My goal is to discover gluten-free food in the District to make your gluten-free diet easier.
Multiple locations: http://www.theproteinbar.com/
What I got: Gluten-free vegetarian chili made with soy protein, red beans, veggies and spices. The side of quinoa at the bottom of the bowl made a nice addition to the meal, but make sure to stir the quinoa into the mix. I could have done without the cheese and sour cream toppings.
Gluten-free friendliness: The Protein Bar menu is littered with gluten-free choices. In fact, the restaurant caters to all the most popular alternative diets. All of the salads and bowls are gluten-free, as well as almost all of the drinks (just avoid those which contain cocoa malt powder). Avoid the burritos and oatmeal, as there are no gluten-free options for those choices. TIP: Know before you go. The menu is so packed with possibilities that it took me a while to decide, which is never fun when you’re hungry.
Overall vibe: It’s no surprise that high-protein food is the name of the game at the Protein Bar, but they’re a little too “in your face” with their healthy options. Everything from the walls to the napkin dispensers are covered in posters with fast facts about nutrition. I was a little too overwhelmed by the bombardment of statistics and underwhelmed by my chili.
Gluten-free gut reaction: Won’t go again