessert menu. My daughter misses bbq ribs. Homestyle meals such as roast beef with gravy or turkey and stuffing.

And I agree with everyone here. It's more of a welcoming feeling. If the restaurant seems accommodating and welcoming, I'm more likely to overlook the lack of choices on the menu.

I'll be honest though: I'm thoroughly sick of the meal options pretty much being some kind of sandwich without the bread. Seriously? I am NOT eating a cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce!

In my Area subway is trying a gluten-free sandwich But it costs way to much. And the bun is well very dry crumbly and tastes like sawdust.

Right Now I am getting ready for my chef position Pulling together the best gluten-free recipes I can, making Bread scones and other treats. The owner of the tea room wants me to make her soups and sauces And entree gluten-free as well So that most of the food that has to be optional or traded out is just baked goods.

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For your planned restaurant, I would also suggest potpies and chili beans. Yum--I haven't had a potpie since going gluten free eight years ago--I miss it!

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Yeah, if you find a good meat pie or pasty recipe, be sure and share it.

Another suggestion: All the stuff that's deep fried but usually gets cross-contaminated. You could offer burgers or corn dogs with onion rings, hot wings or fried chicken. Basically all those comfort foods. Even little sliders on Gluten-free buns would be cool.

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In my Area subway is trying a gluten-free sandwich But it costs way to much. And the bun is well very dry crumbly and tastes like sawdust.

Right Now I am getting ready for my chef position Pulling together the best gluten-free recipes I can, making Bread scones and other treats. The owner of the tea room wants me to make her soups and sauces And entree gluten-free as well So that most of the food that has to be optional or traded out is just baked goods.

It's funny, I'm a computer major right now, but have been considering going into culinary arts with a minor in nutrition. My daughter wants to have her own business (she's 14, it's so cute right now, lol) and was thinking of a small eatery. Personally, I know the perfect location for a small sandwich/ice cream shoppe in my town and I may just take the plunge. Gluten free, of course.

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If the restaurant isn't 100% gluten free make sure the servers are trained to work with gluten-free requests competently and pleasantly. The blank stare, confusion or "Oh, I'm sure you can eat that..." which trails off into nothingness totally kills any desire I have to eat there!

I second the idea of fried foods that have to be avoided due to cross contamination issues. I could kill for some onion rings now that they've been mentioned. Ack! But with the tea room angle I imagine it is soups and lighter fare? Might have to save the fryers until you have your own restaurant.

I visited a restaurant, Posana, in Asheville, NC that the server said was 100% gluten-free at the time (August 2011.) You can check out their menu at http://www.posanacafe.com/menu/Gluten%20Free

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Some of McMinnimon's (sp?) pubs offer a gluten-free burger bun that is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS... not crumbly or tasting like sawdust. I had the best (and first) burger there last month. I don't know who their vendor is, but I'd find out if I were you!

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I could kill for some onion rings now that they've been mentioned.

I'm sure I saw some frozen onion rings that where gluten-free, though I'm also sure the CC possibilities are still there. Can't recall the brand name however.

What about homemade onion rings? Can't be too difficult to make.

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