WASHINGTON — Let's be honest. Gluten-free hasn't always meant good tasting. The good news, there are people and businesses working hard to change that reputation. So if you have Celiac Disease or just want to avoid it, here are five Western Washington spots serving options that will be kind to your tummy and your taste buds.
If you're looking for a gluten-free snack that also happens to be guilt-free, stop by Marjorie in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
"Plantains are amazing,” said owner Donna Moodie. “They're a little fibrous and they can be savory or sweet."
The plantain chips are a longtime customer favorite. Several years ago, the restaurant started selling them in stores and online. Each week, box loads of fresh plantains are peeled, sliced thin, flash-fried, and tossed with a secret blend of spices — making this cracker alternative as tasty as it is healthy.
"We make them with love and they're really awesome and everyone should be eating them," said Moodie.
2. Flora Bakehouse
For something more indulgent, there's Flora Bakehouse in Seattle’s Beacon Hill. You can grab just about every temptation imaginable. They feature sweet and savory pastries, croissants, muffins, quiches, and more using local seasonal ingredients. And the gluten-free section is amazing! If you want to try one for yourself, you better hurry the bakehouse can sell out fast each day.
3. Jebena Cafe
Our next stop takes us to Ethiopia by way of Seattle's Jebena Cafe. Platters of meat and vegan options are served with a flatbread called injera.
“It's fermented overnight. That's where the sourness and the bubbles come from,” said owner Mefin Ayele. “This one is made 100% gluten-free using teff flour and water.”
The injera replaces the fork and knife. Yep, eating with your hands is encouraged here. You just tear off a piece, scoop up the filling and eat it.
4. Ghostfish Brewing
If you're looking for a beer that might go down a little easier, check out what's on tap at SoDo's Ghostfish Brewery. Each one of their saisons, IPAs, porters, and browns is gluten-free. They're so good, the drinks have even fooled the gluten-tolerant types.
“They have no idea that we're a gluten-free brewery,” said co-owner Randy Schroeder. “They come in, they drink their beer, compliment us and pay their tab. And we just kind of smile at each other as they walk out the door."
5. Pacific Northwest Cookie Company
The Chehalis-based Pacific Northwest Cookie Company makes 2,000 cookies per day. Each one is vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free. The woman behind the business started it when her brother Nate became intolerant to dairy and gluten. She couldn't believe the things he was eating.
“There was one that was shaped like a puck and literally it wasn't pliable. It wasn't soft. It was a puck,” said Callie Carpenter.
After experimenting for four months, they developed their signature 4x4 inch chocolate chip cookie. Three years later, the Pacific Northwest Cookie Company is selling more than 100,000 cookies a year. Because gluten-free doesn't mean taste-free anymore.