625 8th Ave. at 41st St.
At first glance, that word may call to mind an image of “amber waves of grain”. This may explain why I never would have expected to find a gluten-free meal at a Heartland Brewery…but, as it turns out, there are several surprises to be found inside this New York City oasis for thirsty travelers.
Yesss! The Midtown West location of Heartland Brewery has been certified by GFRAP and now has a menu with gluten-free symbols on it! Uh huh, the place that my brother and I went to so he could enjoy his punctual beer break from our sightseeing, now offers respite for the hungry, weary and gluten-free! You now can even kick back a gluten-free beer while enjoying your gluten-free grub at this relaxed and cozy super-sized pub!
After meeting with the owner and management, my first surprise was finding out that they are a fresh prep kitchen, which means they make their food from scratch. This process allowed them to easily analyze ingredients and discover what was or wasn’t gluten-free.
Another nice surprise was discovering that their hamburger meat comes from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, the rock star butchers that supply meat to some of the cities most popular restaurants, such as The Spotted Pig, Shake Shack, and Primehouse. In fact, Nick Solares, of A Hamburger Today, voted Heartland’s HB Burger one of NYC’s best burgers! He should know! Prior to hearing this praise, I tried one and loooved it! Not only was the presentation nice with the carnivore’s delight neatly wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves, it was super juicy, flavorful and delicious! The secret? The mix has dry aged beef in it. (And if you don’t know about dry aged beef, go treat yourself to some ASAP. This topic alone could be a whole other blog post. Short story, it’s primo.)
I think Rainbow Man might get excited by this Cobb salad after a few…beers. “Whoa! It’s so beautiful!”
Oh, and if you have any beer snob friends that aren’t gluten-free tagging along with you, they’ll appreciate the Brooklyn brewed, not-so-gluten-free, hand crafted Hefewiezen. My beer glugging brother Tim, from Portland, Oregon sampled some of Heartland’s and gave it a thumbs up!! He was impressed that it was made the traditional way. Evidently, some brewers claim to brew a Hefewiezen, but it isn’t the real deal. *gasp* Of course, we were impressed to find out they use Oregon Hops and the brewmaster’s name happens to be Kelly. Who knew?!
And I have a secret to spill: [drumroll] Heartland’s almost ready to launch its very own…locally brewed in Fort Greene…..guess?! Gluten-free beer!!! Whoo Hoo! It should be available in April. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
So, go wet your whistle at the Midtown West Heartland Brewery soon and be sure to tell’em I sent you. If we show them our gratitude for serving gluten-free foods (and beer!), I’m sure they’ll not only add more menu items and gluten-free beer choices, but implement a gluten-free menu at all of their locations. BUT, they have to know that they are serving us…so don’t be shy!
*This is a sponsored post.