Among the food trends that have come and gone over recent years, few have had more staying power than gluten-free. The National Restaurant Association identified gluten-free cuisine as one of the top 20 food trends of 2015, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down: Gluten-free is one of the fastest-growing health claims at chain restaurants, according to Chicago-based research company Technomic.
This emphasis on gluten-free foods makes it crucial for operators to find a way to cater to diners who avoid gluten but still demand the elevated, unique menu options all consumers seek when dining out. The key to success: Menuing gluten-free dishes with bold flavors that customers crave.
While one approach is simply to substitute gluten-free versions of bread or pasta products, operators can give their businesses a boost and create exciting dishes that appeal to a wide audience by thinking outside the box. For example, Harlow, a polished-casual concept in Portland, Ore., dedicates its entire menu to alternative diets, and all of its selections are naturally gluten-free. By using produce and nuts in inventive ways, such as in cashew cheese or butternut squash cream sauce, Harlow is able to provide a variety of choices for people who follow alternative diets and are looking for innovative flavors.
Here’s a sampling of flavorful, gluten-free dishes from menus across the country.
Peanut Sauce Temptation: Organic tempeh, coconut peanut sauce, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, brown rice; $15
Gluten Free Santa Fe Special: Gluten-free black-bean patties, organic eggs, choice of salsa; $12
Betty Bowl: Brown rice or quinoa, daily beans, steamed greens, roasted vegetables, cabbage apple kimchi, sea vegetables, za’atar, choice of sauce; $10
Calif.-based; 15 units
Quinoa Crunch Bowl: Quinoa tabbouleh, crunchy vegetables, avocado, arugula, edamame hummus, chipotle vinaigrette, fireman’s hot sauce; $NA
Pistachio Meyer Lemon Donut: Gluten-free cake donut, Meyer lemon glaze, toasted Sicilian pistachios; $NA
This post is sponsored by Minor’s®