The Celiac's Guide to Eating In Boone

"Is this gluten free?" or "Im sure you'll be okay, they have a gf menu on their website so even if the server didn't know what you meant, the chef must." If you have Celiac Disease, you know how difficult eating out can be. For those of you who don't know, Celiac isn't a food allergy. It's actually an autoimmune disease. Your body can't process gluten, which is found in things like wheat, rye, oats, and barley (flour, soy sauce bread & beer for example) and millions of other things you'd never realize. My favorite way to describe it is it makes your intestines eat themselves. You also know if you get so unlucky as to get "glutened" you'll pretty much feel like death for days.

It's a disease that people can't see but also it's very popular for people to jump on the GF bandwagon because they think it'll make them skinny (it won't). The only thing it really does is makes it way more difficult for people with actual allergies/diseases to eat out because the wait staff doesn't always take it seriously.  So basically it makes college a little difficult, especially if you find out half way through your junior year like I did.  Lucky for all of my fellow Celiac's out here in Boone, you're welcome because I'm about to give you the pro guide to GF meals in Boone. I'm going to start with details on my top three and then list some additional spots in case you aren't a fan of the ones I've listed. All of the restaurants in the article (except Kindly kitchen) I have personally visited so the list is based off of my own experience paired with the Find Me Gluten Free App.  *Disclaimer these restaurants are just where I have had the best luck as far as cross contamination and aren't necessarily celiac friendly* 

Chipotle

First off we have the bowl heaven known as Chipotle. If you go in and order a bowl all you have to do is tell them you have a wheat/gluten allergy and they will wash and change their gloves as well as get ingredients from the bottom if they require using their hands to get. That basically means the cheese, but either way. They won't even use a bowl that they touched with unclean gloves just in case. You can also check out their site and learn about all of the certified GF ingredients they have for your bowl/ corn tortilla. The only thing they have in the restaurant that contains gluten is their flour tortilla. So chips and guac are a go always. 

Coyote Kitchen

This place is a Celiac's dream, honestly. They describe themselves as "Southwest Caribbean Soulfood" so they have a little bit of everything mixed in with the perfect Boone feel. They have dedicated fryers, GF buns/bread and even have the best GF dessert I have ever had. If you go in there, the menu can be a little confusing between boats and bowls, but the wait staff is always super educated and helpful with any questions that you might have. When I say that they have dessert I don't mean they have the standard torte or pudding. They have actual homemade GF cakes that are to DIE FOR. You can learn more about their options on their website, which includes a list of the very few things they have that contain gluten.  Below you'll see actual footage of the first time I had the strawberry cake here (ok not actual but you get it.)

The Local

The local isn't just a bar to go to for throw back Thursday nights. It's actually a super celiac friendly establishment when the kitchen is open. Their waitstaff has been extremely helpful about what is GF and what makes something that way. One thing I really like about this place is that the menu is clearly labeled for GF or not which is surprisingly difficult to come by. Their wings arent GF becasue they don't have a seperate fryer even though their sauces can be (other than terriyaki of course) but the wait staff knows this so it's up to you to decide if you're ok with that risk or not. They have probably the best GF pizza that I have ever had...literally ever. It's amazing.  They also have corn tortillas for tacos, their own shrimp and grits, basically you name it they probably have it. They even have GF soy sauce yall! You can see their full menu here.So those are my top three super safe go to's. I also frequently go to The Rock Sports Bar and Grill for wing night and usually if you explain to them what's going on, they do the best that they can and are knowledgeable about how things are made in the back. Their wings are made in their own fryer and so far so good as far as feeling okay after. There are of course plenty of chain go to's that have worked out well for me so far. Mellow Mushroom absolutely knows what they are doing as far as gluten free diets go. The crust there isn't even floppy AND it has taste. Chili's is another chain where the waitstaff is pretty knowledgeable about what to eat and what not to eat, but since it's a chain it's hit or miss as far as cross contamination goes, but that's kind of the deal for every restaurant when you have Celiac.  Kindly Kitchen is a dedicated GF facility that probably has the best understanding of what Celiac is in Boone. You can check out their menu and website here. Cafe Portofino has tons of GF options including pizza and pasta. 10/10 would recommend this place on taste and atmosphere alone because even though I have Celiac, those things are still nice to find, if not more so.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, I also go to Dos Amigo's more than I would like to admit with little to no side effects to report from the ACP, Fajitas (w/corn tortillas of course) or tacos! Because if I couldn't eat Mexican food anymore I don't even know what I would do with my life. If you're still a little hesitant to go out and eat, the grocery stores around here are honestly incredible as far as having GF options and being able to help you find what you need. Harris Teeter and Earth Fare both have a GF bakery section to satisfy that ever complicated sweet tooth.

I hope y'all find something helpful in this kind of rambling article. Good luck fellow celiac's. 

Sources: Giphy.com