The Picky Eater's Guide to Nora's in Dogtown

Sep 18, 2015 at 6:45 am
click to enlarge The veggie melt at Nora's. - Photo by Lauren Milford
Photo by Lauren Milford
The veggie melt at Nora's.

So you’re a vegetarian. Or you eat gluten-free. Or you’re on the paleo diet. Your friend invites you to meet for lunch at a restaurant that's new to you. You say yes, and then Google the menu, hoping there’s at least a couple of choices for you.

When Google and Yelp fail you, you show up and nervously scan the restaurant’s offerings, looking for something that you can just order without having a five-minute conversation with the waiter about your dietary needs. You ask yourself: what can I eat?

This column is here to help you. I’ll go to restaurants and investigate their menu options for vegetarian, gluten-free and other special options. I might even tell you if they’re good or not. And then you can order those items without having to let the waiter know how long it’s been since you were diagnosed with celiac disease. You’re welcome.

A note about our headline. “Picky eater” is such an annoying label, right? I know, I think so, too. However, I also know that’s how most other people view dietary restrictions. Personally, I think you, Mr. No Mushrooms Please, are far more picky than me. I eat everything – other than meat. And my friends who have celiac disease obviously aren’t picky by choice. But this one thing does band us together – we often have a hard time finding something to eat. In that, we “picky eaters” unite.

click to enlarge Nora's is located in Dogtown. - Photo by Lauren Milford
Photo by Lauren Milford
Nora's is located in Dogtown.

What Can I Eat Here? Nora’s Edition
In the heart of Dogtown, you’ll find a small sandwich shop with a huge menu — Nora's (1136 Tamm Avenue, 314-645-2706). Lots of sandwiches, rotating soups, a few salads, side options and daily specials. So what’s here for you?

Vegetarian: Not one, not two, but three veggie sandwich options: Portabella Philly, Veggie Melt, Tomato Reuben. The Veggie Melt is fantastic, the Tomato Reuben is great on a hot summer day and the Portabella Philly is fantastic if you love mushrooms. All sandwiches come with your choice of side (chips, cole slaw, potato salad). There are also two vegetarian salads. Soup menu changes daily, but if they offer the corn chowder, party potato or beer cheese when you are there, the soup/sandwich combo meal is the way to go. Their vegetarian soups are truly vegetarian (not made with chicken stock).

Gluten-Free: Yes, Nora’s offers all of its sandwiches on gluten-free bread. Slow clap. They’ll charge you an extra $1.50 for that gluten-free bread, but the joy of having options is worth it. There are four salad and five gluten-free dressing options as well.

click to enlarge For kids, you can't go wrong with a PB&J. - Photo by Lauren Milford
Photo by Lauren Milford
For kids, you can't go wrong with a PB&J.

Paleo: Your best bet here is going to be one of the four salads on the menu, minus croutons and cheese. The Nora’s and club salads provide the most bang for your buck with regard to protein; I’d go for one of those.

Kids: Your young ones can enjoy a grilled cheese, PB&J or deli sandwich of meat and cheese, along with chips and a soda or juice box. Yes, Nora’s has high chairs.

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