Because some of us have more refined intestinal tracts than others. Gluten-free officially became a "thing" in Austin about two years ago, and since then, several GF eateries have popped up in kind. Here they are.
How unexpected is this? People's Rx is a gluten-free baller! I had no idea! I was in the neighborhood once for a meeting, and stumbled in for an impromptu lunch -- before me were about a zillion vegan and GF meal options, including baked things like Rio cheese bread (hell yes) and cinnamon rolls. There's also a huge freezer of prepared GF meals, if you're on the way home and pressed for time.
Carby comfort food for the GF crowd. Wild Wood's offerings are pretty darn diverse, with everything from tapioca flour waffles to brown rice noodle lasagna.
The endearing terrain of true Austin hippies, Mr. Natural is a mini vegetarian cafeteria that is neither hip or sexy in its meal presentation. That's because they focus on what matters: Food quality. If you're a GF eater, this place is probably already heaven for you, and the rich GF spelt coconut cookies? Your manna.
One of the best damn gluten-free pizza crusts out there. Yeasty and crispy, it doesn't behave like rubber when you bite into it -- an unfortunate condition of most GF pizza crusts. Southside Flying Pizza's, however, ensures your mouth will be just as happy as your GI tract while you eat.
Snap Kitchen was one of the first to jump on the healthy take-out bandwagon, and I tried a whole slew of their meals back in the day. My favorite GF offering? Definitely their hearty, cilantro-y Beef Hash, which made me feel like a ripped weightlifter guy. An identity I have a lot of experience with.
Time to welcome cookie dough back into your life, gluten-free compatriots: Froyoyo has it! And it won't make you feel like your stomach has momentarily turned into Satan. I took my chances on their yogurt, not sure whether it was GF or not -- but that too was fabulous beginning to end, if you know what I mean.
Of all the grab-and-go healthy take out places in Austin, My Fit Foods is one of my favorites (mostly because they're not afraid of cheese), and gluten-free options are endless. Tip: Look for the meals marked with a highlighter on the label, which are half off after lunchtime.
Chalupas are the food of my people (by which I mean San Antonio natives), and the fact that they're also gluten-free is so very delightful. Especially when options include things like tender, crispy bison chalupas...mmm. The owner himself (Bob) is GF, and will talk a blue streak about how it changed his life -- but don't worry, he's so charming that you'll be grinning between bites.
Chef Shoel Ross has a mother-in-law with celiac disease, so when it came time to clean his pantry one afternoon, out went all gluten, and he's been a GF chef ever since. Not that he's not having any fun -- the tomato butter and fried goat cheese medallions are testaments to the fact that you can still gleefully wreck a diet here -- rather, he's simply found creative ways of adapting the Northern Italy/Southern France cuisine he loves to the clientele (and mother-in-law) he also loves.
If you're a GF eater and patronize Austin Pizza, you've already tried Smart Flour's pizza crust. They're kind of the best-kept secret of local GF baking, quietly supplying the flour of many an Austin retailer. You can pick up their stuff to play around at home, though -- we picked up some essentials (i.e., chocolate ganache brownies) recently, and were incredibly impressed. Also of note? Their pancake blend, which yields fluffy, fat cakes.
Like Snap Kitchen and My Fit Foods, The Whole Bite is part of that new generation of "healthy take-out," less a restaurant proper, more an industrial kitchen where each calorie is scrupulously recorded. Gluten-free options abound here, and among them the quinoa-laced BBQ Chicken, which smells vaguely of tang, brown sugar, and virtuosity.