Gluten has been on everyone’s mind lately, but not in everyone’s diet. With the growing trend of celiac disease and gluten intolerance, many people prefer to keep it off their plates. In Minnesota, a lot of the restaurants have recognized the need for gluten-free options and have added gluten-free items to their menus. However, although restaurants label items “gluten-free,” they may not be aware of what gluten actually is. The following restaurants not only know what gluten is, but they have a highly trained staff that understands and ensures that gluten-free guests will not unknowingly be fed something that will poison their gut.
Mill Valley Kitchen
3906 Excelsior Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Tucked down the road from uptown Minneapolis on the border of St. Louis Park is Mill Valley Kitchen. This healthy find caters to all types of diets, food allergies and gluten-freers. The items on the menu that conform to the gluten-free way are clearly marked with a “gf.” Other items can be made gluten-free by just subtracting or substituting an ingredient. Just let Mill Valley know you’re gluten-free and it’ll make sure no gluten touches your plate. Mill Valley Kitchen also supports local farmers and uses healthy cooking practices in all of its dishes. It even has a fabulous selection of gluten-free desserts to end your meal.
2409 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Ecopolitan is a vegan-friendly, raw food and organic restaurant that is familiar with special diets. Most of its menu items are gluten-free to begin with and others can be easily modified to be gluten-free. For such a restrictive food list, Ecopolitan has a remarkably large menu and a knack for making healthy foods delicious. Favorites are its chilled soups, smoothies and gluten-free pizza. There is also an oxygen bar on site in case you need some extra oxygen to go with your meal. Let Ecopolitan know you are gluten-free and it will be happy to accommodate you. Who knows, you may decide to go vegan too.
Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar
7 1st Ave. S.W.
Rochester, MN 55902
If you live south of the Twin Cities, gluten-free dining is still an option. In downtown Rochester, Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar serves up an entire menu of gluten-free dishes. Ask for the gluten-free menu and you can order gluten-free pasta dishes, pizzas and desserts. Victoria’s even provides a gluten-free roll to eat with your gluten-free salad. Those who love gluten agree that the meals off the gluten-free menu are sometimes even better than the heavily gluten-laden ones. Gluten-free dieters can really relax at Victoria’s and feel like a normal eater again with all of the options they have been missing for so long.
777 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Brasa is an American-Creole restaurant with locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Its menu centers around creole “comfort food” which, surprisingly, contains little to no gluten. The menu has so many gluten-free options that the few items that are not gluten-free are marked as such. Brasa supports local farmers and only uses fresh and natural ingredients from known premium sources. There is also a vegetarian menu for your vegetarian friends to enjoy. However, vegetarians will miss the delicious pulled chicken and smoked beef.
Twigs Tavern & Grille
401 6th St. S.W.
Rochester, MN 55902
Twigs Tavern & Grille, located in Hotel Soldier Field, is entirely gluten-free. Gluten is banned harder than weapons at Twigs because it believes in eliminating the threat of cross-contamination in the kitchen. Twigs went entirely gluten-free when its owner was diagnosed with celiac disease and ordered to maintain a strict gluten-free diet. Those that do eat gluten, however, will still enjoy their meal. Twigs uses all fresh and local ingredients and serves a tapas menu for sharing as well as a dinner menu. Hot rock grilling is also at Twigs. Guests can grill up fresh meats and veggies on a tableside hot stone. Relax at Twigs, the highly trained staff will make sure gluten stays at least 10 feet away from the building at all times.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.