Restaurant Reviews

The Wagon Wheel

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Out in Gill massachusetts is a cute little place called the Wagon Wheel. I first looked it up with the find me gluten free app. It had a pretty good rating overall. The selections however are very limited. They offer gluten free bread to make grilled cheese but all of the equipment seems to be shared. I was told that the chef cleans the grills before a gluten free order is placed on it. Since I am a very sensitive celiac, I unfortunately did not want to risk it even if they cleaned the grill, where the bread gets grilled. The do offer burgers in lettuce wraps which seemed to be the better option for me. They also have a few tubs of homemade All of their ice cream. Most of them are gluten free with the exception of brownie ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough.

They offer environmentally friendly paper straws and wooden silverware. There is also a spot outside in the back that has a little play area for the little ones as well as picnic tables in the shade. I found this little place to be quite enjoyable, even with the limited options. The staff was very responsive to my questions about gluten free options, and were quick to find out if they didn’t know.

As for my review, I would give this establishment a 7. The 7 is for the communication, knowledge about their gluten free options and their quick turn around to get answers when needed. The score would have been higher if there were way more options to choose from.

gluten free reviews, Restaurant Reviews

Cones on the Common~

What’s better than having ice cream for dinner!? Absolutely nothing, ok maybe a few things, but from a child’s point of view…ice cream for dinner is a win, especially on a hot summer day!

I am always super picky about ice cream places and trying to find a place that will accommodate those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Most places don’t offer gluten free ice cream options, and if they do there is a huge chance and little precaution taken to ensure no cross contamination.

So let’s skip again to a nice, hot summer day and this Mama doesn’t feel like cooking one bit! My husband looked up online a few places in the area, because we also didn’t want to drive too far for ice cream after a long day in the pool. The first few places said that they offer gluten free items, however everything they use is shared equipment and they can’t really declare it as gluten free.

My husband saw this place online a town over from us called Cones on the Common in Grafton, MA. He called and they said they offered many gluten free flavors and could accommodate those with celiac! So off we went!

Let me tell you, I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life and always one town away from Grafton and I could not believe I have never heard or seen this quaint little place! When we pulled up it was literally right on the common and had a cute little shop attached to it! If you have ever been to Cape Cod and have gone to those cute, little ice cream places …this is exactly what it looked like! I loved the nostalgia. It made me feel as though we just zipped to a quick getaway for the afternoon. The employee said that during the summer, most of the time you will find musicians playing on the common, so many people come grab and ice cream and relax the rest of the night!

When you walk into the ice cream shop, they have a stand that shows all the gluten free flavors and the best part is they even have two different kinds of gluten free cones! The girl was so nice and showed me everything that was offered. All the ice cream there is homemade from Maine and sent there. I told her about my celiac disease and that I needed gluten free. She made sure to change her gloves and get a different scoop in case it had touched my kid’s cones.
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The ice cream tasted AMAZING!!! Word of advice though this shop is CASH ONLY! I am glad we called first though before stopping in, because like most people nowadays we rarely ever carry cash on us.Having to pay cash only, however does bring back some memories of old times! The portion size even for a child’s ice cream was also amazing! For about 4 big ice creams, and gluten free ice cream it came to about $18 total. I think it’s a pretty fair price! Overall I would rate this place a 10/10

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Uncategorized

Weddings and a Celiac

Having celiac disease is hard enough let alone when you get that beautiful wedding invitation in the mail and your first thought is “ How will I be able to navigate this?”

I know it is incredibly hard at social events, parties, vacations, weddings etc. Trust me, been there, done that! What you need to know is yes it can be hard, but yes you can work around it.

I have never wanted to be the person that is seen as the issue all because of having celiac. Between this past weekend, and this coming November, my husband and I have been invited to 6 weddings and to tell the truth, I am having a bit of anxiety over it. So what do i do? What should you do?

The first thing that I suggest, is once you receive that invitation, check over the meal options provided on the card. Our first invitation, I actually felt close enough to the bride to bring up my celiac disease. I reached out apologizing in advance that I was a bother, but wanted to ask her permission if I could personally contact the venue to go over my dietary issue. I told her how excited I was to attend the wedding, but wanted to double check to make sure nothing gets cross contaminated. I know everyone is different on how they would approach such a thing, but it does depend on how close you are to the couple.

Luckily for me, the bride was very receptive. She said she would reach out to the venue and talk about my options. As the wedding approached, I found out that it was going to be stations in different corners of the room. The bride assured me that someone would come to my table that night, and go over my options. Once the wedding arrived, I obviously was unable to eat any hor d’oeuvres. As we sat down a lady came and told me what I could and could not have at the stations. Well the salad station I could have the salad, but the dressing was not gluten free! Who really wants to eat a plate of dry lettuce. (Lesson learned…. Pack a tiny travel cup of your own dressing for things like this!)

I had to steer clear of the pasta station and boy did it smell amazing! I was able to have the roasted veggies with the meat at the carving station. I brought along my Nima sensor, that I purchased solely for travel and occasions like this. I am happy to report that Nima came back happy for the meat and veggies! I loved the added reassurance just for that reason!

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For the weddings that are coming up, I did reach out to some of those couples as well. I let them know about my husband’s shellfish allergy, but also my celiac as well. I said there are many things that I can indeed eat, the issue is everything for myself has to be made in a separate prep area to avoid cross contamination. I am still waiting to hear back from a few, but most of the couples are happy that I reached out, because let’s face it…no one wants anyone getting sick at their wedding!

So here is my little tidbit of advice: If your very close with the couple or one of them I say be honest and reach out. Let them know that you are excited to attend but nervous about the food. I wouldn’t get into a full speech about celiac, but just explain a lot of items contain gluten and wheat like dressings or sauces or gravies. Ask if there is anyway your food could be made in a separate area and not the same pans to avoid cross contamination. If for any reason they can not accommodate or guarantee a gluten free celiac safe meal, I do suggest eating before hand.

Until Next Time
XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free reviews, Traveling Gluten Free

Great Wolf Lodge, New England

My husband and I recently surprised our kids with an end of school trip to Great Wolf Lodge. I brought along my Nima Sensor to test the foods at each meal/snack. Before our trip I did call the hotel as well as email the food and beverage person to discuss our food allergies, and my celiac disease. We were going there with a child who has a red-dye allergy, a husband with a shellfish allergy, and then myself with Celiac disease.

I have to admit, I was not too impressed with the hotel as far as getting back in touch with me to address our food allergies and celiac. I ended up calling a second time, and they transferred me over to the food and beverage department, to which I was told to leave a voicemail and they would call back. They never called back but finally emailed back two days prior to our trip.

Here was the response that was emailed back to me in regards to my celiac disease:

We have plenty of options for your GF/celiac disease, We have all gluten free fryers on the Al Cart line, in our main dining room we have a wide variety of GF items on our menu, we have gluten free pizza up at our outlet restaurant.

When you come to dine with us let your server know about your allergy, and we will have a chef come out and talk with you, and walk you through all your options.

We look forward to seeing you and your family.

So upon our arrival, I decided to check out every place in the hotel that offered food to see how their gluten free items were prepared or even if they were offered. First of all, I didn’t bother with the Dunkin Donuts in there because well that is already a no go. I did bring plenty of my own snacks though just to be on the safe side.

So the restaurant does have their own gluten free fryers as the email said, but I honestly didn’t want to eat there because the kids didn’t care for a sit down meal. It was very hectic and the prices were rather high. They do confirm that a chef would come out to the table to speak about the allergies or celiac and do change their gloves while preparing a meal. Since I did not eat there, I can’t review any of the items.

The ice cream shop could not confirm if their ice cream was gluten free and they did not offer any gluten free cones.

The pizza restaurant out in the arcade does offer a gluten free pizza as a personal size. They assured me that it was made in a separate prep area and separate oven. I did test the pizza with Nima and it came back a happy face. I however did not like the taste of it. The pizza was very thin and mushy.

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I ordered a salad and baked potato from the lodge restaurant and that I also tested with the Nima sensor. It came back with a big smiley face. They assured me that they prep things separately.

In one of the waterpark sections, there is a small food kitchen, that makes burgers, hot dogs, fries and chicken tenders. I asked the person the first day, and he told me that they do not have dedicated fryers, everything in the waterpark area is not celiac safe. The second day there was a new person and I of course wanted to double check the fryers and that person told me that the fries are celiac safe. I tested the fries, and it was confirmed by Nima that the fries contain gluten!

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All in all, it was a successful trip with the family, but I spent most of when it came to meal time, eating my own food that I brought from home. Even though I had the Nima which was an amazing addition to have, and asked questions all around, I was still very paranoid about accidental cross contamination. I didn’t want to chance being glutened and preferred to eat food from home.

My advice when traveling, is to do the research ahead of time. Make sure to call your hotel and restaurants that are around the area and ask questions until you feel comfortable. As a backup, I would definitely bring extra food for yourself especially if your hotel room comes with a fridge. Also, if your anything like me and like to not base everything off of word of mouth, I would totally invest in the Nima Sensor. It gives that extra peace of mind!

Until Next Time
XOXO
Alicia
The Celiac Corner

gluten free recipes

Blackberry Smoothie

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I really wanted to try an alternative to my normal strawberry and blueberry smoothies. I have not been feeling my best and have to watch a lot closer what I eat! I decided to try a blackberry smoothie and just started throwing things in! I LOVE it! One of the best smoothies I have ever had! I loved using the blackberries because of the antioxidants, and the fiber! It has many health benefits!

1 cup of organic blackberries
1/2 cup almond milk
1 Teaspoon of organic chia seeds
1 Tablespoon low fat plain greek yogurt
Handful of spinach
Couple cubes of ice
Protein powder of your choice if you desire ( I use skinny fit-miss gluten free protein powder every once in a while)

Just mix it all in the blender and your ready to go!