We got an email from one of our readers on Saturday about the Deschutes Brewery and some gluten-free options they have there. We had already heard that they have gluten-free beer, but there was some new interesting information:
Hey, we went to Deschutes Brewery today and found that not only do they have a fantastic gluten-free beer on tap all the time, and it’s not always the same, but they have gluten-free items marked on their menu, and the head chef even hired a baker to make gluten-free buns for their burgers! They have dedicated fryers, and the bartender even knew to tell us that even if we are ordering something that would normally be gluten-free, to let them know we needed it to be gluten-free and they prepare it in a safe area. these folks really seem to know what they’re doing. I haven’t had the burger + gluten-free bun yet, (was full when I went in today!) but we’re going back soon to try it. Just thought you might want to know and put it on your list!
This looked to us like something that called for immediate attention on our part, so we sprang into action. I can’t tell you the last time I had a burger at a restaurant. I’ve been to the Deschutes Brewery before. It’s a nice place in the Pearl, a block away from Powell’s Books. The atmosphere is relaxed. Like many other Portland brew pubs, people take their kids to eat. It’s amazingly clean, and has a Northwest brew pub kind of menu. It’s the kind of place that’s almost always 98% full, so the place is hopping but there’s still somewhere to sit.
The menu has helpful markings for vegetarian options and gluten-free items. The gluten-free goods are not on the menus that can be found on their website unfortunately. Hopefully they fix that soon. What I remember is:
- Appetizers: Chicken Wings and Oysters
- Salads: One or two
- Burgers: Most of them
- Pizzas: Nope, sorry.
- Brewery Specialties: One or two items
- Sandwiches: A couple, including the Chicken BLT
- Desserts: Some kind of chocolate pudding with cookies?
100% Gluten-Free Ale! This beer is made with Sorghum and brown rice syrup for a smooth gluten-free experience. We used German noble hops, Perle for bittering and Spalter and Hersbruckens hops for aroma. IBU’s: 63 Alcohol by Vol. 4.8%
Our waitress described it as a “Hefeweizen, but filtered.” I’m used to drinking this kind of beer with a generous slice of lemon. Mmmmm. It was good, and it passed the Sienna taste test as well.
There was no question that I had to sample the burger and it was awesome! Our waitress told us that they had been working hard on the gluten-free bun. She said this was the fourth variety they’ve come up with. It wasn’t exactly like a regular hamburger bun, but it was the closest thing to a real hamburger bun that I’ve had yet. They’ve even got New Cascadia Traditional Bakery beat (sorry guys). One really nice thing was that it wasn’t too thick. It was literally like having a normal burger. Woo Hoo!
Sienna had the Falafel Salad, which we were told could be made to be gluten-free by omitting the flat bread. The salad was good, and the falafel were very flavorful and not greasy.
We questioned the waitress a bit about cross contamination and how they prepare food. She said that although most of their dishes are prepared in the same area as the gluten-free ones, they were careful to not get wheat or gluten into the gluten-free items. She also said that they keep the gluten-free brewing area extremely clean to make sure there’s no chance of cross-contamination. That was very reassuring.
This is a later note. We have eaten here a number of times now and with one exception were very happy with the quality of the bun. They now have their gluten-free items on a separate menu and the food is good.
The food came out hot in a reasonable amount of time and our waitress was very helpful and seemed hip to the gluten-free thing. It was very cool and we were very happy. Thanks to Gaile (and all the other helpful folks who send us tips too) for the head’s up!
We want to know: Have you had the gluten-free beer at Deschutes Brewery? Have you had something other than the Krystal Weiss? What did you think? Have you had a perfect gluten-free hamburger bun? Let us know in the comments!
Times we have visited: 5+ (So we feel pretty good about our scores.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Gluten-free Bun Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same
210 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 / 503.296.4906