The chefs at the A Kitchen, two of whom are gluten-free, whipped up this nice plate of sauteed veggies for me for a work lunch last week. I had called a couple of days before after perusing the menu and not seeing anything that particularly screamed gluten-free and vegetarian. The woman on the phone gave me the "Oh yeah, there's plenty on the menu that you can eat." It wasn't true and I knew it, since I was looking at their menu online. But it was a work lunch and I had to go and I figured I'd just make them work that much harder when I arrived. Or I'd get a salad.
So I told the server when we arrived that I needed a gluten-free vegetarian dining experience. She was the one who told me that two of the chefs were gluten-free and she asked me enough questions about my needs to make me feel reassured that they knew what they were talking about and how to prepare the food. A Kitchen has an open design, so if I'd wanted to go watch the food being prepared, I could have. In the end I got a plate of sauteed veggies that they had on hand for their menu items -- carrots, mushrooms, ramps, yellow beets, broccoli rabe, and maybe some asparagus -- with a side salad. For the table we got two orders of fried potatoes, one of which we asked they make gluten-free. In all the food was fresh and delicious though not earth-shattering. My colleagues reported that the gluten and non-gluten spuds were similar in flavor, though those dusted in flour were apparently a little crunchier. Despite not being an "OMG that was the best!" sort of experience, it is so nice to have a reassuring dining experience from the server to the chef, whom I thanked for a nice gluten-free experience on my way out. I liked his answer: "My pleasure! I'm gluten-free too!" Or maybe he said, "No problem! I've got celiac too!" I can't quite recall. Whatever he said, it was just the right thing.
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