With my sensitive stomach, eating out is often times a source of anxiety. Not being in control of the ingredients being used / meal preparation is tough especially when the foods that trigger my issues are often times sneakily hidden (try finding a marinara sauce or salsa without onion or garlic…).
A search of gluten-free restaurants near Baltimore had lead me to One Dish Cuisine in nearby Ellicott City. After coming across a buy one, get one free meal coupon in the paper I decided Z and I needed to go on a “day date” and try it out.
One Dish Cuisine was started by Maureen Burke (who I had the chance to meet and is delightful). She suffered for over 25 years before being diagnosed with celiac disease and knows the hardship that food intolerances can present. She started this café to show people that you can still eat well despite dietary restrictions.
“At One Dish Cuisine, I know that many of us on Gluten Free Diets have other food allergies and restrictions so I created a color coded system identifying other top allergens; such as Casein Free (which is Free of Lactose, Milk and Dairy), Soy Free, Egg Free, Corn Free, Fish Free, and Animal Product Free.”
Walking in we were instantly greeted by Maureen who walked us through all of the different foods and options they offer. They even have a user-friendly, color-coded labeling system:
The entire menu is customizable sandwiches and pizzas made to order to your specifications. There’s even a binder right at the counter listing the ingredient information so you can make sure you know what you’re getting (so wonderful!).
Upon the recommendation of Maureen, I decided to test out the dairy-free swiss cheese which is actually made from tapioca! While you could tell it wasn’t “real” cheese it was still tasty (if this sounds intriguing to you, the brand of cheese is called Daiya).
We were also brought bread samples, each mini-loaf was freshly baked, and still warm. The rye bread was hands down my favorite. Truly phenomenal.
I could not stop smiling at the fact that I finally found a place to eat out where I didn’t feel like a weird outsider….a place where people understood the concept of dietary restrictions and the struggles that come along with them…a place where I felt “normal.”
Maureen was wonderful and truly made Z and me feel welcome. It’s obvious that she’s passionate about what she does.
I want to know…
Do have a favorite local café/restaurant/store?
What makes it special?