Thursday, July 11, 2013

portland provender: a gluten free guide to eating in portland

prov-en-der: food. I didn't realize I had some great alliteration going in the Seattle Snacking series, so I decided to try and keep it up throughout our summer travels. I even learned a new word!

Traveling as a celiac can have its ups and downs. Ups include getting to try so many new and unique gluten free options, but downs include having to do massive amounts of research before finding places to safely eat.

Just as we were getting comfortable in Seattle, we headed down to Portland and began the search all over again. Since Ben's sister lives in Newberg (a smalllll town) there weren't too many options nearby, but Portland and the surrounding areas had a lot to offer!

The first provender establishment we tried was Tula. I had done some research and found some entirely gluten free restaurants, and this was one of the only ones that had several corn free options. 

We immediately fell in love with this inviting little bakery! The staff was friendly, the atmosphere was bright and cheerful, and the food was labeled. ALL OF IT. Every single item had a great little sticker on the display, letting customers know which possible allergens might be in it. I didn't even have to ask about corn products, because the stickers were already there!

Everything on the menu looked fabulous. I had been craving a panini since landing in Seattle, and this one was worth the wait. We got a cinnamon chocolita bar to split after our lunch. Everyone, including my non-gf family members, were impressed by the food and prices at Tula!

One of my goals while in Portland was to visit Crave Bakeshop. I had heard so many great things from friends and bloggers, and I knew I couldn't leave Portland without stopping there! The next day, we drove from Newberg to Oswego to find the little bake shop. While pricier than some of the other places we have visited, our stop was well worth it!

Kyra and her staff were amazingly helpful! Not only did they help me to pick out some goodies without corn, but also pointed us in the direction of an awesome restaurant for lunch! We got some cupcakes for the family and some amazing hamburger buns for sandwiches for the beach trip.

Armed with the information from Crave, we headed toward Portland to find Jade Bistro. Were we in for a treat! I wasn't sure at first, because the gluten free items weren't listed anywhere that we could see. The cashier gave us a menu, though, and walked us through how to find gf items and all the precautions the staff go through to ensure there is no cross contamination. We felt secure knowing we would be taken care of, but then came the hard part: choosing what to eat among the huge variety of delicious looking entrees and appetizers!

Eventually, we settled on a few different items. We got the sesame balls, spring rolls, and fresh salad rolls to share. Ben got a beautiful artisan (non-gf) sandwich and I got the garlic lemongrass chicken. What came out was a TON of food, and we were happy to take it home for leftover meals later on!

Overall, our time in Portland was fabulous. We had a great time exploring, spending time with family, and trying out some of the amazing gf cuisine! If you're ever in the Portland area, I highly recommend all three of these establishments!

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