Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gluten free dining in the #1 small arts town

Northampton, Massachusetts (a.k.a. Paradise City) is a pretty cool and funky place to live. Smith College is located here. And "Noho" was once dubbed the Number One Best Small Arts Town in America. According to American Style Magazine, it's one of the Top 25 Arts Destinations. The New York Times picked Northampton as the best place for retirees in 2007.

(Via Flickr)

A vibrant Main Street filled with shops and art galleries, downtown boasts more restaurants than your usual small New England college town. There's also a bazillion coffeehouses. Duh.

(photo via Flickr)

The Calvin Theater was once Northampton's largest movie theater. It showed first run films for almost 70 years. The Calvin closed temporarily in 1994, but was later renovated and re-opened to house mostly live performances. We saw k.d. lang perform here. Like Adele (read the post below), another gorgeous voice. Also went to a few Commonwealth Opera productions here. And, yes, was lucky enough to catch a couple of flicks at the Calvin back in the day.

(photo via Flickr)

Ralph Nader made a stop here before Election Day. Notice the ice cream cone in the background. That's the famous Herrell's Ice Cream.

(Photo via Flickr)

Stripey guy in Northampton.

(Photo via Flickr)

Decent fare at this bar/restaurant with emphasis on bar. Haven't been to Packard's in a while. I just liked the greens in this picture.

*Please note, I don't know anything about the gluten free friendly status at this place.*

(photo by Justin Chung)

So if you live nearby or are just passing through you may want to visit some of the following places, road tested by me and my family. They're sure to please gluten free palates and gluten glutton ones alike.

*Please note [again]. These eating establishments are NOT gluten free. However, we have found them to be gluten free friendly. Ask questions. Explain your needs. But eat at your own risk. Everyone has his or her own comfort level when dining out.

Last week we had Sunday brunch at The Green Bean where my son LOVES the ginger buckwheat pancakes. Ironically, buckwheat is gluten free. Who'd have guessed that? The Bean is located at 241 Main Street in Northampton, MA.

(photo via Happy Cow)

Can't exactly recall what we ate but do remember that kids and I enjoyed lunch here last summer. Gluten free friendly, Bela Vegetarian Restaurant is at 68 Masonic Street in Northampton.

(photo via Happy Cow)

The India House at 45 State Street is excellent. Most items on the menu are gluten free. In fact, one of the restaurant's ads reads "gluten-free, and oh so good!" Oh so true.

Paul & Elizabeth's, a natural foods restaurant at 150 Main Street (in Thornes Marketplace) specializes in fresh fish and tempura. Though they are not a gluten free restaurant, they were able to provide us with a gluten free menu the last time we ate there.

Flayvors of Cook Farm, 129 S. Maple Street in nearby Hadley, is a great place to take the kids during the summer. Licking a gluten free ice cream cone and listening to the cows moo. What could be better? I'll tell you what. You can order a gluten free ice cream cake from Flayvors. Give them at least 48 hours notice. Choose two flavors. Cookie crunchies and fudge in the middle. Yummm.

(photo via Flickr)

A final mention goes to River Shark at 17 Montague Road in Amherst. Amherst is about 15-20 minutes from Northampton. My son loves this place. They make regular pizza and also offer a gluten free pizza crust upon request. The Shark used to serve up gluten free pasta. For $1! Unfortunately, it wasn't available when we dined there a couple of weeks ago.

Intersection of King and Main. Bellissima little town!

(photo via Flickr)


Anonymous said...

I wanted to mention another place to eat just over the Northampton Bridge heading towards Hadley. The place is Butternuts Eatery. Andy, chef and owner, has done a lot of research on eating GF and has many entrees that are GF on hs menu. He is also always trying to develop new and tasty GF desserts! My favorite is the orange carrot cheesecake and the chocolate torte. The staff is well educated about GF eating. The atmosphere is casual and you would feel comfortable in jeans or dressing up for a special occasion. Very clean too!!

Anonymous said...

re: first comment:

unfortunately, the food at butternuts is really underwhelming. they managed the gluten-free part all right, but the portions were small, the flavors were muddled and bland, the monkfish was overcooked and yet somehow lukewarm, and the meal was far too expensive for the quality and quantity presented.

i was so disappointed.

Anonymous said...

We loved the River Shark too but it is out of business.
There is also Hillside Pizza on Rt 9 in Hadley but they're only open Th/Fri/Sat!