Gluten-Free Dining at Bonefish

My mom and I just got back from Tampa, Fla. We went down to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday. While we were there, I made it my mission to check out at least one gluten-friendly restaurant that I haven’t eaten at yet. My grandpa suggested Bonefish Grill. Apparently him and his girlfriend eat there once or twice a week, so I was excited to give it a try.

When we got to the restaurant my grandpa, who has never met a stranger in his life, had the waiter send out the kitchen manager to make sure they would take good care of me. He told them all about my blog, and they were happy to make sure I had a good experience. The kitchen manager asked me if I was gluten intolerant or had celiac disease, so I knew I was in good hands. They had an entire menu dedicated to gluten-free options (pictured below), and it gave me a lot of options to pick from.

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I ordered Lilly’s Chicken, and it was AMAZING. It had the perfect combination of flavors – grilled chicken covered in goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and lemon basil sauce. Delicious.

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I will be visiting a Bonefish Grill again in my near future. I can’t believe I have spent so much of my life missing out on that tasty meal. I need to make up for lost time.

We spent the rest of our trip shopping and laying by the pool. Wouldn’t have had it any other way.

On our way out of town, we went to our favorite Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Hellas. Tarpon Springs is a town rich in Greek heritage, so the food tastes pretty authentic. I used to order gyros and flaming cheese before becoming gluten-free, but this time I ordered the Greek salad and Greek style potatoes. It was still yummy. Greek food is probably one of my favorite types, along with Italian and Mexican!

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IMG_2007A good time was had by all in Florida, and I can’t wait to go back. I’m always looking for new dining options when I’m in the area, so if you know of any great restaurants that I should try near Tampa, let me know!

Top 3 Gluten-Free Fast Food Options (other than salad)

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, one of the hardest things I had to deal with was figuring out what I could eat on-the-run, when traveling or when I was feeling lazy.

I quickly learned that Wendy’s has several gluten-free options. Recently, I decided to do a little more research and learned that there are in fact other options out there. YES!

Here is my list of the top three fast food restaurants that offer gluten-free options:

Wendy’s

Like I mentioned, Wendy’s was the first fast food restaurant I found with gluten-free options. They have chili, great salads and several other choices for gluten-free eaters.

I almost always order a chili-cheese baked potato. I like this option, because it is a lot cheaper than a salad, and it really fills me up.

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I also enjoy getting a frosty. It is so satisfying and great on a hot summer day.

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According to Wendy’s website, which has a very impressive gluten-free section, their fries are also gluten-free.

Chick-Fil-A

I also found out the Chick-Fil-A offers a few options that are gluten-free. First, Chick-Fil-A has a few gluten-free salads to choose from. I normally order the Market Fresh Salad. It definitely does not taste like something you would get from a fast food restaurant, because it really does taste fresh.

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Second, I was very excited when I found out that Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries are gluten-free. So rather than just getting a salad, you can also get fries. There is just something so satisfying about their waffle fries. According to their website, they even fry them their own fryer so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

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Taco Bell

The third fast food restaurant that I found to have a good gluten-free option is Taco Bell. When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was sure that Taco Bell would be safe for me, since mexican food is a staple in the gluten-free diet. Sadly, that is not so. Turns out Taco Bell’s beef is not gluten-free (kinda makes me wonder why – hmm…).

However, Taco Bell recently came out with the Chicken Cantina Bowl, and according to their website it does not contain gluten. Score.

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* I had a hard time locating a gluten-free menu for McDonalds, but my overall gut feeling is to avoid them all together. If I have to go to McDonalds, I normally get a smoothie or a fruit and yogurt parfait (without the oats.)

Gluten Free Eating near Traverse City, MI.

We just got back from our annual family vacation in northern Michigan, and I am feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and bronzed. We spent time on the beach, shopping and doing tastings at local wineries. Michigan is truly my home away from home.

This was my second year taking the vacation since going gluten-free. Feeling a little more brave than last year, I decided to do some research looking for local restaurants that I should visit while in the area, and found this awesome support group that suggested restaurants that accommodate gluten-free diners.

The first restaurant we went to was The Knot, which has always been a regular stop for us while in Omena, MI.

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This restaurant was not on the local support group’s site, so I was thrilled when we got there and saw a gluten-free menu. I thought I was going to be stuck with a salad. I love it when restaurants include the gluten-free menu with the regular menu, so that you don’t have to ask for one specifically. It is all about convenience for me.

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I decided to get the Why Knot Wings, which were delicious. I haven’t had wings in ages. If you are gluten-free and near Omena, MI., The Knot is a great restaurant to visit because of its variety of gluten-free options and beautiful water front view.

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The second gluten-friendly restaurant we went to was Pangea’s Pizza Pub in downtown Traverse City, MI. I have noticed this restaurant in the past when in Michigan. They serve their speciality pizza by the slice, and we have seen lines out the door.

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I found out this restaurant has gluten-friendly options from the support group’s site. The menu specifically noted its gluten-free crust option, and even better, they don’t charge you more for it!

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I ordered the Hawaiian Pizza, and it was great! I loved it, because it was greasy like normal pizza. It is hard to find gluten-free pizza that tastes like regular pizza, and I think that Pangea’s did a great job competing with the ‘real thing.’

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There was one other restaurant that I really wanted to try from the support group’s site, called Martha’s Leelanau Table. Unfortunately, we did not have time to stop by, but I have it on the top of my list for next year!

I love Red Robin’s Gluten-Free Menu!

Is it just me, or does living gluten-free get easier and easier with each day that passes? One thing that simplifies gluten-free living is restaurants that offer great gluten-free options.

I recently found out that Red Robin has a gluten-free menu, and I was pumped. Most importantly (to me), they have gluten-free french fries and buns! I love being able to go out and get exactly what I want to eat.

When I first went gluten-free, I felt burger deprived. I would make my own burgers and put them on an Udi’s gluten-free bun, but there is just something about an unhealthy, greasy burger that you can’t recreate at home. And did I mention the fries? Yum.

Now, I go to Red Robin as much as my friends and family will tolerate without getting tired of it. On a scale of one to 10, I give Red Robin a 20 on deliciousness.

Eating Gluten-Free at the Ballpark

Baseball season is underway, and I recently went to the Cardinals vs. Royals game with Bryson and my parents. It was a fun game for us to go to together, because Bryson grew up in KC, and I am a born-n-raised STL girl.

ImageI have never been much of a baseball fan (although being a Cardinals fan is pretty easy, because they are awesome), so I have always went to the games mostly for the ballpark food.

This was my first time visiting¬†Busch Stadium since going gluten free, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

My mom did some research online before the game and found that the Farmer’s Market would have gluten-free options, so we decided to check it out.

ImageThe fridge that reads “fresh choices” had sandwiches, salads and several other gluten-free items. There weren’t many choices, but it was so nice to be able to get something. I got a ham sandwich and fruit cup. I’m not going to lie, the sandwich wasn’t great. It was pretty crumbly and dry. However, it did make me feel better to at least have a meal to eat while Bryson and my parents were enjoying hotdogs and nachos.

ImageKudos to Busch Stadium for looking out for us gluten-free folks. I can’t wait until they get gluten-free buns. Then we will be in business.