According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, one percent of Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that interferes with how the body adsorbs nutrients from food. The only way to treat celiac disease is to maintain a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is a substance found in grains, such as wheat, that gives foods like dough the elastic textures to stretch and maintain their shape. While Celiac disease is still diagnosed sparingly, around 18 million Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Dealing with celiac disease or NCGS as a college student can be challenging. Finding good food on and off campus between classes, work and activities isn’t always easy. Luckily, Montclair State University and Montclair Township’s glutenfree options are growing.
If you aren’t in the mood to leave campus and don’t want to wait on a Tapingo delivery, an omelet from the Red Hawk Diner is a safe bet. With the simple request of no toast, their omelets become a gluten-free heaven. If you’re not into eggs, a nice salad is also safe bet.
If you find yourself between classes in Blanton Hall, a bowlwich or lettucewich from Which Wich can provide you with a substantial lunch; just make sure to inquire about their dressings.
While studying in the library, a salad from Café Diem can be ordered or picked up in their refrigerated section for a quick bite. As a reward for your great study habits, you can also pick up one of their gluten-free brownies.
These are just a few of the gluten-free options on campus. If you have the time and are feeling adventurous, there are a few off-campus hotspots for gluten-free eats.
Every Red Hawk knows Six Brothers Diner, and the establishment knows how to treat customers with celiac disease or NCGS. If you start your dining experience off by informing your server of your needs, they will give you a gluten-free menu. On the menu, you will find breakfast, lunch and dinner options that are both delicious and gluten-free. They also accept Red Hawk Dollars, which makes their turkey burger much more tempting to order.
A little further from campus, The Spot offers its patrons a non-GMO and gluten-free menu. Even more convenient, The Spot is located right on Walnut Street where the Montclair train stops off, making it accessible for student who don’t drive, but want to get off campus for a meal. The fact that they accept Red Hawk Dollars makes their Parmesan truffle fries college budget-friendly.
You can double up on plums in Montclair with a bakery on Glenridge Avenue and a restaurant on Park Avenue. Plum On Park allows customers to make any of their menu options gluten-free. With dishes like grilled steak skewers and zucchini spaghetti, Plum On Park has a little something for everyone. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Plum Bakery has a multitude of gluten free treats to choose from. With cinnamon buns to die for and fresh bread loaves for sandwiches, Plum Bakery makes sure that you don’t miss out on any baked goods just because you can’t handle grains. Both plum establishments have very specific hours of operation so be sure to look them up or give them a call before heading over.
While living with food allergies can be difficult to manage, it can also push you into trying new dishes and places you wouldn’t otherwise. This list and Montclair State makes eating gluten-free that much easier. That being said, always look out for cross contamination warnings at all food establishments.