Who are you and where are you?
GlutenNaziMom is Kim Jorgensen Gane in St. Joseph, Michigan; straight across the lake from Chicago, where its proximity (only an hour and a half by car) makes it a great destination even for global travelers who are looking for a small-town Midwest experience to contrast with the bustle and excitement of downtown Chicago.
Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
Due to six years dealing with infertility (PCOS & endometriosis), I began on a yeast free diet, and finally got pregnant. My second trimester started & I started getting intense morning sickness. Due to husband’s colitis, I tried eating gluten free, and didn’t throw up. My son & I have now been gluten free ten years. It took my hubby a little longer to get on board, but he is now.
Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Several of the restaurants in the quaint lakeside town of St. Joseph, Michigan offer gluten free options for diners. The Buck Burgers & Brew offers gluten free buns, sweet potato fries (although they do not have a dedicated fryer, so use judgment as to cross-contamination, which is always a risk when dining out), and MI beers, including some hard cider options. Silver Beach Pizza, housed in the historical train station where Amtrack drops you right at their door, offers gluten free crust & even pasta, with a view of the giant play fountain and a short walk to the fresh water and beautiful white sand beaches of Lake Michigan. The best gluten free pasta however, as well as some of the best views in town, can be found at Ryebelle’ where they also offer gluten free pizza, and will even do a gluten free crust without the toppings to serve with their hummus (it’s actually even better this way).
Tell me something fun about your town..
Weave your way through the shops & restaurants in this short three blocks, and in between you’ll find the art installation of the season with which to snap a photo. Each summer this artistic community has featured multi-media statues of bears (the local school mascot), Carousel Horses (there’s a full size, fully functional carousel just fifty some steps down the bluff, next to the giant splash pad fountain), Pirates, and even snowmen in the winter season, when the entire bluff is lit up with a fantastic holiday display. There’s also an ice carving festival held each February, after all the holiday shoppers, Reindog Parade participants and Santa have cleared out. There’s plenty of fun to be had in St. Joseph for kids of all ages, but come spring, there’s even world class, Jack Nicklaus designed, Harbor Shores Golf Club in neighboring Benton Harbor, for the avid golfers of the family to enjoy.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
I’d have to say, The Buck Burgers & Brew is my favorite because its GlutenNaziKid’s favorite. Yes, it’s a bar, but it’s a bar with a great, family-friendly atmosphere and live entertainment on Fridays & Saturdays. It also offers a bit of nostalgia for this hometown girl, as the current owners, Ken & Dayna Kozminski, have named it as a historical nod to its “Silver Dollar” roots, which we locals always referred to as, The Buck, back in the day. It’s clean, friendly, renovated & updated with two stories of gluten free goodness, two bars, and even an upper deck out back with a smidgen of a lake view, and plenty of cool Lake Michigan breezes. Enjoy your visit, and tell them GlutenNaziMom sent you!
Do you live in St. Joseph or another part of the lovely state of Michigan? Where is your favourite place to eat gluten free?