• Mangiamo! Hoboken: Cucharamama {Gluten Free Eats}

    Written by:

    Going gluten-free {or just looking for a good spot to dine in Hoboken}? Val of Mangiamo Hoboken has you covered in today’s post:

    Cucharamama Restaurant has become one of my regular spots. I have dined here too many times to count anymore and have never been disappointed. I have also dined at the owner’s sister restaurant, Zafra, equally as delicious! My post this month is a compilation of several trips to Cucharamama and the gluten free options I was able to enjoy.

    cucharamasalmon-hobokengirl

    via

    Cucharamama is located at 3rd and Clinton, and outside it looks like another restaurant—but once you walk inside it feels like you are in South America. The décor is all authentic from art objects to the paintings and even down to the tables and chairs. The smell of the hand-crafted, wood-burning oven is so inviting that you want to sit down and enjoy a drink, and really just stay for awhile. This is definitely not a restaurant where you want to rush through a meal. It is a place to go for a date, catch up with friends, or entertain out of town guests.

    The restaurant has an extensive cocktail menu. From original drinks such as mojitos or daiquiris to South American and Spanish wines — pretty much everything is here.

    cucharamamamojito-hobokengirl

    via

    The wait staff is extremely accommodating to gluten intolerance. It helps that a lot of the foods at Cucharamama are corn-based and therefore provide many more options. The staff did tell me to stay away from anything that is in the wood-burning oven as there can be cross-contamination with many of the foods cooked in there, including the pizzas.

    For appetizers, I ordered the Pulpo al Olivo, which is the Octopus in a Peruvian Black Olive and Panca Pepper Sauce. It is grilled and topped with onions, tomatoes, cheese and black pepper. The octopus was extremely fresh, marinated enough and cooked just right.

    cucharamamaoctopus-hobokengirl

    via

    I have also tried two types of tamals – the Humita de Vinces, which is Ecuadorian Fresh Corn Tamal from Los Rios and the Tamal de Maiz Tierno, fresh corn tamal with a topping of Seco de Pato, Duck Braised Peruvian-Style with Chicha de Jora and Mirasol Pepper. This was absolutely my favorite. Tamals definitely have a bold flavor to them, but adding the braised duck, wooo! It really brought a balance of meat and corn together.

    cucharamamatamal-hobokengirl

    via

    For dinner I ordered the Pata de Chancho al  Estilo de Tacna con Arroz y Menestra de Frijoles Canarios, which is a Peruvian-Style Roast Leg of Pork in Ají Amarillo Adobo, with White Rice and Stewed Canary Beans. Quite enjoyable!

    On Thursday nights, they have a special for $25: Bandejita Paisa, which is a Colombian Highland Classic from Antioquia—Skirt Steak, Pork Cracklings, Colombian Sausage, Arepa, Rice and Red Beans, Ripe Plantains, and Colombian Hot Sauce. I have gone on Thursday nights and split this with another person and it is extremely filling …and you are able to taste several items from the menu. Always a bonus.

    Overall, a cozy and delicious downtown neighborhood spot that is sure to impress. The staff is friendly, and the food is prepared in a way that feels unpretentious but is absolutely scrumptious. Things we want to try still: Peruvian-Style Crunchy Quinoa-Crusted Chicken Fingers. Now that is something else to write home about, we think.

    For more information about Cucharamama Restaurant, including their recent James Beard Foundation Award, click here!

    Ci vediamo. Mangia bene, Hoboken!

    Val is a Hoboken resident who grew up half Italian, lived abroad in Rome, and watched her grandmother make everything from minestrone to lasagna…which in turn put her on a journey to find the best pizza, gnocchi and Italian desserts in Hoboken. She recently was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance which has put her on a special HG mission: to find all of the best gluten-free eats in town! Give her a glass of Chianti and some Nutella and she is one happy girl!

     To follow Val’s foodie {and gluten-free} blog, visit Mangiamo Hoboken.


    Written by:

    Val Rossi is the blogger behind Mangiamo! Hoboken. Growing up half Italian, studying abroad in Rome, and watching her grandmother make everything from minestrone soup to lasagna put her on a journey to find the best italian food in Hoboken. In 2012, she was diagnosed with Celiac's disease, and is now on a journey to find the best gluten free eats and products in town. Give her a glass of Chianti and some Nutella, and she is one happy girl!


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *