One of the reasons that I started this blog was because, while there are many other great gluten-free blogs out there, there are not any that are Atlanta based. When you first get a diagnosis, or decide you need to eat gluten-free, the learning curve is steep. It takes awhile to learn what you can eat, what products you like, where to shop, and even longer to learn where you can eat out. So, in addition to sharing my own gluten-free cooking with you, I also want to highlight some good options for gluten-free eating in Atlanta.

Last month I schlepped out to to the suburbs for a gluten-free meetup at Lavender’s Asian Bistro in Lawrenceville, GA. Lavender’s serves Thai and Chinese food and they are able to offer almost all of their non-fried food to the gluten-free customer. The secret is, they keep wheat-free Tamari on hand. If you go with a large enough group, they might also be willing to dedicate a fryer for you, opening up even more of their menu. When the gluten-free meetup group met, we had 18 people, so we got a fryer, and we were in heaven. Most of us hadn’t been able to have real Chinese food since our diagnosis, let alone calamari, and sesame chicken (which is what I ordered…or at least what I consumed…somebody else actually ordered the calamari).

One thing you have to be careful not to do, is accidentally order something not on the gluten-free menu. Even though our whole table was gluten-free, the woman sitting next to me asked if they had a vegetarian spring roll. What she expected, was a fresh spring roll, what she got was a fried Chinese spring roll that was not gluten-free. It was an honest mistake on the waiter’s part, and he did realize and come take it away, but not before the woman had eaten a few bites. So, do make sure that as you order you reinforce the fact that you are ordering gluten-free. You might also want to chat with the owner about your dietary restriction and concerns, as he was very friendly and helpful. Some members of the group eat their weekly with great success, so the owner, at least, is very knowledgeable about what is allowed and what is not.

Overall, I had a great experience, and will probably make the trip back out to Lawrenceville again. The food was good, maybe not the most amazing Chinese food I’ve ever had, but definitely far above average. It was a little far away for the traffic on a weeknight though, and if I go back it will probably be on a Saturday or Sunday night. Even though next time I go, I probably will have to forego the calamari (which was particularly fantastic), the menu offers such a wealth of choices that I’m sure I will find a new favorite.

Lavender’s Asian Bistro
1195 Scenic Hwy. Suite C8
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
770-982-3887

http://www.lavenderasianbistro.net/

Lavender’s Gluten Free Menu

I would recommend that you call ahead and let them know that you or your party will be gluten-free. If you are going in a large group, try to convince everyone to eat gluten-free if it will earn you your own fryer… everything still tasted great with the cornmeal batter, and it is such a treat to get fried gluten-free food.

* Mild ** Medium *** Hot

Appetizers

Soft Shell Crab w/Salt & Pepper 8.95

Chicken Song (wrapped in lettuce) 7.95

Mandarin Ribs 6.95

Thai Appetizers

Fresh Basil Rolls (2) 3.95

Non-fried rice rolls w/shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, basil, Cilantro & rice noodles w/ plum sauce

Nam Sod * 5.95

Minced pork mixed w/chili, ginger, onion, and mint, roasted peanuts & lime juice

Nam Tuk * 6.75

Sliced char-grilled sirloin steak, mint leaves, scallions, lime juice & chili

Larb * 5.95

Minced chicken w/ground chili, mint leaves, cilantro, lime

Fried Calamari 6.25

Lightly battered (w/cornmeal)

Squid Salad 5.75
Soup

Hot & Sour Soup (2) 1.95

Egg Drop Soup 1.95

Velvet Corn & Chicken Soup (2) 5.25

Velvet Corn & Crab Meat Soup (2) 6.95

Snow Flake Seafood Soup (2) 6.95

Seafood Hot & Sour Soup (2) 6.95

Sizzling Rice Soup (2) 4.95

Seafood Sizzling Rice Soup (2) 6.95

Thai Soups

Chicken Coconut Soup * 3.25

Chicken soup w/mushrooms, galangal, lime juice, coconut milk & spices

Spicy Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup * 4.75

Most favorite spicy shrimp soup w/lemon grass & mushrooms

Special Seafood Soup (2) * 10.75

Poultry

Kung Pao Chicken * 9.25

Shredded Chicken in Garlic Sauce * 9.25

Cashew Chicken 9.25

Fresh Mushroom Chicken 9.25

Lemon Chicken 9.25

Sugar Snap Pea Chicken 9.25

Broccoli Chicken 9.25

Hunan Chicken * 9.25

Sweet & Sour Chicken 9.25

Chicken w/Mixed Vegetables 9.25

Chicken w/String Bean 9.25

Empress Chicken * 9.25

Chicken in Szechwan Sauce * 9.25

Asparagus Chicken 9.25

Tangerine Chicken * 10.25

Sesame Chicken 10.25

General Tso’s Chicken 10.25

Seafood

Sautéed Shrimp 11.50

Kung Pao Shrimp * 11.50

Braised Shrimp in Szechwan Sauce * 11.50

Sugar Snap Peas Prawn 11.50

Asparagus Prawn 11.50

Prawns w/Mixed Vegetables 11.50

Fish Fillets in Black Bean Sauce 11.50

Fish Fillets in Hunan Sauce * 11.50

Shrimp in Lobster Sauce 11.50

Sweet & Sour Shrimp (sweet w/fruit) 11.50

Hunan Shrimp * 11.50

Kung Pao Scallop * 11.50

Prawns & Scallop in Garlic Sauce * 14.95

Beef/ Pork

Fresh Mushroom Beef 9.75

Mongolian Beef 9.75

Sugar Snap Pea Beef 9.75

Broccoli Beef 9.75

Beef & Bell Pepper (Pepper Steak) 9.75

Shredded Beef in Garlic Sauce * 9.75

Beef Hunan Style * 9.75

Beef Szechwan * 9.75

Shredded Beef w/String Bean 9.75

Asparagus Beef 9.75

Twice Cooked Pork * 9.75

Pork w/String Bean 9.75

Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce 9.75

Spa Cuisine: House Special Sauce on the Side. Served w/ brown rice

Steamed Assorted Vegetables 7.25

Steamed Chicken w/Vegetables 9.25

Steamed Shrimp w/Vegetables 11.50

Steamed Fish Fillet w/Vegetables 11.50

Steamed to Fu w/Vegetable 7.50

Steamed Fish, Shrimp, Scallop w/Veg 14.95

Vegetable

Sautéed String Beans 7.25

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce * 7.25

Sautéed Assorted Vegetables 7.25

Sautéed Spinach 7.25

Broccoli in Garlic Sauce * 7.25

Bean Curd in Hot Spicy Sauce * 7.25

Home Style Braised Bean Curd * 7.25

Pasta

Singapore Rice Noodles * 8.75
Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice 6.95

Chicken or Pork Fried Rice 7.50

Beef or Shrimp Fried Rice 7.50

House Fried Shrimp * 8.75

Chef’s Specials

Dragon & Phoenix * 15.95

Stir fried vegetables w/lobster meat & fish filet w/white sauce & chicken chunks lightly battered (in cornmeal) and fried in hot spicy sauce

Seafood in Bird’s Nest 15.95

Stir fried lobster, shrimp, scallops, & fish filet w/vegetables in a white sauce in a crunchy potato nest

Crispy Whole Fish Hunan Style * 19.95

Fresh red snapper battered (in cornmeal) & fried w/hot & spicy Hunan Sauce

Triple Delicacies * 14.95

Prawns, chicken, scallops w/bell peppers, sugar snaps, water chestnuts & dry mushrooms in a spicy sauce

Golden Crispy Prawns 14.95

Prawns lightly battered & fried (in cornmeal) in grand maridra & orange sauce

Glazed Mango Prawns 13.95

Prawns sautéed w/mango in wine sauce (A gourmet favorite)

Jade Mounting Scallops 13.95

Marinated scallops sautéed w/sugar snaps, carrots, broccoli & fresh black mushrooms in a light wine sauce

Steamed Red Snapper w/ Ginger & Scallion 19.95

Seafood Hot Pot 15.95

Assorted seafood w/garden veg. served in a hot pot

Shrimp & Scallop w/ Pine nut Sauce 14.95

Sautéed shrimp & scallops w/black mushrooms, water chestnuts & spinach in a white pine nut sauce

Surf & Turf 23.95

Two items: beef tenderloin in black pepper corn sauce & lobster claw in savory wine sauce

Fillet Mignon 19.95

Premium beef tenderloin sautéed in black pepper corn sauce

Halibut filet 19.95

Steamed halibut in ginger & scallion or w/ black bean sauce w/ black pepper corn sauce or red curry sauce

Thai Noodles & Fried Rice: Beef, chicken or pork 8.95 Shrimp 9.95

Pad Thai (Traditional Thai Noodle)

A flat rice noodle sautéed w/egg, bean sprouts & scallions & topped w/ ground peanuts.

Pad-See-Ew 13.95

Flat rice noodle sautéed w/eggs, broccoli & garlic in a special Thai Sauce

Special Seafood Basil 13.95

Sautéed squid, mussel, scallops, & shrimp w/rice noodles and basil leaves in Chef’s special sauce

Spicy Thai Fried Rice *

Chef’s favorite fried rice w/choice of meats in special Thai recipe

Veggie Tofu Fried Rice 7.50

Thai Entrees: Beef, Chicken or Pork 9.75 Shrimp 11.75

Green Curry *

Mild spicy green curry paste w/ coconut milk, green & red bell peppers, bamboo shoots & basil

Red Curry *

Curry of red chili paste w/ coconut milk, basil, bamboo shoots & bell peppers

Panang Curry *

Lightly sweet & curry w/ coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers & basil

Masaman curry *

Spicy Basil Leaves **

Your choice of meat sautéed w/ bell peppers & onion in special basil leaf sauce

Spicy Special Garlic Sauce **

Stir fried w/ snow peas, mushrooms, bell peppers in Chef’s special garlic sauce

Pad Prik **

Recommended w/pork. Spicy dish in Thai pepper sauce. Sautéed w/ bell pepper, onion, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and string beans.

Spicy fresh Ginger *

Fresh minced ginger sautéed w/bell pepper, mushroom and onion

Cashew nut

Sautéed w/onion, mushroom, bell peppers & cashew in special sauce

Thai Vegetables 8.25

Basil Tofu

Stir fried tofu w/ basil leaves in Chef’s special sauce

Curry Tofu *

Stir fried tofu w/ red curry and coconut milk

Spicy Tofu **

Stir fried w/ broccoli in Thai spicy chili sauce

Mixed veggie w/ Tofu

Sautéed assorted vegetables w/ tofu in homemade sauce

Dessert

Green Tea Ice Cream 2.95

Coconut Ice Cream 2.95

Mango Ice Cream 2.95

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