Although I spend as much time as the next celiac reading gluten-free online menus of local restaurants before I take the plunge and spend some cash for a meal I want to be sure won't ruin my health, there are times I need to go with the good old "naturally gluten free" dishes to be found at the most unlikely of spots. Such as The City Bakery, in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, NYC, just a couple of blocks west of Union Square.
The City Bakery, as the name implies serves many (delicious---I know this from my pre-diagnosis days) baked goods. But they also serve incredible salads and other vegetable, vegetable and legume, and vegetable nut and or fruit and cheese dishes at their by-weight salad bar.
The three dishes I chose, pictured here, formed a perfectly balanced lunch for the gluten-free vegetarian. Up top, radicchio with chickpeas and watercress in a light vinaigrette, Next, green beans with parmesan, lemon and toasted pignoli nuts. And finally, the dish below which satisfied my carb needs and functioned as a naturally sweet dessert for me (I was, after all, surrounded by all manner of unavailable sugary treats--but I actually found this a totally satisfying end to my meal!)--roasted sweet potato with cilantro and grilled pineapple.
There were cups of fresh gazpacho, too. And other times I've been at City Bakery, the fruit salads have been delectable! Each dish contains no more than three or four ingredients, and each is so comforting in its "just chosen from the greenmarket" spirit, I feel safe and happy eating there. Of course, any trip out of your own gluten-free kitchen entails a degree of risk, and for some, the cross-contamination possibilities of eating in a non-gluten-free bakery may be too stressful, but for me, this was a convenient place to stop on one of those marathon walk days I sometimes do, so I was delighted to find such lovely food I could enjoy. Sold by weight at $14 per pound.