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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free RestaurantsSoutheast Pa Dining RecommendationsAny recommendations for great restaurants in the Phila / Wilmington area?
I'm not interested so much in the chains. There's enough info about them on this forum already. Rather, I'm interested in the one-offs where someone had a good experience and a really great meal. I'd lean also toward those restaurants that offer something other than the standard fare. Not just a gluten-free meal but a real dining experience.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelBelize / Sun Dancer IiJust back from another week of SCUBA diving aboard the Sun Dancer II in Belize. Jerry Carcamo was the chef again and, as has been the case on previous trips, there were no problems whatsoever staying gluten-free. In fact, I probably gained a couple of pounds.
As mentioned in previous posts, liveaboard dive boats are a great way to travel for celiacs. There is one primary person doing the cooking and, once that person understands the dietary restrictions, problems are unlikely.
In regard to the diving, Belize is great. Many people may not know that the barrier reef system off Belize is the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. Additionally, the crew on the Sun Dancer II is simply amazing. That is one of the main reasons my friends and I return just about every year now.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelM/v Cayman Aggressor IvI had a great week of SCUBA diving aboard the M/V Cayman Aggressor IV in the Cayman Islands the week of 3/1 to 3/8.
Kingsley Grant was the chef for the week and he did a wonderful job ensuring my meals were all gluten-free. Additionally, he prepared delicious desserts as well as gluten-free snacks between dives.
Gluten-free products are becoming more available in the Cayman Islands. This provided Kingsley additional options, such as gluten-free flour for baking.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have found live-aboard dive boats to be a better option for dealing with a gluten-free diet than land-based resorts.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelCopthorne Hotel, DubaiOn the way back to the U.S. after my trip to the Maldives, I had a 13 hour layover in Dubai. Due to the length of the layover, Emirates Airlines provided me a hotel voucher which included airport transfers, a hotel room and 2 meals at the Copthorne Hotel.
The meals were buffet and there was enough of a selection that I could select enough to have both variety and a filling meal. There were no problems with glutenings.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelTraders Hotel / Male, MaldivesThe last night of my trip to the Maldives, I stayed at the Traders Hotel in Male. It was a great hotel and I really loved the room.
I ate twice in the hotel restaurant, once for breakfast and once for lunch. Both meals were buffet. Lunch had the option of buffet with the choice of one entrée from the menu.
Breakfast was easy because which buffet items I could and could not eat were easy to determine.
For lunch, I talked to the chef to determine which entrée selections were gluten-free. He listened to me describe the diet and then selected an entrée from the list.
Both meals were gluten-free and I had no problem with glutenings.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelSala Boutique Hotel / Sala Thai RestaurantWhen I planned my recent trip to the Maldives, I tacked on an extra day to the beginning and end of the trip. It turned out that the extra initial day was a good choice because my checked baggage decided to spend an extra day in Dubai and did not arrive in Male until the second day.
I spent the first night at the Sala Boutique Hotel. Associated with the hotel was the Sala Thai Restaurant. Both were excellent and I cannot say enough in praise.
I ate in the Sala Thai Restaurant twice that first day. The meals were so good that I went back to the Sala Thai the last night, even though I was booked in a different hotel.
The chef was not fluent in English so I ended up talking to the manager prior to the first meal. He initially seemed skeptical when I described my diet. In particular, he didn’t seem it be buying my concern about soy sauce. After talking to me, he left to talk to the chef. Turned out, he also went to his computer and googled gluten-free and soy sauce. He returned after a brief period and said that based on his Internet searches he understood what I was talking about. He said his searches pulled up info about soy sauce and how some brands were gluten-free and some weren’t.
This extra effort really impressed me.
We discussed my diet a bit more and decided the chef could simply alter ingredients a bit and leave out something questionable like soy sauce. There was recognition that the dish might not be as fully flavorful but that was entirely acceptable to me. As a result, I ended up with very tasty meals that I was completely comfortable eating.
The dessert I had deserves special mention since, as they say, it was to die for. It consisted of mangos, sticky rice and a sesame sauce. It was, temperature-wise, both warm and cool. Saying it was memorable is an understatement. Truth be told, that dessert was the main reason I went back to the Sala Thai on the last night.
If you are ever in Male, go to the Sala Thai Restaurant. You won’t be disappointed.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelM/v Maldives Aggressor - Male, MaldivesI spent a week on the M/V Maldives Aggressor recently. It is a live-aboard dive boat in the Maldives. I was served gluten-free meals that were tasty and filling. There were no glutenings during the week.
For the sake of full disclosure, I have to say that there was a bit of a language issue and I was never completely convinced the kitchen staff fully understood my diet. For example, consider the carrot soup we were served one night. I saw that it was creamy and had some thickness so I asked if there was any flour or starch in it. The response was to ask me if I could eat carrots. I replied, Yes, I could eat carrots. The response to that was that all that was in the soup was carrots so I didn’t need to worry.
Most people, even those who do not cook, recognize that carrot soup contains more than just carrots. There are obviously other ingredients. I was never convinced that people understood that it was not enough for the primary ingredient to be gluten-free and that all the other ingredients needed to be gluten-free as well. This was especially true when one of the other ingredients was something like a bottled sauce, which had its own collection of ingredients, all of which needed to be gluten-free.
Nonetheless, the kitchen staff was genuinely interested in meeting the demands of my diet and was open to my questions and concerns. As a result, despite slight language issues, we were able to determine what I could eat. Therefore, I would have no hesitation to book another trip.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelEmirates AirlinesI had a good experience with Emirates Airlines recently. I flew from the US to the Maldives and had 2 flights with Emirates in each direction. The flight from Wash-Dulles (IAD) to Dubai was 13 hrs and had 2 meals. The flight from Dubai to Male was 4 hrs and had one meal. Emirates offers several special-request meal types, including gluten-free.
The meals were tasty and I did not experience an unwanted glutening.
One slight issue occurred on the flights to the Maldives. The meals served on those flights had 2 components. The first was the part of the meal that needed to be heated up. The second was a pack of bread/crackers that was added to each meal after heating. Someone mistakenly added the pack to my meal. However, the items included in the pack were clearly marked with an ingredient list so I immediately knew that the items contained wheat.
I’ve encountered this on other flights with other airlines and do not see this as a problem. People sometimes do things by rote and adding a pack of bread items to each meal tray falls into that category. When you’re serving meals to hundreds of passengers, it is easy to fall into this trap. I accept ultimate responsibility for what I put in my mouth and do not consider a bread pack accidentally placed on my tray a negative. That said, I recognize that other celiacs disagree.
Some of the remaining meals contained a slice of bread wrapped in a plastic pack. Those unfortunately were labeled only with a serial number. It would have been useful if the wrapping contained labeling that described the type of bread and its ingredients. Due to the lack of labeling, I passed on the bread, although I was fairly sure the bread was indeed gluten-free.
Bottom line, I had a good experience and look forward to flying w/ Emirates Airlines again.
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codetalker added a topic in Gluten-Free TravelMaldives And/or Hulhule Island HotelI'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has been to the Maldives and/or the Hulhule Island Hotel. I am considering a trip there and would like to know how other celiacs have fared.
Also, I might be spending some time at the airport in India. Any info about eating there would be appreciated.
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