Last week was our first trip back to the States since I learned of my gluten allergy (our first visit in over 10 months!). I always worry about what I’ll find when we travel. This trip turned out to be far easier than I ever imagined! Baltimore (and the surrounding area) has lots of options for the gluten sensitive!
I was surprised to learn that many chains have gluten free menus and some actually seem to be aware of what gluten is and how cross contamination can happen. Our first dining experience was at the Mexican food chain Chevy’s. When we visit the States, we like to find things we can’t get in the states. Nacho Cheese Dorito-like chips are what pass for tortilla chips in Germany so wanted Mexican food. Since Chevy’s had a gluten free menu, it was the best option. It was a fairly substantial gluten free menu for me since they actually had a gluten free menu at all. I had fish tacos, with chips and salsa. The menu warned, as did the server, that the chips had a risk of cross contamination. I had a good feeling about it (and I REALLY wanted real corn chips and salsa) so I tried it and had no reaction! half way through my first taco, I may have teared up just a little.
This wasn’t the first time but I never understand this reaction. It has happened before when I’ve found gluten free food in surprise locations like Viennese Cafes (more on that in another post). I’ve read about others being brought to tears in the new gluten free bakery in Paris. So, I feel safe in saying it’s perfectly normal and natural to cry over fish tacos.
On this trip, we also tried the all gluten free restaurant Meet 27 along with the attached gluten free bakery Sweet 27 and my new favorite restaurant in Baltimore Woodberry Kitchen . (Review posts on those coming soon!)
One of the things I was most excited about was family crab feast day! My father and step-mother joined us at my Mom’s house for steamed crabs! I’m so lucky to have such a supportive, welcoming family where we can all have a fun, laid-back day together.
We ordered about 4 dozen crabs seasoned with Old Bay, which is gluten free! Maryland crabs are a staple during the summer in Baltimore. So, later in the week, we were happy that my cousin wanted to meet up for crabs again! Ryan actually enjoyed this crab picking session because he learned a new (more efficient) method for removing the shell. It was also nice to get some time to catch up with my cousin and spend a little more time with my mom and sister. And, you’re never too old to let your mom take you out for ice cream. Rita’s has several options that are gluten free!
In addition to the great restaurant finds, there were lots of other great gluten free, healthy options. We stopped at Trader Joe’s early in the trip so that we would have healthy, gluten free food to allow me to stick to my Tone it Up meal plan as much as possible. My mom also helped out by providing a bunch of fresh fruit for my breakfasts and she always had fresh fruit on hand when we stopped by.
One of my favorite things was to be able to cook a clean, healthy meal for them too! I made a huge pot of quinoa and roasted veggies to top our mixed green salads. Everyone loved it & hopefully it helped them see that I really can still eat delicious food that is clean, healthy and gluten free.
This was a great trip and there was a lot of focus on food only because we worked through the trip so the only time we really had to spend with family was over dinners. I was really lucky not to have any reactions at all. I’m so appreciative of my super supportive family who put up with me having to examine every menu, ask tons of questions and drag them all over town to gluten free places. Thank you guys!!