Best of Buffalo for that gluten-free friend

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The Spectrum

If you have a gluten allergy, you're used to saying the following:

a Can you please change your gloves?

a Are you sure the French fries aren't fried in the same oil as chicken fingers?

a So there's no wheat, rye, malt, barley or oat in that?

a Are you sure there's no soy sauce in any of your dips?

a Only make my drink with the wells liquor please.

a I know. I can't have beer. Please, keep reminding me.

a Just make sure you clean the frying pan before you make my eggs.

a Can we just do Chipotle instead? Their chips are made of corn.

Though many restaurants and supermarkets are inconvenient for those who have to keep a gluten-free diet, there are a few places in Buffalo that completely tend to those who have become accustomed to eating white rice crumbs instead of slices of bread.

Below is a list of the Best in Buffalo for those who eat gluten free.

My Tomato Pie

My Tomato Pie offers gluten-free pizza, pasta, nachos and more.

The kitchen staff is dedicated to ensuring that those with Celiac disease do not suffer from foods that are cross-contaminated. The pizza is thin-crusted and the adventurous type can ask to use different sauces - like pesto - as the base with the usual tomato paste.

The nachos are large - enough to eat as a meal or as an appetizer to share with two or three people. Topped with jalapenos, a blend of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, black olives with salsa and sour cream on the side, the nachos are to die for. The gluten-free macaroni and cheese has more flavor than any regular macaroni and cheese I've tasted. Many of my friends actually choose to order the gluten-free entr?(c)e of macaroni and cheese because of how delicious, thick and creamy it is.

My Tomato Pie is one of the only restaurants I go to that doesn't make me jealous of everybody else's meals, because mine just might be better.

Location: 3085 Sheridan Drive

White Rabbit Frozen Yogurt

White Rabbit on Elmwood Avenue features many gluten-free flavors of yogurt; many other fro-yo eateries only offer two or three options. From peanut butter to pistachio, birthday cake to original tart, the flavors that usually contain gluten are wheat-free.

The frozen yogurt isn't too icy or too creamy, and the toppings range from peanut M&M's to mochi and fruit - for those who appreciate a healthy yogurt more than a rich and chocolatey one.

Location: 802 Elmwood Ave.; also shops in Niagara Falls and Tonawanda

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Not only is Chipotle the best place to get Mexican food, but it's all gluten free (except the flour tortilla).

The staff is aware of the ever-so-cruel gluten allergy, and workers always change their gloves when a gluten-free customer orders. The food is grown organically and the meat comes from grass-fed animals, for steak and chicken lovers out there. The guacamole is fresh and tastes like it came from avocado heaven; most other Mexican-restaurant chains feature brown, aged guacamole.

The burrito bowl is my personal favorite. But what's really great is being handed a bag of corn tortilla chips, rather than ones fried in wheat.
Location closest to North Campus: 1643 Niagara Falls Boulevard

Dessert Deli

Dessert Deli has only one gluten-free cake, but this cake is worth the trip to the bakery on Maple Road.

The flourless chocolate cake is thick and creamy; it's rich with flavor and the thin-layered chocolate and vanilla icing on top just adds to the taste.
Location: 716 Maple Road

Fuji Grill

Finding out soy sauce is a secret carrier of gluten is one of the most painful parts of discovering that you have Celiac disease. Fuji Grill on Maple Road understands that pain and offers gluten-free soy sauce and a variety of gluten-free items on its menu.

Gluten-free customers have the option of getting any salmon, chicken or steak in a gluten-free sauce. There is vegetable-fried rice with gluten-free soy sauce, which doesn't taste much different from the regular fried rice.

The restaurant also offers an affordable lunch special. You can get two rolls for $6.50 or three rolls for $9.50 Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: 736 Maple Rd.

Wegmans' gluten-free aisle

The Wegmans gluten-free aisle has more items than any other supermarket I've been to, including Trader Joes, which is usually thought to be the best for organic or natural foods.

I suggest Udi's gluten-free bread products, including bagels, sliced bread, muffins and hotdog and hamburger buns. The Udi's 10-inch pizza crust, which can be found in the frozen section of the gluten-free aisle, defrosts and bakes deliciously.

When it comes to gluten-free pasta, I recommend the Organic Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. Wegmans also has many gluten-free sauces and dressings; my personal favorite is the Thai Peanut Sauce, which is in the Oriental aisle or the frozen-vegetable aisle.

Wegmans has a gluten-free chip aisle, too, where there are pop chips, tortilla chips, Snyder's pretzels and a variety of regular chip flavors. Wegmans has all of the necessary gluten-free baking powders and products needed to make baked goods.

Closest location to North Campus: 675 Alberta Drive

email: keren.baruch@ubspectrum.com