|Soul Dog Cafe|
Founded in 2004, Soul Dog Cafe is now in its 7th year. Nearly everything on the menu, including many specialty items (such as bread, hot dog buns, cookies, etc.), is gluten-free. This is not a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. It's a gluten-free restaurant that has a very small number of gluten items as well. (For once, the tables are turned! Insert maniacal laugh here...)
The restaurant bakes all the gluten-free goods itself in-house, and has egg-free and corn-free versions of its bread available upon request. The menu gravitates toward American comfort food meets fast food, all gluten-free: hot dogs (including a veggie option), burgers, chili (including a vegan quinoa chili), sausage, grilled cheese, sloppy joes, fish and chips, fries, pizza, mac and cheese, and salads (and more...).
|A small but cozy space|
For our part, we ordered the fish and chips (for me), a hamburger with full fixin's and a side of standard seasoned fries (for Kelli), and a grilled cheese (for Marin). I'll admit, it was quite the pleasurable novelty to order all of these foods and to a) have them be gluten-free, and b) have gluten-free be the default option. (That said, we still specified "gluten-free" when ordering each one, just to make sure they knew what we needed... Old habits die hard.)
|Fish and Chips|
To finish off lunch, we splurged on a house-made cupcake. Overall, it was pretty good. A moist crumb, though a little crumbly, and again, a corny element to the flavor. Even so, it was satisfying.
In the end, Soul Dog was a very different kind of gluten-free restaurant dining experience than we've had elsewhere. While we had some critiques here and there, the positives far outweighed the negatives. It's not the kind of food we eat regularly (after lunch, my biggest craving was for a glass of water and a wedge of iceberg lettuce to cleanse the palate), but when the craving strikes, we'd happily head back for more.
And for those of you who aren't local to Poughkeepsie, you can still sample some of Soul Dog's offerings. They've spun off a sister company, Food For All Gluten-Free Solutions, which sells some its baked goods, such as the all-purpose flour blend and breads at area markets as well as via direct order online.
P.S. The winner from last week's Wild Alice Bars giveaway is Joe D. Congratulations!