RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Name a place to eat in Ridgewood where there are 83 gluten-free foods available daily.
For the past year, Owner George Hauck has been drawing health-conscious diners to his Oak Street restaurant.
They come back for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Why? Because Hauck has gotten them over their big hurdle: assuming healthful food tastes bad.
Sure, there’s regular fare, too. But why is so much gluten free?
“Gluten causes high blood sugar,” said Hauck, 49, of Colts Neck.
Seven years ago, he was a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee with a strong coffee addiction and a blood sugar level of 796. (Normal is 70 to 100 mg/dL.)
“The day I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I went to the emergency room at the hospital in Freehold,” Hauck recalled.
“My sugar level was so high, the physician asked me if I walked into the hospital under my own power.”
One could say that was the day The Sensible Fork was conceived.
It was the day Hauck resolved to eat – not medicate, not exercise – his way to a lower weight and healthful sugar levels.
He wanted to regain his health simply with the power of his fork.
Using guidelines from his holistic doctor, Hauck started creating recipes. One of the first was zucchini pasta with marinara sauce, now on his menu at The Sensible Fork.
Over the next five years, his growing repertoire became popular with his four children, their friends and others.
So much so that Hauck, 80 pounds lighter with a blood sugar level of 104, opened a restaurant for people who have a health condition … and those who don’t want one.
“My father has congestive heart failure so we cook with a minimal amount of salt, if any at all,” Hauck said.
“Our entire menu is available gluten free.”
The Sensible Fork leaves nothing to chance. It roasts its own natural roast beef and turkey breasts, free of preservatives and salt.
Its soups are homemade and most are dairy free.
Its salmon and tuna are always fresh and wild caught.
Its gluten-free pastas are imported from Italy.
There are wraps and paninis for lunch, and a wide variety of foods for dinner.
Even desserts are allowed. If they’re tasty and healthful.
One option is locally homemade ice cream sweetened with dates instead of sugar or artificial or controversial plant-based sweeteners.
“We even use dates here,” Hauck said.
“We’ll take natural, organic dates and mash them and use them to sweeten some of our dishes when called for.”
Hauck is easily able to run The Sensible Ford, he said. His lighter, healthier, happier self has more energy than he knows what to do with.
For The Sensible Fork menu, CLICK HERE.
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