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Eating Gluten-Free? Check out Roti in the Loop


Photo by: Anna Junko

By: Anna Junko, Section Editor for Student Literature and Art (ajunko2@uic.edu)

Gluten-free eaters can all agree that it’s incredibly difficult to find good pita bread. Pita is supposed to be fluffy, flaky, and buttery, all at once. It’s supposed to be served warm, and it’s supposed to be able to fold without cracking in half.

It’s not supposed to be stale, flat, or dense–but that’s what a lot of us have to put up with. Many grocery stores stock gluten-free pita bread, but only frozen varieties. Boooooo. Frozen pita bread is the worst. You open up the package, pop the pita in the microwave, and it immediately becomes soggy and limp. If you put it in a toaster oven, it turns into cement.

Lucky for us, Roti is here to glut our pita craving. This Mediterranean joint, with four downtown Chicago locations, has all the fluffy pita you require. Think of Chipotle, except when you walk in, you can eat almost anything on the menu. The restaurant caters to those looking for healthy fast food, and has a laid-back, earthy feel.

Usually when you walk in to a Mediterranean place and tell them you can’t have gluten, they say, “What’s gluten?” Sigh. However, when you walk up to the counter at Roti, and say, “Hello, I have a gluten allergy,” they say, “No problem! I’ll be taking care of you today.” They change their gloves, put all of your food on a separate tray, grill your pita on a separate grill, and make sure that no other employee contaminates your food. It’s like heaven for Celiacs. Roti’s website even states, “Need to avoid wheat products? Step right up.”

For my lunch at Roti, I ordered a Chicken Rice Plate with gluten-free pita. I chose three different veggie salads and tahini sauce as my sides. Unlike most restaurants offering gluten-free options, most of Roti’s meals are naturally gluten-free or can be easily modified to make them so. It’s not like everywhere else, with only one or two gluten-free options. I even overheard a patron eating gluten-free pita say to a friend, “Are you sure this is gluten-free?”

I asked an employee how many customers with gluten allergies eat at the restaurant daily, and he said it was too many to count. Many customers without allergies also choose to eat their gluten-free pita. If this doesn’t indicate how good their food is, I don’t know what will.

It’s time for you to jump on the Roti bandwagon.

Photo by: Anna Junko

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1 Comment

  1. […] Eating Gluten-Free? Check out Roti in the Loop […]

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