|In-n-Out Burger: My husband's burger and my bunless burger|
Well, I survived Vegas! Hubby and I had an awesome trip. It made the extended school year (thanks, Superstorm Sandy) well worth it. We stayed at Planet Hollywood in their Babe Ruth themed room. I feel like PH played a cruel joke on us with that since we are serious Red Sox fans. Our flight was super smooth. We flew out of Philly at 6:50am and landed at 9:30am Vegas time. Despite having to get up at 1am to get ready to catch our plane (since my dad so generously dropped us off on his way to work), I was refreshed when we landed. I was ready to drop our bags at the hotel and start vacation. Thanks to my coach, Georgia, and all of the information she imparted, I was ready to take on the food industry by storm.
After checking in, we popped into Walgreens for beer (for him, hard cider for me, of course). Then we decided to have lunch at Gordon Ramsay's BurGR restaurant in our hotel. I informed our waitress of my severe gluten allergy (people tended to take me MUCH more seriously when I said severe allergy). She was very accommodating, informing me that the sweet potato fries are dusted in flour to make them crispier and they are then cooked in the same fryer as the regular fries. I had an awesome burger, the Britannia Burger, which had sharp cheddar, mango chutney, and arugula on it. Our waitress offered to have the chef wrap my burger in lettuce since I couldn't have the bun. It was delicious!
The only other lunch that we had during the week was In-n-Out Burger, twice during our trip. They are the absolute best there! I informed them of my allergy, ordered my burger, protein style (wrapped in lettuce), animal style (with fried onions instead of raw), and their fries (the fries are the ONLY item that is fried in their restaurants). Going to In-n-Out is one of the main reasons I love to visit the West coast.
The days we didn't go for lunch, we noshed on breakfast at Planet Dailies in our hotel. I was informed that the breakfast potatoes are fried and was offered roasted beefsteak tomatoes or fresh fruit as the side to my omelet. The two mornings we ate there, both options were good sides. Another morning for breakfast, we ate at Serendipity 3 at Caesar's. We ate there last year during our trip and I wasn't able to partake of the same breakfast this year (Belgian Waffles). I went for the West Eastside Omelet this year with tomatoes on the side (their breakfast potatoes are also fried in the same oil the chicken is fried in). It was the best omelet I've ever had: roasted tomatoes, hot peppers, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. All of the flavors combined were amazeballs!!! And they have the best coffee in all of Vegas!
We went to dinner at several places on the strip. The steak house at Bally's served my husband the best strip steak he's ever had. My fillet was pretty good, but it could have been a touch more "melt-in-my-mouth." Then on Wednesday, I found a groupon for an awesome deal at Pampas, a Brazilian restaurant. For $65 for the two of us, we got to have the surf and turf, one drink each and dessert (none were GF, so hubby had some). Typically, for the food alone, no drinks or dessert, it was $50 per person. It was awesome. There was a salad bar of sides, and the servers just kept coming over with skewers of 12 different meats and 4 types of seafood. You could eat as much or as little as you want. We gorged and finally decided we were in a meat coma. The restaurant is located in the Miracle Miles Shops at PH. Definitely worth the money, especially if you can get a groupon for it.
Thursday night brought us to P.F. Chang's. I had been there many, many years ago, and forgot just how good it is. They have a dedicated GF menu right in their regular menu, and when you inform them of your allergy, they bring your GF soy with chili paste and mustard to spice it up. They come in red cups, indicating that only GF soy goes in them. Their GF dishes all come on plates with their logo on it, so you know that there is no chance of cross-contamination. Hubby and I shared the lettuce wraps, I had the beef with scallions over rice for dinner, and then hubby and I shared a flourless chocolate cake. Amazing! Friday night, after tirelessly searching prior to the trip, I learned that there was a buffet I could eat at, the buffet at Aria. At each station, there was a chef who I could ask questions, and they had a little chalkboard indicating what items there were; if there was an asterisk, it was a GF item. While it was a bit pricier than other buffets on the strip, it was more than worth it. They even had GF oatmeal raisin cookies!!!! Our final night, we made reservations for Strip House Steak House at PH. When I booked the reservation online, there was a spot for any special requests. I noted my allergy and when we were seated, the waiter verified it, pointed out what to stay away from, and wanted to make sure I was given the meal I wanted. When our steaks came out, a homemade steak sauce was brought out, and the food runner informed me that I should stay away from the steak sauce. My filet was amazing and so "melt-in-my-mouth" delicious. The potato puree was smooth and creamy. Definitely worth the money to check them out.
Despite all of my fears about going to Vegas and having to pretty much eat the GF bars and snacks that I had packed, hubby and I were surprised at how many people in the restaurants were aware of the allergy and how to accommodate my food needs. It made the trip all that more relaxing and enjoyable. The one time that there was a mistake, the kitchen promptly fixed it and my food was brought back out quickly. I think that all of the leg work I put into preparing for the trip made it all that more enjoyable. I researched restaurants, menus, and read fellow GF reviews on these places. While having to be gluten free can be a struggle at times, with the extra work, it is more than worth it. And a big thanks to Georgia for all her help!!!
To learn how to work with Georgia and Iris for your own month of Gluten Free Health Coaching, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.