A Gluten Free Lunch at Shuckers
November 16, 2011 2 Comments
I’m not much of a foodie, but apparently the month of November is Dine Around Seattle month. That means you can get some great deals on lunches and dinners at really good restaurants around the Seattle area. Conveniently it was a co-workers birthday today, so we all decided to hit the Shuckers Oyster Bar on 4th and University and try out their $15 three-course lunch special. I had never been to Shuckers so I didn’t know what to expect, besides knowing its a nice restaurant (one of those places you always see nicely dressed people eating at as you walk by).
Once I started looking at the menu, I was a little worried. They definitely aren’t going out of their way to indicate any gluten free items on their menu. I did see a couple options that sounded good; the buttermilk fried free range chicken on their regular lunch menu, and the other was the grilled wild Coho salmon, which is part of the entree options for their three-course lunch special for Dine Around Seattle. That special came with an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.
I told the waitress I had a gluten allergy, and asked her some questions about how their food was prepared. She said their mashed potatoes are gluten free, no flour in them, so that was good. The buttermilk fried chicken did have flour on the skin, since it’s fried, duh. So that was out. She did say they could cook a chicken without adding any flour though. Instead, I chose the coho salmon special, which came with a few choices. I went with the Caesar salad appetizer (without croutons), and substituted the desserts listed (none were GF) for their house-made sorbet. The waitress was definitely helpful and accommodating, so that was appreciated. I’m used to asking about gluten in food by now, so it’s no biggy. Thankfully the waitress was knowledgeable, so it made the ordering process much faster than if she had to go back and check (which is what happens at least half the time).
Within a few minutes, our appetizers arrived. The Caesar salad came with blackened rock shrimp, which were very good. They weren’t spicy, but added a good amount of flavor to the salad. I didn’t ask about the dressing, but often Caesar salad dressing has either MSG or flour in it. So if you’re pretty sensitive, make sure and ask. I felt fine though after eating the salad. The lettuce was crisp and there was a fair amount of Parmesan cheese in there, and I love me some cheese, so it was good.
On to the entree. Timing was great – it came out a few minutes after I was done with my salad. The presentation was very nice, as you can see from the picture. The mashed potatoes were very good. They had a good garlic flavor and their texture was very light (probably why they call them “whipped” potatoes and not mashed). The salmon was equally good. It was cooked all the way through, which is how I like it. It grosses me out when my salmon is wet and mushy on the inside. To note, there wasn’t a bunch of sauce on anything either, so that’s a plus. That’s usually where you’ll get glutened. The asparagus was cooked well, but not mushy, so another score there, just the way I like them. Overall, the entree was fairly small for me, so it didn’t take much effort to finish.
Finally, the third course was dessert. I got a big scoop of raspberry sorbet, with a couple raspberries on top, very nice. It was good, but too much for me to finish. I like sorbet, but it was pretty tart.
Overall, the three-course lunch was really good, especially for the price, $15. I doubt you can get a similar meal downtown Seattle for that price at lunch time anywhere else. Granted, this is a special for the Dine Around Seattle event. But still, if you have the chance, it’s worth taking advantage of.
Shuckers also did a good job of accommodating for my gluten allergy. It was nice of them to replace their normal desserts for sorbet, so hopefully if you go there for lunch, you’ll get the same treatment I did. However, I would like to see them put some information on their menu about gluten free options. At least now you know you can get a mostly gluten free lunch at Shuckers. Just plan on having to ask for details.
Thanks for reading.