Hey folks! I’m writing to you from my house sitting gig from beautiful Ottobine, VA. It’s been such a great time to relax, unwind from all the pressures and worries that I had been going through the last 6 months, and just take a moment to breathe.
After moving to Harrisonburg, VA I found that my dining options, although by no means non-existent, were definitely more limited than being in Northern VA. I am definitely excited though, by just how much I still have access to! In Harrisonburg, there is a great Thai restaurant called Taste of Thai that is VERY familiar with the gluten free diet. I have successfully eaten there multiple times with no problems at all. Just make sure, as always, to be VERY firm about being terribly allergic
Another great place that I recently tried with my parents is Vito’s Italian Kitchen, formerly L’Italia. I was a little hesitant to try it, but it turns out that Vito’s makes a HUGE gluten free pizza! The only option is to get a 12″, but that is so much bigger than most other places that serve pizza! Their toppings were all incredible, very fresh and not terribly salty. The crust was thin and cracker-like, not the best I’ve tasted but certainly not the worst. The waitress was very confident, asked all the right questions, and I didn’t even feel like I needed to talk to a manager (which I so often do when trying a new restaurant for the first time!). It was a great experience, I will definitely go back!
One of my standby cool places to go when here, Clementine’s, has a lot of great seasonal dishes that they can modify for gluten intolerant diners. I went a few days ago with my friend Jenna and had an Oh My Darlin’ cocktail…amazzzzing. I also managed to get a delicious Shrimp and Grits dish with huge plump shrimp, bacon, and lobster cream sauce!!! The sauce was thickened with cornstarch. I was in heaven. The waitress didn’t mind asking questions in the kitchen for me, although it sounded like the chef wasn’t 100% sure what he was talking about, insisting that corn wasn’t gluten free. Um….yes. It is. There is such a thing as corn gluten, but unless you have a corn allergy, it doesn’t effect gluten-intolerant diners. I understand the confusion though
Finally, my life wouldn’t be complete without Sharp Shopper! Sharp Shopper is a FANTASTIC Mennonite-run grocery outlet. The best part about it is that the woman who orders the dry ingredients sold in bulk knows (and loves) my mother, and has started carrying bulk gluten free oats, rice flour, sorghum flour, potato and corn starches, xanthan gum, and tapioca starch. It’s so great! I feel like I can actually afford to feed myself when I buy ingredients here! If you need ANYTHING, ask for Caroline. She is always open to taking requests for new products and will actually let you know when she gets a good deal on something you might like!
Amazingly, Harrisonburg has a lot of great places to eat gluten free! Feel free to post anywhere in town that you know of that has any other great places to eat!