Last week I was invited by Amanda from Marlo Marketing to visit Café de Boston and check out their gluten free options. I was able to speak with Café de Boston’s owner, Levent Berksan, to find out more about what this restaurant has to offer for those of us on a gluten free diet, and I was impressed.
Café de Boston is a marketplace eatery serving breakfast and lunch in Boston’s Financial District. Ordering stations offer made-from-scratch, globally inspired food that satisfies any craving. Blending made-to-order, self-serve and take-out fare, the menu features more than 100 items, including soups, salads, crepes, sandwiches and wraps, pasta, pizza, kebabs, and frozen yogurt. You can get a quick lunch that tastes great, for not a lot of cash.
Café de Boston’s chefs use only the best, freshest, in-season ingredients for everything that they make. They also accommodate a range of dietary needs such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options by diligently labeling everything, as well as preparing to-order dishes to your specifications.
The marketplace eatery concept is a new type of fast, casual dining. The marketplace layout allows for guests to customize their dining experience – they can select exactly what they want at the self-serve bars, request modifications in the made-to-order stations, and decide whether to dine-in or take their meal to go. My favorite station was the Mediterranean Meze Bar, where I tried all sorts of options from hummus and grilled vegetables to curry chicken salad, chickpea salad, and stuffed grape leaves.
The create-your-own salad bar is the most popular station. Offering unlimited toppings and two proteins at a flat rate price of $7.94 plus tax. In addition to make-your-own, they offer ”Summer Salad Days” combinations — three warm-weather inspired salad combos to help customers order outside of the box and try something other than their “usual.”
The Sandwich station offers gluten free bread and a variety of your typical deli sandwich options, as well as creative signature sandwiches, burgers, and daily specials. I tried the Chipotle Chicken with grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese and chipotle mayo on gluten free white bread (from Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakehouse).
The pizza station offers made to order individual sized gluten free pizzas. The gluten free pizza takes about 12 minutes to make and can easily feed 2-3 people. The dough is not made on site. It is bought and stored frozen in its own container. It is then baked in the same container to ensure no cross contamination. You are also given a new pizza slicer with each pizza, yet another way to prevent cross contamination. The dough is thin, and made from rice flour, and it was actually one of the better pizzas that I’ve tried.
Café de Boston does not currently carry gluten free pasta, but that could change in the near future, but for now you will just have to skip the pasta station.
The gluten free desserts – brownies and chocolate chip cookies -come from French Meadow Bakery. I love the brownies; they are deliciously fudgy and rich!
Café de Boston is the only downtown to-go breakfast spot that prepares eggs fresh to order. They have also just introduced a self-serve froyo station with four gluten-free, fat-free, Kosher flavors: Country Vanilla, Chocolate Classic, Cheesecake, and vegan Mango Tango sorbet. Toppings include sprinkles, nuts, fruit, and sauces.
Café de Boston has great options for everyone. Being a marketplace eatery means that everyone can find something they’ll enjoy. Everything is made fresh daily and the chef’s try to only prepare enough food to last the day. After 2:30pm all dishes from the hot entrée and meze bar are 30% off. This is a way to help ‘get rid’ of their stuff so that they can start fresh the next day.
Café de Boston is open from 7am to 4pm on weekdays and closed on weekends.