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Eating Out In The Southwest.

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:) Hello everybody, I really need your help.

I'm an Italian girl and I'm going to visit USA soon, I'm going to do a long trip all along the southwest, from San Francisco to LA, passing trough Yosemite Park, San Diego, Death Valley, Las Vegas... I'm celiac so I'd need to know some places where I can eat gluten free food, or some shops where I can buy it.

Can you help me? Thank you very much! :)

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I live near San Francisco and have traveled through all of those areas in the past. You'll find varying degrees of understanding and knowledge with regard to celiac, depending on where you are. In the larger cities, like San Francisco and L.A., you'll have no trouble finding supermarkets and restaurants that have gluten-free food. Specialty stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's will have gluten-free bread (Udi's sandwich bread is very good), and sometimes it is only found in the frozen-food section. You might want to buy some bread to take along on your trip because some places, like Yosemite, will have very little to offer you. The last time I went to Yosemite, I was overjoyed to find a gluten-free snack at the country store near our camping site and told the cashier I was very happy to some SOMETHING to eat. He laughed and made fun of my condition by saying that he was raised with the notion that if you didn't want to eat something, then you should just go hungry. I nearly cried. However, at the larger restaurants in Yosemite (usually at the nice hotels), you'll be able to find meals that can be ordered gluten free. However, you won't be able to find much to eat at the less-expensive cafes, which sell mainly sandwiches, hamburgers, and pizza. However, please don't pass up Yosemite--it is one of the most beautiful places on earth! I simply bring most of my food with me when I go there. Because many Europeans visit Yosemite, I've noticed that they offer more gluten-free food now.

If you visit Disneyland, go to an information booth right away to request a list of gluten-free meals throughout the park. It's an extensive list, and they will accommodate a gluten-free diet at almost every restaurant, including gluten-free pasta, bread, pizza, and buns.

If you stop at regular supermarkets along your route, you'll need to know that the gluten-free food is usually kept on a certain aisle and in a certain part of the frozen-food section. Our processed gluten-free food, I'm sad to say, is not as good (in my own personal opinion) as the kind found in Europe and Australia. Many of us stick to natural foods, as a result.

You'll find that some restaurants and pizza shops offer gluten-free menus, but they rarely let customers know....so ask for one everywhere you go. If a server/chef does not know what you're talking about when you mention that you can't eat gluten, simply go to another restaurant. BJ's Grill and Tahoe Joe's are very safe for celiacs and are found throughout the western part of the U.S.

I hope you have as much fun here as I had in your neck of the woods!

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First of all, let me thank you for your answer.

I'm very glad to know that I'm not going to survive only eating meat and salad! :P:

I think I'll find your informations very usefull along my trip.

I wanna go to Yosemite 'cause I've seen some AMAZING photos on the Internet.

Thank you very much and if you wanna come to Italy, I'll be happy to help you finding something good to eat.


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I hope you do have an amazing time at Yosemite and the other sights you're planning to see. I think your trip is well planned--you'll have a great time!!

I visited Italy about ten years ago before I knew I had celiac disease, but if I ever return (and I hope I do!), I'll contact you about safe places to visit. Thanks!

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