Friday, December 21, 2012

Traveling +GF

 About 5 years ago(and even less), GF convenience foods weren't available to eat on the go at any major store if you were traveling here in the US.  Whole Foods had some things, but there weren't nearly as many of them back then as there are now.  There were always problems finding things to eat for J on trips.  We'd pack GF food for her beforehand, but if we flew to places, we could only pack so much food into luggage or our carry-ons.  I remember a trip J and I took to San Francisco back in 2006 and there was literally nothing she could get to eat as a snack(not just fruit, something more filling) when we were driving around to different places in the Bay Area.  I think the only thing we were able to find(that was cooked and portable) was some Biryani at Trader Joes that was already made and packaged and sushi if we went to Japan Town.  Obviously, the problem with having fresh product like sushi(even the veg versions) is that if it's warm out and you don't eat it right away, it's not very good.
The only places we went to(that J was able to get something GF for sure) were Cafe Gratitude, Swan Oyster Depot and another very small restaurant(the name escapes my memory) that served raw desserts.  I remember we bought her extra desserts at CG just so she'd have something sweet to eat later on in the day after we went up to one of the forests.

One of the seafood restaurants that we went to one night put a huge hunk of bread on top of J's lobster even though we told the waiter that she couldn't eat gluten.  They took it back to the kitchen, but I'm pretty sure that they didn't bin that dish and re-fire a new one.   I'm thinking that they took the bread off and inspected the lobster for any bread crumbs.  I don't remember how fast it came back, but definitely not long enough to re-fire a new dish.  Luckily she didn't get sick.

Fast forward all these years and restaurants have GF options and they should also accommodate any diner's food sensitivities.  Back in the old days, if you even mentioned GF, people looked at you like you were speaking a foreign language.  Nowadays, GF convenience food is very widely available.  I see GF convenience food/ingredients in almost every major grocery store I've been to here in LA.  They sell product like GF Tamari and GF snack bars in places like Ralphs and Smart and Final.  You see GF baking mixes on shelves, GF baked goods at Trader Joes and of course at Whole Foods.  Domino's and BJ's even has GF pizza now.

All you can do with any restaurant before traveling is look up their menus or call them to ask about any GF options and do your research for grocery stores around the area.  It'll make your life a whole lot easier and less stressful if you know where to get things to eat rather than driving aimlessly around.

Travel, be safe and everybody have a Happy Holiday season!