It’s been a couple of weeks since Craig and I returned from our week-long jaunt to Altea, a bustling fishing town on the Costa Blanca. As Craig recently gave up meat (he’s still eating the odd bit of fish) and I have given up red meat, limited my chicken in-take and relying mainly on fish, (all while still being gluten free) we knew eating out would be a tough one in Spain.
This week we ventured to Wagamama in Old Eldon Square to see what they had to offer gluten free diners. For those who have been living under a rock for the last five years, Wagamama is a pan-Asian restaurant chain specialising in the famous Japanese dish, ramen. When it comes to eating gluten free, good oriental food it by far the hardest to find. The primary ingredient in soy sauce is wheat, and soy sauce is the primary ingredient in virtually everything, so I do then to avoid eating out at Chinese and Thai places if I can, in favour of cooking at home. That being said, some places, including Wagamama, stock tamari sauce, which is a gluten free soy sauce alternative. To me it tastes exactly the same and it’s a wonder that so few places stock this awesome ingredient.
One of the worst things about eating gluten free is feeling totally awkward when you go out for food with friends or family. I’m happy to go anywhere, if I can’t eat somewhere I’ll just eat beforehand/after and go along and be social. However, it really is a good feeling when you find somewhere where the gluten free options are awesome, and chances are, everyone else is happy to eat there. Nando’s is one of those places. Praise the chicken gods who brought us Nando’s – perfectly spiced chicken with awesome sides for a reasonable price – and practically all gluten free (yeah, you heard me.)
I’ve always felt like Revolution’s food menu is one of Newcastle’s best kept secrets, and an ever better kept secret is their half price ‘Mega Monday’ deal. The Collingwood Street venue is a favourite amongst weekend revellers, but when I’ve asked around, not many people have tried the food, which always surprised me because I’d never had a bad experience there. This week, I went back to Rev’s for the first time since going gluten free to see what they had to offer.
I’ve been thinking about starting a series like this for some time and I’ve decided to finally kick myself into touch and give it a go. On the blog I do tend to focus on the smaller, local businesses as I am a huge supporter of the North East’s growing independent food and drink scene; however, I’ve got to admit – we do still eat at the national chains. In fact, since being diagnosed gluten intolerant, I have found myself eating at these types of places more frequently because they tend to be much more accommodating than smaller operations.
In this series, I will be looking at those big chains, the household names like Nando’s, Wagamama and Handmade Burger Co, and rating them on their ‘gluten free’ offerings – from taste, variety and general customer experience.Read More »