OUT AND DRINK EAT­ING

The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS - WILD FLOURS GLAS­GOW If you know a restau­rant Ron should re­view, email ron­mackenna@fast­mail.fm

BY the magic of jour­nal­is­tic fast­for­ward I can tell you there will be a slightly strange con­ver­sa­tion at the end of my first visit to Wild Flours. It will go like this. Me:“The pas­try on that pecan tart was re­ally crisp and nice. What kind of flour do you use?”

“Hmm,” the lady be­hind the counter will say. “I think it’s rice flour, umm, and potato flour … and …”

To be en­tirely fair here the place will be kind of go­ing like a fair. She will be dis­tracted. There will be a fam­ily pay­ing at the till, a cus­tomer who was sit­ting on the win­dow bench-seat be­side me with her son hand­ing over card de­tails to be put into an iPad. Yes, an iPad.

There will be a chubby chap with his dog ask­ing daft ques­tions. Oh, hang on, that’s me. Ac­tu­ally, it will be the iPad that is slow­ing every­thing down and caus­ing level-one chaos.

Fun­nily enough, a few weeks ago I was in a restau­rant where when it came to pay­ing the bill they asked me to in­put my card de­tails into a waiter’s iPhone. Se­ri­ously. His iPhone.

The weird thing is I did it. I keep check­ing the bank every day wait­ing for that unau­tho­rised pur­chase of a speed­boat to show up. It hasn’t.

I did it any­way be­cause I kind of have sym­pa­thy with small busi­nesses try­ing to find a left­field way around these ex­or­bi­tant card-han­dling fees that banks charge. The smaller the busi­ness the more you get whacked.

Any­way, the cut­ting-edge iPad pay­ment sys­tem isn’t go­ing par­tic­u­larly well to­day and the lady is dis­tracted. But I kind of need to know about the flour.

Wild Flours? Gluten-free comes of age. A whole bak­ery and cafe ded­i­cated to wheat-free bak­ing.

But this place looks great. It used to be a Chi­nese take­away. A strange lit­tle box, set just a bit too far back from busy Kil­marnock Road on the south side of Glas­gow, a burn trick­ling by it into a deep gully, be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing un­der the road. It wasn’t the most at­trac­tive place.

Now that moat area at the front has been filled with plants, ta­bles and chairs, there’s an­other wide seat­ing area at door level and a big bold sign over the door. It’s small town in a good way. In the city.

In­side, the decor is crisp, clean and mod­ern. A long ta­ble in the far cor­ner. A pic­ture win­dow too with a bench run­ning along it. I sat there and ate that tuna melt toastie, not­ing that it may not have been bread made with wheat – but what­ever it was, it was a per­fectly ac­cept­able sub­sti­tute. Not too dry. Held to­gether well. If I hadn’t thought about it I wouldn’t have no­ticed it was gluten-free.

There was a cookie too. But I gave most of that to the dog. Not be­cause there was any­thing wrong with it, but be­cause Rocco was tied up out­side and star­ing at me. The oohs and aahs from ev­ery­one com­ing in shamed me into it.

It’s an in­ter­est­ing ven­ture this, though, in a city where ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian restau­rants are open­ing up in large num­bers, where even main­stream restau­rants are putting ve­gan op­tions on their menus. Gluten-free is a log­i­cal next step. If it tastes right. So I press on. “The bread on that toastie I had,” I say to the lady. “Sur­pris­ingly soft con­sid­er­ing it wasn’t wheat flour. Er, what was it?” “Oh … Chest­nut … Potato.” The lady turns to a woman in the back

shop who is vis­i­ble through a hatch. She’s wear­ing baker’s whites and lean­ing over a tray of baked stuff. She’s not 100 per cent sure ei­ther.

I’m kind of think­ing it’s not for me to tell them how to run their busi­ness but I think peo­ple want to know this stuff. It’s prob­a­bly even good to boast about it. But then I look at their Face­book page and see one of the own­ers is away for the week­end. And they are mobbed.

I’ll find out next time.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: JAMES DREW TURNER

Wild Flours might be small but it has a great feel and the ab­sence of wheat flour in the bak­ing is im­pos­si­ble to de­tect

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