I’ve said before, I believe in my own dang book, that one can travel anywhere in the United States and still eat safely gluten-free. And while my challenging time in Oklahoma last week made me reexamine that declaration, I will stand by it. I COULD have camped out at Wal-Mart and eaten loads of gluten-free snacks. I also could have only eaten milk shakes all week. Things I considered, but rejected for health, time and good citizen reasons. Instead I ventured out into the restaurant world and, well, it didn’t always go fantastic like. But sometimes it did! Here are my OK wins and OK fails, gluten-free style. Continue reading
Tag Archives: gluten-free restaurants
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve started the official eating season off with a bang. I’ll be putting my vegan’ness on a part-time schedule, as there is much dairy and meat to be had. Much. Gluten-free mac and cheese, I’m talking to you.
I discovered even more goodness last Friday when the family decided to be adventurous and head outside of our neighborhood. Hey, it’s LA. It’s not easy to explore. I mean, unless you have a car. Which we do. Nevermind. Let’s just say I left my neighborhood and found some things.
Do you know what’s super cool? When you stumble upon gluten-free deliciousness, and not at all on purpose. That happened to me three times on a lunchtime walk the other day. Three times! Apparently that’s what can happen when you walk around Los Angeles. Who knew? Who knew you could even walk around Los Angeles? Now, you all do.
Happy Chucktober everybody! Oh, you didn’t know that was a thing? IT IS. And I think my kids might have been the first to celebrate at the Burbank Chuck E. Cheese because they were so excited to see us wander in dressed like crazy people. Or maybe everyone at the Burbank Chuck E. Cheese is just way nicer than the one we used to go to in Brooklyn. 100% possible. Get it together, Atlantic Center.
Either way, when my kids walked into Chuck E. all dressed in costume they were greeted like skee ball champions with unlimited tokens. Which, they kind of were. You see, Chuck E. Cheese reached out to me about this promotion going on all over the nation in October—kids wear costumes, kids get 50 free tickets. Tickets which kids can trade for toys and candy that makes them lose their little minds. But I had another reason for wanting to go and write about Chucktober. A reason beyond going home with a ton of Fun Dip.
I’ve written about gluten-free parties for kids before in both my first book, and I also recommend Chuck E. Cheese as a fun gf spot in my upcoming book as well. It’s because of this – Continue reading
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.
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.
That 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.
I 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.
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