Where: Neomonde Mediterranean Deli, Raleigh, NC. Neomonde now has 3 locations – 2 in Raleigh, and 1 in Morrisville.
GF Menu: No. However, I’m happy to report that I recently (May 2013) spotted the following sign on the countertop at Neomonde:
Neomonde now offers Gluten Free bread and Pizza Crusts! Amazing. Thank you, Neomonde! Below are images of the GF Pizza and a GF Sandwich I took on a subsequent visit.
What I ate: Vegetable Moussaka (Lasagna) Platter (comes with 2 sides/salads of your choice) + an Abali Yogurt Drink.
How to order it: Ask for a Lasagna platter at the counter. This “lasagna” is noodle-free! It contains a cheerful layering of roasted eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onion, garlic, feta cheese, and tomato sauce. Then select two sides/salads from the array of colorful bowls in the glass case. I chose the Black Bean & Chickpea Salad and a Tarragon Chicken Salad.
What it looks like:
Vegetable Lasagna with sides of Black Bean & Chickpea Salad and Tarragon Chicken Salad.
Politely decline when they ask you at check-out whether you’d like some of their fresh-baked pita bread. However, since GF diners miss out on extra calories from bread, it can be helpful to select a beverage that offers a little extra nourishment. In this case, I went with a yogurt drink. Not your typical American-style yogurt, this drink is sugar-free and savory. I first had this beverage when traveling in Turkey, where it is called ayran. It is so popular that it gives the soda and juice market a run for its money. Its ingredients are listed as: Low Fat Milk, Water, Salt, Mint Extract, and Active Yogurt Cultures. With a hint of mint in it, this drink is thick in texture, but light and refreshing in taste. Shake it up!
GF diners should pass on the baklava, but this deli has well-stocked shelves of beautiful spices, dried fruits, nuts, and specialty sweets from the Middle East. Try the ‘Nouga Pistachio’ – a chewy, nougat confection with chunks of pistachio nuts. Ingredients: sugar, pistachio, glucose, egg whites, vanilla.
Green Note: Neomonde 1) has bottle and can recycling bins. 2) uses paper plates rather than styrofoam. 3) allows you to take napkins as you need them. 4) and they have herbs growing just outside the building.