This summer I was very fortunate to be able to attend a career development conference at the National Institutes of Health that was extremely helpful for deciding a career path. I was only in Bethesda, MD for less than 48 hours, but, as always, eating was a concern. Luckily, I was able to track down an awesome gluten free Italian restaurant and bakery (Thanks, Rachael for the suggestion!) in addition to a wonderful Thai restaurant.
Lilit café: (http://www.lilitcafe.com check out their gluten free menu) If you are ever in Bethesda, you have to go here—no excuses! An easy 5-10 minute walk from the NIH campus, Lilit is a quaint restaurant/café AND gluten free bakery. Want a sandwich? Want pizza? Want lasagna?! Have no fear—Lilit café has it all! And they truly understand gluten free so they take quite precautions against cross contamination. On a whim, I ordered a steak and cheese sandwich on gluten free baguette—YUM!! But this was after I spent a solid 30 minutes staring at the enormous menu (did you click that link and check out their menu? If not, do it now!). I then had a chocolate cupcake and gelato for dessert. I could barely walk because I was so stuffed. On the upside, I was able to return to Lilit for dinner that evening! I was not disappointed and had two more cupcakes (the peanut butter chocolate one is pictured below) and a gluten free bagel with cream cheese. My only word of warning…make a reservation or get there during non-peak hours! The café is very small with limited seating. Service is very fast even during lunch and dinner rush hours though!
Bangkok Garden Restaurant: Located at 4906 St Elmo Ave, Bethesda, MD. We ate here for dinner the night we arrived in Bethesda. Their Pad Thai was naturally gluten free, which was fantastic! It was a fairly large serving and was flavorful. The staff was willing to double check with the kitchen to confirm that the Pad Thai was gluten free, which I truly appreciated! I did not get sick here and would definitely return. Sadly, they had no gluten free dessert options or gluten free soy sauce. I believe that their curries were gluten free, but definitely check with the staff as I am not a fan of Thai curry.
On a side note…we stayed at the Residence Inn Bethesda which was a lovely clean hotel. However, they did not have ANY gluten free offerings for breakfast. I called the hotel a week in advance to see if they accommodate anything and got a flat out no. When I asked upon arriving, I was told even the eggs had gluten. I was very disappointed but luckily I packed my own gluten free cereal and breakfast bars. But just wanted to give you all a heads up!
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**