The Unsandwich: Eating Gluten-Free at The Jalopy

The folks at The Jalopy have a nice, easy concept: stuff some chicken with rosemary and garlic, brine it overnight in salt, !cid_E4CC3B9C-0AB4-4F0D-931C-D23BE1FB8AB6@gateway_2wirevinegar, and rosemary, then slow-cook it with some vegetables. Shred and serve it in various ways (with a choice of sauces and always pickled onions) on home-made savory flatbread. The bread sure does sound delicious, but of course people who have Celiac cannot have the bread. We can, however, safely eat at The Jalopy, for they will serve all their menu items in a bowl! An unsandwich! Or perhaps a sandwich in a bowl? Whatever one calls it, the food served by the folks at The Jalopy is delicious, and well worth the trip to 15th and San Antonio for a meal.

!cid_DF270A68-C33F-4B8E-AEC2-D0BC27D488EB@gateway_2wireElizabeth and I recently took B and H to The Jalopy, in our on-going quest for safe, gluten-free eateries in Austin. Although the trailer is parked in the grass right beside a parking lot, that parking lot is a pay lot. We drove around the block and managed to find parking by a meter, just about a half block from the trailer. The time was about noon, or shortly thereafter, a busy time for lunch spots, but we easily found a close parking space.

The Jalopy has a few tables out front, and all but one were taken when we arrived. We had to wait in a short line to order, but the line moved quickly. After we ordered, Elizabeth took B and H to the one table still available in front of the trailer. I waited for the food, which was speedily prepared. This entire lunch experience was easy and quick, which is important to people accompanied by toddlers, as well as to those who are on a lunch break from work, all of whom have little time to spare for a long wait for their meals at an eatery. I ordered the Poke-in-da-Eye (housemade bbq sauce, herb slaw, pickles, and onions); Elizabeth ordered the Hunt’s Hummus (house hummus, fresh cabbage, pickled onions), and for the boys we ordered The Butler (double cream brie, apples, almonds,  and agave nectar), with a side of chicken for some protein. Elizabeth and I each ordered a drink. Naturally, we ordered the entire meal in bowls, the Jalopy gluten-free way. The chicken in my meal was rich and tender (as was the chicken we ordered to accompany the boys’ meal), and the onions added a nice tangy element, pleasing to the tongue. I didn’t taste Elizabeth’s hummus, but she enjoyed every bite of it. She and I shared the boys’ brie, apples, and agave nectar, which to me, having finished my savory, tangy chicken and slaw, seemed much like a light dessert.!cid_B72C2015-BE34-4143-ABCE-1302FC7F5994@gateway_2wire

The Butler is actually a perfect meal for small children. The combination of creamy brie with the tart sweetness of the apples and the nutty sweetness of the almonds makes the meal appealing even to those children who may have finicky food preferences. Even though The Jalopy doesn’t have a specific children’s menu, it does have other offerings suitable for young patrons who accompany their parents, but who often have choosy appetites. The menu offers a sandwich called the Jelly Gibson (peanut butter, onion, marmalade, almonds and berries) which, ordered without the onion, would make a perfect peanut butter sandwich for small ones.

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The cost of the entire meal was about twenty-five dollars: a decent price for delicious, gluten-free food in portions plentiful enough for us to walk away with well-satisfied taste-buds and appetites. Even though one can order and receive a meal quickly at The Jalopy, as far as the quality of the food is concerned, this restaurant is anything but a fast food establishment. The trailer’s setting is pleasant enough; we were cool enough under the shade of the trees on this summer day to be comfortable while we ate our lunch. What’s more, the expense of the lunch came in under my budget limit for trying out gluten-free restaurants, so I had enough funds left over to buy dessert! We decided to go for chocolate (it’s an axiomatic choice, really).

PicsArt_1370465731597Our meal at The Jalopy left us very full, but we always have room for chocolate! We were dying to try some Chocosutra chocolates. We were unable to locate the trailer itself, so we purchased two different flavors of the chocolates from Thom’s Market on Barton Springs Rd (according to Chocosutra’s website, the chocolates are also available at Tiny Taiga, in.gredients, Mister Fruitcup, and Wheatsville Co-op): the vanilla sea salt and the habanero. All Chocosutra’s chocolates are made with raw cacao, local honey, and other healthy ingredients so that one can indulge in her chocolate fetish without guilt. Even better, these chocolates are gluten-free (not all chocolates are, sadly, so the Celiac or gluten-intolerant has to carefully and diligently read the ingredient lists on labels on all chocolates before she takes that luxuriant leap into that first bite). These Chocosutra chocolates were so indescribably delectable that I really just cannot do them justice with words. I will say that the habanero chocolates are just the right amount of heat; one can feel the heat without it being overwhelming to the point where the chocolate flavor is lost.

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For roughly thirty dollars, Elizabeth, the boys, and I had a wonderful meal at The Jalopy, followed by an amazing dessert from Chocosutra, and all of it was gluten-free as well as conscientiously prepared.

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