Gluten Free Lobster Roll in NYC: 5 Napkin Burger

Gluten Free Lobster Roll? Really?

The last time I had a lobster roll was in 1999 on Block Island. In between moped rides and taking in the awesome views of the island I stopped by someplace and woofed down a lobster roll.

In hindsight, I totally took it for granted.

Living in New York City limits the possibilites of casually picking up a lobster roll. Its not like being in Maine where lobster rolls are on a lot of menus because, well, they have a lot of lobster there.

Here not so much. And a gluten free lobster roll? That is almost beyond hope…

So I was thrilled to find a gluten free lobster roll available at 5 Napkin Burger.

Waiter TIP: When I ordered this gluten free I had to convince the waiter that I was FINE with only having one sandwich. He kept saying “I can’t serve you three of them — you understand right?”

The lobster roll is served on tiny buns normally so the waiter was overly concerned that I expected 3 large buns (they only have large buns). Meanwhile I was thrilled to get any bun! but he had trouble understanding that.

I eat the fries at 5 Napkin Burger and do not get sick BUT check with them if you have a very severe allergy because they may be cross frying. (Read other reviews about 5 Napkin Burger)

Neighborhood: Union Square, Upper West Side


Address: 150 E. 14th Street


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Eating Gluten Free at Dorado in NYC

dorado gluten freeUnion Square has become a taco haven over the last two years and I am loving it!

Dorado Taco is about 2 blocks from my house. What makes this restaurant so different from the other taco places I have written about is the menu at Dorado Taco is clearly labeled with Gluten Free symbols.

How easy! For a glimpse of what they offer check out their online menu (also with gluten free markings) here.

I eat a lot of tacos and Dorado shines in one area: fish tacos. Specifically grilled fish tacos. Usually fish tacos are breaded in NYC – its rare to get a grilled fish taco like you can on the west coast. For this, I heart Dorado Taco! Its one of the only Baja style gluten free taco’s I have run into.

The corn chips are thick here – obviously cut from the hand made corn tortillas. I prefer a thinner chip but if you like these they are good here!

Neighborhood: Union Square


Address: 28 East 12th Street (near University)

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Eating Gluten Free at City Grit Culinary Salon

Gluten Free City Grit Tuna Jamon Paul Qui

City Grit is the brainchild of Sarah Simmons from Food & Wine. She calls it a Culinary Salon because she cooks there but also has guest chefs – some quite famous, some emerging – that come for a week to cook a new menu they are working on or feature selections from their book or TV Show. This salon is located in an elementary school…..bringing back memories when you take a trip to the bathroom.

Friday night Paul Qui cooked up a flavor feast for me and 69 other people. For $90 we enjoyed a 7 course pre-fixe meal. Only one of the courses required alteration for this feast because he used beer and miso in a sauce. Otherwise it was completely gluten free.

The first course was Tuna Jamon a play on melon wrapped in prosciutto. The smoked tuna wrapped in lardo was excellent!

Gluten Free City Grit Tomato WaterSecond course was tomato water with mussel, celery and basil.  The broth tasted like smoked bacon combined with tomato. I wanted more.

City Grit Sunchoke Dashi Paul QuiThe third course was Sunchoke Dashi which had dehydrated uni, squash, and creme fraiche. I liked the mix of crunchy with the creamy sauce this came with.

Our dinner was rounded out by the rest of the courses including smoked trout, quail, pork jowl and a delicious desert featuring rice milk pudding with coconut and peaches.

Sarah Simmons City Grit Gluten Free

I loved basking in the energy of a creative way to introduce chefs and their work to New Yorkers. To me its a great testament to the food culture in New York City. What Simmons has created is a serious place to have culinary fun.

My advice: check it out in the fall. Its HOT in there. They haven’t figured out how to cool the place down to a reasonable level. I am not someone who likes the AC blaring but it was too hot for me. The chairs are not so comfortable. You do feel the “grit” of the experience…but its worth it.

I didn’t talk much about Paul Qui because, well, that’s not really the point of city grit. The point is an opportunity for you to enjoy your favorite author or chef. For more about Qui, did an awesome video located here:

I hope you do.


Neighborhood: Nolita

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My Gluten Free Birthday in New York City

Its my birthday. And I am very pregnant.

My Gluten Free Birthday

But still having a great time! I am two days overdue. I guess I should call myself +2? I started my birthday celebration two days ago as part of a distraction strategy. My husband and I didn’t want to be sitting around on my due date wondering “where is this baby?”

I ate at The NoMad one of my favorite NYC restaurants and last night I ate at Blue Hill here in New York City. It was fun to create a distraction while enjoying some delicious food.

Today my husband ordered me a delicious cake from Tu-Lu’s Bakery in the East Village. There are a few things I absolutely love about Tu’Lu’s one of which is their birthday cakes. They remind me of my grandmother.

When I was little my grandmother always had a cake on a cake stand in the refrigerator when I went to her house. It was so delicious. I remember always checking (on the sly) once I arrived to see if she had made a cake. I was rarely disappointed.  I never saw her making the cake, perhaps this also added to the mystery of it. It was like poof! beautiful fudge cake in the refrigerator ready to eat.

For some reason this cake was so delicious. I learned later it was made out of the box mix!! It was the aura around it that made it delicious. And probably the fact that it was chilled. Chilled cake is so delicious to me. I have never been a huge fan of icing so keeping it cold – for me – make it better. Maybe I should say keeping it cold makes it more like ice cream.

The cakes from Tu-Lu’s remind me of that simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but they are FAR SUPERIOR to that boxed cake I used to adore. The cakes are rich and velvety, moist and the frosting is fabulous.

Address: 338 East 11th Street



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