Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gluten Free in San Diego

Flying first class is not always a total win if you are Celiac. This time our flight was in the evening and the dinner was particularly fine. I, of course, ate none of it. The choices were either pea soup or braised beef with a kind of ravioli. I was highly tempted by the pea soup, but, of course, the attendants had no idea what was in it. I would have eaten some of the salad. Normally the salads do not come with croutons, so I didn’t mention it. The flight attendant already knew that I couldn’t eat wheat. Well, maybe the salads came packaged with the croutons this time and she thought that I could pick them out or something. Anyway it was a good thing I had my trusted hard boiled eggs and carrot sticks, as well as a few pieces of cheddar cheese.

San Diego was beautiful. The rains they had the week before were over and everyone was happy for the sunshine. It was "sweater weather" and quite nice. We met some friends in Balboa Park and visited the Art Museum, and then went to The Prado, which I had seen at Gluten Free in SD was friendly to “my kind." And it was! I had the fish tacos, and they were quite nice, but I also could have had the mushroom risotto or the seafood paella. We also ordered dessert. This was the only dessert that we ordered while we were in San Diego, as Steve and I are both trying to lose a few pounds. We ordered chocolate souffle, which was served on a little oblong platter with some coffee gelato topped with meringue peaks. Wooooo – that was so good. The coffee flavor was very rich and went well with the souffle. High marks for The Prado, which is a very attractive restaurant in a very exciting park.

Dinner was down on the waterfront at the Island Prime. I picked this one out myself because of the location and because it was upscale, and therefore more likely to be able to come up with a way of adjusting the menu for me. We were still pretty full from the lunch, so I ordered an appetizer. It was really spectacular. It was a tuna stack. From looking at menus and pictures in magazines, I gather that a “stack” is a very popular way of serving appetizers at the moment. Mine was tuna, crab and guacamole. It was served with taro chips. I confess that I ate the chips without asking how they had been prepared, and that was probably dangerous, but I had been served some at The Prado, and told there that I could eat them. That did not mean that the chips were also safe at Island Prime, and if you should eat there, you should probably ask. I ate a little steak from Steve’s dinner and an asparagus spear wrapped in prosciutto. We had asked that his dinner be prepared gluten free as well. Even with my help he could not finish his steak, and I think there was a little asparagus left as well.

The next morning we had breakfast. I did not feel like putting up with the hassle of the buffet, and ordered an egg-white omelet off the menu. It had spinach and tomatoes and onions. It was more than enough food, and I shared it with Steve, who had gone through the buffet, but liked the looks of my meal.

For lunch we went to El Indio, a Mexican restaurant know for their Taquitos. It had been a favorite of ours for many gluten-eating years, so I thought that I would check it out. The lady at the counter had not heard of gluten, and did not know what it meant. I asked her if they used flour in preparing their chicken or their shredded beef. She said that they did use flour in the chicken. I also asked her if they fried flour tortillas in the same oil as the corn tortillas, and they did. I ordered shredded beef soft tacos. They were quite good, but not as good as their taquitos and I do not know if the lunch I ate was safe. I was an asymptomatic Celiac in my wheat eating days. My advice is to stay away from El Indio if you are gluten intolerant.

For our final evening meal in San Diego, we went to the U. S. Grant Grill, located in the U.S. Grant Hotel in the Gaslamp District. I had checked this restaurant out on Gluten Free in SD and it was also well recommended. It’s an expensive restaurant, but the atmosphere is lovely, and the food was superb. I had the scallops and they were excellent-- served with some tiny grapefruit slivers. They were served on one of those oblong trays too. Like the stacks, elongated rectangular dishes seem to be in. Three restaurants – three oblong dishes! Wines there were also pricey, but I had a glass of sparkling wine with the scallops. Quite festive! It was a very lovely way to spend the evening.


1 comment:

  1. Wanted to add that I have also been served a "stack" here in Plano. It was avacado, tuna, and salmon. Yum. Sandy