My goal is to discover gluten-free food in the District to make your gluten-free diet easier.
What I got: Veggie quinoa. A heaping mound of quinoa packed with roasted squash, zucchini & kalamata olives with tomato vinaigrette and fresh herbs. The dish was as scrumptious as quinoa and veggies can be but definitely left me hungry for more. (And by more, a mean a giant gluten-free cookie.)
Gluten-free friendliness: Open City does a great job of indicating their gluten-free options. The menu is heavy on burgers, pizza and sandwiches, but it’s not hard to find something to eat. Any pizza can be made gluten-free, just tack on an extra $5. In addition to six salads, there are chicken and steak options if you’re willing to spend a bit more. You’ll also find two gluten-free muffins (orange cranberry and maple almond) and a gluten-free cookie (chocolate chip peppermint). A gluten-free carrot cake and something called a ‘magic bar’ round out the dessert menu.
Overall vibe: This coffeehouse/diner/bar is owned by the same people who run Tryst, the Coupe and the Diner, and the casual dining atmosphere is mimicked in this space. It’s a nice spot to meet a friend for dinner or get some work done (aka pretend to be productive while being distracted by Thought Catalog). The place is huge, so you’re more likely to get a seat than at some other similar locations.
Gluten-free gut reaction: Going back tomorrow
UPDATE: Open City has a pop-up location at the National Cathedral. This location has the same menu as the Calvert Street location but with more charm and fewer crowds. The large smoked salmon salad is a great, fresh lunch option. Just make sure to ask for no croutons.