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Gulf Shores/orange Beach/fort Morgan Al

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Just got back from a beach vacation with the family and thought I'd share a few restaurant options for those traveling to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach/Fort Morgan Alabama area.  This is my second year eating gluten free at the beach and here's a few of the places I hit:


Fort Morgan

Tacky Jacks II - The waitress was very helpful here.  She recommended their seafood salad, but they also had some steamed crab and boiled shrimp entrees that were safe, as well as a steak.  I had the steamed crab claws with butter as an appetizer and the seafood salad as an entree.  Both were really good.  The salad had an ample supply of shrimp and crawfish on it.  I didn't get sick on anything.


Orange Beach

Colbalt's - This is an upscale restaurant.  The waitress was immediately brought me their gluten free menu, which had quite a few options (but, as usual, no prices :))  There were the obligatory salad offerings, as well as several seafood dishes and steak that were all gluten free.  I ordered a dinner salad and their North Carolina bbq ribs.  The ribs were very delicious - slightly sweet and spicy.  They have a full bar and a great patio.  We sat on the patio and looked at all the yachts coming in to dock.  I didn't get sick here either.  Yay! 


Gulf Shores

The Original Oyster House - Last year I had a bad experience at this restaurant.  I had a really sweet waitress but not very knowledgable.  My food came out with a huge piece of bread on it and I had to get the kitchen to remake the dish.  I ended up eating the second dish, even though I really shouldn't have and, of course, I got sick.  So this year I was really hesitant to eat there.  Their salad bar is a buffet, so that isn't really even an option.  The waiter this year was much more informed about gluten and seemed to have more faith in the kitchen.  Still, I didn't want to take a risk so I only ate a baked potato and they didn't gluten me this year.


The Hangout - The have a notice printed on their menu to inform them if you have allergies.  The waitress knew several options and offered to get the manager to help with more.  I ended up eating the Mandarin salad, just because it sounded good.  They substituted grilled chicken for fried to make it gluten free.  It tasted really good.  There were several other seafood and salad options I could have chosen, as well as a bunless burger.  I managed not to get sick here either.


LuLu's - This is my favorite place to eat when I'm in the area because it's so easy.  They have a separate allergen menu that lists gluten free, dairy free, and soy free (I think).  There are a ton of options.  They also serve gluten free beer - Omission Lager.  I had never tried Omission before so it was fun to be able to order something different.  I got the mahi mahi tacos, which were super yummy.  The tortilla chips that come with them are baked, instead of fried, so they're not as tasty as the regular ones but will do in a pinch.  When you order off the allergen menu, a manager has to come and take your order instead of the waiter or waitress.  And the manager delivers the food.  They have a good understanding of food allergies/intolerances.  I didn't get sick here either.


Hope this helps anyone who will be traveling to this part of Alabama.


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Forgot to add that LuLu's has gluten free buns for their burgers - either Rudi's or Udi's, I can't remember which but I remember seeing it on the menu.


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    • They didn't. The labs were run two and a half weeks ago and before I got confirmation on here that it should be done despite my drs saying otherwise. I was glutened the week prior anyway so it would've been high regardless.  It's all very frustrating. So I guess I'll wait five or six months and go back and demand it vs asking about it. 
    • Did they run a DGP IGA?  While your DGP can take over a year to come down, I still think you should be getting tested every six months until you see a downward trend.  I am not making that up.  Google it.   My DGP was off the charts when I was glutened last summer.  My symtoms were severe, yet at diagnosis, I just had anemia.  It took six months for all symptoms to completely resolve (rashes and hives took the longest and three month to regain dairy).  What I am saying is that symptoms for celiac disease can change.    
    • Long pause because I wanted my latest lab results and they took forever.  Cortisol, ACTH, estadiol, vitamin a and whatever else were all fine. They are retesting my thyroid in four weeks. I definitely bought the wrong product and glutened myself a few weeks back so I guess that has to wait which really irritates me. My gliadin iga ab was greater than 100 almost two yrs ago at diagnosis so I guess sometime next yr I'll redo that and hope it's down :-/. Trying to do all the right things and get bad information from doctors.  Thanks for all the info you've shared and helped me with. I've had lab work every month since May and will next month for the thyroid again. Sigh. 
    • Hi Carle, Congrats on your symptoms going away.  I did seem to have reactions to rice for a while after going gluten-free.  But after some years on the gluten-free diet I can eat it again.  So reactions can change over time. I was searching for an article on gluten in common store products, but didn't find it.  There was a group that did testing on some common grocery products like beans, rice, corn etc that we would normally consider to be gluten-free naturally.  But they found some level of gluten in some of them.  So it's not impossible to pick up something off the shelf that ought to be naturally gluten-free and find it is contaminated.  That may have happened with the rice you ate.  A quick rinse of water before using the rice might help.
    • Hi Doit, The reference ranges to the right of the test result show the values the result ought to be in for normal readings (no celiac disease).  Your results appear to show no higher than normal results that I can see. However, you aren't following the recommended process for celiac disease blood testing.  The blood test is supposed to preceded by 12 weeks of daily gluten eating.  That is generally enough time to cause a sufficient quantity of antibodies to build up in the blood stream to be detectable by the tests. Not having antibodies in the blood stream doesn't mean you aren't being damaged.  People with DH (dermatitis herpetiformis) sometimes test negative on the standard blood tests.  My theory is possibly because the antibodies are concentrated in the skin instead of the blood.  In gut damage, it is possible the antibodies are concentrated in the gut, instead of the blood.  After some time they show up in the blood also.  The thinking is the antibodies go where the work is.  Anyway, theories aside, it takes very little gluten to kick off an immune response.  Those antibodies are not aimless soldiers.  They start doing their work and destroying gluten and gut tissue even if you don't feel symptoms.  Did you know there are some people who have no GI symptoms of celiac disease but still have it?  They call that silent celiac.  So going by symptoms is not a good way to judge actual damage in the gut. You are wise to go in for followup testing, but the followup testing is hopefully to show compliance with the gluten-free diet, and lower antibody test results.  Have your close family members been tested for celiac disease?  It sounds like they should be.   There is a 5% higher chance of them having celiac than the general population. Welcome to the forum!
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