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My Las Vegas Experience

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Being a veteran of a few trips each year to Vegas this was my first trip since my diagnosis. We tried looking online to find places in advance, but knew it was really going to boil down to just asking the restaurants.

We opted to stay to the Excalibur...it was the best rate for the week....I don't plan on staying there again. :) Had never stayed there before because I had no desire and now I see why. I digress.

Anyway, the first evening there we decided to do their buffet, we got some discounts with our room package. I was weary, asked hte gal at the cash register and she sent us in to go talk to the chef. After waiting for about 10 minutes the chef came out and we talked to him. He sort of knew what gluten was, but thought it was a liquid and dairy on top of that! I explained what it is and he walked us up and down the lines and even prepared a few dishes for us special. We both wanted some fish and I wanted the pork chops. Both of which were in a sauce. So since they are always preparing more he brought us out some prior to getting sauced.

All in all we seemed to make it though that meal okay. After dinner we headed out walking around and doing our usual checking out the different casinos. We really enjoyed eating at Nine Fine Irishmen at New York New York in the past. It's irish food, so we figured it would probably be safe. We approached the hostess and asked if she knew if they did anything gluten-free. While she did not guarantee anything, she did seem to know what it was and went over the menu with us. Pointing out the things that were most likely safe, but obviously without talking to the chef we didn't know for sure. We figured we would come back the following night and give it a shot.

While at NYNY we walked through the dining area and saw a Mexican restaurant Gonzalez y Gonzalez. We were reading the menu out front and it even had clearly printed to ask if you have allergies or special needs since not all ingredients are listed. We ended up eating there for lunch the next day. I had the barbacoa enchiladas, no sauce though. I did drown them in salsa and cholula as the food was very mild, and very bland sadly. Heck we were adding cholula and some habanero sauce to the salse to spice it up. The salsa was good though.

That evening we came back and had dinner at nine fine irishmen. I explained to our server my needs, gave here three items on the menu I was interested in (that I thought would be safe) and she went to check with the chef. Two of the three turned out to be safe. I had the Celtic Chicken, it was pretty tasty. I had it a year or two prior, but tha had changed the recipe, it is stuffed with brie and wrapped with bacon. It comes covered with a thyme jus, which had me concerned, but they said it was okay. This may leave some room for argument as I had some minor issues the following day, but I never had any symptoms or bad feelings before waking up in the morning. Typically if I get glutened I know within about 2 - 2.5 hours. So take that for what it's worth, any doubt, order it without the jus.

The next day we ate at the Sherwood Forest Cafe for a late breakfast at Excalibur. They did have some regular menu items that looked promising, but I wanted to hedge my bet and felt better going for breakfast anyway. I had an omelet with hash browns and they brought me a cup of fruit instead of toast. The server was receptive to my requests, a real nice guy. He didn't really know what gluten was so I gave him a very very brief run down. Again, seemed like a success, no issues to report.

We decided to hit the steakhouse at Excalibur for dinner that night because we still had some dining credit to burn up. We got there early and I let the server know right away. Again, he had no idea what it was, and looking at the menu it was pretty easy to pick out what I could and could not have. He did check with the kitchen to make sure my selection was going to be okay. In the end I got the 16oz prime rib, with whipped potatoes. My fiance got the filet. I should have got the filet it was very good. Though not a gluten issue, I will have to say they really coated the beef with a lot of sea salt. While it is used to enhance the flavor, especially on bad cuts, they went really overboard and it basically made my prime rib unappealing. It was on the filet as well. I just have to keep reminding myself, this was the Excalibur, and not the Bellagio or Caesars.

For the three days we were there I did not appear to get glutened. I did have a few minor GI issues, but I had been on antibiotics prior to the trip, drank a lot of booze and didn't sleep much. I never had any of my "tell tale" symptoms, but it is very possible that I did get glutened and just had a different reaction than normal.

That being said, Vegas is a very busy place, like any other dining out the more upscale places are going to know what you are talking about (most likely) and be able to properly serve you. The faster paced, lower end joints aren't going to care much. They will try, but they aren;t going to understand cross contamination, using clean pans and all that. So you gotta picka nd choose your battles.

I know some folks are more sensitive than others, so if I did get glutened and just had some minor minor reaction then the next person might have a major one and spend their trip in their hotel room ill. So don't take this post as a perfect experience, but maybe something to help the next person out who is traveling there.

Other things to note, there is a Chipotle on the strip, there is also a Maggiano's down at the Fashion Show mall across from the TI and the Wynn. Pretty much any of the "nice" steakhouses that are inside the larger name casinos will give you the highest probability of success as the dishes are going to be prepared fresh and use fresh ingredients and not fillers.

I still packed a box of cocoa locos and was fully prepared to live off those for my trip if need be. :)


If you have CVID and have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it's possible you may not have it. Talk to your immunologist.

If you have read any of my restaurant posts, do not follow what I have ordered anywhere as I cannot guarantee it is gluten free.

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I am glad you had a good trip without getting glutened. It sounds like you had fun.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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I know we should all try to educate restaurant staff about celiac disease, but when they just have never heard of gluten or think it is dairy (and how many of us knew about it prior to diagnosis?) maybe best say severe wheat and grain allergy. It is probably easier to understand and may help even with cross-contamination risks, usually allergies are known to at times cause horrid immediate effects and I don't think any restaurant would want to risk an ambulance taking a diner away during service hours!

Just a thought...

Amelia

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I was in Vegas in April and ate at Nine Fine Irishmen, and they actually have a separate printed gluten-free menu. To get it, you have to talk to a manager, cause not all the serving staff know. The Celtic chicken is on the gluten-free menu, and is delicious. In dealing with restaurants in vegas, I call ahead of time and talk to a manager. There is a huge turnaround in wait staff in vegas, but the managers tend to stick, and tend to be the ones that know whats going on. Every time I've done that I've gotten special treatment, great food, and never gotten sick. It does entail making a reservation generally, but its well worth it.


Positive Bloodwork 7/8/05

Inconclusive Biopsy 7/20/05

gluten-free since 7/23/05

Never felt better.

"So here's us, on the raggedy edge, come a day when there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. - Malcolm Reynolds"

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I thought I would follow up as I just returned from another trip to Vegas. As mentioned by the last poster in this thread they now have a Gluten Free Menu. When I was there in March they did not, so this is great news.

We also ate at:

Craftsteak at MGM, they were very accommodating as you expect, as well as the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.

We also ate at the Studio Cafe at MGM as that is where we were staying, and the overall experience was great. I will admit at the Studio Cafe I did not do much to alert them and just ordered eggs mostly.

As always your mileage may vary, but my confidence in eating right and traveling has grown with this second trip under my belt.


If you have CVID and have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it's possible you may not have it. Talk to your immunologist.

If you have read any of my restaurant posts, do not follow what I have ordered anywhere as I cannot guarantee it is gluten free.

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