I had the chance to tag along on my husband’s business trip to Austin a couple of weeks ago. The kids were at sleep away camp and it was the perfect opportunity to visit good friends.
We were only there for two days and I wanted to share with you the restaurants where we found amazing gluten free options :-).
First and foremost, our Whole Foods here in the Bay Area are just NOT as cool as the ones in Austin. (Maybe because Austin is considered home to Whole Foods. Their flagship store is still located in downtown Austin.)
This Whole Foods location in the Domaine has a micro beer pub in the middle of the store! (No gluten free beers, but it looks like they had cider.) My friend said it was the place to be for happy hour.
It looked like there were about 20 different beers on tap in this Whole Foods Brew Pub.
Now, I am going to prerequisite this story with one thing…we didn’t get BBQ on this trip. I know, I know. What Austinite doesn’t get BBQ when they are back in town after a long BBQ dry spell?? I am sad to say it just didn’t work out in the limited time we had. Even our last ditch BBQ favorite, Salt Lick, in the Austin Airport was not open at 2 am when we arrived :-(.
Austin in two days, when it was 102 degrees outside…it is impossible to get to all of our favorites.
Just in case you are wondering, our very favorite Austin BBQ places are County Line, Salt Lick, Iron Works, and Rudy’s.
There may be new places as we moved to the Bay Area almost 10 years ago. Do you have a different favorite spot for BBQ in Austin?
(Breakfasts were quick affairs and I have no great breakfast spots to share. We just ate gluten free oatmeal that we brought with us. We didn’t have time to really grab anything.)
Lunch for me was a trip to my ultimate favorite grab and go healthy food was at Snap Kitchen. I wrote a post about Snap Kitchen last time I was in Austin. I am still holding out that they will expand West and come to the Bay Area someday. They stock take away foods (or heat them up and eat them there.) If you need paleo, gluten free, ultra healthy….they have it.
David and I decided to go for Tex Mex for dinner. It is a type of Mexican food we haven’t found a substitute for in the Bay Area.
Everyone kept talking about Maudie’s Tex Mex, so we decided to give it a try.
Yes, this location does look like it is a hole in the wall place…
First off, their gluten free menu is “gigantic!”
There were so many choices it was overwhelming. When does that ever happen when you are gluten free?? We decided to enjoy a freshly mulled blackberry mojito margarita to help clear our minds enough to choose 🙂
I have to give kudos to Maudie’s for understanding gluten free. Even the person who brought chips to our table, and didn’t speak any English, understood the word gluten free. She brought us special chips still in their bag whenever we needed chips. This was just amazing. How often do you go to a Mexican restaurant and wonder if the chips were made in a fryer that wasn’t dedicated gluten free?
Decisions were made. I had the beef enchiladas and my husband had the chicken enchiladas with queso.
The second night, we decided to meet up with some friends. They all worked in Northwest Austin, so we decided to try a restaurant in the middle so it would be easy to get to for everyone with traffic.
We were told that Gusto Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar was a great place for gluten free dining. I have to agree. Everything was freshly made and any dish that wasn’t gluten free was easily adaptable.
Appetizers were the proscuitto & figs with a honey drizzle and shishito peppers with cheese. Both were good, though there weren’t many shishito peppers in the one appetizer.
Hands down my favorite was the brick chicken. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. The chef made this gluten free by substituting the side dish and gave me mashed potatoes.
Gluten free pasta cooked in separate water. The salmon was cooked perfectly.
So that is our whirlwind trip to Austin. From here we went to Denver and Boulder to visit more friends and get in some hiking in the Rocky Mountains….stay tuned to hear about the fun restaurants we found!