Gluten-Free (less) Door County, Wisconsin

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Sturgeon Bay/Door County Gluten Free Fail

We decided on a random impromptu road trip to Door County this weekend. I had just lost my job, and I needed to escape and clear my head. We decided on Snug Inn in Sturgeon Bay. It’s right on the water, and it’s a beautiful cozy hotel. Plus, there’s a fireplace that can be turned on. We especially liked that feature.

We planned on going to this Gluten Free/Vegan/Raw restaurant in Sturgeon Bay. It’s called New Leaf Cafe. But the website led us to “The Healthy Way”, which is like a local whole foods store, and it was closed. Okay, so we jumped back in the car and opened the GPS. We finally found the correct address, and the GPS took us to this place called Kimz Galley or something to that effect. Not the “New Leaf”. We find out that it used to be the Vegan place, but it was bought out… over a year ago. That’s not what it says on the website!

[Shameless plug: Looks like Door County needs some web site updating help from the guys at FYNE (Domains) and JEAH (Web Development).]

Well anyway, I guess they felt bad, because the new owners at Kimz told us to go to a place called Neighborhood Pub & Grill. They said it was just across the bridge and there’s a gluten-free menu. So we get back in the car and drive over there. Can you guess where this is going?

That’s right. There’s no gluten free menu. But one of the waitresses there is very nice and told us a little more background on raw/vegan/gluten-free/clean eating in Door County. She said at one time she owned a cafe that pride itself on specialty cooking but it went under within a year. She said during the spring and summer season, tourists eat up specialty cuisine. But locals in the fall and winter don’t frequent, making it impossible to sustain. Guess that makes sense.

So she sent us to “Bluefront Cafe”. She said they weren’t strictly gluten-free but they had a lot of gluten-free products in the kitchen and would seamlessly prepare items specifically to order. She said on the contrary, several Sturgeon Bay restaurants (including the Neighborhood Pub & Grill) would say they were making something gluten-free but they wouldn’t have the knowledge to back it up. They would just lie for the sales. WTF! So we decided to go check out Bluefront. But first we went to their web site. Sure enough, it’s this cute little cafe that’s perfect.

Except it’s closed.

We finally decided to just go back to the hotel and eat foods that we got from the local grocery. It’s not a big deal, but it was disappointing. Between the GPS on our phone taking us in endless loops and the lack of gluten free options, it was frustrating.

But. We have a whirlpool and some sweet Cherry Wine so all is good.

One Response to “Gluten-Free (less) Door County, Wisconsin”

  1. Heather

    Ha! this sounds about right… The only thing the waitress did not mention, is that those same people who do not bother to add gluten free or other special considerations, are the same ones rolling there eyes and stating disrespectful remarks about tourists. There are many nice residents of door county, but many more who love to hate those that pay their bills and keep them in business. sadly, this hate has grown over the years.


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