I don’t know how many of our readers live in Maine, but this Portland, ME restaurant, GRO, exemplifies the potential of colliding restricted diets. GRO (Grass Roots Organic Juice Bar and Café) is 90% gluten-free, but the menu doesn’t advertise that fact, although GRO offers GF bread. The gluten-free aspect is a lucky coincidence that grew out of the vegan, organic, and raw focus of the restaurant; GRO’s Chef Andrew Borne also buys local when possible, and that’s just the beginning. Employees fetch local spring water daily. The restaurant staff also grow most of their own sprouts plus their own tomatoes and mushrooms; GRO recycles, composts, reuses, and reduces. GRO composts all of its plastic, which is made from corn. Menus are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink. The wall paint contains no synthetic toxins. Renewable, fast-growing bamboo provides the flooring.
If you’re seeking a shining example of the über-healthy, ultra-natural, sustainable food movement, it’s GRO. And those who avoid gluten should keep in mind that there is a place for them in this movement. So the next time you pass a raw or ecologically-minded restaurant, check out the menu; you may find it differs from the standard gluten-heavy Western diet and favors your diet.