Posts Tagged ‘Richmond’

Ethiopian Cuisine in Richmond, VA: Nile Restaurant

Posted in meals, Restaurants, Richmond VA, travel, vegetarian, Virginia on August 23rd, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Last week David and I were up in Virginia, visiting friends and family before moving into our new home in Atlanta.  While we were in Richmond, we discovered The Nile Restaurant,  an amazing, delicious and 100% gluten-free restaurant.

Thanks to our friends, Lee and Nancy, who were inspired by a recent episode of Top Chef that involved Ethiopian cuisine, for finding this great Richmond spot.  They decided to look for an Ethiopian restaurant in Richmond and stumbled upon The Nile Restaurant, which also happens to be 100% gluten-free.  I kid you not: every dish in the place is gluten-free, even the bread (yes, bread!) that you use to pick up your food.  That’s right, no silverware needed in this restaurant.

eth sign

The ‘injera’ bread is made with teff flour, making it light and spongy.  The bread is basically used as your utensil so you grab your food with the injera.  So delicious!  Warning: Not all Ethiopian restaurants are entirely GF.  Our server informed us that a lot of restaurants use part teff flour and part regular flour in their bread, as a means of cutting costs because the teff is expensive.  This makes it not ok for us celiacs.

Delicious injera bread (100% teff flour)

Delicious injera bread (100% teff flour)

When people ask me what I miss most now that I’m gluten-free, they usually expect me to say cake or pizza, but that’s not my response.  Honestly, I can make all of those items, and I make them pretty darn well.  For me, the thing I miss the most from my ‘gluten’ days is sharing experiences with people.  At wedding receptions, birthday parties, and events, I usually have to bring my own food.  At restaurants I can never ‘just have a bite’ of someone else’s dish because I don’t know what’s in it or it might be contaminated.  The Nile was a lovely break from my celiac-imposed dining restraints and I could dig in with the rest of my group.

At Nile, they serve the food communally, and I could enjoy and partake with everyone else.  I didn’t have to worry about contaminated utensils. (Oh wait, there were no utensils!)  No separate plates for me.  We all enjoyed every bite of our meal.  I think this might be one of the best dinners I’ve eaten all summer.

Buticha Roll (garbanzo bean paste appetizer)

Buticha Roll (garbanzo bean paste appetizer)

Ayib Tikl (spicy cheese roll app)

Ayib Tikl (spicy cheese roll app)

We had no idea what we were doing since it was our first Ethiopian experience but the waiter was so friendly and helpful when it came to guiding us in our choices.  We went with a couple of appetizers, two ‘Nile Special Combination Plates’ (where you get a little bit of everything), and one entrée.  Everything was phenomenal.  We were all very satisfied at the end of the meal.  It was a lot of food but I felt refreshed and energized at the end, not overloaded.

The main event, the special combo plate...so good

The main event, the special combo plate...so good

Our main dishes came out on one large communal plate.  The photos do not do the meal justice.  It was amazing.  Take my word for it and if you’re in Richmond, check it out for yourself.

I highly recommend Nile, regardless of whether or not you are gluten-free.  There are many options and all of their veggie dishes and injera bread are vegan friendly too!  Next time I’m in Richmond, I’ll definitely be back.

Does anyone know of any other 100% gluten-free restaurants?

meal 2

The Nile Restaurant – 309 N. Laurel St. – Richmond, VA 23220 – (between Broad & Grace St) 804-225-5544

Raising Children Gluten-Free

Posted in advice on March 11th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Being gluten-free is about me.  I’m the one with the special diet and I’m in charge of taking care of my body.  Having a young child with gluten-free needs raises a whole new set of issues and concerns.  I can give advice about raising children gluten-free and kid-friendly GF snacks, but I’m not living it.

My friend, Kelly Blanchard, has two daughters, one is gluten-free and the other is not.  Kelly is gluten-free, but her husband is not.  That’s a lot of needs to balance at the dinner table, right?  Check out her article in RVANews, Gluten-Free Kids, with great advice and insight on raising a child gluten-free.

Kelly Blanchard’s Gluten Free Kids

Finding Gluten Free ‘Comfort’ in Richmond

Posted in Richmond VA on November 22nd, 2008 by Betsy – Be the first to comment


A few weeks ago the husband and I were in Richmond, Virginia for a wedding. We have many good friends in Richmond so on Friday night we met up for dinner with some good friends from college. When I tell you that we had an amazing dining experience, this is no exaggeration! We went to Comfort (Broad Street) which is known for its yummy southern comfort fare. I had heard great things about Comfort and was hopeful that they would be willing to accommodate me.

The husband and I arrived a little early so we had a drink at the bar. Their beverage and food prices are shockingly reasonable (particularly since I’m used to DC dining prices) and the husband was immediately enthralled by the wide variety of bourbons they offered. Comfort does not take reservations so plan on having a drink at the bar while you wait. This part of the night was just as fun as the remainder of the evening so I didn’t see it as a pain at all. The bartender nicely talked with us and told me that they would definitely be able to find food suitable for me.

Our friends arrived and we were seated in a booth in the back of the restaurant and I immediately began to salivate over the menu! Everything looked delicious and I LOVE side dishes so there were many items I wanted…the question was could I actually eat any of them? Our waitress was incredibly nice and she has a gluten intolerance herself so she knew everything about the menu and what I could and could not eat. For example, she knew that I shouldn’t order the meatloaf because it contains oats. She circled all of the sides that I could have (unfortunately I couldn’t eat the squash casserole or fried okra but there were so many options that it didn’t matter.) She also informed me that all of the entrees were gluten free except the meatloaf and fried catfish.

As all of my fellow celiacs know, just having the ability to choose from so many things on the menu is a rare experience! So what did I order? I had the short ribs as my entrée and the sweet potato puree and asparagus for my sides. What a meal! I ate every single bite and felt totally healthy the next day. Hooray! Definitely a success!

My trip to Comfort was one of my best dining experiences since being diagnosed. The entire staff at Comfort was so welcoming and ‘comforting.’ They understood contamination and all of the little ways gluten can sneak into your food. I was a little nervous about contamination because the kitchen is so small, but it wasn’t a problem at all. I enjoyed a rich, flavorful and filling meal and I actually felt like I had choices! If you’re going to Richmond or driving through, make a stop at Comfort!

Comfort
200 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
804.780.0004

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