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Restaurant Review
The Cove

The Cove, featured on the Food Network, has a separate gluten-free menu which is posted on their Web site- in addition, of course, to their regular menu.

Lisa and Sam Asvestas, owners of The Cove, have taken many steps to increase the gluten-free offerings in the café and the bar. Here are a few of the items that will interest you.

They now have a dedicated fryer, which means the French fries, the sweet potato fries, and the chicken nuggets are all gluten free, along with their trademark fried corn tortilla hearts that are used as garnish on many of their menu items.

The Cove is famous for their SOL (Sustainable, Organic, Local) burgers, and they now offer Little Aussie Bakery gluten-free buns for our burgers. There are choices of local beef, bison, or lamb. According to the August 2009 issue of Texas Monthly, their Texas Burger is the best burger in San Antonio, 5th in the state. One of our favorite things to order is the Fish Tacos. They use El Lago corn tortillas which are made in Austin in a dedicated facility.

The Veggie Power (vegan) burger, made in house, has been modified to be gluten free. Drew Morris, the chef who specializes in providing the gluten-free and vegan dishes, changed to gluten-free San J Tamari sauce to flavor this burger, served with a tangy mustard sauce. The other (vegetarian) burger would be the Bella Burger, a grilled Portobello with sautéed organic spinach, red onions, jack cheese, and spicy poblano sauce. If you still prefer your burger with no bun at all, no problem. If you are going to enjoy the French fries or sweet potato fries with that burger, there might not be room for a bun!

When you order gluten free you will need to ask for the gluten-free menu, which is now in a folder, same as the regular menu. On the front the menu says gluten free in big letters. When I am there, it is usually not visible so I ask for it before standing in line. This will save time for you and for them.

After you have looked at the menu, take a look at the Blackboard with "Specials of the Day." Drew adds a contrast color "GF" next to items that are safe for us. The specials are usually soups, veggie sides, or other items that rotate on their menu and are available that day.

On the bar side, Lisa has agreed to stock any gluten-free beer that their suppliers can get. They have had Redbridge since it was first available, and they now also have Bards Tale Beer. Gluten-free Woodchuck and Ace Ciders are also available.

There are other items on the gluten-free menu. You can go to their Web site and see the menu. It includes appetizers, organic salads, fish tacos, SOL burgers, and a Kids menu. They offer Blue Bell Ice Cream and gluten-free brownies for dessert.

Meanwhile, go get your car washed, do your laundry, and enjoy lunch or dinner at The Cove. If you enjoy live music, go later, around 8 pm. The playground is always open for the kids, and it is nice to sit outside near their vegetable and herb garden.

This review was written by Anne Barfield in May, 2010.