gluten free · Health

Gluten Free Portland: An Inspiration

I have a confession. I stalk online restaurant menus. It’s true. I can’t get enough.

The funny thing is, I don’t even eat out that often. I dream of it. But no, most of my meals are made in-house with very little fanfare. Just a cozy table for two and a easy-to-please Honey Dude who even helps with the dishes. How can you beat that? So when I do go out, I want it to be the best ever meal, not just a means to an end. I want to savor it, soak in the ambiance, and feel like a queen for an hour. I’ve always been that way.

My latest draw is the gluten-free scene here in Foodie Portland, where the folks are health-conscious and eating is trendy, and where there is a running supply of locally published articles to tempt my palate, plus go-to sites like GlutenFreePDX and FoodCartsPortland that spell it all out for me.

The downside is that I can rarely remember where to go, should an on-the-spot outing occur, when someone asks: Where should we eat? It’s both the best and worst question I’m ever asked. The brain takes so long to sort through the options that the group has usually decided before I can even pip a squeak. Now that I am eating gluten free, I am forced to have a few eateries on speed dial, should that fated question pop up.

My tried-and-true “A-List”:

  • Por Que No? > I’m never disappointed by their range of GF tacos and bowls. Bonus: They know all about cross-contamination and can steer you in the right direction without a fuss.
  • Iorio’s > A romantic nook of a place true to Italian form, but with homemade GF pasta and splurge-worthy GF calamari served with two yummy dipping sauces.
  • Blossoming Lotus > Absolutely everything on their menu rocks, from the heavenly quinoa bowls to the raw fudge. Plus, all of their wow-worthy sauces are GF!

Next to try:

  • Babica Hen > Where brunch rules and a menu full of GF waffles can be ordered half-and-half style, meaning I can go sweet and savory all in one go (oh, the endless hunt for this combo)!

Food carts and menu items (thanks to very helpful reviews by

I don't even like Reubens. But this gf creation by GF Chef looks amazing!
I don’t even like Reubens. But this gluten free creation by GF Chef looks amazing!
  • Starchy and Husk > Huggie Bites: gluten free sweet potato hush puppies – 5 for $2
  • The Heart Cart > Sweet Potato Tacos: handmade tortillas, cinnamon black beans and corn, apple garlic salsa and cilantro – $2 each
  • GF Chef > Reuben Sandwich – $8
  • Mighty Bowl > The Might Bowl: Brown rice, black beans, avocado, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, olives, salsa with a tangy house sauce – $6.50 for large
  • Year of the Fish > Cod/Snapper/Halibut and Chips – $7+

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