The last 2 weeks I traveled to 2 different conferences for work. One week I was in Las Vegas and the next in San Diego. Both conferences provided 2 days of lunch, so I made sure to contact them weeks before so they could be prepared for my gluten free needs.
I thought both cities would be great for gluten free awareness. And the dinners I had were fabulous - in restaurants that I chose. The lunches are what didn't compare. I was really surprised that one hotel was so much better at accommodating me. I stayed at Caesar's in Vegas and a Hyatt in San Diego. Can you guess which was better?
Apparently gluten free and vegetarian are synonymous at Caesar's. Now don't get me wrong, I like vegetarian food, but I need a little protein to get me through the day. Breakfast, of course, is fruit because "continental breakfast" seems to be a European term that roughly translates to "gluten nightmare". And even though I did have a bag of Planters Harvest Dark Chocolate Forest Blend that I tried to eat quietly during the talks, I was hungry at lunchtime. So image my jaw dropping when my plate of rice and broccoli showed up in front of me when everyone else had some delicious looking chicken. I mean, come on, how many great gluten free-friendly restaurants are locate within and around Caesar's? The next day while everyone was enjoying beef short ribs and potatoes I got rice noodles and vegetable stir fry. I did have the most wonderful waiter though - he was asking me about what I can and can't eat and when he heard I couldn't eat the dessert (cake) he had the kitchen prepare a beautiful fruit plate for me. It was delicious with the best blackberries I've ever tasted!
Compare that with the huge and satisfying lunches I had at the San Diego Hyatt - grilled chicken on a garlicky quinoa with asparagus and haricot verts and a wonderful chicken Caesar salad. The quinoa was so good they could have served it to me both days and I would have been happy! I'm going to have to try to make something like it. No cookies for me, but they did offer to bring some ice cream from the kitchen. I declined, but it was very thoughtful.
As a funny side note, do you ever notice that people jokingly tell you how bad the food is when they find out you can't eat it? I had complete strangers (very nice strangers) doing this at lunch - I think they saw my rice and broccoli and felt sorry for me!