In the sprawling East Village dining scene, there’s no shortage of choices: cheap or exorbitant, healthy or indulgent, quick or leisurely, deciding on a meal is a culinary choose-your-own-adventure. There are plenty of options for meat-eaters, for vegetarians, even for vegans. But for the rising number of people intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats and barley, what’s the best way to navigate the pizza- and dessert-lined streets of the neighborhood?
Enter the spate of restaurants ready to guarantee every last corner of the masses has access to a few of their favorite things. More and more are adding special gluten-free menus or dishes, and others are altering their entire line of offerings to make them friendly to those who can get sick from certain grains and flours.
At East Village comfort-food headquarters S’MAC, for example, the entire mac-and-cheese menu is available in gluten-free varieties. So whether diners want the gruyere-bacon “Alpine” dish or the manchego-fennel-onion “La Mancha,” all the pastas can be ordered sans gluten.