Although I love Washington DC's food scene, it cannot rival New York City's abundance of 100% gluten-free restaurants and cafes. After spending an especially blustery fall morning exploring around Central Park, I walked a few blocks over to TAP NYC, one of such magical eatery where everything is gluten-free. The restaurant serves up crepes, salads, acai bowls, and coffee drinks in cute cafe setting so it was a perfect pick for a late breakfast stop. Crepes are one of those foods that are so hard to find both gluten and dairy-free, so I was excited to have an opportunity to choose from sweet and savory options.
TAP NYC's menu is built on the endlessly versatile tapioca starch (from cassava), which is native to Brazil. Of course I am familiar with tapioca in as far as seeing it in the ingredient lists for food I have purchased, but I was interested to see it placed center stage, as it is on TAP NYC's menu.
Because of the magic of everything in the restaurant being gluten-free, the question when ordering at TAP NYC is not what is or not safe, but a question of which route do you want to go: sweet or savory? With plenty of options that check either box as well as options for meat eaters and plant-based diners alike, TAP NYC's menu has plenty to please any foodie with or without dietary restrictions.
I ordered the vegan crepe, which comes stuffed with avocado, mushroom, roasted zucchini, tomatoes, and chia seeds. When my crepe was delivered, the bright white crepe looked almost alien, almost like futuristic fare. I guess I had in mind the French variety of crepes versus this Brazilian incarnation. The crepe exterior was a little crumbly, but held together well as I ate it sandwich-style. The texture of the wrapping was fun and crunchy- definitely unlike anything I have eaten before. Flavor-wise the crepe wrapping let the savory fillings do all the heavy lifting. In that regard, the veggies were fresh and flavorful.
Because of a brutal autumn wind and chilly morning temperatures, I also ordered a chai latte with almond milk (they use Califia's barista blend). The brew has a wonderful spiced flavor and the milk is steamed to a fluffy perfection and it worked wonders for my freezing fingers.
I couldn't have asked for a better place to stop after a Sunday stroll through Central Park than TAP NYC. Their tapioca crepe surprised and delighted me, bucking my expectations and introducing me to the versatility and creative potential of tapioca. I hope to make my way back there soon, and will definitely explore the sweet side of the crepe options on a future visit.