Chicago Knows its Gluten Free Food

When it comes to gluten free food, Chicago is not messing around. The hubs and I spent the entire weekend eating and drinking and there was not one place that we visited that wasn’t fantastic. Not only was the food delicious, but the staff almost everywhere we went was incredibly knowledgeable about both gluten-intolerance and Celiac Disease. They went above and beyond to take care of us, explain menus to us and recommend items on the menu that they knew we could eat. I was absolutely blown away by the quality of care we received!

Here are a few of our favorite places that we visited this weekend:

We loved the gluten free pizza at Homeslice. And not just because the name of the restaurant is great, but because they make their gluten free crust from scratch and it is thick, fluffy and delicious – and will bring back memories of the days when your pizzas were gluten-filled.

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Mity Nice Bar & Grill serves homemade gluten free cheese muffins made with tapioca flour that are glorious! And their gluten free hamburger buns will make your stomach smile.

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Plus you can grab a gluten free beer almost anywhere. No joke. Search for beer on findmeglutenfree.com in Chicago and over 150 locations are listed. I can’t find beer that many places in the entire state of Mississippi! We were even able to enjoy some Redbridge at Wrigley Field! Because nothing goes better with baseball than cold beer!

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But of everywhere we ate this weekend our favorite restaurant was Wildfire. We almost didn’t go because we try to avoid any “chain” restaurants when we travel. But the reviews for Wildfire were just extraordinary – and since there are only seven Wildfire Restaurants in the US, and all of them are in the Midwest (far from Mississippi!), we decided to pay it a visit. And were we ever glad that we did!

Let’s start with the the Gluten Free menu itself. Two pages long, the options are so extensive that choosing what to eat is a challenge in itself! Luckily, your server will probably be extremely helpful (ours certainly was!) and he or she will walk you through the options. After they bring you your delicious homemade gluten free bread of course! I am not using the word delicious lightly here either. The bread is great! They make their bread with Damata gluten free flour – something that I will be investing in as soon as I make it back to Mississippi for sure!

While we enjoyed our bread, our waitress talked us into the Spinach and Artichoke Fondue, which is served with homemade gluten free pita chips, also made with Damata gluten free flour. Holy cow. Those chips were rockin’. I could live on those pita chips they are so good. By the time we got finished with the bread and the spinach and artichoke dip, we were both getting so full, we had no idea how we were going to eat our steaks that we had ordered!

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But somehow, we managed. To eat not just our bone-in filets (which were cooked to absolute perfection I might add) but also to share what was arguably the greatest gluten free macaroni and cheese in the history of macaronis. Several times during the meal I noticed that my husband actually had his eyes closed while he was chewing, as if he was savoring every bite.

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We were both stuffed after the meal, there was no way we could even consider ordering a dessert. But our incredible waitress insisted on bringing us the flour-less chocolate cake – a dessert she described as “life-changing”. I’ve rarely eaten a dessert that is worthy of such high praise, but she was adamant about it.

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When it arrived at our table, I knew that I was done for. It looked absolutely incredible. Like everything else throughout the meal, the dessert was perfection. It was warm, gooey and rich. We devoured the entire thing, despite the fact that we were so full we could barely move.

After we were finished, while we were waiting for our check and talking about how impressed we were with the entire meal, my husband said to me, “Honestly, if all gluten free food tasted this good, I would have started eating this way before I even found out I was allergic to gluten. This was amazing.”

If you are ever in Chicago, stop by Wildfire Restaurant. Sure, it is a “chain”, but you certainly won’t feel that way once you step inside. The food is delicious. The waitstaff is wonderful and incredibly knowledgeable about their gluten free menu. And did I mention that all of your food is served with these adorable “allergy” sticks to indicate a food allergy?

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And oh yea, order the dessert. No matter how full you are. It’s totally worth it!

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