I love vacations. Taking a break, not worrying about the day to day stuff, just focusing on fun. Then comes meal times. For most families, it’s no big deal, but for those with allergies, meal times out of town become nightmares.
At home, I know my local restaurants, I know what I can order and I know the chance I’m taking. But when traveling, I don’t know what restaurants are available, I don’t know how gluten free they are or what they have to offer. I’m the type that likes to know what I’m getting into. I want to know ahead of time if the restaurant can accommodate us and what they have to offer.
Sure, a lot of places can put something together, but just as many can’t or won’t. I hate needing “special service”, I don’t like drawing attention to my dietary needs. Please! If you run a restaurant, be it a chain or a just a simple local place, put your allergen menu online! Having it there at least lets us know that someone in your kitchen is aware of allergens, but it really helps in deciding where to go. If I have another “naked” burger I may scream! I don’t want to have to settle for the same stuff over and over, advertise what your gluten free options are online and with a special menu. I don’t mind asking for a gluten free menu, I love that, I hate having someone come out and rattle off a list to me. My brain does not handle that and I’ll forget everything I was told.
Things I learned:
1. Mexican food is generally a safe bet for anyone with gluten sensitivities. However, with most servers speaking english as a second language, it can be hard to get your allergen across. It’s definitely taking a chance, but probably safer than some other places. However, tacos and enchiladas do get a bit tiring after awhile
2. Rudy’s BBQ in Texas is great! Just remember to say no bread as soon as you step to the counter and watch your bbq being prepared. I had to bring attention to myself (hate that!) because one server dumped brisket off a sandwich onto the cutting table and my server tried to give us that cut of meat. No go! I totally understand cross contact, and that’s a chance I take, but I saw that one and was able to stop it. Nevermind that it took 4 servers to get her to understand she can’t do that!
3. Cheddar’s (Texas), while not having a gluten free menu, did the thing I hate the most by calling out the kitchen manager. He was actually very nice, unlike others I’ve encountered, and he made sure we had a great meal, including putting together a meal especially for my son. A specific menu would have been much more to my liking, but at least I know what to order next time.
4. Graceland (Mempis, Tn) is not at all gluten free friendly. I took a chance, a big chance and thankfully didn’t react too much. It’s best not to eat at Graceland though.
5. Brixx Pizza (Tn, Carolina’s and Va I believe) have a pretty darn good gluten free pizza. They are right on par with zPizza (my favorite), but not quite as good. The pizza could have been cooked a little longer, but we were just so hungry we didn’t really care.
6. There is an awesome little cafe/bakery in Austin- Wild Wood Art Cafe. Yummulicious! If you get the chance, you must try the sweets they offer. The entire place is gluten free and the bread they bake is pretty good.
There was more I wanted to share in this post, but by now I’ve forgotten. Lucky for you, I’m making that trip to Texas again this weekend 🙂