Few other questions can so easily turn my stomach. Especially when I"m in Cleveland. Not that there aren't good restaurants in Cleveland - there are, tons. But good, or even decent, places that cater to a celiac or otherwise gluten free population...?
So I shrug at the question and offer a noncommittal, "I don't care. Wherever you want." From there, my dining companions predictably wilt, roll their eyes, and utter the five most difficult words ever heard: "Well, where can you eat?"
Though I developed the condition at around four years old, I wasn't diagnosed with Celiac disease until I was twenty - a full sixteen years after it's onset, giving the disease ample time to play ding dong ditch with my immune system. But that's the bad news. The good news was that I was lucky enough to get diagnosed in the heart of gluten free living: New York City. There, specialized restaurants stretch as far as the eye can see over a city filled with people that have as many food allergies as they do opinions.
However, I had very little luck (and a lot of gluten accidents!) when it came to finding a place to eat in my hometown. Eventually, I sucked it up and gave up on trying to find restaurants in Cleveland that would offer me more than dressing-less iceberg lettuce salads and settled for cooking all my meals at home. I figured, I only visit this city for two weeks or so at a time; glorified rabbit-hood isn't so bad.
At least, that was my attitude before my short stays suddenly turned into a four to six month living situation. Since then, I've googled "Cleveland" + "gluten free" or "celiac" more times than I can count, but I always come back with the same result: other people, on other websites asking "where can I get a good gluten free meal in Cleveland?"
I'm determined to answer that question for myself - and for you, dear Cleveland Celiacs and / or gluten free tourists. I've decided to make it my mission to find and write about local restaurants and chefs that allow us to dine with our friends and families without feeling like second class citizens. I like to think of it as gluten-freeing Cleveland.
So check back for my adventures, pictures of what I've found, and all things free of gluten in the greater Cleveland area. Above all else, hopefully the next time someone says "well, where can you eat?" we'll all have some answers.