East Idaho Eats: Trendy restaurant offers vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free options


IDAHO FALLS — A trendy restaurant located in downtown Idaho Falls offers a unique variety of options including sandwiches, empanadas, pizzas, and plant-based and gluten-free dishes that will leave your mouth watering.

Raymond Gouchenour is the owner of Altavita Restaurant located off 313 Park Avenue in Idaho Falls. There is also a location in Pocatello called “The Healthier Place to Eat” which has the same menu, run by his wife Milagros Gouchenour.

At Altavita Restaurant, there are vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and sugar-free options at the restaurant. It allows people with different dietary wants or needs to enjoy a meal outside their home.

“Half of our menu is vegan or vegetarian, whatever you want — plant-based. You can get 100% plant-based. You can get your falafel 100% plant-based if you opt for the cashew Tzatziki sauce. You can also get it 100% plant-based vegan and gluten-free. We have a gluten-free wrap that’s dairy-free, egg-free, so you have tons of options,” Gouchenour said.

One of the most popular items is falafel.

“That is something that we make from scratch. We use organic garbanzo beans and a few other spices and it comes on the flatbread with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, pickles and cucumbers. Of course, we can accommodate whatever you don’t want or do want on your wrap. It’s a derivative of the Greek culture and on the side, we have some veggies and hummus. Everybody loves the hummus,” he said.

Falafel with a side of veggies and hummus. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

Gouchenour explained that there are two Tzatziki sauces that he makes and can be put into the wraps.

“We make a dairy-free Tzatziki sauce for those that can’t do the dairy or don’t want to do the dairy or just want to try something new. We also have the traditional yogurt Tzatziki sauce and it’s typically made with lemon and cucumber and whatever creamy ingredient you want to put in there, for instance, cashews or yogurt,” he said.

Another popular item on the menu is the beef shawarma.

“Beef shawarma is pretty similar to a greek gyro but of course, this is a middle eastern type of dish and we use some authentic middle eastern spices on our beef. It also comes in chicken and we also use our homemade cucumber Tzatziki sauce on that as well and then on the side here, we have some fresh-cut fries,” he said.

There is a tropical blend smoothie and berry smoothie that is delicious. Anyone can add organic baby spinach to it to add more nutrition.

Smoothie
The tropical blend smoothie with spinach at Altavita Restaurant in Idaho Falls. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com

“You can opt for regular sugar or you can do an alternative sweetener if you would like as well (in the smoothie) to keep it even a little bit healthier if you are watching your sugar or need to,” he said.

Gouchenour said what also makes the menu unique is that his wife is originally from Nicaragua. On the menu, there is a section specially made for that under Latin fusion with a dish called a “Taste of Nicaragua.”

Altavita Restaurant in Idaho Falls is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to learn more about the restaurant.

Altavita
The outside of Altavita Restaurant in Idaho Falls. | Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com



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