Tag Archives: gluten free dining

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

banksy-graffiti-throwing-up-flowers.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scaleDo you ever feel, sometimes, like the whiniest person in the universe? Sure, we’ve got a disease and it makes us quite miserable, but I have to say every time I read the comments here, go to a celiac conference, or just read my FB feed, I realize—damn, girl, you’re lucky! After all, my diagnosis was like, in five minutes, my family has been nothing but (mostly) supportive, and my kids are ALL IN on gluten-free pizza. Most of my vacations have been pretty great, as it seems I blow it on my last day. So when I got this email, holy marymotherofgod, WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS WOMAN????

Luckily, Sharone at The Gut Reaction has a helluva sense of humor. So not only can we LEARN from her incredibly horrific family vacation to the Dominican Republic, but laugh. Just a little. You guys, it was horrible. Here’s a snippet: Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Coney Island

gluten-free coney islandHere’s a tip: If you go to Coney Island, pack a lunch. I mean, it’s not like you’re going for the food when you head to Brooklyn’s trippy amusement park on the beach, amiright? (Hot dog eating contest participants not included.) You’re going to Coney Island for the thrill rides, the very easy games on the midway, and pure weirdness of everything that is Coney Island. It’s fantastic. But it is not so gluten-free.

Naturally, I expected this before heading out to the tip of Brooklyn but that did not stop me from trying to hunt down some g-free eats for you people who also love the sun, surf, and loop-de-loops. Here’s what went down.

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My Gluten-Free Responsibility

gluten-free restaurantHey gang o’ gluten-haters.

I hope your weekend was super duper lovely, filled with gluten-free cake. I really do. Me? Well, I’ve been struggling with whether to write this post or not because I always want to be fair. Sometimes even erring on the side of too fair, and facing consequences at a later date. (Looking at you, Loteria.) So I don’t know if not publishing the name of the restaurant is fair (to them), or unfair (to you). Fairness, it turns out, is complicated.

I was, in fact, all ready to write a glowing post about a new’ish restaurant I tried and how knowledgeable the wait staff was, and how excited I was to eat something other than my beloved steak and Brussels sprouts combo when I dine out. So I started writing it, even with a caveat. The caveat being, since I’m still in the middle of a really bad gluten’ing, I’m still getting sick every day, multiple times a day. (And no, the queso was NOT WORTH IT.) So how can I tell if a restaurant is truly safe, if I’m already sick?

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The Gluten-Free Dining Lesson I Was Too Dumb to Learn the First Time

gluten-free diningOh hey, guys. What’s going on with you? Me? I’m just trying to get over a gluten’ing that was so stupid I have to say that perhaps, I even deserved it. No, no, don’t try to make me feel better. Unless making me feel better involves delivery of gluten-free crackers and fancy cheese. Then, please continue.

You see, I was in Austin, Texas as I do and enjoying the usual “OHMYGOD EVERYTHING IS GLUTEN-FREE HERE” vibe when on my way out of town I tempted fate. I decided stopping by Chuy’s Tex-Mex was  a great idea since I was totally craving burritos, and even though I can’t have burritos, well maybe I could be burrito-adjacent and still be happy.

Why yes I did write once before about how I can never eat there ever again, like never. But I had that craving and I thought, “Hey, maybe they’ve gotten hip to the gluten-free program!” I was so wrong that I was even more wrong than the first time I tried to eat Tex-Mex. I mean, I wrote in my BOOK about the dangers of Tex-Mex. What, in the name of churros, was wrong with me?

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Can We Talk About Cross-Contamination?

gluten cross contaminationWell, hello there gluten haters. Today in GIMB we’re going to have a quick discussion about that time someone served you an English muffin with your scrambled eggs, and after you screamed like a little girl, took it off and handed you that plate of eggs to eat as if no poison had come anywhere near them. We’re also going to talk about those five million times we’ve gone into a restaurant that made an amazing gluten-free dish even though they were not a 100% gluten-free kitchen, and there was peace in the valley.

Because the fact is, as celiacs (and gluten intolerants), sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. I know that we all get that, but what I think is fascinating is how differently we define winning vs. losing.

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Gluten-Free Las Vegas: Crush, Black Bear Diner & Mon Ami Gabi

gluten-free las vegasI’ve finally recovered from my trip to Las Vegas in January. OK, that’s not totally true. I’ve finally recovered from sitting through Jersey Boys in Las Vegas. My eyes! My ears!

But one thing that was super awesome was my gluten-free belly. Every single restaurant I found myself in had a gluten-free menu, you guys! Every. Single. One. Which is one good reason why even though Vegas is kind of, umm, gross, it’s also awesome!

Srsly, every time I go I’m like, “Well, I don’t really like Vegas . . . ” but I wind up having a bang-up time, mostly because of the company I’m in, but also because I keep thinking about how family-friendly Vegas could be and how it would blow the kid’s minds if we took a family vacation to the most surreal place on earth.  And the relief that comes from being able to eat safely kind of seals the deal about Vegas being a great vacation spot. Between the fancy (see above) to the greasy spoon, gluten-free grub is around every corner. That spread up there? That’s from the super fance MGM restaurant, Crush. In addition to the roasted cauliflower and hamachi you see above, I also scarfed down the shrimp risotto. They even have a vegan menu!

Now for something completely different, the Black Bear Diner is a local chain with breakfast as big as yo’ head. They also have homemade biscuits that everyone around you will eat and you’ll be sad. Still, check out this skillet full o’ gluten-free goodness. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free New York: A Tale of Two Pastas

gluten-free pasta new yorkI haven’t lived in New York now for 3 1/2 years, and I was also a full-on gluten lover when I lived in the city. So something I’d conveniently forgotten is that NYC is chock full of amazing Italian restaurants. High-end, hole-in-the-wall, and everything in-between. It was rare to make a dinner date and not have at least one Italian joint on the list. Which is probably why I spent two short days (maybe 1 1/2?) in New York, and ate at two Italian restaurants. Both of which, offered up gluten-free pasta. Yes, dark photos but that’s kind of the thing in the NYC. Dark, and awesome. I’m not sure what I mean by that.

Rosemary’s was by far my fave joint for pasta. Where I met my girl, Mel, and we shared a carafe of sparkling wine. And now you know why it was my favorite! We both had the same beef braised pasta with cherry tomatoes, she got the cavatelli because she loves the gluten, and I had the house gluten-free pasta.

gluten-free new yorkCan you even see that? Still, it was amazing. AH-MAY-ZING. I’m going back to that West Village joint.

The next day I totally had to check out Eataly, the craziest Italian Battali place in town. When I used to live in New York I made sure to test out every Batali that opened. I enjoyed most of them, but had no idea the metroplex that man was about to release upon the city. Eataly opened right as I left NYC, and by the time I came back I was all effed up on gluten. So imagine my surprise when I walked in to see this -

gluten-free new york cityRight there in the middle of all that gluten, ya’ll! So, yeah, they did offer up gluten-free pasta on the menu. I ordered the gluten-free version of the braised pork and radicchio from the Manza restaurant and thanks in part to my sparkling wine carafe the night before, I could not finish. Whew! That does NOT settle well. Still, look it!

gluten-free pasta new york

My lady friends in attendance did, however, chow down and had a lovely lunch. They also picked up some gluten-free saltines for me at the shop on account of how much it looked like I needed that for my plane ride home.

I was stoked, you guys. Stoked. I’m looking forward to going back to New York and seeing what other amazoids gluten-free options are available to me. Feeling confident. Or at least, not totally terrified. That’s awesome, right?

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It’s Gluten-Free Safe to Dine Out Again! Whoo-hooooo!

gluten-free diningOkay, I might have overstated. There is something, however, that I am rootin’-tootin’ excited about. So much so that I just used the phrase “rootin’-tootin’.” You see, there’s this Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour going on around the country where the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is training up chefs so we can eat out without dropping our drawers. I know. Totally noble cause.

Last week they stopped into Los Angeles where superstar Chef Jehangir Mehta not only prepared an amazing gluten-free multi-course dinner for us lucky celiacs, but worked alongside the RockSugar chef (also amazing) Chef Mohan Ismail and fed us WELL. And safely. Did you see that crazy main course above? Do you know what that is? Oh, it’s just Onion Seed Lobster with Shishito Fries, alongside some Vietnamese Duck Curry and some roasted up vegetables. Were you looking for the rice and chutney selection, but close up? Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Gluttony in Los Angeles

gluten-free los angelesSo I’m the worst. I meant to take pictures of all of the bad-for-me meals I’ve been loading up on this week in preparation for a life-changing event (coming soon!). Instead, I ate most of them before I could remember to snap a photo with my greasy fingers. But still, I can totally tell you what I’ve been eating this week because IT’S CRAZY. But first, you deserve an explanation.

Two things. One, the kids were at grandma’s house so the hubs and I were on a dining out TEAR. Why not go out every night if you don’t have anyone waiting for you at home needing things like “food” and “water” and “safety”? So we did! But why stop there? I’m about to change the way I eat in a big huge way, so I decided stuffing as much cheese, gluten-free grains, and booze inside my pie hole was the way to go. That was the right decision, yes? Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Messhall & The Greek

image via Filter

image via Filter

I feel so cool! You guys, I was all, “Oh hey, I’m out at a hip restaurant in Los Feliz and next thing I’m doing is going to The Greek to see The National.” Because, I DID THAT. Sure most of the time I can’t make it through a movie without falling asleep, but I was totally OUT on a SATURDAY NIGHT. And it was awesome.

It surely helped a ton that my meal at Messhall was safe and sound even though we did a prix fixe situation as part of the “Dine and Ride” thing for The Greek. I haven’t done a prix frixe since I was diagnosed, you know, because of the specialness. But I did it! And it was gluten-free! And I can’t stop saying prix fixe! Can you? Continue reading

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