Sometimes people email me for restaurant recommendations. I always answer! Here's one for Ryan and his mom (awwwww!).
Hello Hello Hello!
So my Ma was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy as well as a dairy allergy. Her birthday is approaching rapidly and calling around looking for a place that serves a primarily gluten-free menu is starting to get me down. Most places have one, maybe two items and swear that they can "whip something special up" but what I'm really looking for is a menu full of choices for my Ma! At the very least on your birthday out to eat you should have some options! My folks live in Tacoma, but we're more than willing to drive for good food! Thank you so much!
First of all, CUTE. Your ma is lucky to have you. I emailed my thoughtful, lovely, gluten-intolerant friend Holly about your ma's birthday dinner, and while she didn't have ideas for down south, her first thought was to recommend Staple & Fancy in Ballard. She went there recently and had the "fancy" menu (a multi-course seasonal menu made for everyone at your table), and she says, "All I had to do was breathe the words 'gluten free' and I was beautifully fed—they even had gf pasta on hand! It was kind of amazing. It was especially magical for me because I like turning my dining experience over to a higher power, but that's often not an option for restricted types. So relaxing and fun."
And despite your reluctance to do so, she suggests that you do choose a non-primarily-gluten-free place—a place that is just really good—put yourself in their hands, and be ready to be happy with what they "whip up." Of course, you would want to let them know what's up when you make your reservation... Holly also has had great gluten-free, celebratory dinners at Tilth, Madison Park Conservatory, and Cafe Flora (which is also vegetarian). Reassuringly, she says, "Anywhere he goes that's on the nicer end of the spectrum is going to take good care of his mom... Just go somewhere where real people are cooking real food made out of, y'know, ingredients, and they'll be fine." And if you want to go more casual (and less expensive), "Razzi's pizzeria in Greenwood has a completely GF menu and a completely vegan menu, on top of their traditional one. Many options!"
Yay for Holly and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your ma! Let us know how it goes.