Gluten-free travel: Homer, Alaska

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Katchemak Bay, Homer, AlaskaI had the pleasure of traveling to Homer, Alaska earlier this month for work. This was my view from where I stayed, Crane’s Rest B & B. The B & B owners were SO accommodating with my diet. They made sure they had soy milk for my granola, and she even made me some GF cinnamon-raisin bread from Bob’s Red Mill. I did call ahead when I made the reservation over a month in advance, just so I could plan ahead. Always a good idea when going somewhere off the beaten path.
Sign at airport: Welcome to HomerSmall airplanes, small airport. Homer is just a quick 40-minute flight from Anchorage. Getting to Anchorage takes a while. No security checkpoints, so you can arrive 20 minutes before an in-state flight. You can also bring guns and knives on board. Hmmm.Sign for Fringe Consignment shopAlas, I did not have time to shop. But Homer is full of artists, and possibly a vortex, so you’ll find lots of creative people, artwork, and food here.Outdoor patio at Maura's CateringI was excited to see grilled tofu on the menu here at Maura’s Cafe & Catering, but disheartened to learn they didn’t actually have any, because “no one orders it.” So I had a lovely salad, with some shrimp for protein…Salad at Maura's Cateringand insanely delicious roasted tomato soup. Vegetarian, but not vegan.Tomato soup with a squiggle of pesto on topI also ate dinner at Cafe Cups, completely forgetting to take a photo of the super-cute exterior and interior. It’s wildly colorful and you know the food is going to be good. Like this halibut and sole combo, which was amazing.
Halibut dinnerOne of my companions had this salmon dinner, also fantastic.Salmon dinner

On my last night we ate at Wasabi’s. Again, insanely fresh seafood, this time Asian-fusion. Bananacado sushi roll sounds weird; it was very tasty. The edamame in a sticky garlic-pepper sauce was incredible, but not photogenic.

Bananacado Sushi rollAs I knew the sushi would be a large portion, I just ordered two sides for my entree, red pepper polenta cakes with veggies. This is often a great option for eating lighter, eating vegetarian/vegan, or eating gluten-free. If they have something on the menu, you can get it as a side, or combine two or three as your main. You’ll also pay a little less than for a full entree.Red pepper polenta cakes with vegetablesI was impressed at how knowledgeable all the restaurants were about gluten-free dining, and had no trouble getting plenty to eat. While I couldn’t manage to eat vegan all the way (not enough protein), the food was delightful. Including this shared splurge, a version of creme brulee at Wasabi’s.Creme bruleeI can honestly say I hope that my client does have me back, as the food and the scenery were wonderful. But not in the dead of winter. :)

Comments

  1. Cathy says

    Is there a real need for gluten free products in the Homer area? Things like pastas, cookies,crackers, panko, etc. Please feel free too email me with any questions. We are thinking of adding them for order at one of the local places in Homer.

    Thanks,
    Cathy

    • says

      Cathy, thanks for your question. It’s estimated that 7% of people have celiac disease (whether or not they have been diagnosed) with at least another 3% of the population are sensitive to gluten. That latter percentage is growing every year. Since Homer is a tourist destination, I would think that there would be some call for gluten-free items, especially by the people who run B & B’s and hotels there, as well as people arriving on the cruise ships. I recently learned that a person with a food intolerance/allergy is responsible for another 8-10 people eating at a restaurant, and they are VERY loyal. Once they see that you are catering to them, they come back regularly and tell all their friends. Hope this helps!

  2. kat says

    That is really good to know. I live in Fairbanks and I eating no sugar, wheat or flour and eating out here is a real challenge.