Yesterday I had lunch with friends at the Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kansas.
Free State is in an historic building, once a trolley station, and is home to a 14 barrel hand-crafted beer brewhouse plus a restaurant. The dining area covers multiple room areas, split between two floors of the building. It’s a gorgeous space, lots of natural light streaming in from the glass front of the building.
It had apparently been 3 years or so since I’ve been to Free State, as the last time I ate there I had their house-made black bean burger. I remember it being very delicious, but alas it is not gluten-free. I wasn’t incredibly hungry (lots of snacking in the car on the way there…) so I was prepared in the event there was nothing for me to eat or if I didn’t feel safe eating there.
I asked our server if they had a gluten-free menu and he said they did have a guideline for me to follow and would bring it. I had to ask for it a second time, he seemed very distracted. I worry sometimes about my order being placed properly when a server is distracted. Anyhow, he brought back a brochure sized card with my options on it. I chose to have the Avocado Chimchurri wrap with lettuce instead of a tortilla with steamed vegetables on the side. I confirmed with the waiter that the vegetables had no sauce on them and he said he would make a note on the order so the kitchen was aware.
While not remarkable, I had a very green wrap with avocado, tomato and a slightly spicy chimichurri sauce. For a light lunch, it was plenty and had good flavor. The steamed vegetables, broccoli and carrots, were fine, bare naked with no seasoning or sauce, which was great for me to be sure they were safe for me to eat. I didn’t spot anything else easily made vegetarian on the list of gluten-free offerings, other than a salad and a black bean bowl, which wasn’t on the regular descriptive menu so I had no idea what was in it and the waiter wasn’t easily accessible to ask.
While Free State won’t be high on my list of places to eat when in Lawrence, I did eat well there and feel comfortable joining my friends the next time they want to stop there for a local brew.