Jennifer Gornto was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009 and has been on a quest since then to find the best gluten free foods and places to eat in Jacksonville. Jennifer chronicles her findings on her BLOG GlutenFreeJacksonville.com. We asked Jennifer to recommend some of her favorite gluten free restaurants in Jacksonville. To make the list a restaurant must not only have quality gluten free offerings but they must also be prepared in a way that eliminates or does everything possible to minimize cross contamination with gluten containing foods. In alphabetical order, Jennifer's 10 favorite places to eat gluten free in Jacksonville are listed below.
"Our appetizers included the saucy shrimp, a delicious gluten-free dish and one of my favorites which includes shrimp, olives, feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes (and other yummy stuff). Another one of my favorite things on the gluten-free menu is the house salad. It is cold and includes olives, tomatoes and hearts of palm (which always cause a debate for first time tasters who think it is mozzarella cheese). All of their grilled seafood dishes are gluten-free. All of the signature sauces but Pan Asian are gluten-free. All of their sides except potatoes au gratin are gluten-free. On Saturday I ordered the Angler's Steak Special with mashed potatoes which are gluten-free. They also have a gluten-free drink menu on the back of the drink menu to tell you which drinks are gluten-free.
And to finish off our wonderful menu, the wait staff brought us a Macadamia Nut Brownie. In all its glory, this dessert is gluten-free. It comes with macadamia nuts, chocolate syrup and a HUGE scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is worth the indulgence because it is so yummy. They brought one out for each of our tables with 6 spoons per table." more>
"They offer a lot of different burger options, including vegetarian, chicken, tuna and the beef is all grass fed. You can order a fast food size or restaurant size burger depending on your hunger. I especially love how everything is marked vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. They have quite a menu. Prices are reasonable, however there is a $2.00 upcharge for a gluten-free bun.
We ordered the restaurant size gluten-free Le Steakhouse Burger. It had sauteed onions, grass fed beef and cornichons (pickles). So tasty and flavorful, but a little greasy.
Restaurant size gluten-free Epik Burger. It had pancetta, brie, lettuce, tomato, onion, cornichons, and basalmic mayo. This is a beautiful burger. Full of color and flavor. My boyfriend ordered this and I was really envious. He loved it; he ate it all!
Ahh, gluten-free french fries. There are not many restaurants that serve fries that are TRULY gluten-free so I had to get these. I loved the large chunks of salt and pepper and it was a great portion to share, not too big, not too small.
Gluten-free Beer Battered Onion Rings. This was the highlight of my day. I was never a big onion ring person, however, since my diagnosis of Celiac disease I jump at the opportunity to indulge safely. They were awesome. They were flakey and not too chewy. While there was a tiny bit of oil residue, it was light and seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. I never wanted these onion rings to end…" more>
4. Outback Steakhouse menu>
… (904) 363-3839 … 8145 Point Meadows Way map>
… (904) 220-5899 … 13245 Atlantic Blvd. map>
… (904) 720-1818 … 9400 Atlantic Blvd. map>
… (904) 268-4329 … 9773 San Jose Blvd. map>
… (904) 247-7888 … 3760 3rd St. S., Jacksonville Beach map>
"One of the biggest no no’s of a gluten-free diet, other than pasta and breads is soy sauce. PF Changs, not only has their gluten-free menu been added to every menu in the restaurant on the back, but they also have gluten-free soy sauce as well. PF Changs also has gluten-free desserts and a recent new dessert, a Triple Chocolate Mousse Mini Dessert. I had it this week and it was AMAZING! It includes three sinful layers of Chocolate Ganache, Milk Chocolate Mousse and Flourless Chocolate Cake." more>
"Prior to ordering, I had to indulge in one of their over 8 gluten-free beer/cider options. I had the Dogfish Head Tweason’ Ale, which is my new favorite. I love the soft undertones of strawberry. They have other gluten-free beers like Redbridge, New Planet and New Grist.
While I am also dairy-free I thought I would share that they have awesome cheese and meat plates for those of you who can tolerate dairy.
As my first course I had the Chorizo al Vino. It was delicious and nicely sized.
Next I had two helpings of the Angus Churrasco Bibb Lettuce Wraps. I loved how colorful this dish was, the carmelized onions added great flavor and decoration. The Bibb Lettuce was so soft and fresh, these were my favorite." more>
"Everything I read said that the Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini was a must. This was so true. I loved this martini and the fact it came with a shaker meant I got a little more than just one glass. My super helpful waiter Charlie informed me that they let the grapefruit soak in vodka then they add a citrus liquor. I loved it as a pre-dinner cocktail!
As an appetizer my boyfriend and I shared the edamame with green tea sea salt. I have never had green tea sea salt but it was quite yummy and had a really nice green tea flavor that minimized the saltiness of the salt (if that even makes sense, ha).
For dinner I enjoyed the Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout with parsley new potatoes, roasted vegetables and broiled lemon. Let me tell you, that broiled lemon was awesome. It was so easy to squeeze over the fish and the flavor lingered over to the carrots and asparagus on my plate. It was delicious. The vegetables were not too salty or over cooked, however the fish had a little blackened taste to it so the flavors of the plate just really went well together. Everything tasted fresh and there were no overpowering sauces or spices. The glass of Pinot Grigio I enjoyed with it was perfect. There was nothing left on my plate!" more>
"At TacoLu they use freshly made juices in their margaritas and they have a variety of tequilas and margaritas to choose from but I promise, you won’t go wrong with their house margarita.
Then I began to place my order and asked for the gluten-free chips and my own side of salsa. Prior to this visit I would always ask them to bake corn tortillas for me, however now they have delicious corn tortillas that are to die for and my gluten eating friends thought they were as good if not better than the house chips.
For dinner I ordered two of the Mahi Tacos. Their ingredients are blackened fish on a freshly made corn tortilla with cabbage, fresh mango salsa and chipotle crema, all gluten-free. There are numerous options on the menu for those of us with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Because everything is made in-house fresh, they can make all sorts of accommodations (within reason of course). Many options you can just replace the flour tortilla with a corn tortilla to meet your needs. Just make sure to ask the waiter what your options are." more>
"Taverna is located in San Marco near Square One and the San Marco Theater. It is locally owned and opened about a year ago in 2009. I happened upon this place not long after my diagnosis and was surprised that they could easily accommodate a gluten-free diet. One of the head chefs has either celiac disease or gluten intolerance and was well aware of what I could eat. Most of their dishes are made with fresh ingredients and include meats and veges (except for their pasta dishes of course). They were so knowledgable that they were able to discourage a dessert that is gluten-free, however, the pan was dusted with flour. So nice to go to a restaurant that knows how to accommodate a gluten-free diet. They also have the coolest wine glasses in Jacksonville, in my opinion." more>
"My favorite part about Your Pie is that they offer gluten-free and dairy-free options. Many of their sauces and toppings are gluten-free and they offer a gluten-free crust made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. They also take necessary precautions to avoid cross contamination...
My favorite is the BBQ Chicken gluten-free and dairy free pizza. It was tangy with a nice flavor boost of fresh cilantro. I am a HUGE cilantro fan. In addition to chicken, BBQ sauce and cilantro they also added red onions. I really don’t have much to compare this pizza to besides Mellow Mushroom, since there are not many gluten-free and dairy-free pizza places. I really liked the fact that Your Pie makes all of their own sauces. The flavors of the sauce and gluten-free crust blended well together. I didn’t need to add salt or any other seasonings. The crust is thin and chewy and I loved it!
In addition to pizzas they also serve paninis, salads, sorbet and gelato. The sorbet is gluten-free and dairy free and when I was there the favors were lemon, raspberry, and blood orange. From what I have heard the sea salt caramel gelato is pretty amazing. Other flavors of gelato they usually have include Tiramisu and Butterfinger. The gelato is made with milk instead of cream so it has less fat and more flavor than ice cream.
I tried the raspberry sorbet. It was AWESOME." more>