Friday, February 25, 2011

Gluten-Free-Friendly Places in Morningside

Morningside Road has a few "gluten-free-friendly" places worth visiting.

Cafe Blush (219 Morningside Road EH10 4QT) is a new favourite. The shop serves omelettes, soups, sandwiches and pastries with gluten-free options for all of them. (The pastries apparently come from a place in Marchmont called Madame Bouvy's Tartes.) The shop is light, comfortable (though it can get crowded), and has free wifi. And the food is good, of course.

For Chinese take way, there's the wonderful New Xi'an (101 Comiston Road EH10 6AG). The food is excellent for a carry out, and they explicitly highlight what items on the menu are or can be made gluten-free.

The Zulu Lounge (366 Morningside Road EH10 4QN) is South African cafe, though a bit smaller---"cosy" is the word they use on their site. They'll make sandwiches using gluten-free bread and have gluten-free muffins. They also make red bush tea variants of espresso/americano/latte. Their biltong and avocado salad is also excellent.

I should also mention Loopy Lorna's Tea House (372 Morningside Road EH10 5HS and at the Churchill Theatre, 33a Morningside Road EH10 4DR). I've not yet tried it (the dominant colour pink scares me), but their web site claims to have gluten-free options.

I hope to have longer reviews of these places in the future.

UPDATE 9/9/11 - I have since tried the food at Loopy Lorna's. There are a variety of sandwiches, and they are excellent. Alas, their 372 Morningside Road (at Maxwell Street) location has recently shut down.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gluten-Free Ales

One of the harder parts of switching to a gluten-free diet for me was giving up beer. Not because of I had a great need for it, but because this is a country with so many great ales. (Ok, I'm using the word "beer" in a non-technical sense.) It breaks my heart to go into a pub with a large selection of real ales and order a cider. Most such pubs make up for their ale selection with a single, horrid excuse for cider that makes Irn Bru seem like a single malt in comparison.

It's tempting to continue with "So I've been happy to learn of..." but really no, I've not found any pubs that have gluten-free real ales on draught.  (There's a few that have a real cider on draught, though. But they are few indeed...)

But I've been happy to learn of and try  Against the Grain from Wold Top brewery, and the St Peters Brewery's G-Free Beer. Both are good, and I'll probably get them from an off-license or restaurant that has them—though to be honest, I'd rather have an ale from the cask. (If I'm going to get a bottled beverage, I may as well get wine.)

The label on Against the Grain notes that it's made from barley, and "Gluten content certified at less than 20ppm", so it may not be suitable for some people.

We've found these beers at Earthy Foods in Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh. (I've also heard that Cornelius Beers and Wines on Easter Road sells gluten-free beers, by the way.)

I'd appreciate hearing about other off-licenses, restaurants or pubs in the Edinburgh-area that sell gluten-free ales.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brazilian Crepes at Lauriston Place

Finding a quick gluten free lunch can be hard. Most places have some form of sandwich. If you're lucky, you can get a salad that isn't very filling, or a stuffed potato that will put you to sleep for the rest of the afternoon.

If you're near Lauriston Place (where the path to the Meadows meets Forest Drive), there's the Tupiniquim Brazilian Kiosk (pictured to the right).

The kiosk serves savory and sweet Brazilian-style crepes (which are a crispier than French-style crepes), made from their own blend of gluten-free flours from a mix of Doves Farm flours with rice and maize flour.

You can get the crepes to take away, but there are tables to sit outside next to the kiosk (if the weather's good, or you're feeling brave), where you can get a salad with your crepes. They also have coffee. Student discounts are available.

The people who work at Tupiniquium are friendly, and it's enjoyable to watch them prepare the crepes fresh to order. (Probably because I'm a bit of a foodie...) I'm partial to savory foods in general, and am a fan of their "Release the chicken" crepe which has a spicy chicken with cheese, sweetcorn and palm hearts.

You can find Tupiniquim where Forest Road and Teviot Place meet Lauriston Place, across the street from the RBS.

("Tupiniquim" is a Brazilian-Portugese word for Brazilian, according to Wikipedia, by the way.)

UPDATE (28 Feb 2011): after being closed for a fortnight, the kiosks at Lauriston Place are now open again!

UPDATE (24 Mar 2011): a web site is coming soon,