Gluten-free cooking often gets a bad rap.
Long before the term “celiac disease” starting popping up in news reports across the country, gluten-free food left much to be desired. Almost always either too dry or too dense, it wasn’t appealing even to people who had to follow the diet because of a diagnosed intolerance.
Today, there are entire grocery store aisles and menu sections devoted to gluten-free products and meals, and legions of food-industry insiders are working to let everyone know eliminating it does not have to minimize taste.
Gus’s Cafe, now open at 4717 Butler St. in Lawrenceville, offers a celiac-friendly menu that emphasizes creative and flavorful options for anyone, intolerant of gluten or not.
“The idea is to try to offer things not a lot of other places offer,” says executive chef Ashleigh Taylor, who has a gluten intolerance. “We try to pull inspiration from things we know they’ve not been able to eat for so long.”
Owner George Haritos named the spot for his father, who owned Shadyside’s Harris Grill. A mural depicting the namesake and other family members greets guests near the front of the restaurant.
The gluten-free menu at Gus’s is inspired by Haritos’ own intolerance to gluten, Taylor says.