Living in N.Y.C. there are always seemingly limitless dining options and as my philosophy is that most any restaurant can be a gluten-free dining experience. If I have a particular craving I am not going to let Celiac dictate where I can eat. Remember, it is all about asking the right questions of your server or manager when dining out to ensure that you are not going to get glutened. Many of you know that I am also deathly allergic to shellfish (all types) so dining out is truly a challenge but I do not let it stop me. In all my years since my Celiac and Shellfish allergy diagnoses, I have yet to go into anaphylaxis (woo-hoo) nor have I had any adverse reactions to gluten making its way into my meal. Sure, I may not always get exactly what I am looking for but I have never gone hungry no matter where I am in the world. Oh, and for those grammarphiles out there the restaurant is Peters’ not Peter’s because, as you will see if you visit, various famous Peters photos don the walls.
So back to Peters’. It is one of those gluten-free places you hear about and always mean to get to. It is a bit outside of my normal circle (and my office is just outside of their delivery zone) so I never really got around to making a special trip. The other day I was at the Tavern on the Green auction preview with my other half and afterwards thought why not head East and give Peters’ a try?
The first thing you will notice is that the restaurant itself is small. In the warmer months they have seating out front and in a back garden area but neither were options when the temperature was below freezing. We were lucky enough to snag the last table (though turnover is quick thanks to fast and efficient service). There is also a counter/bar where diners can sit as well.
The menu itself is very lengthy featuring your traditional diner fare with some ethnic specialties thrown in for good measure. When I go to a gluten-free or friendly establishment I try to order something I would normally not make at home. When we arrived we were still in the brunch/lunch time zone so I really had a hankering for a gluten-free Monte Christo which came with a good-sized bowl of chicken and rice soup that was actually very good (if a bit on the salty side). The sandwich arrived open-faced with a good portion of turkey, ham, and Swiss – piled on two pieces of gluten-free French toast. It arrived with a side of maple syrup and a selection of jelly. It was well prepared and despite the $3.00 surcharge for gluten-free was well worth the price. I always find surcharges to be a bit on the tacky side – I mean you know what the price is going to be, just price your items accordingly rather than the dreaded surcharge. My partner had an omelet with toast and home fries that he also enjoyed.
The one thing about Peters’ menu is that it is a bit confusing. They have some items that are clearly marked as not being available gluten-free – okay, no problem there. However, you are left wondering if that means absolutely everything else (which I am guessing is the case) can be modified to be gluten-free (with the relevant surcharges of course). It would be nice if the menu was a bit better organized or provided a bit more information on the gluten-free preparations (i.e. dedicated fryers, griddles, etc.).
All in all Peters’ was a typical diner experience with solid service. It was nice to order something that was gluten-free and not have to explain myself. In fairness, I only had a small taste of their gluten-free offerings but would I make a special trip to dine there – probably not, though I will likely be back to try their meatloaf and turkey with gluten-free stuffing next time I find myself in the neighborhood. If it was in my neighborhood I could see myself eating there more frequently but to make the trip with so many other options around is just not that practical.
Peters’ is located at: 1606 First Avenue, New York, New York 10028