I noticed in many of the comments on the Mr. P’s Facebook page, the Schroonlaker.com post and my post, people are commenting about not having any gluten free dining options in town. It might be worth a follow up post to let everyone know there are actually quite a few options for both Celiacs and people who eat gluten-free for health reasons.
I have to disclose that I tend to eat mostly vegan, vegetarian, or a little bit of fish, so that tends to skew my suggestions.
Sticks and Stones – They have gluten-free pizza cooked on separate pans, lots of GF options on their regular menu, and vegan too. The fresh fish option is usually GF, the scallops are amazing. They have always accommodated my requests for items served on separate plates when sharing with others at the table. There is a GF chocolate torte (awesome!) and a lemon sorbet that is GF and vegan for dessert. If there is any question about ingredients, they have no problem bringing the item in question to my table to let me read the ingredients for myself.
Timberwolf Pub – This is where you will find me every Tuesday for Timberwolf’s create your own Pasta night. Chef Tony from Sticks & Stones moonlights for one night a week, serving GF penne pasta and you choose the rest, the proteins, the veggies, the sauce, the cheese. It’s about $15 and comes with a salad, it’s such a big portion, I usually get at least 2 meals out of it. My favorite is the GF penne pasta with scallops and shrimp, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, in either a Fra Diablo sauce or a white wine sauce. All GF, cooked separately. For non-GF customers, there are other pasta options like fettuccine or angel hair. On non-pasta nights, there is a baked haddock or grilled chicken dinner available.
Witherbee’s – The Snickers Martini alone is worth going to Witherbee’s for, but Patty and her crew do a great job accommodating GF requests. They recently hosted the Chamber’s winter social dinner and made a fantastic portobello mushroom dinner with quinoa, and a GF panna cotta for dessert (I didn’t even ask for a GF dessert, they just made one because they knew they had a GF diner coming!) Plus the Thursday night Open Mic Night in the Loft is the place to be for live music. If you’re not sure about a menu item, just ask Amanda or Patty, they’ll take care of you.
Flanagan’s – I do tend to default to the salmon salad or salmon entree here because they are easy and GF, the ginger apricot glaze on the salmon is yummy. Just ask for no croutons on the salad. Rustin’s homemade soups are awesome, many are GF, and you can usually substitute corn tortilla chips for the oyster crackers. This is really good with the chili or the southwestern chicken soup. I haven’t ventured to try much else on the menu because I don’t do dairy, there may be more GF options available.
DeCesare’s – Deb and her crew are experienced with cooking for Celiac customers. I think she still does GF pizza, and if you have GF pasta to bring in, she’ll cook it up as a side, as a spaghetti dinner, or baked ziti. They also make a grilled chicken parm, no breading, and their wings are baked, not fried, so they are safe to eat too.
Pitkin’s – Marie makes some really good homemade soups; I had a tomato and lentil the other day, it was amazing. They can do some easy fixes to make items GF, sandwiches with no bun (or bring your own), salads without croutons, baked fish dinners.
Alpine did or does have a GF pizza crust, not sure if they still carry it, but Ralph will readily acknowledge it is not prepared in a way that is safe for Celiacs. I didn’t forget about Drake’s; I have never eaten there because they’re open during the summer when I haven’t been able to get out of my own kitchen.
With all of our local restaurants, they are usually willing to make accommodations if it can be done, just ask. And most have the typical grilled chicken salad or dinner of some form. It doesn’t hurt to mention Celiac or food allergy, not just gluten-free diet, to give a friendly reminder for proper food handling in the kitchen, changing gloves, clean work space, different utensils.
Unfortunately, Mr. P’s was the only restaurant with a dedicated GF fryer, so there aren’t any safe french fries or anything from a fryer. So for all my Schroon Lake restaurant colleagues, it might be worth your while to invest in a GF fryer and put the word out. Just sayin. (I also know where you might be able to pick up a used fryer.)