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Sunday, December 9, 2007
Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program: Lilli and Loo
The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) facilitates a relationship between individuals with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance, and restaurants. The relationship builds a win-win opportunity for restaurants to provide service to people following a gluten-free diet, and to gain increased patronage. Participating restaurants are able to provide gluten-free meals from their regular meals. GFRAP is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.

A recent add to the GFRAP is Lilli and Loo on Lexington Avenue, between 61st and 62nd Streets in Manhattan. It is a cute little chic Asian restaurant stuffed between a few bodegas, bars, and across the street for the New York Doll Hospital. Not an exactly hip location, but the Upper East Side of Manhattan is definitely becoming a mecca of gluten-free restaurants. Lilli and Loo has been getting some good press in the gluten-free blogger community (see Ms. Guide's posting here) so I figured I would take my friend Shawn in celebration of his new job.

We arrived around 5:45pm on Friday night and it wasn't yet crowded and was still happy hour (4pm-7pm). If it weren't for the ton of drinks at the company holiday party the night before, I would have definitely had joined him in a congratulatory drink. Anyway, we ordered the Saigon Roll and the Thai Chicken Lettuce wraps to start. We were not disappointed. I actually really enjoyed the Saigon Roll and thought it was quite different from the previous gluten-free wraps I have had at other gluten-free restaurants. For my entrée, I had Manchurian Beef with fresh broccoli and brown rice. Since we had filled up on the Saigon Roll and Thai Chicken Lettuce wraps, I was half full when the entrées came but managed to finish everything. It seemed like the staff was really trying and the waitress even asked me in some broken English "Gluten-Free can't eat fortune cookie, right?" I guess she didn't want to offend me when bringing the cookies with the bill. All in all it was nice to enjoy an Asian meal without the worry or the bloated feeling you sometimes get when eating "Safe".

Kudos to Lilli and Loo for becoming part of GFRAP. Give them a try if you are in Manhattan!

Saigon Wraps: Rice paper wrapper with fresh mango, avocado, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, rice vermicelli and spicy mint dipping sauce (served cool and not fried)

Manchurian Beef with Broccoli

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lilli and Loo
792 Lexington Ave
New York 10021
Btwn 61st and 62nd St

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