You would think going out to eat falafel would be easy for someone allergic to milk, wheat, corn, and soy as none are necessary ingredients. But you would be wrong. Wrong, that is, until you discover falafill at 3202 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. I came across them on my way home from the gym to the parking garage this evening.

One criteria of a great falafel ball is a crispy crispy outer shell. You would be amazed at how many places use bread crumbs of some sort to get that outer crisp going. NOT this place, and for that I am thankful.

Here the falafel is as it should be. Ground chick peas, garlic, onions, and spices. Period. No fillers of any kind. Even better? They fry them in canola oil. And if that wasn’t enough, they have a combo with french fries that are not only delicious but absolutely the biggest portion out there for the price (a mere $2.25).

The staff is well versed in the ingredients of ALL of their products and came over to the table to see if I had any questions about any of the toppings or salads on the self-serve topping bar. Things with gluten are clearly identified which makes it easy for those who need to easily avoid. AND, they offered to get me fresh toppings from the back if I was worried about cross-contamination.

This is allergy free dining at its best. No extra cost, great service, and the freshest ingredients.

You can check out their website at eatfalafill.com.

For the most part, I’m a social drinker but what that means shifted dramatically once my allergies were diagnosed. Instead of kicking back with a beer in front of the bears game with friends I’ve been forced to choose between a glass of wine or something with rum in it as I had determined those were the safest things for me to drink. Wine and a salad isn’t much fun when everyone else is drinking beer and eating nachos. I only recently discovered gluten free beer but had rarely seen it outside my local jewel or whole foods.

Until last night.

I met friends out at Glascott’s on Halsted and Webster in Lincoln Park and when I walked up to the bar to order a drink, there on the shelf with all the other bottled beer was Redbridge. Redbridge in all its gluten-free deliciousness. It’s pretty funny how few places carry Redbridge since it’s made by Anheuser-Busch but after last night I’m hopeful that’s starting to change.