Critic's Notebook

3 Terrific Gluten-Free Sandwiches. Honest.

Including one that’s not really a sandwich but whatever. (Plus a bonus fourth which promises to be good—available in a few weeks.)

By Kathryn Robinson September 6, 2016

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Napkin Friends’ gluten-free BLTGA sandwich. Image via the Napkin Friends Instagram

The day after Labor Day always feels like fall, which everyone knows is sandwich season.

Recently I’ve come across three terrific sandwiches of the gluten-free persuasion that could hold their heads proudly in any company.

Lark’s quietly extraordinary sandwich adjunct, Slab Sandwiches and Pie, offers a g-f flatbread option for $2 extra, rendering any of its sandwiches safely gluten-free. The headliner is the 12-hour brisket—with smoked mayo and pickled jalapeño—but my favorite is the Cubano, with pork confit, jamón, scallion aioli, smoked pickles, and Comté cheese.

Napkin Friends is a truck which ranges far and wide (Capitol Hill’s Optimism Brewing tonight, with locations in Shoreline, Ballard, Queen Anne, and Bellevue in coming days) purveying sandwiches with potato latkes where the bread would be. Though a recent BLTGA sandwich was slightly greasy—hence the napkin, friends—it was also monumentally delish, thank you bacon, lettuce, tomato, smoked gouda, avocado, and peppadew pepper aioli.

Manu’s Bodega in Pioneer Square and its recently opened Capitol Hill sidewalk stall, Manu’s Bodegita, both traffic in the little handheld marvels called empanadas—stuffed pies here made with yucca root in place of wheat flour, and therefore gluten free. The vegetarian variant I tried recently—roasted yam, smoked gouda, cilantro, and the Dominican pepper sauce sofrito—was sensational, its yucca enclosure too flavorful and texturally crisp to seem like gluten-free anything. Yet was.

These ought to keep my gluten-free friends happy till Seattle’s sustainable-sandwich pros, the variously located Homegrown outlets, debut their new g-f bread—Happy Campers Gluten-Free Bread, out of Portland—on September 20.   

Happy nonwheat eating.     

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