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New England Road Trip with Celiac Daughter

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Hello all!  I'm planning a road trip with my 11-year-old daughter this summer through much of  New England.  She's Celiac and a vegetarian and we are hoping to explore some of the "off the beaten track" locales to hike, bike, and kayak so I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions for restaurants and grocery stores along the way that would keep us safe.  We don't have a set itinerary at the moment so we can adjust our travels to incorporate tween/celiac friendly locations.  I would really appreciate any suggestions for either as I am a West Coast girl visiting the NE for the first time.  We have been lucky for the most part in our travels but I have found it best to ask locals and people who have traveled in the areas before so we can be armed to create memories...the good kind.  :)  Thanks al!

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Hello GFmom!

You're in luck!  New England is one of the best places to be gluten free and is probably comparable to the West Coast in that respect.  I have lived here all my life in Massachusetts and know it well, for the most part, so will be able to help.

As you do not have an itinerary yet, I will start you off with this website which is a wonderful resource......

https://www.findmeglutenfree.com/  It lists restaurants, bakeries, etc, with reviews by other Celiac's and all you do is punch in an address or a zip code and take it from there.  When you have an idea of where you will actually be going, then I can hone in my advice for you.  I have some personal favorites but will wait to see if you will be in those area's before I recommend anything.  Personally, I have never had too much trouble finding great food that doesn't make me sick and I am a pretty sensitive Celiac.  I do not dine out all that much but still do on occasion so can help steer you in the right direction.

 

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On 5/9/2017 at 1:18 PM, Gemini said:

Hello GFmom!

You're in luck!  New England is one of the best places to be gluten free and is probably comparable to the West Coast in that respect.  I have lived here all my life in Massachusetts and know it well, for the most part, so will be able to help.

As you do not have an itinerary yet, I will start you off with this website which is a wonderful resource......

https://www.findmeglutenfree.com/  It lists restaurants, bakeries, etc, with reviews by other Celiac's and all you do is punch in an address or a zip code and take it from there.  When you have an idea of where you will actually be going, then I can hone in my advice for you.  I have some personal favorites but will wait to see if you will be in those area's before I recommend anything.  Personally, I have never had too much trouble finding great food that doesn't make me sick and I am a pretty sensitive Celiac.  I do not dine out all that much but still do on occasion so can help steer you in the right direction.

 

Okay. I live in mass too and plugged my area into the finder. A lot of those restaurants are definitely not safe for celiacs.

I'd recommend Burtons Grill if you are in the mass area. There are some other places as well but you should always contact them and ask questions to find out if they take efforts to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. 

I have also had pretty much the opposite experience as Gemini and suspect you should take Gemini's advice with a hefty grain of salt. You should be able to find plenty of places to eat in Mass but definitely do your research before going because a lot of places have gluten free menus that are meant more for fad dieters and they may not take the precautions necessary for your daughter's condition. 

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39 minutes ago, AristotlesCat said:

Okay. I live in mass too and plugged my area into the finder. A lot of those restaurants are definitely not safe for celiacs.

I'd recommend Burtons Grill if you are in the mass area. There are some other places as well but you should always contact them and ask questions to find out if they take efforts to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. 

I have also had pretty much the opposite experience as Gemini and suspect you should take Gemini's advice with a hefty grain of salt. You should be able to find plenty of places to eat in Mass but definitely do your research before going because a lot of places have gluten free menus that are meant more for fad dieters and they may not take the precautions necessary for your daughter's condition. 

Sorry, but are you blasting off replies without reading?  Gemini suggested "Find Me gluten Free".  It is a nice website.  But it is for everyone, including the gluten free folks who think that gluten-free is great for general health or weight loss.  You have to read the reviews written by CELIACS!   You still have to ask appropriate questions and, like me, listen to your gut (intuition).  

We travel and I have used this website.  I still carry safe food with me just in case.  After all, I am a Girl Scout who has been taught to be prepared (and a lot of other things).  ?

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17 minutes ago, cyclinglady said:

Sorry, but are you blasting off replies without reading?  Gemini suggested "Find Me gluten Free".  It is a nice website.  But it is for everyone, including the gluten free folks who think that gluten-free is great for general health or weight loss.  You have to read the reviews written by CELIACS!   You still have to ask appropriate questions and, like me, listen to your gut (intuition).  

We travel and I have used this website.  I still carry safe food with me just in case.  After all, I am a Girl Scout who has been taught to be prepared (and a lot of other things).  ?

I am responded in that way because Gemini is so carefree about celiac and the first things that popped up on the list were restaurants I knew not to be safe for celiacs. I was recommending caution around recommendations from a poster who is in my opinion pretty reckless about gluten issues. I was cautioning the poster to be careful about Gemini's person recommendations (which she offered to make) and I stand by that post because this person's daughter might end up at some place that doesn't take the necessary precautions. 

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50 minutes ago, AristotlesCat said:

I am responded in that way because Gemini is so carefree about celiac and the first things that popped up on the list were restaurants I knew not to be safe for celiacs. I was recommending caution around recommendations from a poster who is in my opinion pretty reckless about gluten issues. I was cautioning the poster to be careful about Gemini's person recommendations (which she offered to make) and I stand by that post because this person's daughter might end up at some place that doesn't take the necessary precautions. 

I have known Gemini for many years - I would eat anywhere she told me was safe.

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44 minutes ago, kareng said:

I have known Gemini for many years - I would eat anywhere she told me was safe.

That is your choice. I can tell you as a Mass resident, I would be very cautious about the first several restaurants that came up on that search. Obviously Gemini and I disagree on many points. I think a lot more caution is warranted than she does. 

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1 hour ago, kareng said:

I have known Gemini for many years - I would eat anywhere she told me was safe.

ditto - also, find me gluten free is not infallable, i usually look for recent reviews and celiac advice.  buzzwords:   dedicated kitchen space, celiac friendly, etc, but i have found it to be very helpful in being able to enjoy some safe meals not fingerprinted by ME (which is sooooo nice!!) but, ya know, human beings are writing the reviews and some people are just stupid.  we all have different degrees of sensitivity, other issues going on, and different stages of healing.  i don't have crohns but i have other food allergies that i need to be careful of.  one size does NOT fit all in this disease and i will thank everyone to be reminded that we are all in the same boat and to use some consideration and respect.   *the more you know*  :)  rainbowwwwwwwwwsssstarrrr

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1 hour ago, notme! said:

ditto - also, find me gluten free is not infallable, i usually look for recent reviews and celiac advice.  buzzwords:   dedicated kitchen space, celiac friendly, etc, but i have found it to be very helpful in being able to enjoy some safe meals not fingerprinted by ME (which is sooooo nice!!) but, ya know, human beings are writing the reviews and some people are just stupid.  we all have different degrees of sensitivity, other issues going on, and different stages of healing.  i don't have crohns but i have other food allergies that i need to be careful of.  one size does NOT fit all in this disease and i will thank everyone to be reminded that we are all in the same boat and to use some consideration and respect.   *the more you know*  :)  rainbowwwwwwwwwsssstarrrr

Fair enough. But some celiacs lie to themselves about the actual level of risk when dining out. I am very distrustful of anyone who thinks nothing of drinking prepared coffee at a restaurant or who doesn't seem to pay much heed to the risks of cross contamination. Cross contamination is pretty well established as a problem for celiacs and the people here appear to be operating on decades old ideas. 

Also, I wouldn't put your health in the hands of an anonymous poster on the internet no matter how much you respect them. Forums are a great place for people who know how to sound convincing. But they are still often wrong. A great poster who you like can still have bad or wrong ideas. And that makes it even worse because people tend to follow respected posters on forums like this. 

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3 hours ago, AristotlesCat said:

That is your choice. I can tell you as a Mass resident, I would be very cautious about the first several restaurants that came up on that search. Obviously Gemini and I disagree on many points. I think a lot more caution is warranted than she does. 

I think you miss understand me, and probably gemini, too.  I would eat in a place she has eaten.  I don't believe she told any one that she would,  or they should,  eat at every place listed on Find Me gluten-free.  It is just a tool to help you find  places to go and places to not go.  I read the reviews.  If they have had good reviews for gluten-free for years .... that's something to look further into.  For instance, I found a sports bar when traveling - over 50 good reviews.  Some people went into good details.  All fried things are gluten-free.  The owners daughter has Celiac.  And 50 good reviews!  We loved it!

 

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On 5/7/2017 at 7:41 PM, GFMom58 said:

Hello all!  I'm planning a road trip with my 11-year-old daughter this summer through much of  New England.  She's Celiac and a vegetarian and we are hoping to explore some of the "off the beaten track" locales to hike, bike, and kayak so I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions for restaurants and grocery stores along the way that would keep us safe.  We don't have a set itinerary at the moment so we can adjust our travels to incorporate tween/celiac friendly locations.  I would really appreciate any suggestions for either as I am a West Coast girl visiting the NE for the first time.  We have been lucky for the most part in our travels but I have found it best to ask locals and people who have traveled in the areas before so we can be armed to create memories...the good kind.  :)  Thanks al!

I am sorry.  Sometimes, on a public forum, stuff like this happens. I know that there are a lot of good places for Celiacs to eat in Mass.  I know several that live or have visited there.  Use the Find me gluten free site to get some suggestions.  Look at the ones with lots of good reviews or even newer ones with only a couple of very recent reviews.  You can always email, call, or many seem to respond on Facebook.  You might find a Facebook group by trying " gluten free Mass or Boston" or " Celiac Boston" . That sort of thing.

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GFMom...just so you have peace of mind regarding my recommendations, I am about as sensitive a Celiac as they come and take this diet very seriously. I do not dine out that much at all but have some personal favorites, both of which are run by people with Celiac or have Celiac's in their family.  I would never recommend any place that I thought was not safe but Massachusetts and New England are extremely gluten-free friendly and knowledgeable, probably due to the fact that Mass. has some of the best teaching hospitals in the country, with some of the best Celiac centers also.

AristotlesCat did not like one of my answers on a previous thread so she has chosen to be spiteful and rude. Without knowing anything about me, she has chosen to attack me verbally on a forum I have been a member of for many years. I can take anything a youngster can dish out but I will not tolerate anyone trashing my reputation for giving solid gluten-free advice to those who ask.

Thank you to my friends on here for speaking up and supporting the Find Me Gluten Free website. It is invaluable for traveling for those who actually read the site and understand how to judge a restaurant on whether it is safe or not.

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49 minutes ago, Gemini said:

 

AristotlesCat did not like one of my answers on a previous thread so she has chosen to be spiteful and rude. Without knowing anything about me, she has chosen to attack me verbally on a forum I have been a member of for many years. I can take anything a youngster can dish out but I will not tolerate anyone trashing my reputation for giving solid gluten-free advice to those who ask.

 

My aim wasn't to be rude. If that is what it was, I apologize. But I was surprised by your recommendation and response (not just there but also on another thread we were commenting on). I think there is bad information being spread on this forum by posters who have an outdated view. 

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So you've come into an established online community like a bull in a china store, rather than approaching it as a newcomer should...do you think this is the best approach to make your point here...attacking a long time respected member? Personal attacks on this forum are not allowed, and everyone has agreed to this rule when they signed up, so let's please end them here.

Additionally, there are as many approaches to how people deal with their gluten-free diets as there are celiacs, and one size does not fit all. For example I don't need any recommendations or books to find a place to eat out, but still get gluten-free meals most of the time, and I take GliadinX enzymes when I do eat out just in case. My choice, obviously not yours--but if you tell me I am wrong or irresponsible to do this it will say more about you than me--I'm not trying to convince or convert anyone's behavior here--and nobody else should be doing this (we have rules to deal with deliberate spreading of bad info). This forum is about sharing experiences, good or bad, and trying to help people--not trying to convert people to one particular viewpoint, gluten-free diet, restaurant, coffee, etc.

Everyone needs to figure out their own approach to their personal gluten-free journey, and sharing and discussing this is what this forum is about (it is NOT about a one and only TRUE path to gluten-free, because there isn't one that works for everyone (other than a hypothetical IF everyone would just NEVER eat out or NEVER eat or drink this or eat that they would be fine...zero tolerance!--sorry but life just doesn't work that way).

 

Quote

My aim wasn't to be rude. If that is what it was, I apologize. But I was surprised by your recommendation and response (not just there but also on another thread we were commenting on). I think there is bad information being spread on this forum by posters who have an outdated view. 

 

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On 5/7/2017 at 8:41 PM, GFMom58 said:

Hello all!  I'm planning a road trip with my 11-year-old daughter this summer through much of  New England.  She's Celiac and a vegetarian and we are hoping to explore some of the "off the beaten track" locales to hike, bike, and kayak so I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions for restaurants and grocery stores along the way that would keep us safe.  We don't have a set itinerary at the moment so we can adjust our travels to incorporate tween/celiac friendly locations.  I would really appreciate any suggestions for either as I am a West Coast girl visiting the NE for the first time.  We have been lucky for the most part in our travels but I have found it best to ask locals and people who have traveled in the areas before so we can be armed to create memories...the good kind.  :)  Thanks al!

Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell and some nice waterfalls is a very progressive little city. Burlington, VT. I have a celiac brother who owns a farm 45 mins from Burlington with a house for rent on air bnb. He probably knows safe bets in VT as well. 

Wegmans and Trader Joe's are scattered through out NY. Especially Wegmans in the finger lakes area. Lots of gluten-free options.

Syracuse has a strictly gluten-free restaurant. I have gone twice. It is ok. Nothing superb but good. Two excellent bakeries. Deb's Sweet Treats is amazing. 

Most of the bigger finger lakes cities, Syracuse, Rochester, will have natural food stores.

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I was diagnosed with Celiac almost two years ago and I haven't eaten out at a restaurant yet. Thank you for the website, Gemini.  Now I have an  idea of where I might eat when I am ready to venture out. 

To GFMom58, I hope your road trip goes well and that you find many restaurants with delicious gluten free food! Good for you for keeping your sense of adventure!

 

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In New Hampshire, I've had good experiences with the Common Man sandwiches at highway rest stops, believe it or not.  Now, I'm not the most sensitive, but they seemed very aware of cross-contamination.  It's very useful as most highway rest stops have me reduced to eating a bag of Fritos for lack of other choices.

I use Find Me Gluten Free all the time and have made great local finds through it - I read the reviews carefully, and ask more questions when I get there to be sure I trust them.  It's a great resource.

I find a lot of Italian restaurants will do gluten-free pasta in its own pot, which I then ask them to add a little olive oil, parmesan and garlic, and then I don't have to worry about the sauce.  Also a lot of colleges in New England, and college towns are pretty good for finding Celiac-Aware restaurants.

 

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