In Boston there is a burger joint that is simply to die for. It is called UBURGER. Started in 2001 by Quincy natives, it was one of my favorite places to go to for food in Boston. Located conveniently in Kenmore Square (and also one on Comm Ave) it is any BU student's choice for a quality lunch that isn't loaded with preservatives, hormones or MSG. It is also prime hangover food. Ask any of the students you'll see in there around noon on Saturday or Sunday.
Since going gluten-free I have struggled to find quick gluten-free options. More often than not I'll find myself at Qdoba or Chipotle getting corn tacos or "naked burritos." While those are delicious and healthy (ish) options I've found myself not handling beans as well as I use to be able to and those mexican dishes are full of 'em.
Flash back to this Tuesday. I was walking in Kenmore Square on my way to work a shift in the mailroom of the Myles Standish dorm on BU's campus. The smell outside of UBURGER was so good and I was hungry as all I had for dinner was a grapefruit. (I was called in to work two hours before I was scheduled to come in.) I wanted some french fries in a big way.
Funny enough they are the one thing I have really craved since going gluten-free. It use to be pizza until I discovered this gem of a pizza place in Weymouth called Gusto's pizza! More on this later!
I didn't get my hopes up because I have really struggled to find gluten-free french fries even in restaurants that have extensive gluten-free menus. It seems like restaurants in general are very reluctant to dedicate a fryer to just french fries. Anyway -- when I asked the woman at the cash register if the fries were gluten-free she said very casually that they were and I got super excited. The manager confirmed that they are fried in a dedicated fryer and kept aside from the other fried foods, like their to-die-for onion rings that sadly are not gluten-free. Naturally I ordered some fries and a black and white frappe for a healthy and well-rounded dinner. (Don't forget the grapefruit!)
They were so good! I use to frequent UBURGER very often before I was gluten-free and I'm psyched that I will be able to go back again! I was too excited (and late for work) to ask them about their other gluten-free options so I just sent them an email. Hopefully their burgers and chicken sandwiches (they use all white meat filets not questionable patties) can also be prepared gluten-free, sans bun of course. My favorite was a "phat chick" chicken sandwich with bacon, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce. When I hear back I will let you all know so you can discover how great their food is too!
Edit: I emailed UBURGER right before I started writing this and I just received a response from one of the owners! Here is his reply:
Thank you very much for the compliment! To answer you questions, the burgers and grilled chicken are gluten free. All you have to do is ask for your sandwich "bunless" and we will prepare it in a lettuce wrap. And please inform the cashier that you have a gluten allergy when ordering.
Thank you and Happy holidays!
If you are looking to try it out, UBURGER has three convenient locations in Boston now. Check out their website at www.uburgerboston.com !
**Update** As of 4/1/2015 UBurger now has gluten-free buns for their sandwiches and burgers. They are the best buns I've had to date eating out!
Back to the pizza: On Pleasant Street in Weymouth there is a little pizza place called Gusto's. (It use to be Classic 2) There you can find fresh gluten-free pizza. Forget the boxed stuff at Whole Food's, this is the real deal. For $9 you can get a small gluten-free pizza with two toppings. I'm not sure how much a regular cheese is but I'm assuming less. For those of you without gluten-sensitivity please give Gusto's a chance too! You can get a large regular cheese pizza for around $8 and I'm told it's very good.
All in all if you are in either area please try out one of these restaurants, making gluten-free options is an expensive and difficult task and we all appreciate the effort greatly. Help support fantastic local businesses who help us eat gluten-free!
N.B. Always remember to tell the restaurant about your gluten sensitivity and double check that all toppings and sauces are also gluten-free!