Gluten free is kind of the in vogue thing right now. I can proudly say I’ve sporadically eaten gluten free for probably the past ten years. No, *chuckle* I’m not ahead of the curve. I’m just a member of a family full of coeliac sufferers.
My Aunty Michele first discovered her illness probably 15 years ago, my Dad, about 5 years after her. Needless to say whenever traveling a foreign land, they can have a tough time. I can sympathise given I go into anaphylactic shock if I eat tree nuts (essentially all nuts, plus kiwi fruit, kill me, except peanuts and almonds of course). So you can imagine what wait staff and chefs alike think when we place our orders….
However, part of having a food allergy is the fun of discovering restaurants that do things a bit different, especially if they cater to your dietary requirements.
France has an unhealthy obsession with wheat. Wheat is the primary grain from which gluten can be found. It doesn’t take a science major to work out someone with a gluten intolerance will have a tough time in France.
Thankfully the world is becoming more sympathetic to those with dietary requirements, and processed grains (containing gluten) are slowly seeping out of the market place. (Paleo diet anyone?)
Upon our arrival into Paris, my Dad an avid walker, elected to wander the streets of Paris whilst I reserved myself on the couch to feverishly Google gluten free restaurants in our vicinity of Saint Germain.
To my surprise there were heaps, like more then one. In fact there was something like TEN! Well at least that’s what the Tripadvisor app advised. I quickly jotted down some names and headed out to find the old man.
As it turned out, a great number of the ‘gluten free’ restaurants, weren’t actually gluten free. They just ticked the box to encourage more foot traffic, don’t get me wrong they could cater for gluten free. But I don’t think a true coeliac would ever feel at ease. Like if I was to ever tour the Ferrero Rocher factory.
I had to ratchet up my search abilities.
The next day, I was fairly confident the location we were heading to (40 minutes away on foot) was a true glu-
ten free establishment.
We walked past the louvre, we wandered through the art district, we weaved up side streets and down alleys. About 30 minutes after leaving our hotel, we arrived at the Passages De Panoramas.
It was about 11am, the restaurant was closed. The bakery however was fully operational, phew. I appeased the coeliac with a savoury breakfast muffin and a delightful madeleine. That wasn’t enough though.
The next few days my Dad chose NoGlu as his preferred lunch spot. Open exclusively for lunch Monday to Friday (12pm – 3pm), dinner Tuesday to Saturday (7:30pm – 11pm) and with a brunch format Saturday mornings (11am – 4pm) this place knows its market and delivers.
Everything that populates the daily changing menu, even the drinks, are all gluten free.
On our last day I joined them for lunch, and was more then impressed. I didn’t get the home made chicken burger my Dad spent the previous day raving about, but I did get scallops, lasagne and a quinoa beer: la bière du lama.
Where do I start… Those scallops (with dallops of flavour), just wow. Fresh, not over cooked, melt in your mouth and only complimentary flavours. It was a fresh entree, but not one I would think could be enhanced by the addition of gluten. Great job but I doubt a challenge for the chef.
What really wowed me was the lasagne. I’ve had gluten free lasagne before, San Remo, the pasta makers, have for many years produced gluten free pasta in Australia (and probably other nations). Their first recipe was nothing the write home about, and their current recipe is leaps and bounds ahead but even “normal” pasta tastes better fresh.
This was fresh lasagne sheets made on the day, you can’t beat that. The bechamel sauce was on point, the filling was warm and hearty but not overbearing. The winner was that cheese crust that sat on top. I love a cheesy lasagne, but even more then that I love one with a salty crust atop.
This lasagne delivered in every way I could hope.
All in all NoGlu is a hell of a restaurant, they know what they’re about and they do it well. With only a handful of menu selections that change on a daily basis, I would recommend this to anyone living in or visiting Paris, gluten free or not. The food is great! Oh, and the staff are wicked too.