The Best of Beirut
on Dec 8, 2014 By Danielle Issa
A third of Americans claim they’re trying to eliminate gluten from their diets, despite the fact that only 1% of the population is affected with celiac disorder.
For the uninitiated, gluten is the protein found in wheat and related grains like barley and rye. Whether or not gluten-free is just another fad diet (does anyone recall the sugar-free sham of the 80s and 90s?) is yet to be seen. But many restaurants in Beirut are starting to cater to this special dietary need.
Obsession or disease, gluten-free seems here to stay, and these forward thinkers in Lebanon’s capital are dishing it up to appease all walks of diners.
With the launch of their revamped menu in October, Crepaway created options to accommodate its gluten-free subscribers. Now all sandwiches and burgers can be outfitted with gluten-free bread in the form of a bun or baguette.
For example, opt for a chicken avocado sandwich, but be sure to mention that you have gluten allergies. You could also forego the bread-y offering altogether and stick to the filling D-Lite chicken or beef platters that come loaded with grilled potato slices and a side salad.
*Other locations across Lebanon.
Image via Sans Gluten Beyrouth
PZZA.CO, sister restaurant to BRGR.CO which now boasts a branch in London, introduced a few new items this autumn to emphasize seasonal ingredients, one of which is cannelloni stuffed with pumpkin, spinach and ricotta.
Gluten-free fans also have reason to rejoice, because the pizzeria’s developed a new dough that eliminates gluten altogether! After all, what existence could ever be complete devoid of the cherished Italian pie? Have the marinara topped with a signature tomato sauce, fresh and dried basil, and oven-roasted cherry tomatoes.
Image via Instagram
Craving Italian food in an authentic trattoria but worried about how you’re going to fare against all the carb-rich delights Italian cuisine proposes? Head to Tavolina in Mar Mikhael whose menu counts a gluten-free rigatoni pasta among a slew of Mediterranean offerings.
You could also go for the calamari alla griglia or the insalata di mara for a pure pescetarian pleaser. I like to combine the two into a hearty seafood piatti principali.
Camille Youssef Chamoun Street
Image via Sans Gluten Beyrouth
One restaurant in Beirut immediately comes to mind when the concept of “superfoods” or health-consciousness in general arises, and that is Captain Cook.
Offering a menu replete with delicious and wholesome dishes, I’m particularly crazy about their AC/DC Quinoa Salad (hold the halloumi). Just recently they started serving a Chia Salad with the eponymous wonder seed tossed in a bouquet of vegetables (skip the tortilla strips). Add a grilled chicken breast for a sating lunchtime meal.
Riad El Solh
Image via Captain Cook
What about gluten-free options for our sweet tooth lovers? FLOR, inside City Mall Dora, is a specialist in Italian gelato, and they now offer cones and flavors tailored to those who can’t stomach the grain. Simply inform the attendant behind the gelato stand, and she’ll duly change her gloves and replace the scooper to avoid any contamination.
Curious as to which flavors bide well with your needs? There are at least two dozen, including Pistacchio Siciliano, Yogurt Alpi, Tiramisu Di Zia Nina, Cioccolato Java, Limone Di Amalfi, and Mango Ataulfo.
Image via Whereleb
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
I can't thank you enough for those information. I have celiac disease and I've struggled a while when trying to eat out. Thank you so much.
If you want an update there's a Chinese restaurant located at abc called PF Chang which offers a gluten free menu.
Keep up the good work
Thank you Danielle for the photo credits of "Sans Gluten à Beyrouth"! :)
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