Finding a restaurant with strong gluten-free menu options is like finding gold. Here is one in Guilford, CT.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant that you found online or which someone told you had great gluten free food just to find that really, it didn’t? Sure you could eat something, but really what you could eat was just the few items that were inherently gluten-free and you still had to ask all the questions about shared lines and cross-contamination and by the end you just opted for the salad with oil and vinegar, no croutons, no bread because really that was all that was truly safe?
Going out to eat, just isn’t all that enjoyable when you have to watch everyone else eat the stuff you’d really like to be having. It seems that more and more establishments are touting themselves as gluten-free when really they are gluten-free tolerating or accepting. What I want to know about and where I want to dine out is at those places (few and far between) which are dedicated gluten-free and cater to the gluten-free community. The ones where I can have most of what’s on the menu, not just something. The ones where I can choose from many things that I might like, not just find one thing that I can eat.
Just the other day I found one of those treasures. My son and I went back-to-school shopping at Clinton’s Crossing (outlet stores in Clinton, Connecticut). Being right around deadline time for our next issue of Gluten-Free & More magazine, I tasked my son with searching out where we would have lunch once there.
He searched online and checked menus and came up with “the spot”. I hadn’t doubled checked his pick (Shoreline Diner & Vegetarian Enclave in Guilford, Connecticut) and just went with it expecting…well, not much. Boy was I wrong – and in a good way! This place was the real deal. They not only had gluten-free breads and desserts but they were baked on the premises and just about everything in the dessert display case when you walked in was gluten-free. Wow!
Take a look at these cakes…multi-layered death by chocolate cake, cheesecake, pies, cookies, and brownies, oh my!
This place has dedicated gluten-free fryers and slicers. The wait staff was so pleasant and knowledgeable and the entire experience was a delight.
My son ordered the chicken guacamole melt with a side of hand cut fries. It came with unbelievably good and normal-sized gluten free bread. I had to ask what brand it was…it was that good. That’s when I found out that they baked it on the premises and have an entire bakery in their basement that is divided up to avoid cross-contamination.
I had a cobb salad and an order of their Disco Fries, hand-cut fries served with a side of brown mushroom gravy and a side of cheese sauce for dipping. DELISH!
The only disappointment was that we were so full from lunch that we didn’t have any room for the sinfully good dessert options. Oh well, next time. And boy am I looking forward to next time already! It’s a 45 minute drive…but we’ll find a reason to head back that way soon and go back to the Shoreline Diner & Vegetarian Enclave in Guilford, Connecticut.
This is a classic American diner, not fine dining by any means, but truly a gold mine for the gluten-free ‘diner’.
Get tips on finding safe restaurants and picking smart menu options here.
Oksana Charla is the Design director of Gluten Free & More magazine.Originally posted September 2018