Every so often, a walk on a familiar beach will offer an extra-special collection of treasures. Most of the places where Washington meets the ocean are rocky, rough coastland, and while it isn't exactly rare to find intact shells, it's just rare enough that the wonder never fully goes away. Finding whole sand dollars as the tide recedes from the shore invariably returns me to the emotional state of being about 10 years old, full of excitement and dying to show somebody what I've just found. (The impulse to pocket things like sand dollars and pretty shells is a difficult thing to fight.)
I feel similarly about things like gluten-free crêpes (except for the part about pocketing them). Brunch has recently become my most social meal of the day, because it is the only time of day I routinely have free for "friend time." But social meals, as a person with food allergies, usually mean "Let's meet somewhere with good coffee, because I probably won't eat much." So a recent suggestion received to meet at Miro Tea in Ballard left my mood a bit amiss. I'm not really a tea drinker, and Miro doesn't serve coffee. What they do serve, it turns out, are gluten-free crêpes.The atmosphere at Miro Tea is patient with the uneducated tea drinker (such as myself), and includes a little tea-tasting bar. The store is full of natural light, open space, and exotic smells. Quite different from the typically cluttered tea room, Miro is actually a refreshing, peaceful place. My citrus-lemongrass mate was delightful . . . at least, for a tea!
Better than that, though, Miro's crêpe menu is extensive, including both sweet and savory crêpes, with a typical gluten-y crêpe batter. And they also offer, for $1 more, any of the same crêpe combinations wrapped in a lovely gluten-free crêpe. Although Miro's facilities are not dedicated, and I can't state for certain that there is no cross-contamination from using the same utensils or grilling surfaces for both kinds of crêpes, I do know that a crêpe grill must be fully scraped and wiped clean in order to successfully make a new crêpe, so if you're "only" gluten-sensitive, you should be in the clear. If you're seriously allergic, you may need to chat with the person actually making your crêpe to ensure extra care is taken (an excellent habit to be in, anyhow).
Miro Tea is located at 5405 Ballard Ave. N.W., and opens at 8 every morning (closing at 10 p.m. most days and 8 p.m. on Sundays).