Something tells me this will be the first of many gluten-free dining-out posts on my blog in the months and years to come. I’m still going to write about cookbooks and what I’m cooking at home, but I’m on a quest to find the best gluten-free options for eating out in New York City, so why not document it, right? I’ll keep an alphabetical tally of the places here so you don’t have to search my whole blog for them. First-up is Tu-lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery. In the interest of full disclosure, I know the founder, Tully, personally. Last time I visited though, I wasn’t gluten-free — I was simply curious to see what the treats were like. In fact, Tully has no idea I stopped having gluten and that I came in for a visit over the weekend. I paid for my meal, and there was no special treatment. I have to say that if you’re looking for gluten-free baked goods, Tu-lu’s is a delight. They’ve got an amazing array of desserts including cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and more. I opted for the chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting, a little bit of heaven. It’s gorgeous too.
The real reason for this trip was lunch. I hadn’t had anything even remotely resembling a sandwich since going gluten-free about 7 weeks ago. In fact, I was happy to write off sandwiches forever, but then I heard Tu-lu’s had paninis. The sandwiches (three on the menu that day) are pre-made and stored in the refrigerator, but they put them on a panini press for you, which is why this grilled cheese sammy looks so melty and yummy. If you’re gluten-free, then you probably know sandwich bread made without traditional wheat is always going to be a little different than what you’re used to, but don’t let that scare you away. This really satisfies. Of course I’m not comparing it to anything yet, but I think it’s fair for me to say, as long as you understand why this might be a little bit pricey for what it is, you’re going to enjoy it as much as I did. In fact, I’m already thinking about when I can go back and try the other paninis. I also have to mention how nice the staff is at Tu-lu’s. Unlike a lot of New York City bakeries where you’re herded like cattle, the people at Tu-lu’s make you feel extremely welcome.