Chow Bella

The Stand: Gluten-Free Tacos and Burgers (Rejoice!)

A taco is the no-brainer choice for gluten-freers. In fact, almost any Mexican food option usually will work because corn is the go-to grain south of the border. But you have to be careful, because some restaurants use corn tortillas that include wheat flour. I've had it happen more often than you'd think.

See also: Urban Cookies Serves Up Gluten-Free Doughnuts and Cupcakes

Recently, I ran into a Mexican restaurant to grab a quick lunch, thinking I could get a taco or enchilada, only to be told that their tortillas and chips contain wheat, and, "Really, there's nothing here without gluten." At least they knew -- and let me know.

But when you walk into The Stand: Burgers and Tacos, and ask about gluten-free options, you'll hear that everything in the place is gluten-free except the hamburger bun, and they even have a gluten-free option for that.

So go crazy. Order anything in this tiny stand at 3538 E. Indian School Road. And don't let the short list of items fool you; There's a lot of flavor here. This place is the quintessential example of the idea: take one (or two) things and do it well.

They have three tacos -- short rib, chicken or veggie -- and burgers that you can top with cheese and bacon.

My favorite is the short rib taco: two handmade corn tortillas filled with melt-in-your-mouth, tangy sweet beef, topped with crunch pickled red cabbage, cojita, onion and cilantro. They're so good that you'll be tempted to get three of them and call it a day.

But don't do it. Try the others, too.

The roast chicken has pickled red onion, cojita and cilantro. And the vegetable taco is amazing, with seasonal vegetables, quinoa, black beans, pickled red cabbage and red onion and cilantro. The one I had this week had butternut squash, zucchini and roasted red pepper.

The salsas are great, too. I say go for the heat and pour on the "hot" version. It's not burn-your-mouth hot, just warm-your-tongue hot, with a smoky flavor.

The burger is two house-ground patties, served with lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickles and stand sauce. You can add cheese, bacon, grilled onions, grilled jalapenos or guacamole.

They also have house-made lemonade and horchata.

They make it all, from scratch, with locally grown, never-frozen ingredients. The freezer, they say, is for ice cream for their hand-spun shakes: dulce de leche, chocolate chile or tropical banana.

The place was hopping on a recent Friday night, but you could still find a table on the tiny, open-air patio.

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Judith Nichols