First, please be assured that this is not a diet blog. I cannot stand fad diets. Another pet-peeve of mine are hipster foodie buzzwords, and while we’re on the subject I’m also not falling for well-marketed restaurant concepts that put all their soul into their logo just so they can fill my belly with a heavy dose of self-gratification.
That was harsh, but I’m really just clearing my name. The response from many of my hardcore food-loving friends isn’t always favorable when I order gluten-free. I’ve been accused of falling for Big Food’s marketing ploys, and I don’t appreciate the lack of confidence.
What I do appreciate is a well-made meal free of gluten but loaded with flavor. Avoiding gluten at most meals helps me to feel healthier, fitter, and more alert.
In my quest to eliminate gluten without sacrificing the overall dining experience, I’ve become anti-gluten savvy over the past few years.
Wheat, barley, spelt, and rye are the grains that contain gluten proteins. They’re not too hard to avoid, and a skilled kitchen staff can work wonders on the gluten-free* palette.
Here’s a roundup of my favorite Fort Wayne restaurants that serve real food, gluten-free. Click on the headers for expanded info on each location:
Loving Café is a delightful establishment on the north side of Fort Wayne.
I have enjoyed everything I’ve tried at Loving Café, and I look forward to future visits. Some of the gluten-free items include the dolmas, tempeh salad (also available as a sandwich on gluten-free bread), and the red lentil soup. The red lentil soup is so good that I use the gluten-free bread to soak up the last of it.
Insider’s Tip: Loving Café offers a 10% discount on Mondays.
Fort Wayne is blessed with several Thai restaurants. Yummy has a slight edge over the others with respect to their management of spice level, and overall authenticity of flavor.
The ambiance is basic, but the food is truly engaging. One bite leads to another, and by the end of the meal I’m happily full and feeling healthier than when I arrived.
Yummy Thai is known for carryout and would be a great option if you’re looking to spend a night in.
Pembroke Bakery is nestled downtown inside Fort Wayne’s Art Campus.
Pembroke is known for catering to folks with food intolerance. The owners and kitchen staff go out of their way to accommodate their guests.
I stopped in with my kids for lunch and gluten-free doughnuts recently, and the customer ahead of us had ordered a gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, custom-decorated cake. And I thought I was a progressive foodie with my gluten-free doughnut!
Queen of Sheba is an Ethiopian restaurant just north of downtown.
It is the only place I know of in Fort Wayne that serves teff bread, made from an ancient grain that grows only in Ethiopia.
I don’t know of anything containing gluten on the menu, and the dishes there are healthful and delicious.
I love Queen of Sheba’s vegetarian platter, and I’m told the lamb is a customer favorite.
BakerStreet is the fanciest option of those presented here. It’s fine dining in an upscale atmosphere.
My husband and I have celebrated two wedding anniversaries at BakerStreet, and will likely do so again.
The servers are intensely informed on the menu, and will graciously guide you through as you assemble a gluten-free dinner to remember.
The appetizers are fun, seafood is great, and BakerStreet keeps an impressive wine list. A bar menu is also available if you’re not in the market for a full dinner.
The Hall’s are a venerated Fort Wayne restaurant chain, and each location has a different feel and menu.
The State Street location is diner-style with an old school feel and menu. Think cheeseburgers, cottage cheese, and liver & onions.
The restaurant certainly doesn’t bill itself as a gluten-free mecca, but Hall’s Prime Rib has something most other restaurants don’t: the ability to retain its employees for years, and even decades.
The servers at Hall’s know their menu and will go out of their way to ensure a gluten-free dining experience.
I love their pan-fried fish dinner. It’s battered with eggs and cornmeal, no white (as in “wheat”) flour. With two sides, it's a great dinner at under $10.
*None of the restaurants in the blog are exclusively gluten-free, so if you have an allergy or intolerance to either of the gluten proteins, be sure to inform the kitchen staff.
818 S Calhoun St. Fort Wayne, IN 46802