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 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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Eating Gluten Free at NYC Food Trucks: Calexico


Its a balmy 70 degrees here in NYC today a perfect excuse to explore local food trucks for lunch!

Calexico has a food truck set up at 24th and Broadway that will delight any gluten-free eater seeking out a cheap lunch. This stand is right near Madison Square Park which is awesome on a beautiful day. You can take your lunch for a walk across the street and enjoy it on the park benches. There are also a set of tables right in front of the stand as Broadway is expanded here to include outdoor seating in the middle of the street.

Calexico MenuIn talking with the man running the show I was impressed at his ability to quickly get “gluten-free” and advise me of what I could order!

Options include a wide variety of tacos made with corn tortillas or selecting a burrito that is made “naked” in a bowl.

Here is a link to their menu offered at all of their locations.

Calexico Gluten Free Tacos
Today I tried a Pollo Asado Taco and a Gringo taco.
POLLO ASADO had excellent marinated grilled chicken, avocado salsa, and pico de gallo. The chicken was done perfectly and not dry.
The GRINGO had ancho-cumin spiced ground beef, monterey jack,pico de gallo and crema. It was really great after I added some hot sauce they have at the cart.
Both were wrapped in a crispy corn tortilla and way delicious!! For a grand total of $6 this is hard to beat. You can also order these as a platter and get rice and beans.

Sunshine at Calexico

There are three Calexico carts in the city. The other two are at Wooster and Prince AND Crosby and Broome. These are not as ideal in terms of sitting down and enjoying the outdoors as neither of those locations are offer easy access to a park. Also, its important to show up early to this particular cart before the lunch rush takes over. I was there at 11:45 and had to wait about 10 minutes for my food. It can take much longer as 12-1pm is the height of lunch hour.

This location is very close to Eataly a food delight that everyone should take in! Eataly may be known to you if you have visited Italy, but this is their first US location. There is an obscene amount of imported Italian delicacies, 4 restaurants, a beer garden on the roof and even a GLUTEN FREE section!!

Neighborhood: Flatiron

Address: 24th Street & Broadway


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Hencho En Dumbo Tasting Menu Gluten Free

Hencho en Dumbo tasting MenuHencho En Dumbo. Saturday Night. Tasting Menu. Perfect.

Let me tell you a secret about Hencho’s Chef’s Menu / Tasting Menu: Its the perfect place for someone to go who is gluten free, wants to experience authentic Mexican food, and enjoys interacting with Chef. In other words – its one of the few places in NYC that you can actually speak to the cooks while you are eating.

You are seated at a counter that surrounds the cooks who are actively preparing everyone’s meal. Its you, face to face with her asking for a gluten free meal. The lead in the kitchen that night was affable beyond belief when I gently reminded her that something came out that I could not eat (this only happened for me with desert). She easily glided to another selection.

This personal connection really made the meal for me. I didn’t feel uncomfortable like I do at times when something comes out from the kitchen “wrong.”  SURE – The menu from the start is about 95% perfect most nights. The amount of modifications during my dinner were precisely 2 small changes (removing a crisp cookie on top of the desert and not breading one piece of fish) out of 6 courses. But, it was great to have this connection and be in the flow of the food as it came to me.


Hencho en Dumbo Cold Salad

The first course was amazing cold salad with perserved peppers, thinly sliced fresh mozerella, avocado, and finished with a delicate and very light cream sauce. I enjoyed this course and most others with the Txakolina which is a basque wine that worked will with all of the dishes for the most part. At the end I should have steered to something heavier.


Hencho en Dumbo Shrimp Beans EntreeThe second course was a combination of shrimp, roasted red peppers, octopus, and beans. The sauce was very light and the whole thing came together in an exceptional way. It felt like there was tomatillos in the sauce and perhaps a slight addition of beans.




Hencho en Dumbo Crispy Black BassThe fourth course was the first sign of a change – my husband eats gluten so his came out crispy while my fish was simply broiled. It didn’t matter. The black bass with set in a sauce of lentils with intense flavors of cumin and other spices. Carmelized onions and mushrooms also served as a base.



Final course was a treat - I do not like anything MUSHY. So instead of the flan dish they brought out a flourless chocolate cake. :–) I will return to enjoy the carmel, hazelnuts and fudge they added to the dish. It was amazing.

Make your reservation here

Neighborhood: East Village

Address: 354 Bowery

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