We’ve reviewed a lot of gluten-free restaurants in and around Boulder, and today we went to one of the best we’ve ever visited: Aji Latin American Restaurant. It was a pleasure to dine there for lunch on a recent afternoon, but it was actually a little stressful because the whole time we were desperately trying to note all of what makes Aji great. (Aji has much more going for it than their excellent, well-organized gluten-free menu.) We strongly recommend Aji to our readers, gluten intolerant or otherwise.
We recently wrote an announcement for Leaf’s Spring Equinox Dinner, an event that featured food that was entirely raw, vegan, and gluten-free. Happily, the dinner was a huge success, so Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant (a fine Boulder eatery in the Pearl Street area) will not only host another raw, vegan, gluten-free dinner on April 19th (mark your calenders!), it will host such a dinner every month. So, at least once a month you’ll have the opportunity to dine on fine cuisine that even the most restrictive diets allow.
There is gluten-free food, there is vegan food, and then there is the rare gluten-free vegan food. (There is also the related, and only slightly less rare, gluten-free vegetarian food.) It can be a challenge to find gluten-free food that accords with other dietary restrictions – going gluten-free is itself difficult, and being a gluten-free vegan or gluten-free vegetarian presents additional challenges. To eat gluten-free and vegetarian or vegan requires you to make and dream up most of your own food, demanding considerable ingenuity in designing meals (but happily there are good resources for gluten-free vegan recipes). Soon, however, there will be an excellent new place in Boulder to get gluten-free vegan food and gluten-free vegetarian food. It’s called Native Foods Cafe, and we couldn’t be more excited that it is coming to Boulder soon. What’s Native Foods Cafe in Boulder all about?
Let us begin by correcting the title we just wrote: Snackle Mouth, a Boulder company that recently released a line of delicious and healthy granola snacks, is technically not a gluten-free operation. In order to achieve this designation, a food producer needs to use only certifiably gluten-free ingredients in its products, meaning these ingredients were farmed, handled, and processed in such a way that guarantees that no cross-contamination took place. The products of Snackle Mouth do not meet this stringent requirement, and to the company’s credit they make no claim to the contrary. However, they do produce a snack that does not in itself contain wheat or any other gluten-containing grain (although, as implied, gluten may be inadvertently added to the snack because it is not produced with gluten-free equipment), so they should be safe to eat if you merely have a gluten sensitivity, but of course the snack should be avoided if your body cannot properly digest even trace amounts of gluten. Also, it’s important to note that generally oats may be considered suspect in terms of cross-contamination unless they are certified to be gluten free.
We’ve been hearing good things about Carelli’s of Boulder for some time, so when we recently learned they have a menu entirely dedicated to their gluten-free options – Italian food like gluten-free pizza and gluten-free pasta – we knew it was time to give them a try. It’s a little expensive (especially for the gluten-free items), at least relative to many of the other restaurants we’ve reviewed, but Carelli’s is a classy place with great food, which we can now say based on (an) experience, so the higher prices are for the most part to be expected. If you’re looking for a nice place to take someone to lunch or dinner, one that also has plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, Carelli’s fits the bill perfectly.
What can you cook in a toaster? For any person who values quick and easy meals, the answer to this question is highly relevant – toasters aren’t exactly difficult to operate, and they’re also very efficient, cooking whatever is placed within them in mere minutes. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is generally “toast” and not much else. And so we were greatly pleased to learn that Qrunch Burgers, which are vegan burgers that are also gluten-free (because they are made with quinoa) and organic, can be prepared in a toaster. Since we’re always interested in a gluten-free meal that requires little effort (hence our penchant for reviewing gluten-free restaurants), we decided to pick up some Qrunch Burgers on a recent trip to Whole Foods Market in Boulder, one of scores of places where Qrunch Foods are available in Colorado.