People often ask me whether it’s difficult eating gluten and dairy free. I generally tell them all about how easy it can be and how accommodating some restaurants can be. What I don’t tell them is that I’ve also been eating fewer starches in general and that eating gluten-free, dairy free and choosing healthier carbs can be quite tricky—when eating out. Fortunately though, once in a while you take a chance at a new restaurant and meet a chef who blows your expectations clear out of the water.
Eating out in our current hometown of Asheville has been easy and enjoyable thanks to Posana Café, where it’s all good and it’s all gluten-free. But on a recent trip to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC we took a chance on a place we knew little about, Mixto.
We had already gathered some great-sounding restaurant recommendations from gluten-free spa owner Kimberly Brumsey of KB Organic Skin Care and Waxing:
- Osteria Cicchetti
- Coastal Cupcakes
- Bento Box
- Lovey’s Cafe
- The Eat Spot
- Hot Pink Cake Stand
- Circa 1922
- Bonefish Grill
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill
But after realizing we where hungry while strolling downtown one afternoon, we were drawn to Mixto’s outdoor seating options and the meals being enjoyed by other patrons. And upon asking more about the menu and their ability to accommodate a gluten-free meal, we felt very welcome and comfortable in the stylish Latin-infused eatery, so decided to give it a try.
When chef Eric Gephart came out to greet our table and assure me that he could accommodate any of my food sensitivities—even offering to make a special batch of chips in new oil that would be truly gluten-free—we had no idea that we were meeting Wilmington Magazine’s “Top Chef,” or the deliciousness of the meal we would enjoy in our near futures.
My choice to stick to a healty-carb diet did further limit my options, and though chef Eric had offered anything on the menu, I opted for a Mexican burger with guacamole. First of all—WOW. I am a burger lover, and I have never tasted a burger with more flavor, and who could argue with their handmade guac—I think we all enjoyed that one, but the burger was all mine!
Some other places we’ve easily enjoyed a gluten-free bite from in the area include:
- Zoe’s Kitchen in Mayfaire TownCenter
- Chic-fil-a in Mayfaire TownCenter
- Melting Pot in Mayfaire TownCenter
- Five Guys Burgers in Mayfaire TownCenter (even their fries are g/f!)
So if you’re visiting the Wilmington or Wrigtsville Beach areas and find yourself looking for a good gluten-free meal, I can safely say your options are many. And for easy gluten-free grocery shopping, I hear a lot of praise for Lovey’s, though Harris Teeter also carries a pretty good assortment as well.