I was a little nervous about taking this road trip to North Carolina, never having traveled on a gluten-free diet. But it was no problem at all!
We packed a lunch to eat on the way to Charlotte, and once there we were pleased to find a variety of restaurants with gluten-free options.
Our first stop was the Flying Biscuit Cafe, where we started with fried green tomatoes (coated with cornmeal, not flour) with goat cheese and a sweet cashew-jalapeno relish. I have never been able to manage fried green tomatoes in my kitchen, despite a plethora of helpful hints from well-meaning friends. These were crispy on the outside, and the tomatoes melted in my mouth, but I'm not sorry I can't make them myself---they're not especially stunning. The relish was a delightful surprise, however, providing just the right complement to the tomatoes. For my main course I chose black bean cakes with tomatillo salsa and tomato-basil "stoup" (a cross between stew and soup). Both were delicious.
Next I visited Mexicasa for lunch with a yarn company representative. There I had some wonderful roasted vegetable street tacos topped with generous amounts of cilantro. Very tasty!
For dinner that evening we chose Toast Cafe, based on the lunch menu we had seen earlier that day. The dinner menu was very different, but after grilling the earnest wait staff, we managed to order a delicious dinner. I got a cup of thick roasted vegetable soup and a large plate of spinach and fruit salad. My gluten tolerant companions had the ravioli and loved it. Every one of the servers was friendly and happy to help. I wasn't surprised to see the slogan on their website, "where every server is your server."
We went back to Toast for breakfast the next morning. It was that good. I ordered the gluten-free pancakes (which looked fluffy but were actually quite dense---tasty, though!) and hashbrowns (chunks of potato well-seasoned and cooked until soft but not dry).
Unfortunately, that left me very little room for the Indian buffet at Spice Cafe. They plied us with complimentary mango lassi and dosa (the latter regrettably not gluten free) and I enjoyed delicious vegetable biryani, aloo mutter, and dal with honeydew melon for dessert.
Charlotte is a great place to eat for the gluten-intolerant. As long as you know what to order, the assortment of ethnic and American restaurants makes it easy to find something for every taste.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
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