I enjoyed a brief vacation at my mom’s new place in Arizona last week, and it was a treat to eat out at several restaurants which can accommodate gluten-free diners. I tend to have more confidence in restaurants that specify their gluten-free dishes (or those which can easily be made gluten-free) with a symbol on the menu, because it takes the guesswork out of selecting a meal. However, I have also been impressed by some restaurants whose servers know the menu by heart, and can point out safe dishes, or discuss modifications with me. Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free-safe places to dine in the Phoenix area:
Nourish is a great spot for dining with a group of people with multiple allergens, because the menu is carefully coded with the allergens in each dish. The entire menu is gluten-free, and beyond that, it is very easy to select nut-free options, dairy-free options, soy-free options, and vegan options. The food is fresh, wholesome, and delicious, and Nourish sells a cookbook on site with some of their most popular recipes. Locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert.
True Food Kitchen is the brainchild of Dr. Andrew Weil. The menu focuses on anti-inflammatory whole foods, and gluten-free options are clearly marked. In addition to flavorful, gluten-free entrees like street tacos with sustainable sea bass, turkey lasagna, and panang curry, the menu features wine, beer, sake, and creative juice combos. My favorite is the refreshing juice blend “Kale-Aid,” with kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger. Locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Tryst Cafe sources its mostly organic ingredients locally whenever possible, and its menu clearly marks dishes which can be prepared gluten-free. I particularly like the Ahi Tuna Salad and the Kalua Pork here. Located in North Phoenix.
Cafe Bink, located in Carefree, AZ, is the more casual sister restaurant of Binkley’s in Cave Creek. (Other sister restaurants, which I have not visited, include Bink’s Scottsdale and Bink’s Midtown.) While Cafe Bink’s menu does not specify gluten-free options, the servers are very knowledgeable and can quickly explain the menu. There are very few of its French-American dishes which cannot be made gluten-free. Even the Trout Meuniere, a classic French dish usually made by dredging the fish in flour before cooking, is always made gluten-free here. And it is phenomenal, simply dressed in brown butter with toasted almonds and served on a bed of haricots verts.
Proof Canteen is located in the Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale. Its upscale Americana comfort food menu is accompanied by an impressive offering of cocktails, beers, and old-fashioned soda fountain fare. Gluten-free options are clearly marked on the menu. I’m still dreaming about the Twisted Gin Fizz cocktail I sipped on the patio before diving into the Shrimp and Grits in creole crawfish sauce.