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Friday, July 10, 2015

The 5 Best Gluten-Free Dishes in Bloomington

Categories: Wine & Culinary

When you're a food enthusiast living with dietary restrictions, eating out can put a serious damper on your appetite. In so many restaurants, the only safe bet is the house salad (hold the croutons and the bacon), which gets old pretty quickly. Luckily, being the accommodating and food-centric town that Bloomington is, having one or more restrictions doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor to eat safely for your condition or lifestyle.

It was tough to narrow it down, since there are so many great options, but here are my 5 favorite gluten-free and vegetarian dishes in Bloomington!

Irish Lion Vegetarian Gluten-Free

Veggie Medley

(The Irish Lion)
The day you go gluten-free and/or vegetarian, the whole wide world of pub food is closed to you. Except at The Irish Lion, of course. The dish is simple, with stir-fried vegetables over rice, but the seasoning is phenomenal (so good that my carnivorous date constantly steals bites from my plate). The portion is huge, so you'll be set for lunch the next day.
Pair with a Magners Irish Cider and a snow day.

Vegan Coconut Curry

(Malibu Grill)

This is a recent addition to Malibu Grill's huge menu. It is vegan and gluten-free, but meat can be added if you wish. It has great flavor and a bit of a kick, but is still mild enough that a curry rookie would enjoy it. The portion size is perfect, and it is filling without being heavy.
Pair with a pinot grigio and a view of the courthouse.

Sweet Grass Tomato Soup Vegetarian Gluten-FreeRoasted Tomato Soup

(Sweet Grass)

I have had many a debate about whether or not soup can be a main course. The answer is yes, especially if you go to Sweet Grass. This is the best tomato soup I have ever had in my life (and I have eaten a lot of soup)...it is decadent, creamy, and topped with veggies and corn relish which add some great texture. Make sure to ask for it without croutons!
Pair with a shiraz and a soup debate.

Pizza

(Bucceto's)

One of the things I miss most from my gluten-eating days is pizza. We all know how tragic it would be to never eat pizza again, so I am very thankful for Bucceto's. You can get one of their specialty pizzas made with the gluten-free crust, or choose your own toppings (my go-to is basil pesto, broccoli, spinach, and ricotta). You can eat in the restaurant, or get carryout from either location.
Pair with a gluten-free beer and Netflix.

Pad Broccoli

(Siam House)

The best place to go for a variety of dishes is 4th Street. With so many cultures represented, you are bound to find a dish to fit your taste and lifestyle. My favorite is Pad Broccoli from Siam House. Because soy sauce is not gluten-free, a lot of Asian food is off limits (moment of silence for my midnight Chinese-food orders). This dish is made with a garlic-wine sauce over rice noodles, veggies, and the protein of your choice (TOFU!) so it is safe to eat for the gluten-free diners.
Pair with a cabernet and some people-watching.

*If you are just gluten-free, or just vegetarian/vegan, there will be great choices for you at every restaurant in town!

Danielle Riendeau

Danielle Riendeau

Danielle is the Graphic Designer for Visit Bloomington, and has been living here since 2007. When she’s not designing or taking photos, Danielle is probably walking her dogs, watching IU Basketball, or enjoying the local wine and vegetarian cuisine.

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