Thursday, July 25, 2013

Exploring a Bit of the Windy City - Part 2

What would Chicago be without all the different restaurants and dining experiences?  Being gluten, dairy and egg free is always a challenge, but I did find some great options in the downtown area.

Yes, I can find Chipotle all over the Twin Cities and P.F. Chang's in Edina, MN, but when you're getting off a plane, taking the "L" to the hotel, and getting settled in for a few days, it's nice to be able to find a reliable chain restaurant for the first day and/or evening.

For lunch we went to the nearby Chipotle and I always get the chicken burrito bowl with black beans, everything but cheese and sour cream and a healthy dollop of guacamole. They now have a brown rice option, although I like their lime cilantro rice.  I've never asked about the chips, but I never seem to have a problem with them. 

P.F. Chang's is one of our favorites and it has an extensive gluten free menu and helpful waitstaff.  The lettuce wraps are great.  I've also had the Pepper Steak and the Street Noodles.  When the food is served, all gluten free items come on plates with the PF Chang's logo.

Mity Nice is located north of the Chicago River in the Miracle Mile shopping area.  I ordered a hefty bacon hamburger on a gluten free bun which seems rather boring but not if you're used to going bun-less all the time.

Hub 51
A trendy bar-type place that had some unique options.  We ordered sushi and the Brussels Sprouts salad with almonds, dates, mustard vinaigrette, (hold the Manchego cheese).  Neither of us used to be fond of Brussels Sprouts until we learned how to roast the farm fresh ones.


Rosebud Trattoria - Note:  This place has been recently relocated.  The food here is great.  It reminded me of a Mom & Pop Italian place that had been around forever.  The walls were decorated with autographed pictures of famous people who had dined there.  I ordered gluten free penne pasta with sausage, aspargas, and red sauce along with a salad.  The salad never came, but I had plenty with just the pasta dish.  The staff was very willing to accommodate my needs.

The Daily Habit

A special drink from Argo Tea paired with a Swirlz Cupcake.  Pictured here is a Red Velvet Chocolate cupcake with a Red Tea Latte.

Swirlz are gourmet cupcakes found exclusively at the Chicago Whole Foods.  The goal of this company is to make people smile, and that, they do well.  Cupcakes are a rare pleasure in the gluten free/dairy free/egg free diet, and these ones are a delicate balance of cake, a swirl of light frosting (very addicting) and a small second dollop of a different frosting flavor.  As my niece would say:  To. Die. For. 

Argo Tea locations are sprinkled throughout the downtown area.  They have hot and cold tea lattes in different flavors and you can get them made with soy or almond milk if you want.  They also have two gluten free menu items called teapot grains which have grains, beans and vegetables.

Other places we didn't get a chance to try:

Hannah's Bretzel's - gluten and dairy free bread contains eggs; open for lunch only
Mezza Mediterranean Grill - open for lunch only
RPM Italian Restaurant - too long of a wait.
Sweetwater Tavern and Grill

Worth Mentioning:

Ben Pao - a great Chinese restaurant, but unfortunately, they've closed.  We didn't eat here on this trip, but ordered take-out another time when we were in Chicago. 


  1. Yes! Cupcakes!! Mmmm I do love whole foods: )

  2. I ate FOUR cupcakes that week. Sooo good.