Here's the restaurant question of the week, but of course there are a million others out there. E-mail a question of your own to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer.
"Almost a year ago my wife was diagnosed with celiac disease and now must have a gluten-free diet. Is it possible to include in your review section whether a restaurant has a gluten-free menu? This would help us in locating new places where we could go out, as well as increasing the awareness of celiac disease locally -- and maybe helping to increase the awareness at more local restaurants."
-- Mike, Angola
We'll do what we can in the weekly restaurant reviews, Mike, but here's a start right now. There are plenty of gluten-free dining options out there, with more coming down the road. As more people are diagnosed with celiac disease (which requires a diet free of wheat, rye and barley), more restaurants will offer alternatives.
There is even a website that offers a listing (and map!) of some of these restaurants that have gluten-free menu items -- it's well worth consulting (www.buffaloglutenfree.org).
Here are a few restaurants on that list that I have personally visited. And while I didn't order gluten-free, I can vouch for a fun dining experience.
First, there is Curly's Bar & Grill, 647 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, which once was a neighborhood tavern but has since gone upscale. It is a large and popular place that offers good food across the board. Caribbean food is a specialty. Curly's is a local pioneer in gluten-free and offers a gluten-free dinner menu every day that includes fish, meat and chicken. Ask your server for the special printed menu. Gluten-free desserts are available, too.
And then there is more casual Pizza Plant, 5110 Main St., Amherst, with a second site opening soon. Another local pioneer, the Plant offers wheat-free pies every Wednesday. And what is pizza without beer? Gluten-free beer is available.
Speaking of popular, how about the Mulberry Cafe, 64 Jackson St., Lackawanna? Always busy, it is endearingly raucous in the bar, but the dining rooms on the side offer serenity. Ask for gluten-free pasta and gluten-free meatballs. (By the by, gluten-free pasta is available in many other places).
Charming little Prosit, 5428 Main St., Williamsville, which specializes in Polish and Eastern European food, offers gluten-free galumbki and potato pancakes.
The Grapevine, 2545 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, has a separate gluten-free menu -- ask your server. Also, those wonderful aquariums on the walls throughout the place are oh so soothing!