Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vegas Gluten Free Dining

From the pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Blvd

This isn't going to be a high-end food review. Think of this as more of a girlfriend giving you some great recommendations. This was only my second trip to Vegas. Two of the restaurants where we dined this year were repeats of last year. The redundancy was deliberate. We had fantastic meals with complete confidence in the kitchen to serve me safely. Why mess with a good thing?

In and Out

I told you this wouldn't be high-end! For those in the west, In and Out may be boring, but for this Southern-by-way-of-the-Midwest gal, man, it's a revelation. Everything on the menu is GF except the buns. All I had to do was order my burger protein style. The fries are really different, but somehow craveable. I'm usually a crispy fry girl, but these actually tasted like potatos. Crazy, right? I really like them.

A tip to those new to this fine burger establishment: order your burger animal style and they'll pile on the toppings. For those of you ordering your 'animal' protein style, you might want to ask for a bowl.

Emeril's New Orleans Fish House

Emeril's is in the MGM making it a perfect place to dine well without going too far from the convention I was attending. My husband and I snagged two seats at the bar and I crossed my fingers as I asked the bartender about gluten free options. You'd have thought I was asking for ketchup. It was absolutely no big. Whew! We split a BBQ shrimp appetizer while I sipped on a fabulous Appletini. My DH had jambalaya with a cobb salad for his entree while I had BBQ chicken. Everything we had was delicious. However, the jambalaya was a meal in itself. Definitely plan on sharing those sides.


I started asking when we were going to eat at Diego's, also in MGM, before we even left Indiana. They make the most amazing guacamole with sun-dried tomatoes. Yum! They also really know what they are doing with gluten free. We dined with a large group of gals from the Arbonne GTC and everyone appeared to have a great meal. I had chicken enchiladas with green sauce. I've never been a fan of the green sauce. I realized after it was too late that I'd messed up in ordering, but it was a wonderful mistake. The sauce was light and fresh tasting.


Located in the Venetian, Tao is my absolute favorite. We made reservations for 5:30 Sunday night and we practically had the place to ourselves. Our server was a real gem. He admitted that he didn't know much about gluten free, but said he would work with the kitchen to make sure all went well. Sure enough, after my husband ordered California rolls, the waiter returned asking if he would mind foregoing the flying fish eggs (huh?). The kitchen stated that it was the only ingredient in the roll that was not GF. My husband, being the generous man that he is, agreed so that I could partake in the rolls as well. Of course, neither of us had any idea such ingredients were a part of the roll so it wasn't a huge sacrifice. Still, it was extremely thoughtful on the part of the kitchen to make such an effort to accommodate my dietary needs.

For our entrees, I had the red snapper on grilled bok choy (Divine!) and DH decided to stick with more rolls. He said the Dragon rolls were fantastic.


Pampas is a Brazilian steakhouse near New York, New York. I'm not exactly sure where it is, but I'm sure you can find it on your smartphone. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Brazilian steakhouses. They're always better in thought than in reality. However, they tend to be very gluten-free friendly and Pampas was no exception. All the meat except the chicken was GF. Plus, nearly all the salad bar items including the cheese bread were fair game. They even had a nice framed sign on the bar listing all the gluten-free foods. Of course, salad bars aren't the greatest for the extremely sensitive with all the potential for cross contamination. I didn't feel my best after leaving, but I think that had more to do with the incredibly large intake of grease. It's not bad if you are a true carnivore, but I'm not sure we'll go back next time.

Wish I was there: Trump Tower Pool Deck in Vegas

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. I think we'll be making this an annual pilgrimage. We didn't gamble a single dime or see one show. We simply relaxed, watched people go by, ate well and enjoyed some time together. It's one of the few trips I've come back from feeling completely relaxed. I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, thank goodness.

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