Tag Archives: gluten free dining

A Celiac Walks Into a Bakery . . .

gluten-free la brea bakeryOh yes, I did.

Look, I know it’s dumb to a) walk into a bakery, and b) expect that one of the most famous bakeries in America would be all, “Oh, you bet. EVERYTHING is gluten-free.” But I was waiting on my kid to finish her Saturday morning class and right down that very street was the incredibly delicious La Brea Bakery. And all up in it’s new digs!

Not unlike that time I was craving burritos and so I went to the burrito place knowing I could not have them, I just walked on into La Brea Bakery like I owned the place. Which I do not. Perhaps I was buoyed by my last trip into the bakery when it was just a lil’ ol’ bakery and they offered gluten-free macaroons. I thought, well, at least they have one thing I can eat. I was also assuming that even if he laughed at me, the waiter would know what had gluten and what did not. This, I was wrong about.

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Gluten-Free Hard Rock Cafe?

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeFirst of all, no, I have no idea why I just ate the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood. Okay, I do.

See, my girl wanted a special day with me because I’ve been working like an insane person and she’s been thrown in every camp from here to the border, so she’s all, “Mom. Pay attention to me.” I decided it might be fun and ridiculous to take one of those bus tours around Los Angeles and while we were on said tour, we got a coupon for the Hard Rock Cafe. Lunch was solved. But first, did you know Brad Pitt used to dress up like a chicken in front of this particular El Pollo Loco to sell their wares?

But I’m also going to tell you about the upside.

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeThat is a naturally gluten-free pomegranate margarita. They do have the booze there at the Hard Rock, because you know, they rock hard. I figured out pretty quickly why the ladies room reeked of vomit when they plunked down those drink menus where you can get like a French press filled with boozy lemonade and for an extra $3 you get 12 extra ounces and shot . . . of whatever. I felt like I was at LAX and my flight was just delayed. But I stuck with just one giant margarita, because I’m responsible like that.

While the Hard Rock Cafe does not offer a gluten-free menu, they do have gluten-free buns for the burger. And as a bonus, our lovely server was in-the-know about the shared fryer so he knew I couldn’t have French fries. Maybe it was because we switched servers in the middle, but one thing did get lost in translation when I opted for the side salad instead of the gluten fries. If you look really closely in that pic above, you’ll see croutons up in that green salad. Sigh. Although, let’s be honest. I was at the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard ordering a big ass margarita and cheese burger with triple cheese. I was not there for the side salad. This kid, however, was mucho impressed.

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeI got to share with her my fave story about that time my boyfriend was working at the London Hard Rock and I sent him a mix tape that was so rad they played it there on heavy rotation. Which led her to asking me why they weren’t playing it in the L.A. Hard Rock if it was so good, and I had to explain to her that The Pixies are not what the kids are listening to these days. Still, she learned a lot about KISS that day, which made it all worth it.

So, yeah, maybe avoid the Hard Rock unless they up their gf game. And maybe other reasons.

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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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