Friday, April 26, 2013

Gluten-Free Friday: Eating Out in West Palm Beach, Florida

Sorry for the long hiatus between posts - it's been quite a crazy couple of weeks getting packed up, moved and (somewhat) unpacked.  We are still living amid lots of boxes, but we're starting to put our lives back together.  This weekend is going to be another busy one, but I just keep reminding myself that every empty box is a step closer to our goal!

So there are clearly a lot of up sides to living in Sebastian, Florida – beautiful beaches, great weather, lack of traffic, vacation vibe.  But one of the big down sides is the lack of gluten-free restaurant options.  Sure, I have found places where I can eat safely, but there aren’t many gluten-free specialty products to be found except at the grocery stores (and thank goodness for those).

So when we head south to the significantly larger West Palm Beach area, I get super excited about all the gluten-free options they have in restaurants there.  I still have quite a few places on my wish list to visit, but here are the highlights of my most recent weekend trip! 

Breakfast

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We went a bit out of our way for this one on Saturday and drove down to Wellington so I could check out Taylor Made Cafe – they advertised having gluten-free tortillas and bread so I was interested in seeing the offerings.  I ordered a simple egg sandwich with ham, and it came on some pretty decent gluten-free bread.  It was still a tiny bit on the dry side, which is somewhat to be expected from gluten-free bread, but overall a very tasty sandwich!

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On Sunday we visited the Palm Beach Gardens Original Pancake House and I was served delicious gluten-free pancakes.  I make pancakes fairly often at home and they turn out pretty good, but these were absolutely amazing, really fluffy and rich – I would guess thanks to the addition of lots of extra butter.  But that’s what treating yourself is all about, right?  Extra appreciation for the fact that they brought out the butter in a separate little cup with a lid that had obviously been piped into the container, instead of putting it straight on the pancake with a potentially contaminated scoop.  

Lunch

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C.R. Chicks is a small chain with locations throughout Palm Beach County.  Their specialty is rotisserie chicken, marinated and then slowly cooked over Brazilian oak logs.  They have a lot of gluten free options for sides as well, and there is a gluten-free menu on their website. Food comes fast and it's really affordable, so it was a great option for a quick lunch.  The chicken was fantastic - nice and juicy, with a great smoky flavor.  I ordered mine with the rice and cucumber salad on the side, and it made for a very light and simple meal.  I will definitely be returning on our next trip!

Dinner

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This was my favorite find of the weekend.  Dave's Last Resort & Raw Bar is also bit further south, in downtown Lake Worth.  We were in the area for a concert, so I went hunting for restaurants near the park where the concert was being held and happened to stumble across their website, which advertised a gluten-free menu.  It wasn't online, but when we arrived I asked for it and I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found - apparently one of the owners can't have gluten, so they have an extensive variety of options, from appetizers to dessert, and even Redbridge beer!  

We ordered a bunch of seafood, and all of it was good.  I was introduced to rock shrimp for the first time, which is a bit harder to peel than regular shrimp but well worth it, as it has a bit more of a lobster texture.  We also had their peel and eat shrimp, which were amazing.  We also had the clams, which were steamed with garlic, lemon and white wine.

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They also had a good variety of cocktails on their menu that were safe for me, although these weren't on the GF menu.  I avoid sour mix because that's not always safe, but they had many options that only used fruit juice as a mixer.

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It was a great atmosphere with great food, and we had a really fun time there.  Bonus that it was walking distance to Bryant Park for the concert!  I was really happy with this place.

I found most of these places using the Find Me Gluten Free app, which is a lifesaver for gluten-free traveling.  Dave's wasn't on there, but I submitted it so future diners could take advantage of their awesome menu!

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