Gluten free in Pittsburgh

Yesterday Mrs. Wine and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary. Hard to believe it has been five years of marriage! Let me tell you something, marriage is the best thing a guy and gal can do (provided they love each other and are willing to make take the commitment seriously). Anyway, to celebrate we went out for some food and drinks.

For dinner we went to  Gus’s Cafe. I’d read about this place a while back and I have since read many good reviews of the restaurant. The restaurant started out being 100% gluten free but quickly revised their menu and is probably 80% gluten free. I don’t mind that, I imagine a 100% gluten free restaurant is not a sustainable model.

Anyway, we got there early because we wanted to be home in time to put our kids to bed. The place was pretty empty and looked like a….dive bar. That wasn’t what I was expecting. Mrs. Wine, always the positive one, made some remark about how we never go to dive bars anymore anyway so this was still fun. A few other unexpected surprises: they’ve changed their menu and it was primarily burgers and hot dogs. That isn’t their fault, I just hadn’t looked at the menu in a while. Finally, it is a cash only establishment. Whoops! So we only had water to drink and made it just under the bill with the cash we had on hand.

But the good news is the food was very good. We ordered fried pickles (GF) which I thought were excellent and I think Mrs. Wine enjoyed them as well.

gf pickles

(This picture is from Gus’s website)

I had the N@ Burger and my wife had one of the specials, a putrid fungus (mushroom) and swiss burger. We were both happy with our food and I’d recommend this place to someone who is gluten free or gluten oppressed.

From there we headed down the road to Arsenal Cider House. Now this place was awesome! I’ve never been to a cider house (and technically also a meadery) before but I’ve been wanting to check this place out since I learned of it. It is decorated and the ciders are brewed with the theme that it is the Civil War. The ciders seem to be named after Civil War generals and it just had a great atmosphere. I didn’t know it was a bit like visiting a vineyard and so when we walked inside the first thing we learned is that you could sample the ciders before ordering. Well, Mrs. Wine lit up like the sun and enjoyed herself.

After some sampling, Mrs. Wine had the Fighting Elleck which is their flagship (maybe?) semi-sweet cider and I ordered Zu-Zu Oaked, which is a bone-dry blueberry cider. We both liked the Fighting Elleck. The oak flavor for the blueberry was definitely the strongest flavor. In fact, I couldn’t taste the blueberry which leads me to believe that perhaps brewing with blueberry just isn’t a good idea. I have a blueberry mead in the basement that just, frankly, doesn’t taste good. I thought it was me but now I’m thinking it might be a bad fruit to brew with. But either way, we had a good time there and if we weren’t on a strict budget would have definitely purchased a growler of the Fighting Elleck.

Pittsburgh is a great city with a lot of neat neighborhoods with a lot going on. I wish we could get down there more often and explore it. But, I’m grateful for the fun time we had last night and the best part?

Five years of marriage to a great woman. I love you Mrs. Wine!

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