Celiac Slump in Newburyport

I begin to figure out how to eat at home with this gluten free, Celiac thing (see earlier entries), but what about my beloved, in a pinch or not even in a pinch, Newburyport take-out restaurant.

I go to my first line of take-out defense, Chinese–Szechuan Taste on Pleasant Street. On one of my Newburyport walks I stop by during a non-busy afternoon time. I look at the soy sauce on the table, it contains “wheat, ” ie gluten. I am too discouraged to ask about how they prepare the actual food. I will come back at another time.

My next stop is my beloved Purple Onion on Inn Street. One of my favorites, their “Roast Beef Sandwich on Multigrain Bread” is obviously out, but what about their “Garlicky Saute Chicken” over rice? I talk to the owner who graciously goes and checks the labels on their tamari sauce–it contains wheat/gluten. I am crestfallen. I will return at a later date and we will check the ingredients in their guacamole, shredded cheese (yes this can contain gluten to prevent caking–good grief), hot sauce and sour cream. Too many labels in one spot for me today.

And I think “Ah hah,” Newburyport, a city that is cuisinewise diverse, has two Indian restaurants, Indian food being naturally gluten free using rice and bean based flours (who knew I would know about this sort of thing two months ago??). I go over to Pleasant Street again, enter the small, beautiful park, Tracy Place and go into Jewel In The Crown restaurant. I explain my predicament and the response is “Not to worry, no wheat.” I tell them that they have now become my new best friend, and I have found my first celiac take-out place. Whew.

And when I go to Jewel In The Crown restaurant for lunch the next day, they could not be more gracious, and are very patient in repeating the phrase that now makes me so happy: “No wheat.” And I look forward to eating every item on their menu, something I would never have done before being told to go on the gluten free diet from Hell. My celiac slump feels slightly less slump like as I try my first dish, “Chicken Saag,” in an introduction to a brand new cuisine. And I am so taken with chicken saag, that I go home to my trusty computer to find a recipe for this incredible gluten free dish and add it to my now beginning celiac repertoire.

PS. Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in Newburyport has a gluten free menu. I tried their grilled chicken breast, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans, and it was great. It was also very nice to walk into a place and no have to explain this “weird” thing, and to have them completely understand.