From a paleo perspective my expectations for an Italian restaurant are low, especially one that clearly specializes in pizza and pasta. Accordingly, I can’t really recommend Papino’s to fellow grain/dairy-free eaters. They do offer gluten-free pizza and pasta choices. While I found nothing fully paleo on the menu (opportunity calling, Papino’s!) I was quite happy with my Italian Salad (minus cheese & croutons) and side order of sausage. On-menu confirmation that the sausage and meatballs are gluten free (assuming they are) would be appreciated.
Good food, but as with most Mexican places, eating paleo takes some effort here. The vast majority of dishes feature some combination of tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, and sauces which could contain anything. There are some salads (remember to omit cheese and croutons), steaks (watch out for sauces) and a few specialty dishes (Jarocha and Cancun Special are tasty) that might pass if you skip the rice (and sometimes cheese/sour cream. They do make a good tequila & soda, and one guy even knew about the Norcal Margarita. I’d be happy to eat there much more often if they put a simple meat & veggies dish on the menu with no grains/dairy/beans/gluten.
142 Market Street, DeForest
We’ve been there several times and I can’t recommend at this time. Pretty much everything on the menu involves bread/grains of some kind. I ordered the grilled chicken salad without croutons. Each time it came with croutons anyway, except once it came with a dinner roll instead! Paleo customers should (and celiacs must) go elsewhere.
300 E. Holum Street, Deforest
I can’t call this a paleo friendly destination at this time. The place specializes in pies and lefse. Still, they advertise being gluten friendly, and there are potentially grain-free options on the menu. I tried the salmon dinner twice. Once I received overcooked sirloin steak instead. The other time I got dry, luke-warm salmon. Both times, I asked for extra vegetables instead of potatoes, and got a small serving of seemingly canned carrots or peas/carrots, again only luke warm. The side salad was edible with the croutons omitted. I also tried the gluten-free desert option they claim to always have. The first time it was pretty good, if a little chalky. The second time they were out. I’m really hoping they accept my offer to coach them with a few simple tweaks, as it’s a block from my house and could be a great place with a little work.
Corner of Main and Holum, DeForest
Subs and other sandwiches. Known for fast delivery. Will make any item as a lettuce-wrapped “unwich” on request.