Taking on DC’s Restaurants the Wheat-Free Way
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 00:10
Last weekend was the one that I’ve been looking forward to almost all semester: Parents’ Weekend. Personally, I love when my family makes the yearly trip down to Georgetown to visit me. It’s a mini vacation for them and a whole lot of shopping and eating for me. Last year, I indulged in authentic Italian food at Filomena and crab cakes at the quintessential Georgetown eatery, Clyde’s — also known as “the fancy Tombs.” However, this year’s gluten-free necessity only added to the struggle of finding restaurants with reasonable prices and open reservations that could cater to my more restricted diet. The hunt was a little bit harder, but every bite of delicious food made it worth the extra effort.
Thursday Night: Mai Thai
Thursday nights are generally a lot less crowded since it’s only the unofficial start of the weekend, so the options were basically limitless for dinner. However, since I had class until 6:15 p.m., and my family only arrived a few hours earlier, we all wanted to go somewhere nearby with good food and fast service. The solution: Mai Thai. The restaurant is perfect for anyone with a gluten allergy or who is vegetarian, although it is not so great for someone who is allergic to peanuts. Almost all of the noodles are rice-based, and the majority of entrees come with rice. As for dessert, you can never go wrong with sweet rice with mango from Mai Thai, or you can opt to walk off your pad thai and head towards Wisconsin Avenue or M Street for a cupcake or a cup of coffee.
Friday Afternoon: Good Stuff Eatery
I don’t know if I could think of a better way to start off the weekend food binge than by eating a delicious, juicy hamburger from Good Stuff Eatery with fries and a shake on the side. Hamburgers are usually not an option for someone who is gluten-free unless it’s sans-bun, and let’s be honest: A burger without a bun is just a bad piece of steak. Thankfully, Good Stuff has the perfect solution: a burger wrapped in lettuce. It’s the next best thing to eating a traditional hamburger, and thus far, I have not found an edible gluten-free hamburger bun. For those looking to stay a little bit healthier or who are fearful of cross-contamination, Good Stuff also has delicious wedge salads. Whatever you end up ordering, fries and a shake are an absolute must. Black and white shakes are the Good Stuff classic, though toasted marshmallow is my personal favorite. There is also a seasonal pumpkin shake, so take advantage of it before it’s gone.
Saturday Night: Farmers Fishers Bakers
For our last family dinner until Thanksgiving, I wanted to eat somewhere where we’ve never gone before. Located on the waterfront, Farmers Fishers Bakers offers dinner with a gorgeous view of the Potomac. Although they do not offer a specific gluten-free menu, the wait staff was extremely knowledgeable, and the chefs could alter some of the dishes to make them gluten-free, so there were still a lot of options. They also had denotations for which menu items contained nuts and which were vegetarian, so it’s a great place to bring all of your allergy-ridden friends. My only disappointment was in their lack of gluten-free desserts, but my autumn chai tea was the perfect end to my steak dinner.
Whether it’s Parents’ Weekend, a birthday celebration or an impromptu dinner with friends, there are plenty of gluten-free options in Georgetown, whether you venture down to M Street, Wisconsin or even the waterfront. Happy eating!
Christina Wing is a sophomore in the McDonough School of Business. GLUTEN FREEDOM appears every other Friday in the guide.