Sunday, June 05, 2011

Travelling Gluten Free

Gluten Free Girl mentioned recently that travelling can be incredibly stressful while gluten free. I could not agree more though this time was a little easier - not having a race to eat for definitely helps.  I am going to tackle the race and eat issue in a little bit, but for now my recent holiday excursion out east.

So first the flight - I flew Cathay Pacific to JFK.  They are one of the few airlines that still offers a complimentary meal as part of your ticket.  I had preordered the Gluten Free dinner meal but really had little in the way of expectations that it would be edible.  When I saw the rice cake on top of my meal tray in one moment I thought, "Oh great it's going to be entirely "gf style food"" and "Well at least I can eat the rice cake."

Thankfully it was roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, grilled chicken with a tomato chutney/sauce and a salad, fruit, raisins and the aforementioned rice cakes.  The way home was similar, just rice instead of potatoes, and stewed berries instead of the raisins and salad.  So from now on Cathay and I can be friends for sure.

My boyfriend's mother found French Meadow Bakery's GF cinnamon raisin bread as a GF peace offering.  I was seriously skeptical and even waited towards the end of our time there to eat it.  I am sorry I waited so long.  I think this company's bread tops Udi's by far.

Next stop on the GF train was Sweet Freedom Bakery, every time I am in Philadelphia I try and get there but this time I actually did it!  I have to say I'm not sure I love love it.  I love that I could pick ANYTHING.  We both loved the creme filled cookies - those were amazing.  The cake balls and the chocolate chocolate cupcake were a little intense - it has the distinct sweetness that comes with brown rice syrup and I'm not a fan of that.  Rating: solid B+/A-

When we finally hit NYC, we hit Lilli and Lou because I wanted fried, greasy like Chinese food.  I know it's a little bizarre but seriously I have gone a year without pretty much anything deep fried, I needed to get my fix.  It wasn't bad.  I liked the steamed dumplings, but they had too much of a dough exterior as sweet rice flour frankly can sit really heavy in a stomach.  The meal was actually really large - so in future I would return if I felt the need to get my North Americanize Chinese food fix and just split the meal. Rating: B

Of course that wasn't the end of our GFery - we walked all the way down to Risotteria.  It is a tiny, sort of hard to find but very busy spot.  My only real complaint was the restaurant was frying hot, at least 5 degrees Celsius hotter than outside, hot.  That kind of heat makes it hard to eat.  That being said the bread sticks were amazing, well worth the 60 odd block walk - and yes I know we could have taken the subway, but I had calories to burn.  The pizza was good, pipping hot and fresh.  It would have been the kind of thing to have on a fall day, not a very warm spring day.  My boyfriend had the risotto special and ate the whole meal - well worth it all around. Rating: A- (B+ with the heat factored in)

A special side note to Cuban Pete's in Montclair (seen below) which did a wonderful job with not glutening me. As well as Land, Thai Restaurant in the Upper West Side of NYC. As a whole aside from minor hiccups the trip went much better than others.  We have learned that ethnic restaurants are normally the safest options.

1 comment:

the one in the back said...

Looks delicious all around!