Gluten Free Celiac Stomp Through St Louis (and GFAF Event Recap)

St Louis, MO, Gluten-Free Restaurant Reommendations

So you want to stroll through the Gateway to the West, see the silver arch across the prairie sky -- and eat stresslessly, happily, safely, gluten-free?  St Louis not only hosts multiple safe eateries, but also plays host to Nikki Everett's GFAF Wellness Event each year. And its array of dedicated gluten-free facilities, local, transparent food suppliers -- and wealth of history and architectural beauty -- just keep growing.

Well, the eateries and events do. I'm not sure about the architecture.

While I was there this May for Nikki's ace event, I hit 3 dedicated GF spots, and got a good look at the safe food prep processes of half a dozen others.

But what made the visit glow was the GFAF Event. So if you're planning a jaunt across the American mid-West, plan your trip for Spring -- not only is the weather accommodating, so is the metaphoric atmosphere of gluten-free goods.  Especially since Nikki's family-friendly, community-oriented weekend event offers gluten-free and celiac support, samples of the best local-grown, local-based businesses, and a bonus of great speakers and educational presentations.


But before the recap, here are the restaurants:

DEDICATED GLUTEN-FREE  EATERIES AROUND TOWN....

A2 GF CF Cafe (St. Louis proper, MO) [ now closed -- updated October 2016 ]


Audra and Audrey founded A2 to be dedicated gluten-free, dedicated safe. From sandwiches to salads, grain bowls to sweets, they offer the rainbow. On top of that, their breads and baked goods are all seed-flower based (courtesy of local start-up and family owned business, Think.Live.Eat's sunflower seed flours). They are grain-free and paleo. If you're weary of missing out on traditionals such as meatball subs, baguettes, or brownies...drop the slouch: you can get it here. The fare is all local-sourced, prepped in a dedicated kitchen...and it isn't oh-that's-gluten-free-but-good. The A and A of A2 make food that stands on its own two feet.



Revel Kitchen (Brentwood, MO)



Paleo, organic, sleek. You can get everything from waffles to plant-based burgers at Revel Kitchen. They've downsized, and changed up their menu. But they haven't changed their naturally gluten-free flair, which is paleo, local, fresh-prepped-to-order, and delicious. You can pick from Bowl, Wrap/Burger or Omelette, customise the protein (from eggs to grassfed beef or tofu), and add an array of smoothies or sides.

My grandmother, very much not gluten-free, reports this is the best food she's eaten in 10 years, if not more. Being diabetic, the paleo-aspect also pleased her pink.

New Day Gluten Free Cafe (Ellisville, MO)

New Day, family-owned, takes classic diner and transforms it into...the perfect classic diner: except everything is gluten-free. You can drop in for celiac-safe eats breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or order their fluffy, crusty-bread or baked goods to pick up and use at home. I've been here multiple times now. Usually for breakfast. Although the pancakes aren't dairy-free, the French toast is, and the American breakfast of toast, bacon, eggs is a classic as it gets for the United States, and utterly satisfying.



GLUTEN FREE ALLERGEN FREE WELLNESS AND THEN SOME! ST LOUIS, MO

RECAP + GIVEAWAY


Grass fed sausage and roast beef, organic allergen free spices from Wild Tree, Think.
Eat.Live's Sunflower Seed flour muffins, Sema, teen celiac advocate,
chocolate, and Outrageous Baking Co's sweet breads

Smaller this year, but no less dynamic, the GFAF Wellness Event on May 21 trotted out at team of local real food standouts. When I say real food, I mean the floor was no longer dominated by sweets -- faux-gluten-food. It was a floor dominated by whole food -- including some stellar sweets -- but offering a variety that held up always-supportive-national brands such as Enjoy Life Foods alongside tons of regional gluten-free allergen-free specialists. I loved seeing  MO Legacy Beef and Jerky and J&J Chocolate Chalet, as well as Think.Eat.Live, whose sunflower seed flour is the base for A2's wonderful little gluten-free cafe downtown.

I had a blast eating  a real lunch of lettuce greens taken off Rhonda's (who was there with JuicePlus) Plant Tower, freshly grilled grassfed steak  samples, and Billy Goat's non-gmo tater chips. Dessert wasn't lacking though -- that's when I got to chat with J&J Chocolatiers, who provide some the best chocolate I've ever had the joy of tasting -- Quinoa Crunch Nonpareils, and Cashew Protein  Creme.

I got to finish it off later with Pumpkin Curry at GF-ready-prepped-meal-provider table, and then circulate around to WildTree Organics, where Adobo-Spiced Chicken Stew was cooking in a crockpot, and Julia told me story, and showed me a long line of allergen-free organic spice blends and oils.

Then, to top off the diverse food samples, the event this year also featured NYR Organics -- skin and self-care products like I've never seen before, altogether organic, altogether allergen-free -- DoTerra Essential Oils (which even makes a gluten-free, chemical-free toothpaste now!), and Arbonne (whose rep, Chondre, tells me will soon be CERTIFIED gluten free, and celiac safe...meaning a ream of protein powders, healthcare products and makeup testing under 10ppm).


But why stop in at the event that Saturday? It wasn't just the food. After all, if you've read through the restaurant recs, you can see it's easier and easier to eat well on-the-fly, and safely, even gluten-free.

Julia summed up what made the GFAF Event such a necessary stop on my calendar, every year, each May: "I knew this was the place to be," she said, when I asked her why she chose to have a booth--and then she went on to sum up not just why she was there, but the attitude of Nikki's events totally in one sentence:  "People here know and understand your story.
"And they hear you."

Allergies, Celiac, digestive ills such as Crohn's or diabetes -- any illness that requires a custom diet, the spectrum of Autism aided by gluten-free eating, and related disabilities -- these are our stories. These are our wounds.   Nikki's events bring people together to heal

...and more than offer options for samples, new food, and physical nourishment. The GFAF Event sets a stage for community to flourish -- and it is that support of community, (including the safe Saturday expo in which to eat and explore options) that builds relationships, heals us, and allows us to live freely and fully.  

Finally, why not a giveaway? It's good to share abundance. Gluten-free is a diet easier and easier to follow when it comes to finding options. But it isn't always easy to enjoy the variety if your budget is on the ordinary side. Food alone isn't cheap. Gluten-free food can be a hike above it.

Enter below for some Caly's Granola and Otrageous Baking Co's Baking mix!


 To Enter, Comment Below with your Favourite
Gluten-Free Food
and What your dream travel location is!


Tumbling Free,

in health, none too seriously,

CJ


Comments

  1. St Louis is a city I have always dreamed of visiting, think it was from watching the movie Meet me in St Louie...GF,DF,SoyFree chocolate chip cookies are my favorite!

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