Gluten Free at The Little Beet

After sharing my bad experience at Tao, I wanted to share with my readers one of the best and most dependable gluten free restaurants in New York City – The Little Beet. I discovered The Little Beet several trips ago, and since then, I’ve eaten there every trip – sometimes more than once in a day! Conveniently located in the heart of Midtown, their philosophy is 100% guilt free food, but even more important for those of us with celiac disease, everything is 100% gluten free so there is no need to worry about cross-contamination. Seriously, how awesome is that?!

TLB

When I go to The Little Beet for breakfast, I almost always order the same thing – bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole grain English muffin. It’s so rare that I actually get a breakfast sandwich since going gluten free, and this muffin is very filling.

BFAST

I’ve also had the peanut butter, banana, and homemade jam on toasted bread as well as the egg sandwich which is served on a brown rice wrap. In addition, they have oatmeal options and fresh pressed juices for breakfast.

OJUICE

On my last trip, I visited The Little Beet for the first time for lunch. For $11, you can order a protein and one side item; I chose the salmon and roasted sweet potatoes. The potatoes were very tasty, and the salmon was a decent portion. If you’re hungrier, you can get a protein (chicken, steak, salmon, tofu, or veggie pattie) with more than one side. They also offer soup and salad options. This would be a great lunch spot if you work in the area.

SALMON

For dessert, I ordered a cinnamon donut. Full disclosure here – I don’t like donuts. They are one food I haven’t missed at all since going gluten free. However, when I saw the cinnamon on this donut, I knew I had to try it. It was small – and expensive at $4 – but it was soft and melted in my mouth. As I said, I don’t even like donuts, but this was an exceptional sugary treat! Other baked goods such as gluten free muffins, cookies, and brownies are also available.

DONUT

Overall, I think The Little Beet is one of the best places to check out if you’re planning a trip to New York. They serve healthy gluten free food at a reasonable price and the fact that it is 100% gluten free kitchen is in my opinion priceless.

Ashley

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Gluten Free at Tao

This past week I was in New York and I had a chance to eat at Tao for the first time. Tao has a very chic atmosphere and is known for attracting celebrities. The giant Buddha in the middle of the restaurant is somewhat of a tourist attraction in and of itself.

tao

buddha

Since Tao is out of my budget, I decided to go for lunch and check out their daily prix-fixe menu which is available Monday through Saturday for $29.50. Unfortunately the lunch menu does not explicitly say what is gluten free, but my waiter was very helpful to point out what would be safe for me. He also brought over a manager who confirmed those were indeed the gluten free options.

As an appetizer, I got the satay of chicken with peanut sauce. It came with three pieces of chicken which were mouth-watering – especially when dipped in the peanut sauce.

chicken

For entree, I ordered the sesame seared tuna salad. Honestly, this was not my favorite and I wouldn’t have picked this, but I was told it was the only gluten free option besides sushi. The tuna was very rare for my taste, and the salad was a little exotic for me. I mostly picked at it.

tuna

Lastly, for dessert, I chose the mango sorbet, seasonal fruit and coconut milk. The sorbet was served in a bowl filled to the top with coconut milk and pieces of fruit floating in it. It was fresh, light, and delicious.

sorbet

I left Tao mostly pleased with my choices and happy to have had a chance to eat at such a “hot spot.” Unfortunately, several hours later I got extremely sick. To be honest, it might have been the fact that after lunch I went and walked around Central Park for three hours in 85 degree temperatures. However, upon further reflection, I do think I was glutened at Tao. In fact, when I examined the menu at Tao Las Vegas which does state gluten free options, I noticed that the chicken satay with peanut sauce is not gluten free. It could’ve also been the tuna that made me sick, I’ll never know. Honestly, I guess I should’ve asked more questions, but I was in a famous restaurant in one of the biggest cities in the world so I assumed that surely they understood gluten free. Not to mention that I didn’t just ask my waiter, I asked to confirm the gluten free options with the manager. Trust me, I learned my lesson – there are no guarantees when I eat out, even at famous restaurants.

The bottom line is that Tao is a very cool restaurant, but if you’re a celiac, I would be very careful. I would love to hear if anyone has had a similar experience at Tao or at any other well-known restaurants.

Ashley