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Wheat ease


Restaurants tweak their menus to accommodate gluten-free diets.

Sam Lower May 30th, 2012

Most of us go out to eat because it’s easier than cooking at home.


For others, it’s just the opposite. A dramatic rise in celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, forces some eaters to cut gluten from their diet.

And that can be difficult, since gluten is in almost everything.

Or at least it seems that way.

Gluten, a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley and rye, is the main ingredient in bread, pasta and baked goods.

For some people, consumption of gluten can cause serious digestive issues, stomach pains, migraines, fatigue and anemia. Home cooks can work around this sensitivity by using rice, corn or almond flour as a substitute, but it’s not a common practice at restaurants.

With the rise of celiac disease and wheat allergies (and some just using the diet as a means to weight loss), more restaurants and their chefs are steering concerned eaters in the right direction, and there are few places around the metro setting the bar high with delicious options.


It’s what’s for dinner

A gluten-free menu is available at Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo, and Cheever’s, 2409 N. Hudson, the latter of which includes options like cherry-pecan crusted salmon, white bean hummus and chicken tortilla soup.

Patrons at Charleston’s, 2000 S.

Meridian, can dine on the grilled pork chops, blackened salmon or any number of other salads and entrées. And any frankfurter from Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dog’s, 1400 N.W. 23rd, can be served on a gluten-free bun.

Steaks are generally a safe bet, and Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton; Red Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway; and Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard in Edmond, are mindful of gluten-intolerant guests.


Sake to me

Having the Asian fare at Musashi’s Japanese Steakhouse, 4315 N. Western, being prepared right in front you is comforting for those whose conditions are more severe. The restaurant offers plenty of gluten-free grill items and sushi rolls, as does Saii Asian Bistro, 6900 N. May.

Coriander Cafe, 323 White in Norman, boasts a full menu of options, like spring rolls, lettuce wraps and pho with your choice of pork sausage, spicy hoisin tofu and lemon-garlic shrimp. The servers at Misal of India, 580 Ed Noble in Norman, know which dishes suit different dietary restrictions. Just ask!


Baker’s dozen

In addition to being one of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in Norman, The Earth, 750 Asp, offers both a full menu of gluten-free selections, as well as bread made with alternative grains. You will find a variety of safe selections from the Coolgreens locations across the metro, like the Bahamian jerk salad with seasoned chicken and mango salsa.

For the biggest assortment of wheatfree baked goods, check out Green Goodies OKC, 5840 N. Classen Blvd., where you can choose from salted caramel, red velvet, sopaipilla cheesecake, classic vanilla and many more.


Plenty of pasta

Pasta may feel like a fantasy for those intolerant of gluten, but Benvenuti’s Ristorante, 105 W. Main in Norman, serves corn pasta, and Cafe 7, 14101 N. May, offers a full slate of safe pizzas, salads and pastas. Stella, 1201 N. Walker, can accommodate dietary concerns, and Hideaway Pizza serves up gluten-free crusts (small only) at its many metro locations.

Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market, 3131 W. Memorial, and Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine, 6014 N. May, cook up gluten-free rice dishes and more.


Hot tamale

Latin and Mexican cuisine usually is a safe bet, with corn favored over flour in most cases. True to form, the metro’s finest offer a healthy selection.

Cafe do Brasil, 440 N.W. 11th, has a full menu to choose from, including desserts like rice pudding and flan, as does Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 N.E. Ninth. Metro favorite Ted’s Cafe Escondido and 1942, 1207 N. Walker, can both handle gluten-free requests as well.


 
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