I am starting a series called Celiac Travels where I can share the places I visit, the gluten-free food available and any other tips and tricks I have. I hope it’s useful and encourages you to try out some new places.
Periodically, I have to travel for work to attend various conferences around the state of Texas. Traveling with Celiac Disease can be tricky, which you know if you’re a celiac. There’s a lot to think about beforehand and there’s a substantial amount of planning that takes place.
I like to research the city before I go and see what’s around my hotel and where the conference/event is being held. I also use the Find Me Gluten Free website and app to help me locate safe restaurants to eat. I read all of the reviews and gauge whether I would feel safe eating there. Side note: If you’re not familiar with the app/website, I highly recommend it. I bought the pro version and regularly rate restaurants that I eat at.
I also take a look at the conference/event schedule. If I can’t get away to a restaurant, I plan to take myself an easy lunch like a wrap or sandwich that I can easily stash in my bag. I’ve had a lot of bad luck with hotels serving me a “GF” meal that ends up containing gluten. My trust level isn’t very high in that area.
Once I know my schedule and what restaurants I’d like to try, I plan my meals out. I pack plenty of healthy and sustaining snacks, including some that aren’t perishables, that I can take with me as well. I always have protein bars on hand as well since you never know! I also make sure I have plenty of Nima capsules and that my Nima is fully charged. (Don’t know what a Nima is? Ask me! Check out their website here, too!) I pack it all in my RTIC 20 cooler and hit the road! Here’s my packing list for Fort Worth:
- 2 Sandwiches – packets of mayo, meat, bread, cheese
- 2 Dinners – grilled chicken with bacon, hummus, GF wrap and grapes (I pack in tupperware so it’s easy)
- Lance PB crackers
- Carrot packs and PB
- Think Thin protein bars
- Epic beef jerky bars
- Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins
- 2 Oranges, 2 Apples
As I said, I like to have things on hand in case I don’t feel comfortable eating at a restaurant, the hotel, etc. Plus, I had plenty of snacks to eat and that I could easily put in my bag.
Fort Worth was an awesome city. It was probably one of the favorites that I’ve visited in Texas. The city has a ton of historic markers, cobblestone streets, and lots of ground floor retail along the street. It’s got a very laid back vibe and the weather was considerably less humid than Houston. It’s also not very crowded and easily walkable. I thoroughly enjoyed walking around downtown and seeing all that it had to offer.
I was also equally impressed with the number of restaurants that offered gluten-free options. Being in the south, sometimes it’s hard to find restaurants that really understand gluten-free and cross-contamination, as well as actually offering more than a salad or grilled chicken with steamed vegetables. BUT I gladly take those safe options when offered. I’ve learned not to be too picky. Ha!
Here’s my list of some great go-to places that I visited while in Fort Worth:
- Reata Restaurant – I had some great ceviche and chicken salad at a party that was hosted there.
- Five Guys – National chain but good for when you need something quick or are in a pinch.
- Uno – AMAZING Chicago-style pizza. One of the best GF pizzas I’ve had and they really understood cross-contamination. Bonus? They carried Redbridge beer!
- HG SPLY Co. – MY FAVORITE PLACE. It was so good that I went twice! The whole menu can be done GF and the only gluten items were pieces of bread for sandwiches which could also be subbed for GF bread.
- Salata – I had a great salad for lunch one day. I love that when you tell them your restrictions, they get all of the food from the untouched containers under the counter in addition to changing their gloves.
There were a few others I didn’t have time to try but I will catch them when I head back early next year for another work trip. Have you tried any of these places? Have any I should add to my list for next time? Let me know!