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Las Vegas Experience


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Emilushka

 
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Posted 28 November 2010 - 07:21 AM

My (brand-new) husband and I just spent almost a week in Las Vegas. I wanted to give you a heads-up about successes and problems I faced while being gluten-free, casein-free in Las Vegas without the benefit of my own kitchen or cookware.

We stayed in Luxor. I do not recommend that anyone else who is gluten-free do that, and we won't do it again. The kitchens in the Pyramid Cafe, which is the Luxor restaurant (and the same kitchen that does room service) uses only non-stick pans and seems incapable of understanding that this could be a problem. We walked in, realized the problem, and never ate there. But this made breakfast more inconvenient. I wouldn't trust the buffet in either Luxor or Excalibur (owned by the same company) because even after multiple attempts, we were unable to get someone on the phone to speak with us - even with the help of the concierge. With customer service like that, I just don't trust them.

BUT that was the only really bad experience we had. My breakfasts were Lara bars and Trio bars, with some gluten-free/CF potato chips and popcorn tossed in (I'll eat ANYTHING when I'm hungry enough). We basically went for one meal a day in a restaurant, and my husband went for breakfast (fast food) by himself in the mornings.

Our successful restaurants:

Delmonico in the Venetian - I explained my dietary restrictions and the manager came out to speak with me, double-checked everything I was eating, modified menu items, and acted like it was totally normal. Expensive, but AMAZING food.

Rainforest Cafe in the MGM Grand - already known by this forum as a Celiac-friendly restaurant, their gluten-free menu contains lots of casein-filled items and they are inflexible with their garlic mashed potatoes (wouldn't let me substitute them out for something I could eat, so they went to my husband the whole time). I had the Maya Mahi with roasted veggies one time and the steak with chicken and grilled shrimp, adding roasted veggies on the side. Moderately priced, especially for Vegas casino restaurants.

Harrah's buffet (called Flavor) - EXCELLENT SERVICE. The head chef came out and walked me through the whole buffet, specifying which items were safe and which weren't and why. There were lots of options, but I mostly ended up eating crab legs and shrimp because I had a craving. This was how we spent Thanksgiving.

Sushi Roku at Caesar's Palace - Wonderful experience, but it's really the best if you like sushi or sashimi because most other dishes contain some soy sauce or soy marinade and are unsafe. When it comes to their sushi, only the eel is unsafe (it's marinated in soy). They have tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) to bring to your table on request, and I was able to eat normally. I double-checked their wasabi and sushi rice in advance, and they do not add flour to the rolls or rice and their wasabi is gluten-free. Tasty food and reasonably priced for a Japanese restaurant in a casino (read: more expensive than in a normal place, but not crazy). I had the chef's special sushi combo, which had no eel in it.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris - This was probably the single most amazing experience I had because the chef said he would make anything I wanted from the menu because they're a scratch kitchen and he would modify as required. We were celebrating our 3-day anniversary and they actually took my wine off the bill, too. They definitely bought my loyalty. I ended up having duck with mustard greens and lentils, and it was amazing. We ran into the man who oversees the whole restaurant accidentally on the way out and were able to raise a bit of Celiac awareness with him, too. So that was a double-win.

Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay - They use a grill so this is probably not the safest for the super-sensitive, but I did fine with a normal burger ordered without the bun. I just got a buffalo burger with extra lettuce and grilled onions and portobello mushrooms and it was delicious. I made sure to not get french fries because I noticed they also make onion rings and other breaded items. My buffalo burger was wonderful, and this was quite reasonably priced.

I hope this was helpful! Next time we'll call ahead before booking to be able to stay at a Celiac-friendly place, but otherwise it was quite a success!

Let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for anybody about the trip. I managed to avoid being glutened at all. I'm not the most sensitive Celiac in the world, but I do get symptoms when I get glutened, so I am a semi-reliable glutenometer. ;-)

Also, on a related note: I JUST GOT MARRIED! YAYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!
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#2 kareng

 
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Posted 28 November 2010 - 07:36 AM

Also, on a related note: I JUST GOT MARRIED! YAYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!




YAYYAYAY!!!!!! Congrats!
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#3 koolkat222

 
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Posted 28 November 2010 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the dining info. I'm super sensitive, so I don't experiment much. This will help because I do make the occasional trip to Las Vegas. I love that you're a reliable "glutenometer" :lol:

And, congratulations to the newlyweds!!!
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#4 cassP

 
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Posted 28 November 2010 - 10:55 AM

congratulations! and thankyou for all the tips!
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1986- Elevated Speckled ANA/no Lupus.negative Sjorgens
2008- AntiGliadin IGA/IGg~ Negative,TTG IGA/IGg~ Weak Positive, Endomysial Antibody~ Positive, IGA Deficient.
no biopsy (insurance denied)
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HLA-DQB1 Allele 1 0302
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HLADQ 3,3 (subtype 8,8)
7/2010- 100% Gluten Free
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10/2010-Hypothyroid dx-> 12/2010 Hashimoto's dx + 1/11- Graves dx :(

#5 bincongo

 
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Posted 02 December 2010 - 04:37 PM

My (brand-new) husband and I just spent almost a week in Las Vegas. I wanted to give you a heads-up about successes and problems I faced while being gluten-free, casein-free in Las Vegas without the benefit of my own kitchen or cookware.

We stayed in Luxor. I do not recommend that anyone else who is gluten-free do that, and we won't do it again. The kitchens in the Pyramid Cafe, which is the Luxor restaurant (and the same kitchen that does room service) uses only non-stick pans and seems incapable of understanding that this could be a problem. We walked in, realized the problem, and never ate there. But this made breakfast more inconvenient. I wouldn't trust the buffet in either Luxor or Excalibur (owned by the same company) because even after multiple attempts, we were unable to get someone on the phone to speak with us - even with the help of the concierge. With customer service like that, I just don't trust them.

BUT that was the only really bad experience we had. My breakfasts were Lara bars and Trio bars, with some gluten-free/CF potato chips and popcorn tossed in (I'll eat ANYTHING when I'm hungry enough). We basically went for one meal a day in a restaurant, and my husband went for breakfast (fast food) by himself in the mornings.

Our successful restaurants:

Delmonico in the Venetian - I explained my dietary restrictions and the manager came out to speak with me, double-checked everything I was eating, modified menu items, and acted like it was totally normal. Expensive, but AMAZING food.

Rainforest Cafe in the MGM Grand - already known by this forum as a Celiac-friendly restaurant, their gluten-free menu contains lots of casein-filled items and they are inflexible with their garlic mashed potatoes (wouldn't let me substitute them out for something I could eat, so they went to my husband the whole time). I had the Maya Mahi with roasted veggies one time and the steak with chicken and grilled shrimp, adding roasted veggies on the side. Moderately priced, especially for Vegas casino restaurants.

Harrah's buffet (called Flavor) - EXCELLENT SERVICE. The head chef came out and walked me through the whole buffet, specifying which items were safe and which weren't and why. There were lots of options, but I mostly ended up eating crab legs and shrimp because I had a craving. This was how we spent Thanksgiving.

Sushi Roku at Caesar's Palace - Wonderful experience, but it's really the best if you like sushi or sashimi because most other dishes contain some soy sauce or soy marinade and are unsafe. When it comes to their sushi, only the eel is unsafe (it's marinated in soy). They have tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) to bring to your table on request, and I was able to eat normally. I double-checked their wasabi and sushi rice in advance, and they do not add flour to the rolls or rice and their wasabi is gluten-free. Tasty food and reasonably priced for a Japanese restaurant in a casino (read: more expensive than in a normal place, but not crazy). I had the chef's special sushi combo, which had no eel in it.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris - This was probably the single most amazing experience I had because the chef said he would make anything I wanted from the menu because they're a scratch kitchen and he would modify as required. We were celebrating our 3-day anniversary and they actually took my wine off the bill, too. They definitely bought my loyalty. I ended up having duck with mustard greens and lentils, and it was amazing. We ran into the man who oversees the whole restaurant accidentally on the way out and were able to raise a bit of Celiac awareness with him, too. So that was a double-win.

Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay - They use a grill so this is probably not the safest for the super-sensitive, but I did fine with a normal burger ordered without the bun. I just got a buffalo burger with extra lettuce and grilled onions and portobello mushrooms and it was delicious. I made sure to not get french fries because I noticed they also make onion rings and other breaded items. My buffalo burger was wonderful, and this was quite reasonably priced.

I hope this was helpful! Next time we'll call ahead before booking to be able to stay at a Celiac-friendly place, but otherwise it was quite a success!

Let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for anybody about the trip. I managed to avoid being glutened at all. I'm not the most sensitive Celiac in the world, but I do get symptoms when I get glutened, so I am a semi-reliable glutenometer. ;-)

Also, on a related note: I JUST GOT MARRIED! YAYAYAYAYAAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!


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#6 bincongo

 
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Posted 02 December 2010 - 04:39 PM

I wanted to add a reply so I had it in my posts. My sister lives in Las Vegas and so when I go to visit I will have your helpful information.
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Dx Celiac July 2010 by Endoscopy biopsy- had Endoscopy for another reason, not for possible Celiac
Lactose intolerant discovered August 2010
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#7 Emilushka

 
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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:16 PM

Thanks, everyone. It was a really great trip. Lots of eating, which is one of my favorite things to do. :-P

AND GETTING MARRIED. It's nice to marry the right one for a change.
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#8 mushroom

 
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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:20 PM

Thanks, everyone. It was a really great trip. Lots of eating, which is one of my favorite things to do. :-P

AND GETTING MARRIED. It's nice to marry the right one for a change.


Congrats on your marriage to the right one! :)
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#9 Takala

 
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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:06 AM

Congratulations on your marriage and safe trip !

I know I was pleasantly surprised by being able to get gluten free restaurant food in Las Vegas a few years ago at some casino restaurants. They understood the concept of not wanting to put some sort of gravy or sauce on everything, unlike the restaurants nearest to where I live here in CA, which has been sort of a wasteland after the one good sushi place folded, other than the Thai place. Now we have to drive further.
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#10 Lostfalls

 
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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:05 PM

Having been there recently myself I can also add

Lazy Joe's Fish and Chips - the first time I have been able to enjoy top notch Fish and Chips without having to make it myself.
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion - top notch food and service, took extra care of me, the manager even came out with our sever and visually identified me as the gluten-free customer (so as be absolutely sure I was not accidentally served anything with gluten in it).
Sammys Woodfire Pizza - Best gluten-free pizza I have ever had EVER.

When I do vegas stay in a hotel with a kitchenette (often you have to go a little off the strip to find these but its not that big of a deal and frequently less expensive) I eat out for dinner. For breakfast and lunch, I will hit the Whole Foods store at the beginning of the Strip when I come into town and make my own breakfasts and lunch during my stay. I have learned that I can't count on hotels to accommodate me, and just take care of my meals myself - surest way to avoid getting sick.
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#11 MrsVJW

 
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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:29 PM

More thoughts on dining in Vegas... my first experience was last November, and we're headed back in April. Also, keep in mind, I only have a wheat allergy so I may not have the typical reaction to all forms of gluten, but I am *highly* sensative to wheat.

It's really not that hard in Vegas. Really. Just know your food and ask questions.

"Gourmet" burger places are a good option, they usually have all meat (no filler) patties and will happily serve without the bun. And with the great topping options, you don't even miss having a bun.

Every place has salads - just make sure the dressings don't contain soy or malt vinegar. Make sure any grilled chicken did not have a soy marinade.

Research before you go... in recent days I have learned that yes, all Nathan's food service outlets have gluten free hot dogs and no, their chili is not gluten-free (it contains wheat).

Mon Ami Gabi is another option on the Strip... they have a gluten-free resteraunt and Lettuce Entertain You resteraunts (at least the ones I have visited) seem to be pretty smart on gluten-free stuff.

Fatburger is another burger option on the Strip.... just go bunless. And their chili is at least wheat-free.

Pink's hot dogs is another option - again, go bunless (and they are easier to eat using a knife and fork!)

Munchbar at Ceasar's was a place where I found the waitstaff to be quite knowledgable, even in helping me identify things I definately couldn't have.

My only bad experiences were my own fault... it started with a mocha from Starbucks at the airport (culprit - java chips) followed by assuming the fried potatoes at Hash House a Gogo were not fried in the same oil as the fried chicken (I know I saw on some TV show that they pan-fried the chicken to order... not so, as I learned when we got back to the hotel room and there was a show of the Strip location and they showed them throwing chicken into the shared cooking oil).

Overall... staff tends to be pretty friendly and used to dealing with questions/issues as long as you are patient with them, IMHO. They are used to dealing with wide varieties of people with various dietary issues.
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#12 Kate79

 
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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:13 AM

Congratulations! I'm getting married next September, and I'm looking at doing a bachelorette weekend in Vegas over the summer, so this is super helpful!
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#13 Emilushka

 
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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:00 PM

Congratulations! I'm getting married next September, and I'm looking at doing a bachelorette weekend in Vegas over the summer, so this is super helpful!


Thanks! Congratulations to you too. :-)

Edited to fix a smiley because my typing ability seems to deteriorate as the week goes on ...
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#14 Npealer

 
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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:43 AM

I am so happy I found this post!! i just found out that I have Celiac's last week and we are headed to Vegas on Saturday. I've been worried that I would have a hard time finding things to eat but you just helped me so much. Thank you and Congrats on your marriage
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#15 Emilushka

 
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Posted 01 March 2011 - 04:39 PM

I am so happy I found this post!! i just found out that I have Celiac's last week and we are headed to Vegas on Saturday. I've been worried that I would have a hard time finding things to eat but you just helped me so much. Thank you and Congrats on your marriage


I'm so glad I was able to help! Have a wonderful trip, and update this thread with any new discoveries or problems you encounter! I definitely plan to go back to Vegas, so all the new information is really helpful for me, too.

Also, welcome to the Wide World of Celiac! I hope the diagnosis begins a lifetime of health for you.
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