So within the last year my dad and stepmom bought a condo in the Cape Coral, Florida area. Due to me working on my master’s remotely I was able to visit and spend a few weeks with them at their new place. During our time we explored the gluten-free options around town. I am excited to finally get around to telling you about them and increasing the number of cities and states I have on my blog! So here are the places we ate out gluten-free. I hope you find something that suits your fancy!
Cork Soaker’s Deck and Wine Bar
Cork Soaker’s is a local casual bar and grill in Cape Coral. The night we visited we were able to sit on the covered patio outside and therefore never went inside the restaurant. The patio was nice, it had a full working bar and a stage for live entertainment. My dad and stepmom even joked that they’d get up and sing to embarrass me. Thankfully if it had happened I knew nobody in the whole Cape Coral area. From the advertising and posters on the walls it seems as if live music and entertainment were a big part of the Cork Soaker experience. When I go visit again I hope I can experience that.
At Cork Soaker’s there was not a separate gluten-free menu, but the staff were knowledgeable and could tell you what was gluten-free and what could be modified to be gluten-free. From what my dad told me, one of the owners has Celiac Disease and so they are more careful than other restaurants.
I was a bit disappointed at first because the menu item I wanted to order was not gluten-free and could not be modified to be gluten-free. This I found odd because it was a risotto, which is a rice based dish. I obviously am still thinking about it now, but I moved on and ordered the grilled steak cobb salad. Although I ordered the salad I do remember struggling to decide what to eat, which is not uncommon for me. After all was said and done I was happy with my meal. The greens were fresh and crisp and the steak was grilled well.
I also would like to note that they have a gluten-free bun. My dad ordered a sandwich on a gluten-free bun. There are definitely options here for any gluten-free friends and family members. All 3 of us eating out that night ate from the gluten-free menu and all of us had great success. We all enjoyed our food and none of us got gluten sick.
Cork Soakers is a fun local restaurant with options for individuals on a gluten-free diet. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the nice weather, good food and each others company. I would suggest this restaurant to anyone in the area whether gluten-free or not. Maybe they can try the risotto for me, and tell me how it is. I promise I’m usually not this bitter, but risotto is so good, but supposedly a bit intense to make. If you visit Cork Soaker’s I hope you enjoy and have as great an experience as we did.
This was the first restaurant I had sat in in a long time. I visited in September and honestly I was so nervous about eating out at a restaurant, especially in Florida. Thankfully that evening not many people were eating in the restaurant and that made me feel a bit better.
I am happy that we went in and ate in the restaurant because it is a fun restaurant to visit. It is a themed restaurant all about Ford cars. It made me wonder if the owners were transplants from Michigan. I was wrong in this conclusion though. Their website says the first location in Fort Meyers was less than a mile away from the winter home of Henry Ford. I visited the location in Cape Coral, but there are locations around Florida and Michigan as well.
The themed restaurant was very cool though. They had an old Ford car above the bar, the napkin rings were hose clamps and there was an old fashioned fuel pump. I was impressed by how well they were able to stick to the theme without it looking overly cheesy. The design of the restaurant was so cool, so if you have a chance to visit do it. Especially if you have someone dining with you that loves cars.
Ford’s Garage specializes in burgers and other beloved American foods. On the menu they label which items are gluten-free as well as which items can be made gluten-free with modifications. We also did ask the waitress helping us some questions and when she did not know the answer she promptly went and asked about it.
To start we all had some drinks. I ordered a raspberry cider that I had never heard of before. I enjoy when there are cider options that are not only apple. The cider itself was surprisingly very pink and not as impressive as I’d hoped. I enjoyed it and am still glad I tried it. For my meal I got the Cali burger without the roasted garlic aioli. The aioli was one of the things we had to ask about, and unfortunately were told it was not gluten-free. And I say unfortunately because it was the reason I had chosen this burger. With the burger I had to get green beans because the fryer was not a dedicated fryer, but all of us living with Celiac who eat out are used to that. But although we are used to it, we still hope more businesses in the future use dedicated fryers.
My meal was very good. Again I wished it had the aioli because roasted garlic aioli just sounds amazing. The bun was like no other gluten-free bun I have had. It was good, just it did not taste like any of the big brands. I would be curious to know who makes them. But it is always enjoyable to have a burger with a bun instead of the bun-less burger we so often eat. The green beans were not prepared in a way that I enjoy, but that was alright. I was pretty full from my burger anyway. The main thing is none of us got glutened and we had a nice meal together.
I think Ford’s Garage is a fun family friendly restaurant that can be found in many places. From my experience I have confidence that they have knowledge about the gluten-free diet and the seriousness of it. My dad, stepmom, and I all enjoyed a nice dinner together and felt great afterward. I feel confident in suggesting this restaurant to others who may need to eat gluten-free.
Sinless Sweets by Sandi
First I want to start off by saying I hate the name of this business and I know there are other people who use this name as well. Normally I do not like to tear people down, but goodness gracious. To suggest that eating sweets with real white sugar, or gluten, or any other ingredient is sinful…really. I grew up going to church and never did I learn that eating enjoyable food is sinful. So that is my little rant about that. I hope that in the future people consider the implications of what they present to the world.
Sinless Sweets is a 100% gluten-free pop up bakery that sells at the Farmer’s Market in Cape Coral. I believe they also sell at a few other farmer’s markets in the area as well. Although I dislike the name, because it is so diet culturesque, I did want to try the products. I enjoy trying gluten-free foods from local people and supporting their business when possible. I thought since all products were gluten-free that this was a great opportunity to try some new treats.
Most of the products sold are made with artificial sugar substitutes. I personally do not use these often and because of that I think these made me feel unwell. I know that many people have trouble digesting the sugar substitutes and after trying these products think I may fall into that group. That being said diagnosing myself, or yourself, is never the answer. I do not believe at all that it was gluten though, I did not have pain like I do when I get glutened. Although I do not believe anyone should have to give up sugar completely, for people who do chose to they may enjoy these treats. Again I appreciate small business and want to build them up, but I did not have that great of an experience with the “sinless” sweets. If I’m going to buy a treat I want the real deal, butter, sugar and all, except the gluten for us with Celiac Disease of course. If you chose to restrict, which I do not suggest, and are in Cape Coral maybe give some of their products a try.
I imagine in the future I will be able to add to this list. My dad and stepmom really like this area and I imagine I will visit them many more times and find many more fun restaurants with gluten-free menus. Stay tuned.