Sunday, February 21, 2010

Restaurant Review: Chatham Street Cafe

Somehow I never noticed Chatham Street Cafe, a storefront restaurant just steps from the Cary clock in the heart of downtown. A recent News and Observer review mentioned that Chatham Street offers gluten-free options, so it was time to investigate. We went there for brunch and felt at home in the casual and unassuming cafe, decorated with local artwork. A softly crooning singer in the front room added to the mellow aura.

Owner and Head Chef Gayla Bonke, who has a dietetics degree and catering background, told us she could make virtually anything on the menu gluten-free. Like so many business owners who cater to the gluten-free community, Bonke has friends who are gluten intolerant and loves the challenge of cooking without it. I didn't get a chance to see the kitchen but was told that the gluten-free foods are prepared separately.

Between us, we sampled the Gluten-Free French Toast, the House Omelet, and the Grilled Steak Salad. Although all three items are listed on the menu as gluten-free, the Steak Salad comes topped with crumbled gorgonzola. Gorgonzola cheese is one of those sometimes safe, sometimes unsafe foods for celiacs, and I didn't have enough information to make a judgment. We were offered the option to substitute another cheese, and went with Asiago. The peas and sauteed mushrooms added a nice flavor to the salad. The French Toast was indistinguishable from "regular" French Toast, although possibly not quite as heavy. The omelet was tasty accompanied by hashbrowns.

Even packing up half our meal to take home, we had no room for dessert. The Almond Cake, described on the menu as "A dense, buttery cake dusted with powdered sugar served in a pool of sweet raspberry coulis. And yes, it's Gluten Free," sounds scrumptious. I look forward to trying it in the very near future when we return to Chatham Street Cafe.


Chatham Street Cafe
140 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC 27511



springsandra said...

Wonderful review, Joanie!

I went there recently with a friend for the first time. I highly suggest going just for dessert when you get a chance because it's unbelievably delicious!

Shelby Rose said...

This place is great. Today only is offering a deal for this place. Up to 55% off.

Twongo is a great site for saving on local businesses, I check it everyday. There is always something good. You can also sign up to get emails from them so you never miss a great deal again.

Millicent said...

The atmosphere is awesome and the desserts are wonderful. I have eaten here before but this past Valentine's day I had the most horrible experience. First, she ran out of steak and this has happened on two other occasions that I went there. I was served chicken with collard greens and rice. The chicken was dry and the collard greens tasted awful. I sent it back. Gayle came out to tell me how angry she was at me for wasting for. (I am not making this up nor am I three years old). She didn't ask me about the food she told me her thoughts. What a horrible dining experience. How can you be sure she won't yell about what you wear? Not going back.

If It Barks said...

They are actually closing their doors this weekend. It's sad to see them go out of business.