Whether you have lactose or gluten intolerance, or just prefer to eat less processed foods, more restaurants are offering diners different options that cater to their lifestyles. These alternative menu choices are popping up along the South Shore of Long Island. Also, vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular in several of these and other eating establishments across the south shore.
Ashley Lilly, a junior English major, states, “I’ve been a vegetarian for five years. It can be hard to find food at restaurants at times, but I feel I have a lot more vegetables in my diet. It can also challenge others’ creativity with meals.”
To those with lactose intolerance, dairy products can pose a threat. Lactose is a main component of processed dairy, and can be difficult to digest. Celiac disease, a gluten related allergy, causes the lower intestines to become inflamed and tear from forced digestion of gluten. The protein is found in processed wheat products, such as bagels, breads, and pasta.
Fortunately, there are two restaurants along the South Shore that are offering healthier, allergy-free options for everyone to enjoy.
Located in Bellmore, N.Y, at 2572 Merrick Rd., and opened in July 2010, is the gluten and nut-free establishment known as Bare Naked Bakery and Cafe. Owner Bridget Brennan’s primary goal to adhere to is the “dedication to being 100% nut-free and gluten-free.” When it came to designing the bakery, she “wanted to create a normal atmosphere.”
“When you go to pizzeria, you order an entire pizza to go. Here, I wanted people to grab a bagel and coffee; sit, relax and eat,” Bridget adds. Panini sandwiches, pizza, and breakfast sandwiches, in addition to various confectionaries and breads, are also on the menu.
Further down the shore, on 3000 Long Beach Rd., in Oceanside, NY, is Jandi’s Natural Market and Organic Cafe. Opened in 1976, Jandi’s offers customers not only a gluten-free experience, but an organic one as well. According to Manager Paige Callanan, who is vegan herself, Jandi’s most popular dish is their Brown Rice Pizza. “It’s gluten-free and non-dairy. It’s made with lactose-free cheese, organic tomato sauce, and a rice-based crust, and it’s topped with assorted organic grilled veggies.” Jandi’s also hosts a true organic and kosher deli.
Alyssa Casano, a senior Childhood Education major, sympathizes with the gluten-free community, and said, “I have a friend who is gluten-free and whenever we are out together, she always has to eat something bland like a hamburger without a bun or plain chicken.”
Other restaurants, which cater to vegan and allergy-free alternatives, include Tula Kitchen in Bayshore, 3 Brothers Pizzeria in Rockville Center, and Bob’s Natural Foods in Long Beach. So whether you have food allergies, or want to try eating vegan, these eateries will cater to your needs.