Eating Gluten Free at NYC Union Square Green Market: Las Delicias

The NYC Green Market at Union Square is right across the street from my apartment. It holds a deep place in my heart because its where I went on my first date with my husband. I was amazed by him and the market – ok maybe a little more amazed by him. It was so obvious to both of us that we wanted to be close to this special place at some point. We have been living that reality for almost two years now.

People who visit the market are always surprised at how extensive it is – way beyond vegetables and fruit  - there are cheese makers, dairy farmers, bakers, fish mongers, bee keepers and much more.

What people also don’t realize is the depth of the selection at the Green Market is possible because of the wide circle around New York City from which farmers are allowed to participate. Farmers from South New Jersey all the way to Vermont are present, making it possible to get things both early and late in each season. I love this. It gives me several weeks to interface with something like strawberries or peaches while they are at their “peak” across several different growing zones.

The other reason to visit the market is the selection. A lot of these famers are growing specialty items that are rarely seen other places such as spigarello, tri-star strawberries, fiddle head ferns and other things that NYC’s Chefs demand to create new dishes.

NYC Gluten Free Cookies Las Delicias

But, the vegetables aside, something really exciting started happening this year at the Green Market. Bakers started making gluten free items. And it hasn’t stopped. Almost every week I run into something new. Most are baking simple things like chocolate chip cookies and breads. And then there is Las Delicias.

Las Delicias Patisserie is taking gluten free baking to a whole new level. A mind blowing level. Like these Cinnamon Walnut Rugelach cookies. They are dreamy taste and texture wise as well as absolutely gorgeous!

NYC Gluten Free Cookies from Las Delicias

The entire display at their booth leaves you wanting for a bigger shopping bag. Beyond the Rugelach, I have tried the Triple Ginger cookies and the Chocolate Chip. Both were also excellent. Next week I will be reaching for the brownies and blondies.

As of now, Las Delicias is only there on Friday. But this is a must try! The owner, Debbie Brenner, says Las Delicias can make many more things but they need to be special ordered (at least for now). Her list was long:

Success cakes with chestnut buttercream (an almond-based meringue with exceptional layers of buttercream and covered with chestnuts and toasted sliced almonds), Torta del Re ( an Italian almond cake, truly exceptional when accompanied by sabayon), flan with dulce de leche, flourless chocolate chili cake, a collection of muffins highlighting GreenMarket ingredients, cupcakes, AND they also offer savory tarts filled with spinach & sweet onions, cauliflower, mushrooms or asparagus.

So swing through the Green Market on Friday and pick up a bag of whatever pleases you….and then come back and special order something from them! You will not be disappointed.

Address: Union Square Green Market (west side of Union Square Park)

Neighborhood: Union Square



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Gluten Free Burger at 5 Napkin Burger

I got off the plane from Barcelona on Saturday with one thing in mind: BURGER. While I enjoyed the fresh seafood in Barcelona, it was time for some read meat!! And something fried! And then I remembered: 5 Napkin Burger opened in my neighborhood.

5 Napkin Burger was originally on the Nice Martin menu, a restaurant on the Upper West Side. It was outrageously popular leading to a whole new restaurant concept. 5 Napkin Burger was born.

The 5 Napkin is not really my kind of place because it does feel a bit like a chain restaurant. It’s big and modern and organized. But, the burgers are worth the somewhat hygienic experience. If you are not a New Yorker, 5 Napkin Burger is probably your kind of place in that it feels much more spacious than other restaurants in NYC. You can make a reservation, it’s family friendly and the tables are NOT “NYC close” (you don’t have to hear everything the person next to you is talking about).

5 Napkin Gluten Free BurgerI ordered the regular, straight up, 5 Napkin Burger. It was fantastic. Caution: I was not able to eat the whole thing with a bun. I forgot how filling a bun is….and the burger itself is 10oz! combined with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli. Of course I also ordered the fries??

My husband was smart and ordered his with Cole Slaw. Its a vinegar slaw and was served in a separate bowl. I am not sure if the waitress did that because I advised her of my intention to share or if its standard. Ask if this is your plan.

There are many other gluten free choices on the menu which varies by location.

We easily got a table at the bar when we arrived around 3pm. The scene was mixed with some people yelling for their team while watching March madness unfold and others entertaining large families. This is a good place to stop with a large party.

Neighborhood: Union Square (and much more including Upper West Side, Brooklyn, Queens)

Address: 150 E. 14th Street

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Eating Gluten Free at Tortaria

Gluten Free Taquitos at TortariaI live in the middle of the East and the West village in New York City – also known as Union Square. The great thing about my neighborhood? NYU is right around the corner and its hungry students create a market for good “cheap eats” restaurants.

My definition of cheap eating in NYC is getting out the door with a non-alcoholic beverage for about $15. Tortaria, which opened a few months back, is a great choice for a quick bite in this price range. I am not exactly sold on the interior being like a roadside bodgea as it attempts to be but the food is good so I am overlooking the chain restaurant like interior.

You can eat here but you must pay attention. Several things on the menu have gluten hiding in them from my personal experience.

Tortaria offers several Taquitos that can be either made gluten free or are gluten free right off the menu.

My favorite is the Carnitas which has braised pork with crumbled Queso Freso, pickled red onions (I am always up for anything pickled) and tomatillo salsa.

The Pollo Asada taquito can be made gluten free – but you must order it without the Frizzled Onion Strings as these are fried and breaded.

The Pollo Asada con Chicharrones is also an excellent choice. Off menu it is gluten free.

Beyond the Taquitos I recommend giving the Guacamole a try although a word of warning that mild is no where near mild so you might consider ordering hot or just season it yourself. A single order of Guacamole is plenty for two people if both of you are getting Taquitos. Guacamole is served with corn chips made onsite.

If you have a cross-contamination issues you will want to ask with what the current status is with frying the corn chips. I was told there was a separate fryer but this could change  if they decide to start frying the Churrittos and the fried onions in the same fryer. I am under the impression that one fryer is used for chips and one is used for everything else including french fries.

Next time I head here I am going to try the Corn Esquites. Every time I see someone eating one of these I WISH I would have ordered this Mexican char-grilled corn on the cob myself! Its slathered in chipotle mayo with chili powder.

Tortaria NYC Tequila Bar Gluten Free

Pregnancy has kept me from evaluating the tequila bar at Toraria but I am impressed with the extensive selection of Tequila they do stock. The bar is the perfect place to stop for a drink early afternoon if you are escaping the Union Square crowds. Let me know if you enjoy it!

Neighborhood: Union Square

Address: 94 University Place (corner of 12th and University)

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