Miami, the city with a diverse food palate ranging from Latin to Asian cuisine, lacks a vital sector that includes a rising number of people: gluten-free friendly restaurants. A gluten-free diet strictly excludes specific grains, such as wheat and barley, due to a range of stomach issues, including celiac’s disease and gluten intolerance. According to the Celiac Disease Center of University of Chicago, 1 in 133 average healthy Americans are affected by celiac disease.
When one restricts gluten from their diet, it becomes more difficult to find restaurants that offer food that follows the “diet” or that make significant accommodations to ensure their customers will not have a reaction. This calls for restaurants that restrict their menu and ingredients to those that gluten-free individuals can consume.
In Miami, few places offer a person with celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance the opportunity to choose any item from the menu. A gap lies between the options that people without diet restrictions and the options that those with diet restrictions have, specifically those avoiding gluten-filled foods.
“I was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple years ago and, since then, I have noticed that it isn’t super easy to find only gluten-free restaurants. I love a few bakeries and certain dishes, but my family has digged for these gems,” Miami Palmetto Senior High junior Alexa Flores said.
Within the past few years, some of Flores’s desires were met with the opening of Dora’s Bakery and Bistro. Located in Coral Gables, the family-owned small business specializes in gluten free cuisine, providing a menu tailored to those who have celiac disease and those who may have an intolerance.
“We always have a scene that goes around our house that our goal is to make good food, that just so happens to be gluten free,” Sebastian Sosadias, who specializes in the customer service side of the restaurant, said. “And that goal is what we strive for every single day.”
Their menu satisfies every taste bud, extending from the savory, such as their croquetas, to the sweet, like their pavlova. Each of the recipes that they include on their menu, along with the bakery and bistro itself, take inspiration from their grandmother, Dora Milan. They believe that, although celiac disease was not a common diagnosis, she was affected by this immune disease. With this in mind, in addition to the missing restaurant category in Miami, their team opened up Dora’s Bakery and Bistro.
“The vibe that we give off is one of a hard working family-owned bakery and bistro that just really cares about everything we pump out,” Sosadias said.