Ok my gluten free friends, how scary is it knowing you are heading out of town and will have no choice but to be eat out all weekend? That was me this last weekend when we took off to Orlando for two of my girls to perform at Disney Springs. Now when we travel we always being snack foods and typically bring breakfast stuff and lunch stuff. That leaves dinner and it can surely be a daunting task to figure out where you can eat when you are gluten free.
Days before we left I began researching which restaurants in Orlando were gluten friendly and which restaurants at the Disney parks would be able to accommodate Ella and I. To start, I used the app Find Me Gluten Free (this app is free on iTunes for all Apple iPhone users). First stop, Disney Springs– I was really impressed to see that there were many restaurants that seemed to have gluten free menus, but the one that truly could not be beat was Raglan Road. This is not a chain restaurant (believe me, I asked and prayed there were more of these hiding around) but if you are heading to Disney World or to the Orlando area, I highly recommend you make a reservation and check it out. I had eaten here years ago but had no idea how amazing it was for those of us who simply want a good meal that is gluten free. When we sat down our amazing server immediately asked if there were any food allergies, I of course let her know that Ella and I both had gluten allergies. She proceeded to tell me that not only were 85% of the food items listed on the menu naturally gluten free, but they would try their best to make anything that was not gluten free safe for us to be eaten. What? I can actually have something fried? What about your fryers I asked…easy, they had a dedicated fryer just for gluten free items. Decision was somewhat easy for me, although I must say that everything looked yummy. I knew however that Fish-N-Chips was just what I wanted and even the cocktail sauce was safe for me to eat. Next up, Ella. She wanted chicken fingers which they could do gluten free as well..one happy girl! Ok, now as happy as I was, there was still hesitation on my behalf but once our food was delivered I was beyond ready to dig in. I asked how the batter was prepared and instead of using beer (which of course has gluten in it) they use champagne in the batter along with rice flour. Even my husband got the gluten free Fish-N-Chips and we both really enjoyed it. The batter was light but crispy. Sophie (my oldest) wanted to get an order of the Garlic Parmesan and Truffle Oil Skinny Chips and asked if they could be made gluten free so she could make sure I could eat them (how sweet she is) and they were able to make them that way — let me say, those alone were worth the meal! Ella loved her chicken fingers and I walked out happily fed and no problems at all! I will say we will definitely make a point to go back. Take a look at what they have to offer on their Gluten Free menu .
Now on to our next stop, Animal Kingdom. I searched all over for information about what Ella and I would be able to eat and was prepared to make us lunch and bring it, but there was no need. Animal Kingdom is the most allergy friendly park at Disney World. They even have a Kiosk that has allergy friendly snacks and information about what restaurants can be accommodating. So after looking we decided to hit Pizzafari at Animal Kingdom. I looked online and could not find a menu (sorry, I should have taken a photo of the menu) but they offered gluten free cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza as well as a gluten free Caesar salad (no croutons of course). So Ella and I decided on each getting a cheese pizza and sharing a Cesar Salad. I must say, they truly took their time in preparing our food. First of all, they had orange trays for food allergies and a separate area to prepare the gluten free food as well. It took a little longer than I expected but they made sure to keep my food away from all of the regular food and even had a manager bring it out and make sure it was all correct. The pizza was fine, not gourmet but hey, I was happy to be able to be eating there. The salad was really good and was really big so I am glad Ella and I shared it. Another successful meal and I would most certainly go back there again.
So Disney weekend was a success when it came to gluten free and it certainly is amazing to see how many places now offer gluten free and make sure to take every precaution to ensure that the customers feel comfortable eating there. Job well done!
Please share with me if you have any places to recommend at any of the Disney parks or Disney Springs. I know my readers would love to hear more ideas on where to go.