I love Greek food. Because it is a food that relies on legumes, vegetables and meats, it is fairly easy to eat Greek food on a gluten free diet. I recently discovered that gyro meat is not gluten-free (most of the time). My boyfriend’s sister lives in Greek town in Chicago and ordered a Greek salad with gyro meat on it last time we visited. After taking 5 bites I had to run to the restroom, I was very sick. I did a little research and learned that many restaurants add soy sauce and bread crumbs to their gyro meat. So I decided to call some Greek restaurants in Jacksonville to find out what their gyro meat is made of. A majority of the restaurants were very understanding and read off a list of ingredients because they understood the importance of educating consumers on what is in their food.
What is in Gyro Meat at Jacksonville Restaurants:
– Pita Pit (a late night pita place in Jax Beach) , Hala Cafe and Bakery (their lunch buffet has many gluten-free options) , Taverna Yamas (a fun greek restaurant) and The Casbah Cafe in Avondale (known for their social atmosphere and hookahs) stated that they have breadcrumbs in their gyro meat, none of them reported that they had soy sauce in their meat.
– Nick the Greek could not give me a list of ingredients for proprietary reasons. Note: I would proceed with caution if you are gluten-free and dine at Nick the Greek, the woman I spoke with on the phone had no interest in the needs of people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances.
Gluten-Free Greek Go Tos:
– Grape Leaves
– Hummus (dip with cucumbers, no pita)
– Rice (be careful, some greek rice has rice shaped pasta in it)
– Feta and other cheeses
– Tzatziki sauce (a yogurt based sauce)
Stay Away From:
– Pita bread
– Phyllo dough (this is what baklava is made of )
– Anything fried
– Gyro meat
What is your favorite gluten-free Greek dish? Do you have a favorite Greek restaurant?