Yesterday I went on a mini road trip with a friend which took us to Los Gatos and Morgan Hill, an hour or so south of San Francisco. She had a couple of short meetings in each town so I used this as an opportunity to discover what these small towns have to offer in terms of celiac friendly options for gluten free locals or travellers to the area.
As usual I did some online research into the towns we would be visiting to get leads on celiac friendly eateries. The plan was to find somewhere safe and delicious to eat lunch and as it turned out I found six different possibilities! I was very impressed.
This pretty little town was empty as I wandered around in search of gluten free options. The sun was shining and it was the perfect afternoon, especially as I stumbled upon two restaurants which serve gluten free pizza.
The first was Rigatoni’s, an Italian restaurant located on 17385 Monterey Road. They make gluten free pizza in house here. When I asked about cross contamination issues they didn’t seem 100% sure that their pizza would be safe for celiacs since their kitchen sees a lot of gluten filled flours and breads but I was told that they do clean the preparation area and use seperate utensils when they have a gluten free order.
The second place I visited was My Pizza , located at 229A Main Street. It’s a takeout pizza place and I was told that they can make any of their pizzas gluten free. Their small gluten free bases are bought in and are pre-made as is often the case at pizza places. I spoke with a young guy who was serving and making pizza and he appeared to be trainedÂ and understand the necessary precautions to take when making gluten free pizza. They have a seperate prep area, use seperate utensils and a seperate tray in the oven to lessen the risk of cross contamination. As always there is some risk involved in a location where almost everything else on the menu is filled with gluten but I would probably try this place out if I were to return to Morgan Hill.
I was even more impressed by the selection of gluten free options when we moved onto Los Gatos. Â I found information on four eateries with possible options and decided to call and speak to each of them en route before I decided where to eat lunch.
We decided upon Erik’s Delicafe, located on 15495 Los Gatos Blvd. I was expecting a Subway-ish place but it is far more interesting. It’s a sandwich, Â soup and salad deli with both indoor and outdoor seating. They have lots and lots of amazing sandwiches to choose from and their home made gluten free bread is an option with any of them. I went for the Sweet Liberty which is turkey breast and swiss cheese with red bell peppers, sweet hot mustard, red onions, tomatoes and sprouts. It tasted as good as it sounds. Yum-my! I had called before arriving and spoke to a lovely woman named Karen who was even nicer in person. She assured me that she would take extra special care when making my sandwich. Eating lunch here made me very happy and although it’s unlikely I’ll be passing through here again any time soon, I really hope I do so that I can return to Erik’s for a second sandwich!
Willow Street, on 20 South Santa Cruz Avenue, in Los Gatos does a variety of gluten free options including pizza, pasta and salads. Their pizza is already fully made (base and toppings) to avoid cross contamination issues and comes in four different toppings – cheese, pepperoni, mediterranean and pesto chicken. Their gluten free pasta is quinoa linguini and is prepared in a separate area with a separate pot/water.
Hobee’s, on 165 Los Gatos SaratogaÂ Road, also has a variety of gluten free options including pancakes, burgers and pasta. On their online menu it says that it should be noted that they prepare coffeecake in house daily and therefore have flour particles in the kitchen at all times. Slightly worrying for celiacs to hear this but when Â I spoke to them they said they have a separate area, utensils etc for preparing gluten free dishes. The flour particles statement put me off a little but their menu items sound tasty so I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has eaten here.
The fourth place I found in Los Gatos is Tapestry Bistro, on 11 College Ave. I was told that more than 2/3 of the items on their menu are gluten free and all of their sauces are gluten free. The man I spoke to said they didn’t have a specifically separate prep area but that they don’t use flour or bread in any of their dishes so there isn’t much gluten around the kitchen in general. I wasn’t completely sold on this but it was nice to hear of another place with gluten free options and if I decide to eat here on a future visit to this area, I’ll do some more in depth research before I dig in.
A fun day and lots of gluten free finds! Don’t be afraid to explore…there are plenty of gluten free goodies to be discovered all over the place!