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About 2wheels4eyes

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  1. I'm thrilled to report that Hyde Park, Chicago has an almost totally gluten-free restaurant! It's getting pretty well known among the locals but I thought I'd post this especially for the out-of-towners visiting the celiac clinic at the U of C hospital on campus (http://www.celiacdisease.net/). It's a 5 minute drive or about 20-25 minute walk. And of course, the buses run too. The Sit Down Cafe http://www.thesitdown53.com/ 1312 E. 53rd St. Chicago (adjacent to the Kimbark Plaza). The menu's a rather strange hybrid of Italian fare and a full sushi bar but this is the sort of randomness that tends to thrive around campuses. They serve gluten-free soups, sandwiches, appetizers, pizzas and sushi. They even make some gluten-free desserts, including a cheesecake. The prices are quite reasonable; there are tables as well as armchairs inside and a sidewalk patio outside. It's currently byob but I'm told they're hoping to have a liquor license soon. After living in Hyde Park for two years as a hyper-reactive celiac, I can't tell you how awesome this is! Sal, the owner, is cousin to the owner of Hyde Park Produce Market, which is several doors down in the Kimbark Plaza. Due I think mostly to Sal's diagnosis, his family has rallied around him and the Produce Market now boasts an excellent selection of gluten-free products. They're also knowledgeable and extremely careful about ingredients and cross-contamination (e.g., I can eat their rotisserie chicken without fear, etc.) The prices for packaged/prepared goods at the Produce Market are fairly reasonable (for Hyde Park, anyway, i.e., invariably lower than Treasure Island but not, you know, cheap). The produce however *is* cheap and plentiful; the availability of cheap produce explicitly factored into my decision to renew my lease and stay in Hyde Park another year. If you're in Hyde Park, please give these two your business.
  2. Thanks, all, for the tips and sympathy. I'm lucky to now be studying at U of Chicago, which has one the nation's only celiac centers. The wait list is several months long, but I'll report whatever I find out about mitigating the most, ahem, violent, of gluten symptoms when I do get to talk to them. Re: the injera. This was a restaurant on the northside that's known among local celiacs to be good about making totally teff-based injera if requested a day ahead of time. Which I did; I had called ahead, given them a Triumph dining card, talked to them again about it when I got to the restaurant, etc. But, clearly, there was gluten in something. The injera looked okay (teff-only injera is typically darker, almost blue-purple in colour.) I don't think it takes much gluten for me to get really sick. The last time it happened was a going away party where I ate a couple of spoonfuls of lime sherbet that turned out to be key lime pie ice cream. One chunk of graham cracker was enough to create hours of vomit misery. But then this summer at a BBQ, I accidentally ate a couple of bites of rice salad that turned out to be orzo and I felt really really sick but didn't vomit. Sooo.... I've got no idea. I wonder if it matters what "form" the food is in, i.e., is wheat flour worse than semolina? Or maybe it's whatever else I happen to have eaten that day with it? Or...? The scientist in me would like to do a controlled experiment on this but I'm not volunteering me or anyone I know for the role of guinea pig!
  3. Travelling through TN this summer, I had the great fortune to happen upon Cafe 61 in downtown Memphis: http://www.cafe61memphis.com/ They were super-careful and it was a great experience overall. One of the staff members was very familiar with celiac disease, so it wasn't hard to communicate what I wanted. I had the shrimp and grits... super tasty and very reasonably priced (about $20) for the quality. I should have been born in the south!
  4. Hi all, 2 years since diagnosis and life is pretty fantastic, except for two or three times a year when I have an accidental run-in with gluten. Last night was the night and after dinner (Ethiopian--yes, got teff-only injera, spoke to the owner/manager, the cooks, gave them my Triumph Dining card, my gluten radar was quiet, everything seemed a-ok...) a friend and I headed to a concert. By song two of the opening act, I was violently vomiting--for about an hour and a half. I felt sorry for myself, I was terribly embarrassed (the women's washroom was small and crowded, etc.) So no fun at all, but what struck me was that when my friend went to get a staff member (more paper towels, more water, a new garbage bag, etc.) the staff member herself had celiac. And she said, "Uhh... I get sick, but I never get sick like that..." And later, when it seemed I would never stop vomiting, she said she wanted to call an ambulance. I kept saying, no, no, as soon as I can make it through your lobby and out the door, I'm going home (and I did make it through the lobby, but then kept vomiting on the sidewalk, so couldn't even have my friend drive me home for a bit yet). At which point, the cramping was so bad, had I had any energy left to cry, I surely would have. And this happens, oh, 2-3 times a year, and it's for sure gluten, not food poisoning, etc. I figured everyone went through this, but is that not the case? How many of you are vomiting that violent, prolonged, projectile vomit as adults (I know it's more common in kids?) Is it typically with gluten in certain forms, or in certain kinds of foods or certain combinations? (I accidentally ate two forkfuls of orzo salad this summer and felt very badly, but didn't throw up at all after, so what's going on?) And what do you do when it happens? I take an anti-cramping med after, but no point in taking it earlier if I can't keep it down... Is there any such thing as a sublingual (under-the-tongue) anti-nausea or anti-cramping med? Or is there anything else that works for you? Thanks all for your help and insight!
  5. I'm not sure... I'd definitely have them double- and triple-check before you eat it though, especially the cream sauces. They also have sandwiches, salads, etc. if you're not in the mood for pasta. And I've also just gone in and told them what I want off-menu (e.g., my tuna-on-a-bed-of-greens standby) and they're pretty good about it. The artichoke dip is gluten-free but comes ringed with bread--have them put the bread on a different plate and eat your share first. Happy eating!
  6. A year after opening, 112 Eatery remains the "it" reservation in the Twin Cities. They've won more kudos, local, regional and national than I will bore you with here. Aside from serving the best food in town, and at extremely reasonable prices, they've got many menu options that are naturally gluten-free. Last week I had the chicken for 2, the sweet potatoes and greens for sides, and the chocolate pudding for dessert. The pudding alone would be worth a 2-3 hour drive. The wine list is comprehensive and solid. If you live in Minnesota and lament the food scene here (i.e., almost everyone, except perhaps the born-and-breds) this is the place to give you hope. Or perhaps just make you wonder why no one else in the city seems to have caught on. Unbelievable, amazing food mixing high and low cuisine. Great atmosphere. Unpretentious staff. Open til 1 am... no wonder it's hard to get a table. If I wasn't on a student budget, I'd be there every week.
  7. Loring Pasta Bar's always willing to improvise something gluten-free for me, but now they've explicitly printed a statement on their menu that all pasta in the pasta dishes can be substituted for rice. I wondered if the sauces though were indeed gluten free (cause as we know, it's not just enough to sub rice for pasta!) I had them double-check against my Triumph Dining card and they assured me, yes, the (seafood spaghetti) sauce was safe. If you've never been, it's a great place to take out-of-towners. The restaurant has won design awards for what they did with the old apothocary and deservedly so. The space is simply amazing. That the food is good too and reasonably priced (both by Twin Cities standards, of course...) is a bonus.
  8. Guys... I'm starving. I'm in Hyde Park for the fall studying at the U of C on an exchange (from the highly gluten-free-friendly Twin Cities) and at a total loss for where to eat. I can't find any tips on the blogs, boards, etc. Any suggestions for on- and off-campus dining are very very much appreciated.
  9. Fortunately, I'm just shy of 6'. But I'll be sure to casually mention my equally tall "husband" with the ferocious jealous streak... Thanks also for the food tips, folks! Can't believe I leave in 3 days!
  10. To the OP (and whoever else, of course)... I do a fair amount of travelling and eating out (nothing like you though!). When I was diagnosed a year ago, it seemed like the first 6 months I just felt worse instead of better. It seemed like my body just went nuts--some days it seemed the only I wasn't reactive to was good old rice & bananas. But whether I got smarter about what I put into my mouth, or my body finally learned to chill on the new diet, I've no idea, (probably both) but eating out's a lot easier now. And if I do eat something that's CC, it's not the gigantic setback that it was initially. For me, anyway. It was really difficult for me to learn how to be firm with restaurant people. There's a bit of an art to walking that fine line between scaring them and scaring them off. But it's possible to be polite and gregarious and inspire people to take you seriously and go to those extra lengths for you and to have them even do it happily. As a social person, I'm sure you already know what I mean. It took me a bit longer to learn. I also found the Triumph dining cards indispensible. They even look kind of official so restaurant folks tend to take them seriously. Plus, it means you don't need to rely on the server to accurately convey what you just said to the back of the house. And they can re-read what they need to. And the cards are cuisine-specific. It also took a while to not feel weird about taking food into restaurants, movies, etc. Again, I try to be discreet and respectful, but I never hide what I'm doing--instead I let them know right away what I've brought in and why. It doesn't hurt to order some pricier item off the menu to go with your little packed items--or tipping well's always appreciated. But so are remembering servers' names, looking people in the eye, smiling, asking for the manager, compliments...
  11. Hi all, I'm travelling to Ecuador next week (yay!). I fly into Quito and stay in Old Town for a couple of days. Then head out for the conservation reserves around Nanegal to volunteer for a couple of weeks. I'm ok once I get to the reserve--they've assured me they can accommodate my diet. But does anyone have restaurant recommendations for Quito and surrounding area? I'm hearing that the traditional diet is pretty gluten-free anyway--but are there any specific ingredients, menu items, spices, popular sauces or dishes, etc, that I should stay away from? I don't know a word of Spanish, alas--so if you know the English *and* Spanish equivalents, my many thanks. Any tips on what items would be useful to pack? I'm backpacking it (uphill!) so can't take much. Just to make it more interesting (ha ha) I also try to limit soy and dairy and eschew red meat...
  12. Just got back from a fast, hilly, windy 50 miles where I kept up with the guys and decisively dropped the other girls on the ride... Don't know if this is partially responsible for my success but, halfway through I chowed down on 2 leftover pancakes with jam & p.b. sandwiched between. The pancakes were made with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free Pancake mix, which was pretty tasty for Sunday brunch and then after overnight refrigeration held up well in my jersey pocket the next morning. They were slightly cakey/crumbly in texture but the pb&j kept things mostly together. My other favourite on long rides is p.b. sandwiched between 2 ginger cookies. I individually wrap a few of them and they're great 2-bite snacks on long rides. But then, my stomach can handle dense food while riding (I used to messenger in Toronto--hello, street vendor veggie dogs) and my wallet cannot handle the wonderful but spendy gels and goos and things. I do pop for a Lara Bar once in a while but I find pancake, ginger cookie, etc. p.b. sandwiches hold me better anyway.
  13. For all you Twin Cities folks... Cooqi Bakery (Marshall & Cretin, St. Paul) has started to make biscotti. OK, so, sure, gluten-free biscotti's not the hardest thing in the world to do, but still. I bought some today and just had one with my coffee. They are simply **fabulous**. Not too sweet, great texture, stand up against the hottest beverage. Gives Pamela's brand biscotti (which is not bad in a pinch) a stiff kick in the shin. If you live in the area, get thee to Cooqi and stock up. But be prepared: I may have already called ahead and asked them to put aside about 5 dozen of them for my personal pleasure. Now: just in case someone's wondering if I work for Cooqi, nope--I wish. And I'll prove it: Dear Cooqi bakers (and gluten-free bakers around the world) why even bother calling it a baguette? Clearly, such a thing is impossible. Don't toy with us. Anything made of approximately 5 pounds of rice flour (or whatever) cannot possibly be a baguette. It is to laugh. In fact, I think I can here Paris laughing as I type this. Call it a glutette, a baguten, call it whatever you want. Just don't try to tell me it's a baguette.
  14. I'm coming up on 7 months gluten free and realised the other day... I actually feel pretty *good*! Either my body's finally adjusted to the new diet (gluten, dairy, soy-free) or I've gotten smarter about what I put in my mouth, or both... but things just feel normal again. Except better. I've even eaten out a couple of times without incident. It seemed in the beginning every little thing would set me off. Now? It's been weeks. Have others found that their bodies eventually learn to chill out on the new regimen? Or that they can tolerate a little CC once in a while without consequences?
  15. I've been gluten-free since August (yay!) and it's definitely gotten better for me. But it's still a loss--and still pretty new--so there are definitely times I want to cry about it all. The worst for me is not the grocery store but restaurants and especially parties/events revolving around food. Absolutely brutal still. One thing I've noticed though is that I'm missing things I never thought I'd miss and things that I wouldn't guess would make me feel better actually do--e.g., pre-gluten-free, I never ate whatever toast/bread/buns/etc. were served with the meal at a restaurant. Now though, if I bring my own along I definitely eat it and then I don't feel left out when everyone else is having their appetizers/bread/etc. I guess what I'm agreeing with an earlier poster-- try to be creative about replacing what you're missing rather than going for exact replicas. Then again, there's nothing wrong with a good howl on the shoulder of a loved one once in a while... That and reading the boards here has helped immensely.
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