After several amazing foodie finds in Charlotte and Asheville, I couldn’t wait to see what delicious eats awaited me in Boone, the down-to-Earth college town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I spent the summer several years ago. When I knew I would be heading back to the town for a day trip, I was excited to get back on the campus of Appalachian State University and explore around the eclectic shopping and dining area boarding the campus.
Like Asheville, Boone has an quite a few gluten-free friendly eats to choose from, which made selecting a restaurant to eat at rather difficult. However, my aunt suggested Coyote Kitchen, a restaurant specializing in “Southwest Caribbean soulfood.”
With a can-do attitude regarding food allergies and special diets and a menu that makes choosing an entree practically impossible, I needed no additional cajoling to settle on Coyote Kitchen.
Arriving around noon for a lunch, the absolutely perfect spring day proved to be the perfect opportunity to eat lunch outside to enjoy the warm sunshine, fresh mountain air, and incredible scenery.
What’s really cool about Coyote Kitchen is that most menu items are, or can be modified to be gluten-free. All but the rosemary bread, cornbread, kaiser buns, and flour tortillas are safe, and gluten-free buns and corn tortillas are on hand to make effortless swaps. When it comes to dairy, avoid the cheeses, sour cream, ranch dressing, cream cheeses and roasted red pepper vinaigrette and you’re good to go. For additional special diet guidance (including vegan limitations), click here.
From tacos to bowls to boats, I had a really hard time deciding what to order. Coyote Kitchen offers the rare opportunity to have fried shrimp, but it also has jerk chicken on hand- one of my favorite foods. Check out their menu for all the delicious details.
I ended up going for the Barbados boat at the last minute, not finalizing until the waiter wrote it down. He inquired if my dietary needs were an allergy/celiac or preference, and I specified the former. Knowing that, he said my meal would be prepared in a separate area of the kitchen to make sure to eliminate cross contamination as much as possible. I also requested no dairy and no pineapple, though I informed him that the latter was a preference, not an allergy. With a choice of four accompanying salsas, I went with the pico de gallo, labeled as medium.
A boat is personal-sized casserole dish stuffed with Coyote Kitchen’s delicious food. Tender, juicy jerk chicken was the star of the show, and packed a spice-filled punch that had some serious heat. Playing backup, but not backing down was roasted sweet potatoes, which added a sweetness that contrasted nicely with the spice of the chicken. Also present in the bowl were black beans, mushrooms, scallions, red peppers, and coconut rice. I normally detest coconut, but the flavor really worked well with the chicken and sweet potato. I count that as a major win for Coyote Kitchen- convincing me that I can like (some) coconut.
My aunt ordered jerk tacos, made gluten-free with corn tortillas, but not dairy-free. As a side, she chose the cranberry chipotle salsa. She loved hers, and definitely shared my conclusion that Coyote Kitchen was worth another visit!
When in Boone, Coyote Kitchen is a perfect choice for lunch and dinner. I love that they needed no further instructions to make a gluten and dairy-free meal, and that our waiter did not bat an eye at my dietary restrictions (and picky preferences). The food was comforting, flavorful, and adroitly fused the best of Caribbean and Southwestern cuisine. I definitely cannot wait for another opportunity to try them again, and look forward to the picturesque journey required to get there.
Address: 200 Southgate Dr, Boone, NC 28607
Cuisine: Southwestern, Carribbean, Soul Food
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: See prices here
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.