Sunday, October 19, 2014

A gluten-free Chicago weekend

A few gluten-free observations after a three-day weekend in Chicago...

Visiting Chicago for the first time since last fall, I was looking forward to going to Do-Rite Donuts, where a year ago I got the only fresh-made doughnut I've had in four years.

When I checked the Internet before I left I found that not only is Do-Rite still operating on Randolph Street in the Loop, they've added a second location on Erie Street a couple of blocks east of Michigan Avenue. This location happened to be just one block from my hotel!

So, I had a fresh doughnut for three straight mornings. Not exactly the healthiest way to eat, but these were probably the last doughnuts I'm going to eat until I return to Chicago again (likely next fall), so I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity.

Then there was the pizza. I visited a couple of my favorite haunts from the old days when I indulged in deep-dish pizza, which of course I can't eat any more. But my friends love it and both these places -- Gino's East and Giordano's -- do offer a thin gluten-free pizza. So it was no problem for me to join the party there.

The Giordano's pizza was excellent but the Gino's pizza was extremely disappointing. It was very bland. Since Gino's deep-dish pizza used to be my favorite food in the world, this was a huge disappointment.

One place I visited for the first time was Harry Caray's restaurant. We were looking for a lunch place and I just wanted a salad (because I was overindulging everywhere else), so it didn't matter where we went. But I was surprised and pleased to see that Harry Caray's has an extensive gluten-free menu, and gluten-free beer available.

Speaking of beer, my favorite moment of the weekend came at our pregame tailgate before the Northwestern-Nebraska game. The game was very disappointing but at the tailgate, a Nebraska couple stumbled into our area as they got lost looking for their friends. We offered them a beer and the woman said, "I can't, I have celiac."

Well, guess what? I think she was quite surprised when we pulled out a Bard's for her. Since I wasn't intending to drink the whole six-pack, I was very happy to be able to share. Always willing to help a fellow celiac.

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