Monday, August 22, 2011

Gluten-Free Goodness in Provincetown--Karoo Kafe

Bradley and I are officially getting back into the swing of things after a wonderful, two-week vacation together. We spent the first week up on Cape Cod, and we spent our last day of that week in Provincetown. Finding places that are willing and able to accommodate gluten-free diets (not to mention all our other food allergies/intolerances) is always a challenge, especially on vacation. When we were in P-town last August, we spent a great deal of time walking up and down Commercial Street, searching for a gluten-free restaurant that we had found online. We were finally informed that the place had gone out of business. Starving, we ended up at Big Daddy's Burritos. (Ummm...yeah...) We were thankful to have found the place. Mexican food is often a safer option for us as we can usually modify the dish pretty easily. While the food rescued us from starvation that night, we had been hoping for something a bit different. 

This year, we discovered Karoo Kafe! We actually walked by Karoo Kafe in our wanderings last August and we almost stopped to check it out. While I wish that we had checked it out last year, it was an amazing discovery this trip! 

Karoo Kafe is a lovely, casual restaurant featuring South African fare. The staff was more than willing to take the time to help us figure out dishes that would work not only with our gluten-free diet, but also with our plethora of other food allergies and intolerances. 

We each enjoyed an appetizer. (Sorry I don't have a picture to share! We were so excited and started digging in right away!) Bradley had the Vegetable Pakoras and I enjoyed gluten-free falafel, one of their new items. Delicious! 

Bradley enjoyed the Curried Lamb Stew for his entree...

...and I enjoyed the Peri-Peri Chicken Wings

Amazing! I've had cravings for this dish since eating there a couple of weeks ago! Seriously. And the dish isn't too spicy. I typically can't handle much when it comes to spicy foods, but this dish was just right.

As you can see from the pictures, Karoo also offers gluten-free Redbridge beer. Awesome!

As we were finishing our meal, Sanette Groenewald (chef and owner), came out to chat with us. She explained how they've just started labeling gluten-free menu items this year. After having many guests ask if they served gluten-free dishes, Sanette realized that some of the dishes were naturally gluten-free, and others only needed some modifications. She said they used this past winter season to experiment and then rolled out the new menu this season. It's obviously a hit! In the time that we were there, Bradley and I overheard at least three other guests talking about the gluten-free dishes. Sanette is committed to working with guests to meet their dietary needs. Because everything is made fresh, it's easier to accommodate special diets. But Sanette also says she'll be honest about ingredients and possible dish creations; she won't just throw something together and claim it's safe like other places might. She's obviously very careful and committed. 

As we were heading out, the staff shared a couple of recommendations for South African restaurants in DC. We'll definitely be checking them out! (And I'll be sure to share the scoop.) And we'll definitely be back to Karoo Kafe the next time we're up in Provincetown! Unlike other business in P-town, Karoo Kafe has been around for a while. In fact, they're celebrating their 10th anniversary! Congratulations Karoo Kafe, and thanks for offering an amazing gluten-free dining experience!

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