Gluten Free Restaurants: Seattle

Back at it again with the gluten free dinners! God I had to get that out. I feel equally better and worse for writing it down.

Let's talk travel. Last week I was in Seattle, which I'm sure I'll share lots of stories about in the future, but suffice to say between there and Olympia I'm in love. Incredible views, still as close to the water as I am at home, kind people, strong coffee, and delicious food. There were so many insanely beautiful places to walk and run, which coupled with my food/bev intake for the week really helped to keep me balanced.

Gum walls - not your usual Seattle!

Gum walls - not your usual Seattle!

The night I headed out (damn you redeyes! You let me sleep in my bed but make me suffer before and after), I wanted a place that had real food (i.e. not something delicious/fried or super spicy) before a six hour flight, and I wasn't super impressed with what I found for my terminal at SeaTac online. 

My exhaustive searches for reasonably priced but true homey food in the airport area lead me to Sharps Roasthouse. When I arrived around 6:30 at the large restaurant with a small parking lot shared with a hotel, there was a 45 minute wait for a party of 1-2. I tried my luck on the bar side, where tables for two are essentially wedged together against the windows, and ended up with a few tables with individual men nursing beers and becoming friends to my left, and an older couple to my right. The close quarters meant I was offered my neighbor's menu, and had a good vantage point to spy on everyone else's food/lives.

I settled for the petite version of the Pure Bred Black Angus Prime Rib, which is described as "three week aged custom cut prime rib of beef, with crushed sour cream potatoes, 24 hour scratch demi glaze and homemade cheddar cheese sauce atop fresh broccoli." If that doesn't make you salivate reading I don't know what will. Oh. Maybe this dark picture of it.

Even though I had the "smaller" 1/2 pound portion (the full is 3/4 pound with no bone), everyone around me still managed to ooh and ahh as my plate arrived. This ridiculously perfect medium rare treat cut like nothing you've ever cut before (unless you've tried my short ribs or The Rustler's filet) and absolutely melts in your mouth. The mashed potatoes were creamy (gross word I KNOW) and buttery, and the cheese sauce atop the big piece of steamed broccoli was almost tart - some might decide this is their favorite part, but it was a little too salty for me and I ate a lot of the broccoli plain. Other than the meat itself, my big favorite was the au jus - a little container that I started off by pouring over things like the mashed potatoes, and ended up just dunking each forkful of food into before eating. It was perfection - sweet and savory, with just the amount of salt and happiness to make every bite of prime rib loaded with mashed potatoes even more delicious (which you'd think would be impossible).

My server was friendly and attentive, and service across the restaurant seemed to fare the same. In the bar there are small casks of liquor that serve as a wall between sections, and a huge spinning wheel a la The Price Is Right on the wall that offers different drink deals. A large party two tables to my right announced that they had a diner with Celiac - who hopped right in to yell that she'd been there many times before - and their waitress was friendly and eager to help. Since I'll never pretend to have Celiac out at restaurants, it was valuable to hear this woman talking (for a full five minutes) about how she's always able to have a safe meal and how much she enjoys the food there. Her experience - and the fact that she'd take a big party out there for dinner - made me feel like this is definitely a great place for gluten free diners (with some alterations to their meals, I'm sure, since there isn't a gluten free menu).

As I mentioned above, I can't provide a specific gluten free experience unless I'm with a Celiac diner, so please tell me about your experience at Sharps! Even better, give me some more Celiac-safe restaurant ideas.