gluten be gone
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Gluten Be Gone
July, 2010, Page 131
Photos by Enrique Hernandez
Whither the wheat? As gluten sensitivity increases among diners, Valley chefs rise to the challenge in delicious new ways
7147 E. Rancho Vista Drive,
Ste. 107C, Scottsdale,
Owner Kirstin Carey may be new to the restaurant industry – the Cave Creek resident is also a real estate investor and a designated Certified Speaking Professional – but she’s tapped a dynamic trend with her vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free and gluten-free theme. Call it comfort food with a healthy twist, since there is so much to satisfy in this cheerful café that opened in May.
Carey encourages diners going gluten-free “to explore fabulous foods you wouldn’t otherwise have tried.” She’s determined to keep flavor intact with recipes that feel more friendly than finicky. That might mean crispy eggplant and spinach Parmesan, smothered in garlicky tomato basil sauce and gooey cheeses over quinoa-based corkscrew pasta.
Homemade vegan burgers perch grandly on gluten-free baguettes crafted by Gluten Free Creations bakery in Phoenix. Wrap your happy taste buds around the Asian-inspired patty of chickpea and sweet potato topped with cucumbers and drizzled in spicy-sweet gluten-free soy sauce; or the zesty Southwest burger of black bean and red potato topped with zingy salsa, cucumber and avocado. For dessert, a scoop of homemade gluten- and dairy-free ice cream hits the spot sweetly.
4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ste. 28, Phoenix, 480-706-7472
Since February, mother and daughter team Cassie and Marlene Tolman have been cooking up a surprisingly delectable storm of vegetarian, vegan and raw temptations. “Our original mission was simply to serve delicious foods that are also healthy,” Cassie explains. “Many of them just happen to be naturally gluten free.” It results in extra work for the kitchen, but it’s a labor of love.
A popular plate is the raw collard wrap, a burrito of large green leaves (instead of tortillas) bursting with dairy-free almond cheese, carrots, tomato and avocado, dressed in a “living” Caesar that’s creamy with pine nuts, cashews and lemon juice, alongside homemade gluten-free flax seed crackers.
Gluten-free desserts include raw cheesecake with a filling of blended cashews, blueberries, coconut oil and agave syrup atop a crust of macadamia nuts, coconut and dates. There are raw donut holes of dried pineapple, dates, nuts, coconut and cacao, plus raw, gluten-free pancakes and pizza. Marlene holds a certificate in patisserie and baking from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, while Cassie is a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Cookery School.
Tonto Bar & Grill
Tonto Bar & Grill
5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd., Cave Creek, 480-488-0698
Chef Aaron Geister is best known for his high-end, eclectic Arizona concept cuisine. But even his most fancy Southwestern-global creations can be customized with your choice of ingredients, and to save you some of the trouble, restaurant owner Eric Flatt has put together an extensive gluten-free menu. As with all of Tonto’s dishes, recipes change seasonally.
Geister embraces summer with roasted jumbo sea scallops plated with corn purée, a petite green salad of radish and shaved baby zucchini, gray salt-roasted fingerling potatoes, and silky red wine-brown butter emulsion. “Puerto Nuevo” tacos are a lighter dish of sweet shrimp layered with ancho chile, peppers, onions, avocado crema and escebèche slaw in corn tortillas, while a hefty slab of orange-grilled barbecue salmon sprawls over sweet potato, poblano pepper and roasted corn hash, flanked by sautéed spaghetti squash moistened by succulent juices.
You’ll slather house-made, gluten-free bread with butter or build a sandwich with layers of house-roasted, lemon-garlic turkey, cucumber, avocado, arugula, Havarti cheese and red pepper hummus. For dessert: gluten-free chocolate cake.
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