Monday, September 30, 2013

One Day One Night Gluten Free in Yellowstone

We arrived close to lunch time at Grant Village in Yellowstone National Park, where we were staying because it is the closest lodging to the Southern Exit and therefore closest to the Jackson Wyoming airport. It is an extremely spare sort of place and overpriced for the very minimal accommodations, but there are two restaurants that are close enough to walk to. The Lake House Restaurant, which is right on the water, is not open for lunch, so we went to the other restaurant which was the Grant Village Dining Room. There was a Tuscan Bean Soup on the menu. I did not order it, but did have a taste of Steve's. It was tasty but much more like a vegetable soup than a bean soup.. Vegetables were nice but beans could be counted on one the fingers of one hand. The soup came with Glutino crackers which was a nice touch. I had a trout filet and a salad with oil and lemon. The atmosphere was very nice and the waitress was also Celiac, which gave me confidence in the quality of the food, in spite of all the disclaimers on the menu. The food was not exceptional, but in the middle of a national Park, I was grateful, and I believe that if we had had a table closer to the windows we would have had a view of the lake.

We had dinner at the OldFaithful Inn. The Inn itself is an impressive lodge, and the lobby is evocative of the El Tovar in the Grand Canyon National Park, but the dining room, although quite crowded, was not terrifically impressive. Again, there was soup on the menu, this time Pea Soup, and it was gluten free. I ordered the soup and also a Wedge Salad with hard boiled eggs and bacon. There was a choice of dressings, and I chose the Blueberry Vinaigrette. Everything was good, but I would not call it superlative. I didn't care; I was just happy to have a meal that was prepared with me in mind and to be able to walk outside and see Old Faithful erupt.

In the morning I wanted to see the lake, which I could not see from the table we had at the Grant Village Dining Room, so we walked down to the edge of the lake for breakfast in the Lakehouse Restaurant. If I were to do it again, I would walk right back up to the Grant Village Dining Room after seeing the lake. If I had had two days there, that's what I would have done, because I am pretty sure that the breakfast menu at the Dining Room would have been more gf friendly. The breakfast at the Lake House was a fairly minimal buffet, always a scary event, and the staff there maybe a bit stretched thin, as they did not have quite as helpful a demeanor as the other two restaurants. If you're in the Park, I think I'd skip the Lake House. The other two had menus that included gluten free items; the staffs were much more friendly and helpful; and the food was a better quality. It is twenty miles between Old Faithful Inn and Grant Village and easy to get from one to the other, so if you are staying at one or the other place and you have more than one meal you will be having in the Park, either restaurant will work in terms of food. If you are looking to do something before or after the meal, Old Faithful wins hands down. We loved walking around the boardwalk to see the many geysers, and we managed to see three eruptions of Old Faithful during our stay.