Nuts to you, Migraines

This card was on our table and talks a bit about the concept of Restaurant Gwendolyn.
This card was on our table and talks a bit about the concept of Restaurant Gwendolyn.

In our house, we make an occasion out of birthdays and the birthday girl (or boy) gets to choose the restaurant. Tuesday was my birthday. After some thought, I decided I wanted to go to Restaurant Gwendolyn. We’ve known about the restaurant for a while since they usually have a booth at the Pearl Farmers Market. We’ve bought sausages and whole seed mustard from them. But we never quite made it to the restaurant.

Until Tuesday.

Restaurant Gwendolyn is unlike any other restaurant I know. I just love the concept – going back to a time before the industrial revolution – pre-1850. So they have no blenders, mixers, deep fryers, etc. And, no perishable ingredient travels more than about 150 miles. I encourage you to read Restaurant Gwendolyn’s concept page to learn more.

This is side 2 of the card on our table. Note that they said I could take the card - and I did.
This is side 2 of the card on our table. Note that they said I could take the card – and I did.
This is the menu for the 3 course tasting at Restaurant Gwendolyn.
This is the menu for the 3 course tasting at Restaurant Gwendolyn.
Restaurant Gwendolyn is in downtown San Antonio. It's on street level but has this nice view of the river walk.
Restaurant Gwendolyn is in downtown San Antonio. It’s on street level but has this nice view of the river walk.

So that says that most of the ingredients are local. And I love that. I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool strict locavore, but I delight in preparing and eating meals that come primarily from our farmers markets. Especially when I know the farmers. It just brings a new meaning to the food we eat.

Below I’ve included quite a few pictures, with captions describing them. The one image is of our menu. They had 2 menus – a 3 course tasting and a 5 course tasting. We opted for the 3 course tasting with a cheese tray to start off. And, the wine pairings, which made it a lot of fun. Each course had 2 options. For each course, I ordered one option and my husband ordered the other one. And, of couse, we traded plates about halfway through. We got to taste a lot of dishes that way. And everything was delicious.

Amuse Bouche - chef's choice - was a pork sausage on a basil pesto with a stewed apricot.
Amuse Bouche – chef’s choice – was a pork sausage on a basil pesto with a stewed apricot.
Honeydew & grapefruit salad, white wine vinegar gastrique
Honeydew & grapefruit salad, white wine vinegar gastrique
Purslane & Roasted Fig salad, balsamic cream
Purslane & Roasted Fig salad, balsamic cream
Venison Lasagne, House-made ricotta, bechamel
Venison Lasagne, House-made ricotta, bechamel
Crispy Skin Snapper, Mediterranean Zucchini salad, white wine caper beurre blanc
Crispy Skin Snapper, Mediterranean Zucchini salad, white wine caper beurre blanc
Lime Panna Cotta, Fresh watermelon, coco lime ice, canteloupe sorbet.
Lime Panna Cotta, Fresh watermelon, coco lime ice, canteloupe sorbet.
Blue Corn Pudding with woodfire ice cream, figs.
Blue Corn Pudding with woodfire ice cream, figs.

From the menu you can tell that the restaurant is in the higher priced range. But they have early bird discounts during the week!

At the bottom of their menu it says “We are happy to accommodate special dietary needs and preferences.” You see wording like that on many menus, but at Restaurant Gwendolyn they mean it. When we first got there, our waitress asked who had an issue with nuts. I was a bit surprised, but then I hadn’t made the reservation. I asked my husband and he said they made it a point to know about food allergies and sensitivities.

I can’t say that I have an actual nut allergy, at least not in the way we normally think of allergies. But since I started having serious migraine issues, certain nuts have become migraine triggers for me. They include walnuts and hazelnuts. And probably some others that I just haven’t been willing to test. At the restaurant we discussed it. Their recipes, at least that evening, used only pecans and almonds. Perfect for me because I know I can eat both.

It’s quite refreshing to me to find a place that cares about their customer’s food allergies and sensitivities. I’ve had to really watch what and where I eat ever since I started having chronic migraines. Restaurants that truly care are the places I’ll readily go back to.

Do you have food allergies or sensitivities? What restaurants have you found that accommodate your?
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Barbara

I'm now an author and publisher. I write a blog over at BarbaraMcNeely.com. And I have a book published - “Lessons of an Opening Heart."
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