Gluten-Free and Potions: Shine Restaurant
Boulder is known for many things. One thing is our priority to health and immersing ourselves in the latest health food trends. So it’s not surprise there are a plethora of gluten-free, paleo, or vegan options around Boulder. (Yes, it’s true, Boulder and “gluten-free” seem to go hand in hand… at least from beyond the Boulder County borders).
I realize that being gluten-free and being a foodie contradict each other, but I try to live by a 90-10 diet (90% GF, 10% not… although it’s beginning to seem a lot more 80-20.)
Which is where my new favorite restaurant comes in… Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place. The funky, hippie, Naropa-esque space is comfortable and lively. The staff is cheery and our server instantly rushed over to shake hands and introduce himself. During our introductions, I was talked into order one of their potions to sip on before my meal. Anything made with gemstones and moonstones is an automatic yes for me, so I went with “Fairy Bubbles”. The potions are non-alcoholic beverages using an array of herbs, essences, and spices to create “desired effects.” If Fairy Bubbles’ desired effect was deliciousness than they definitely achieved it! My pink drink (which came with a rose atop the bubbles!) was a light and refreshing and not overly sweet. Perfect to sip on before a meal or with friends during happy hour. The menu is 100% gluten-free, with plenty of veggie and vegan options. I decided to go with the Super Tender Chicken Sandwich with a cup of soup on the side and a gluten-free roll with yam butter. It was delicious! Personally, I think that every restaurant should be able to perfect chicken (which they did!) but what impressed me most was their gluten-free roll and sandwich bread! It was made in-house with healthy, natural ingredients (no funky names or preservatives) and still had the soft, delicious consistency of regular bread. The yam butter was exceptional as well! The sweet yam was blended with cinnamon and cloves. It was like Thanksgiving in July! My lunch partner ordered the veggie curry, full of colorful vegetables and hearty quinoa. The curry was light and sweet but rich enough to carry all the flavors. We left very full and very content with our trendy, gluten-free experience. The service was impeccable and the food was great. Great enough that I think it would convince even the harshest gluten-free critic!