Happy Holidays Gluten Free Greensboro! 'Tis the season- that it, the season for hectic schedules, holiday parties and dining out. The holidays can wreak havoc on any diet, but for allergen- sensitive individuals this time of year can be a nightmare. There is no 'cheating' in celiac disease, so I find the best way to safely navigate the holidays- especially if this is your first holiday living a Gluten-free lifestyle- it to be prepared.
Greensboro does have a variety of restaurants with Gluten-free menu options. OSI Restaurant partners- the parent Company to Outback Steakhouse and Carrabbas Italian Grill have made an excellent commitment to providing a large variety of delicious and gluten-free options, including deserts. Ask your hostess for a Gluten-free menu- there is no dusty black "allergy" binder to sift through as in some restaurants, an experience I have often found frustrating, and frankly, a little degrading. Most friends and family members are more than happy to select a restaurant from a list that is willing to accommodate your needs.
Miss Chinese food? PF Changs at the Shoppes on Friendly has a good variety of options and presents food in a discrete, yet very safe manner. Want Pasta? Olive Garden now provides a GF menu that includes penne pasta as an option. Many local Restaurateurs are more than happy to accommodate GF needs, even if it isn't advertised prominently on their menu. I recommend calling ahead- usually between 2 and 4pm is the best time to reach a knowledgeable individual, oftentimes the owner is even available, and can help to arrange a safe and delicious dining experience. If a restaurant isn't willing to accommodate my needs- I do not give them my patronage, but this has rarely been my experience with the Greensboro Restaurant scene.
In addition to dining out- there are many options for sweet treats, breads, and the like in Greensboro. Lindy's Bakery, if you have yet to try it, is an absolute must. The sweets are as delicious as Lindy is knowledgeable, and she is always trying new recipes! Cheesecakes by Alex, one of my favorites on Elm street, makes a delicious GF cheesecake, using almond as a substitute for the traditional graham cracker crust. He does need a few days notice to prepare your special treat, but I have never been disappointed in the quality or presentation of his art. If you are going to a family gathering or work function and aren't sure there will be GF options available, the best bet is to discuss the menu with your host and, if nothing else, offer to bring an item or two. Most individuals in the general public have no idea what Gluten is, more less how to avoid it, and they do not resent your input. Nothing is more embarrassing that hosting an event and having nothing to offer one of your guests!