Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian-friendly eats that go way beyond salad

Inlander Restaurant Week 2021

click to enlarge Ramen at Nudo - JENNIFER DEBARROS
Jennifer DeBarros
Ramen at Nudo

As time's gone on, dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or cater to other dietary needs have become so commonplace they're now standard. In fact, since the first Inlander Restaurant Week in 2013, we've asked participating restaurants to serve at least three vegetarian items, one from each course, on their menus. Now, restaurants don't need to be told; they just do it to make sure all customers can enjoy a meal out.

Among the many, many options for incredible food sans meat, animal products or gluten, here are a handful that caught our attention.

At Thai Bamboo's four area locations, nearly all of its menu is — thanks to the nature of Thai cuisine — gluten free, like the Favorite's Platter, a combo of two popular dishes: phad Thai and cashew nut noodles.

While traditional ramen is known for its hours-long broth-making process made from pork bones, vegetarian versions can be just as delightful. Enter Nudo Ramen House's second-course vegetable ramen, consisting of fresh kale noodles and tons of veggies in soy-miso broth.

Non-meat burgers have come a long way in the past decade, both commercially and via creative chef-crafted recipes. Take Bark, A Rescue Pub's portobello mushroom burger (it's gluten free and vegan) with hummus and feta, for example, or Iron Goat Brewing's all-vegan patty, also made from mushrooms, plus beets and quinoa. Speaking of meat-free eats, Heritage Bar & Kitchen also stopped us in our tracks with its Dr. Pepper chili, made with Impossible Burger's ground faux-beef and, yes, Dr. Pepper soda for that rich flavor.

On the gluten-free front, options abound at Ambrosia Bistro in Spokane Valley. They're serving a chicken carnitas tostada, pork medallions, mushroom chicken and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

Mediterranean-inspired eats, like the fare at 2021 newcomer Baba from chef Adam Hegsted, are often vegan and/or gluten-free. Try Baba's crispy falafel with tzatziki sauce, tahini and fresh cucumber salad. While its focus is pasta, another newcomer in 2021, Tavolata, has several gluten-free course offerings: Roasted beet salad, a black cod entree with Manila clams and seasonal sorbetto.

85th Annual Greek Festival @ Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Sept. 23-25, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
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