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Las Vegas, Buffets
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Hello everyone,

I'm new to the whole celiac thing (diagnosed Feb 12th) and need some advice from people that have a better hang of this. My buddies and I go to Vegas every year, usually in May. Our routine usually consists of sleeping in late, going to the pool during the day and partying til the wee hours in the morning.

When we eat, we usually hit the buffet and eat about twice a day. What can I eat at the buffet? I was planning to get some basic meat with rice, maybe potatoes, a salad with lemon juice and some fruit for desert. Should I be concerned about cross-contamination???

Explaining celiac to my friends has not been easy (especially issues such as cross contamination) and I feel like I am in a very challenging position. Any advice would be greatly appriciated.

PS. Does anyone know of any high protein, high calorie, low sugar bars that are gluten free? I'm trying to build muscle mass and having some high calorie bars with me on this trip would be perfect!

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I don't eat at buffets. I stay at the Mirage and eat there. You might try PMing broncobux, who lives in Las Vegas and will give you advice about how to eat safely at a buffet. Also you can bring snacks and request a frig in your room, because of health problems. I always get a frig and bring my own muffins to eat while I have my coffee in the morning. Have fun, but I would PM broncobux as he is a great help.

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I don't eat at buffets. I stay at the Mirage and eat there. You might try PMing broncobux, who lives in Las Vegas and will give you advice about how to eat safely at a buffet. Also you can bring snacks and request a frig in your room, because of health problems. I always get a frig and bring my own muffins to eat while I have my coffee in the morning. Have fun, but I would PM broncobux as he is a great help.

They have P.F. CHangs with an alternative menu, as well as The Great Outback and Tony Romas. As for the buffets, if you call in to speak to the chef he can tell you what's available at the buffet. I usually have fruit salad, eggs at the stand so i can see what they are doing and know they aren't mixed with anything. As for bacon they usually put it on top of slices of bread so the oil can drip off. Be careful with that. Most of the people working at the Buffet will not be able to give you too much info. Call in advance.

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What about roast beef, turkey and ham? Are they gluten free most of the time??? I know turkey basting is a potential problem, but I have no idea how they prepare meat. As long as I can have some protein, I should be fine.

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What about roast beef, turkey and ham? Are they gluten free most of the time??? I know turkey basting is a potential problem, but I have no idea how they prepare meat. As long as I can have some protein, I should be fine.

I would beware of those. Often there is a gravy or sauce on the meat or they use flour to brown the outside. Some hams have gluten in them. That being said if those were the only choices of meats, I'd go for the ham over the others. My daughter only has an allergy though and not celiac.

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I avoid the buffets like the plague out here.

The only time you will catch me at one is for breakfast. If I do that, I only get freshly made omelettes (made in front of me) and fresh fruit.

Lunches and Dinners are so hazardous to a Celiac it isn't funny. You have no idea what they use for marinades and spices for the carving stations. The employee will have no clue either. Perhaps you can talk to a manager before hand, but I still advise against it.

If you decide to do it, go to reputable casino that is famous for guest service/hospitality (i.e. Bellagio, Cesars, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, etc) and talk with them BEFORE YOU COME TO LAS VEGAS!!!!!!!

If they know you are coming, they can work with you and set something up.

Most of the restaurants at the Mirage are Celiac friendly (bring your own bread)

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I tend to pick only a foil wrapped baked potato and a steak... anything else is too easily cross contaminated.

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I dissagree about eating at a buffett in LV. I've come to LV each year for CES in January. I've eaten off the buffet lines for breakfast and dinner for 26 years straight, 11 of them as a Celiac. I've been to the Flamingo Hilton, Mirage, Paris, Ceasars, Rio and never been ill. I choose my food carefully and have NEVER had an issue with CC.

Eat away! enjoy LV and enjoy the food.

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Wink, I would gather that people like you and I could probably handle buffets better than most (considering how long we have been diagnosed).

My concern is for the vast numbers of newbies. More often than not, they are not in as good a situation to make good decisions. Their ignorance, inexperience and poor judgment make eating at buffets extremely hazardous.

The cross contamination with the ladles and serving spoons is enough to scare me.

I think it is bad form to recommend a buffet to newbies who do not have the "gluten-free-skill-set" quite yet.

For the record, I have been "glutened" 4 or 5 times in the last few years. 2 of these times came at buffets when I thought I was making a safe decision.

Food for thought...

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i'm not sure how it is possible to eat at a buffet without cross contamination. people stick a spoon into something then over their plate - if there's bread or whatever on their plate, they easily come in contact. plus at cheaper buffets there's always food slipping into the wrong bins.

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Just the thought of eating at a buffet makes me cringe..........what a haven for cross contamination!! NO thanks!!

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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All the comments that have been posted so far have been very helpful....

When my friends and I eat at a buffet, it's usually the pricier ones on the strip that we go to. So maybe those have less cross-contamination issues... So far I've decided to bring lots of protein bars (that I haven't found yet - opinion on Odyssey, anyone? They are gluten-free, but processed in a plant that processes wheat) and get a lot of calories/protein from them... Oh yeah, and booze at night. Buffets will be unavoidable on this trip-and I'm still not sure if I want to avoid them or not. At home I am very strict about my gluten-free diet and temptation will not be an issue. Getting glutened by accident will be the problem, if I chose to eat at a buffet. Ignoring cross-contamination issues, what foods are safe bets??? Seafood? Carving station?

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In all honesty, you can pay the same amount of money at some of the restaurants and have a safer meal. The days of the 99 cent shrimp cocktails and $4 prime rib are a thing of the past now in Vegas.

At the nicer places, you will pay 25-50 a pop for the buffets at dinner and 12-30 at lunch.

For that price, I would gladly eat elsewhere (the food quality is simply better).

If you are at Cesar's check out Bobby Flay's restaurant, Mesa Grill.

At the Bellagio, check out Fix Steakhouse

At the Mirage, check out Carnegie Deli (bring your own bread) for the best corned beef

Also at the mirage, Samba Brazilian Steakhouse has a celiac-friendly chef.

At Aladdin, is a PF changs with a gluten free menu

On the Strip, is a Maggianos and an Outback steakhouse - both have gluten free menus.

Who needs crappy buffets when you have all those choices?

Like I said, breakfast buffets are doable due to the fresh made omelettes and fruits available (ask about bacon and sausage).

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Wink, I would gather that people like you and I could probably handle buffets better than most (considering how long we have been diagnosed).

My concern is for the vast numbers of newbies. More often than not, they are not in as good a situation to make good decisions. Their ignorance, inexperience and poor judgment make eating at buffets extremely hazardous.

I disagree. :)

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