Friday, July 3, 2009

Eating Gluten-Free in Sperryville, Virginia

Every middle of nowhere is somebody's somewhere I always remind myself. I found out how NOT the middle of nowhere Sperryville is at least as far as gluten-free food goes.

I had been tipped off about the Thornton River Grille by the lovely owner of Apple Cottage Gourmet Health Foods in Luray, Virginia. I was in Luray to see the caverns. The town is on the outskirts of Shenandoah National Park - where I was staying.

The lodges in the park can definitely fix you up with a gluten-free meal that far surpasses my expectations, but I knew we'd be spending the afternoon outside of the park.

So, I found Apple Cottage and a restaurant that I thought would work. Just to be sure, I asked the owner of Apple Cottage who said that many of the restaurants in town were just too crowded on the 4th of July weekend to cater to special needs, so she suggested Thornton River Grille, which does require a reservation.

When we got there, we decided we wanted to sit on the deck, which has a more limited menu but a fabulous view. They had no problem adapting the salad I was interested in to a GF version. It was delicious - freshly-grilled chicken breast on top of mixed-greens with pecans, dried cranberries and goat cheese crumbles.

It was so flavorful, I only used a smidgeon of the delicious salad dressing that came with it. These guys didn't even bat an eye when I asked about gluten-free food. They just said, tell us what you want and we'll figure out a way to make it work. I wish I heard that everywhere!

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