In the past couple of years, new restaurants have been popping up all over our neighborhood. What was once considered a no man’s land between Potrero Hill and the Mission is now an up and coming neighborhood dappled with numerous cool bars and acclaimed restaurants. Last night I stumbled upon the brand new Local’s Corner, a cafe just a couple blocks from my apartment. Not quite overflowing with customers yet, this three week old restaurant doesn’t know what’s coming. The menu at Local’s Corner is all about seafood, and appropriately the restaurant’s interior feels like a romantic little cafe in new england. Their cheese and vegetables are farm fresh and the seafood is sourced locally by fishermen committed to sustainability.

Comprised mostly of sharable small plates, the menu lists dishes that feature dungeness crab, rock cod, cured halibut, king salmon, and bay or pacific northwest oysters. We tried four plates, and each one was exceptionally good. Our meal began with a beautiful cheese plate, then an arugula salad (ordered without croutons) tossed with garlic confit and topped with shaved capricious goat cheese, a dish worth more than every penny of the $8. Next we had the dungeness crab which was paired beautifully with delicate spring peas, cara cara oranges and roasted spring onion. To follow were smoked trout rillettes topped with pickled shallot, and finally we had the king salmon served over fava beans and peas. Every dish we tried at Local’s Corner carefully brought out the best of each ingredient, highlighting delicate flavors in a way that made every bite taste impossibly perfect.

Most of the dishes at Local’s Corner are naturally gluten free, but check with your server before ordering.

2500 Bryant Street  San Francisco, CA 94110

 

Bread SRSLY is a brand new CSA bakery for “foodies with allergies.” Sadie Scheffer went into business after learning of her own gluten intolerance and now delivers bread via bike on Tuesdays in San Francisco and Fridays in the East Bay. Bread SRSLY caters to people that avoid gluten, soy, egg, dairy and nuts. Her breads are made with home dried local herbs and 100% gluten free ingredients, sourced fresh from mills that use clean, uncontaminated equipment. With loaves like whole grain fig & fennel and apricot & cinnamon it’s hard to resist not placing a weekly order. Don’t forget to tack on a wholegrain vegan apple muffin to your delivery (see menu for weekly option).

In addition to bread delivery, Sadie offers awesome gluten free sandwiches on Mondays. Creative combinations like the “steam punk,” a sandwich with ginger shiitake relish, stinging nettle pesto and Point Reyes cheddar (sub avocado for dairy free) on homemade sourdough. Every ingredient can be sourced back to the farm, and the selection changes weekly. Sandwiches are available Mondays at noon at the Yerba Buena Center Steps and at 1pm at the Beach Hut Cafe in Crissy Field, but check her website for weekly menu options and location.

When your bread is delivered, my advice is to eat it with in a couple days or slice and freeze it. Most of you are very familiar with gluten free bread, and her gorgeous handmade loaves are no exception to the rule.

For Tuesday delivery in SF, order by noon on Monday. For Friday delivery in the East Bay, order by noon on Wednesday.

 

I’ve had this recurring dream lately. I’m standing inside a fragrant donut shop marveling at my purchase, and then right before I take a big bite into my jelly donut covered in powdered sugar, I awake to my reality. Gluten free diet, no donuts.

I’ve yearned for plenty of wheaty things that seem virtually impossible to recreate with gluten free flours. Feta and spinach stuffed croissants, tortellini, flaky biscuits, thick crusty bread. With some foods, I know I’ll just have to wait a couple years for gluten free technology to get there. Donuts on the other hand, seemed more feasible. Knowing I couldn’t score a good gluten free donut right here in San Francisco, I began searching for recipes. Ultimately, I decided that going through the process of dropping sugary dough into a big vat of hot oil in my own kitchen just killed the buzz, so I kept to my regular baking routine.

Then I heard about Fōnuts, a trendy little Los Angeles bakeshop doing gluten free donuts amongst their regular line-up. On the days I stopped in, Fōnuts had six or seven flavors of gluten free donuts (many of them were vegan too) all arranged neatly on their own trays. Their claim to fame is that the donuts are baked, but don’t be discouraged, this isn’t some overly healthy donut. They’re sugary, decadent, and have a wonderfully moist, cakey texture. My favorite flavors were lemon and coconut passion fruit, though every other one I tried was also fantastic. If you’re in Los Angeles, stopping here is a must.

8104 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 592-3075
 

Zadin is a restaurant that’s been abuzz in the gluten free community for quite some time and their contemporary take on Vietnamese cuisine shouldn’t be missed. Clear gf indications are placed on the menu and waiters are knowledgeable about substitutions, allowing gluten free and vegetarian customers to order with ease. Along with several gf entrees, there are a number of excellent pho noodle bowls and appetizers to choose from, most notably the fried fish spring rolls. The soft rice paper rolls are filled with crispy fried fish, thin rice noodles, and fresh mint, they’re accompanied by a tangy dipping sauce; this dish (pictured above) is sure to make you a repeat customer.

4039 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

(415) 626-2260
 

California based chain, zpizza has mastered a fantastic recipe for crispy gluten free pizza crust and their topping combinations are pretty special too. Accommodating both vegan and gluten free customers, zpizza offers vegan cheese (that’s also gf), organic tomato sauce and a full ingredient list to ensure the order fits your dietary requirements.  My favorite was the “Tuscan”, a pizza made with roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, truffle oil, and topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms. For a fresh, vegetable lover’s pizza, the “California” is a perfect choice. Gluten free crusts come in both small and large sizes, pictured above are both smalls: plenty for two people with a couple slices leftover to take to-go. Zpizza has locations across the country, but the health savvy chain is fairly new to San Francisco and another one just opened in Petaluma. It’s great to have a reliably good gluten free pizza crust not only at multiple locations in the bay area, but also available all over the states.

*Although zpizza does not claim to be a gluten free environment, precautions are taken to isolate ingredients and avoid cross contamination.

833 Mission Street, Suite C
San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 995-5552

 

This is an easy, fool-proof recipe for gluten free crêpes. They come out nice and thin, yet hold together very well. Fill them with fresh fruit and yogurt, cinnamon, honey, or even savory items (just omit the sugar in the batter).

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups milk (can substitute with almond milk or soy milk)

2 tbsp. melted butter or canola oil

2 eggs

1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used 2/3 brown rice flour and 2.5 tbsp tapioca starch, and 2.5tbs gf oat flour)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp baking powder

canola oil to grease pan

Directions:

Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and melted butter until blended. In a separate bowl, combine flours, salt and baking powder, then add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk together until a very thin pancake batter is formed. If batter is too thick, slowly add more milk until desired consistency is achieved.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium and wait to add your batter until pan sizzles when a drop of water hits it (make sure it isn’t too hot, or your delicate crêpe will burn). Pour about 3 tablespoons batter into the heated, greased skillet and quickly swirl batter around in pan in circular motion until it covers the entire surface of pan. Your crepe will be ready to flip within 30 seconds to a minute, so stay by your stove to keep an eye on it.

Store cooked crêpes in oven on low heat while you finish the batch. This recipe makes enough crêpes for 3-4 people but the keeps well in the fridge for a day if you don’t have guests to help you eat them.

 

In my experience, gluten free falafel is a rare find. Despite the fact the middle eastern dish is traditionally made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans, most restaurants use a mix of wheat flour to make theirs. Lucky for those of us on a gluten free diet, Liba Falafel Truck serves some outstanding gf falafels and circumnavigates the Bay Area on a weekly basis (be sure to check the website to find their locations).  Owner and operator Gail Lillian is happy to confess her falafels are gluten free and offers the entirely gf “falafel bowl” (3 of them on a bed of organic greens). The warm falafels are topped with a tangy Greek sauce and a variety of garnishes are available to add on yourself.  Most of the toppings are gf, but a chance of cross contamination is definitely possible due to the nature of their salad bar set up. Be sure to complete your order with Liba’s sweet potato fries, served with cilantro, garlic and lime.

Liba Falafel Truck is all about organic food, sourcing local produce,  and eco-friendly business practices like providing takeout boxes and utensils that are all compostable.  The best part is, Liba Falafel truck parks right in my neighborhood every Thursday afternoon- what a treat!