For my birthday last week, a friend offered to take me out to lunch. At first, though, I was tempted to say no.
It is, after all, difficult to find a restaurant where I can get something that meets my annoying combination of dietary restrictions, especially on a Sunday when restaurants that might normally have something lean towards brunch offerings. And somehow brunch items often include gluten, eggs, beans, and dairy.
But then I started thinking about how restrictive that was. Even if it wasn’t because of a diet, I was definitely limiting myself and making my life smaller because of food. This is especially true because I don’t have severe reactions to any of the things I normally avoid – having a little now and again is okay.
Once I decided I didn’t want to let food dictate my response, I thought it would be fun to have lunch. Then I needed to figure out where to go. It felt oddly appropriate to go to a place called The Sinful Kitchen.
I picked it both because it was less than a mile away, and because they had a number of gluten-free choices. Including waffles. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had waffles, and I got excited at the idea of having some that might even be (sort of) okay for me to eat.
The restaurant is a fun little place, with brown paper spread over the table so you can color while waiting for your meal. Or, as my friend used it, you can use it to illustrate the location of your flower gardens around the house.
I did check out the specials when we arrived, and some of them sounded good, but I had waffles on the brain. I waited eagerly.
When our meal arrived, I noticed that my waffles were rather pale, but they were plentiful. The ham and side of homefries looked great. I had also splurged on a bottle of real maple syrup (I live in Maine – I can’t do anything else). I immediately tried the waffles.
Sadly, they did not live up to my imagination. In my memory of good waffles, the outside is crisp while the inside is fairly light and fluffy. I knew from their appearance that these ones wouldn’t be particularly crispy, but I had held out hope for the inside. As happens far too often with gluten-free baked goods, though, the inside had a strange, gummy/gluey texture, as if it was under-baked. It wasn’t, but this is how gluten-free things bake sometimes if things aren’t just right.
I did thoroughly enjoy my ham and potatoes, at least, and I suspect that the gluten-based waffles are much better. Even though it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, I’m still glad I went, for three reasons. One, because it meant I didn’t limit my life because of food concerns. Two, as a reminder that if I’m going to treat myself, I should just go ahead and have something that I really want and will taste good (i.e., unless I know they do gluten-free well, stick with other options).
And three, it may inspire me to try my own gluten-free waffles and see if I can figure out something better. I’ll keep you posted!