I would love your thoughts about what I should do with this situation.
My 20-something cousin from Spain is coming to visit for Thanksgiving. We have planned to go to New York City for a few days (Sun - Tue beforeThanksgiving).
She has visited several times before and we've been to New York each time, so she's already seen it,but she is super excited about being there during autumn (something about a movie with Richard Gere lol).
This is the first time she's visited since I went gluten/dairy/and now soy free, and I'm super concerned about getting sick while she's here. It's going to be enough of a challenge hanging out where we live in Boston. I've stopped going to all restaurants for months now, so I'm going to be taking some risks just going out around here, nevermind travelling where I have to do all three meals out.
I haven't yet managed to take a trip without getting horribly sick. No matter what I order, I'm just very sensitive to cross-contamination. When I do get sick, trust me, nobody should be around me. I don't want to make the rest of her trip miserable seeing as how we will be in tight quarters - shared hotel room, car ride, etc. Plus, I will have to do all the driving there and back, no matter what condition I'm in.
To complicate matters, she had a serious allergic reaction of her own this week to possibly anisakis (in fish) and the doctors have said no fish for now, so my only "safe" option - sushi - which I was relying on, is now out.
I'm considering cancelling the New York portion of the trip. She will be disappointed, of course. I don't want this disease to rule my life, but at the same time I'm just not sure if the risk is too high for this particular week. Not only so we can enjoy the week together, but also because I can't afford to be sick for my favorite holiday and first gluten-free Thanksgiving, which I am hosting, AND my birthday, which falls this week as well.
Should I risk it and go? Or wuss out and stay home?
It's only three days. If I were you, I'd pack an ice chest full of safe food for the trip. Hotels usually have ice so you can keep your food cold pretty easily. If you can find a hotel room with a microwave it will make things easier, but you could even get a cheap, small microwave at WalMart or Sears to bring with you. I've seen them on sale as low as $30. Alternatively plan on food that's good cold like salad, fruit, and sandwiches. Eat your breakfasts and dinner at the hotel, and pack a non-perishable lunch that you can eat on the go for Monday.
It makes me so sad to read this post. New York City is a wonderful place for people with Celiac. We have many restaurants that go above and beyond the average restaurant to make a safe meal for those people who require a gluten-free meal. Restaurants like Heartland Brewery (Midtown West), Bar Breton, Nizza NYC, Rosa Mexicano, and so many more are certified in the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. They prepare meals safely, fully understand cross-contamination issues, and have well-trained staff members all willing to accommodate you.
We have a 100% gluten-free bakery (Tu-Lu's), a 100% gluten-free store (gluten-free NYC), 5 Whole Foods, 2 Trader Joe's, 2 Fairways, and at least 100 health food stores that sell gluten-free food.
Please reconsider staying home and come to NYC next week. Do not let Celiac take over your life.
I second that. NYC is an AWESOME place for celiacs. There are so many more options than I think you even realize! Do a google search, or search this site. Definitely bring snacks in case you need something quick but definitely don't let celiac deter you from coming to NYC!
There is also Pure Food & Wine (vegan), Risotteria (gluten-free restaurant), Bloom's Deli and a dozen other places that I can't think of that have gluten free menus that can probably handle gluten-free/df/sf to some degree. You can also hit up the NYC Celiac Meetup group and see if they have suggestions.
I am gluten dairy and soy free and I live in Manhattan so I can provide some advice. While I don't eat out much, two places come to mind that I could survive on for a week in NYC if I had to. They would be Whole Foods prepared foods section and Peters Diner on the upper east side. Blooms deli near grand central is also okay for this diet. The other places people listed in this thread are good gluten free places, but beyond that I am not sure how far you will get with both dairy free and soy free. So if I were you I would stay near Whole Foods Columbus Circle if possible. It has the widest prepared foods area maybe of all the WFs in manhttan and you can get three meals a day there if needed. Ingredients are posted and I have never had a cross contamination issue. The owner of Peters is easily accessible, he just kind of hangs out in the diner all day, and is willing to help with negotiating the menu and checking ingredients. Its like a Dennys menu geared towards gluten free, so a lot of the stuff may have dairy or soy, but I bet he can help you figure that out and still get plenty of variety to eat. Blooms works too but I am not sure there is anyone like an owner there who can help negotiate the menu and the kitchen for you, though the waitresses are fairly knowledgeable.
Often times when I travel I find a chef type service to make food for me that I can store in a fridge at the hotel. I dont have any to recommend in NYC but you might find. I think eating at whole foods will be less expensive for you though.
I did not go. Thank you everyone for the advice and suggestions. The next time I visit NY I will try these places. This time around it was just too much for me to deal with, since I need to avoid dairy and soy as well as gluten. We had a wonderful time in Boston and took some day trips instead. I only risked a couple dinners out, and stayed healthy for the week. Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic, too!
I went to New York for the first time this past September and was overwhelmed by the number of safe places to eat. Now, it took some planning and research. I researched ahead of time so that I knew what restaurants were located where. But some days we ate lunch or dinner twice just to fit in another restaurant! It was the first time travelling when I didn't have to dip into my supplies of snack bars and cereal that I brought with. I agree with all the suggestions other posters have made. Another great restaurant that I don't think anyone mentioned is Candle Cafe.