After I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004, I started eating a lot of omelettes. I wasn’t on an Atkins diet, but eggs seemed like a safe bet. It turned out that this wasn’t always true. Some restaurants use a pre-mixed egg replacement product instead of real eggs, and that can contain starch. Some add pancake batter to eggs, but don’t mention this fact on the menu. Not all omelette ingredients are safe: for example, the ham in a basic ham-and-cheese omelette might be more wheat than meat. And of course, there’s always a risk of cross-contamination.
I was grateful when a friend introduced me to Peters’ Gourmet Diner/Restaurant. She doesn’t have celiac disease, but she lives near the diner and had already discovered it as a great brunch spot on New York’s Upper East Side. Peters’ (yes, the apostrophe is in the right place — the restaurant walls are covered with photographs of famous Peters, from Peter Parker to Peter Sellers) is a member of the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program, working in cooperation with the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. The menu is laden with low-fat and low-calorie options, which I pretty much ignore (I mention them because I know others aren’t as careless as I am about this). I’m only interested in the many gluten-free options, which include great omelettes (served with a side of rice bread), Eggs Benedict, pancakes, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes. There are also “Blue Plate Specials,” which include chicken marsala and London broil with mushroom gravy. I’ve visited a dozen times for lunch or brunch and have always been impressed.
Another Manhattan member of the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program is Bloom’s Delicatessen Café. Located two blocks south of Grand Central Station, it’s got a great location and a short list of gluten-free options. The menu is a mix of deli and diner — think smoked fish, omelettes, and steaks, plus burgers with gluten-free buns and French fries cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer. While I’m more partial to the food at Peters’, I appreciate Bloom’s central location and its commitment to celiac awareness.
Peters’ Gourmet Diner/Restaurant [address] 1606 First Avenue (between 83rd & 84th sts.), New York, NY [tel] 212-734-9600 [web] www.petersrestaurant.com
Bloom’s Delicatessen Café [address] 350 Lexington Avenue (at the corner of 40th Street), New York, NY [tel] 212-922-3663 [web] www.bloomsnewyorkdeli.com