Niagara Gazette — Like any local diner, Sweet Bee Lin’s has its standard menu. They’ve got your eggs, bacon, pancakes and such for breakfast; and pizza and subs for lunch or dinner. There’s even a fish fry offered on Friday.
But, unlike other local diners, the Second Street restaurant near Rainbow Avenue stands out because much of their menu is gluten-free and the owner, Bea Brantigan, swears the regulars don’t notice the difference and don’t care.
However, one local became convinced of the benefits of eating gluten-free foods when she found that her checkup at the doctor’s office went a lot better after she enjoyed many of the menu items from Sweet Bea’s.
“I eat the gluten-free. I heard it’s healthier for you,” said Nancy Sisney of Woodlawn Ave. “I had her (gluten free) fish fry last Friday and it was delicious. It’s wasn’t greasy or anything.”
“I went to the doctor and my blood pressure and cholesterol were much better,” she said.
Brantigan, who opened the restaurant last spring, decided to feature the gluten-free items because one of Brantigan’s six children, Michelle, cannot eat foods with gluten. The gluten-free offerings are also part of Brantigan’s efforts to stand out in a community where gluten-free offerings are rare.
According to the Western New York Gluten Free Diet Support Group, Celiac disease is a geneticaly inherited disorder that impacts some who eat wheat, rye, barley and other lesser known grains, causing a wide variety of symptoms and creating damage to the small intestine. Celiac disease affects 1 in 133 people and those with the illness need to eliminate gluten from their diets in order to return to health.
The restaurant, which is open most days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is a family affair. Her son, Brian, works the kitchen and is the baker. “He makes phenomenal bread,” his mother noted. (Brian’s recipe for soft, gluten-free white bread is below.)