Enjoy food, enjoy travel and enjoy life. You're listening to Travel Gluten free by Elikqitie.
Hello my friends and welcome to episode 37, 'How to find a Romantic, Gluten Free friendly Restaurant for Valentine's Day'. This is Elikqitie and welcome to the Travel Gluten Free podcast, my friend, where you can listen in on how to lead a gluten free lifestyle with more fun and ease. I created 'Travel Gluten Free' for you, I would love to be your resource, contributor and support, for you on your gluten free journey.
Alright my friend on this episode, we're going to find out how to get a good 'Romantic" restaurant for Valentine's Day that is also gluten free friendly. Valentine's Day is right around the corner it is February 14th which is two days away. You may have already made reservations for Valentine's Day, for you and your significant other, if you haven't. There are still spaces left at restaurants, so I'm going to give you a couple tips on how to find a good restaurant just in general and I'm also going to tell you how to cross check and verify that your restaurant does have good gluten free options and that you will be safe eating there. Where do you start to find a restaurant for Valentine's Day? Well you may be familiar with some of the more popular restaurants that you know and you frequent very often, but if you don't dine out a lot or if you are in a city that you're not familiar with for Valentine's Day, you may not know where to go, where it might be safe to eat or you may not know where some good places are to eat unless you know a local.
So, if you don't know a local, what do you do to find a great gluten free restaurant that is romantic for Valentine's Day? So here are my suggestions on how to do that. This is what I've done before and it's worked out pretty well.
One of the resources I love to use is 'Opentable' so Opentable if you don't know what that is; it is a reservation site and it is opentable.com I just use them. They're not an affiliate, I just use them because they're easy to find restaurants. So if you go to opentable.com or you use their mobile app, which is 'Opentable', you can find restaurants and make reservations through Opentable and then they give you points once you dine at that restaurant and then once you get to a certain amount of points you have rewards through Opentable.
So it's pretty cool, if you're going to make a reservation you might as well get points for it and then if you get points for it, you can take advantage of their rewards in their offers through Opentable. Sign up for an account, an account is free and then you can search for where you went to eat. If it's Valentine's Day, it's probably going to be two people. Sometimes you might have to take your kids out if you can't find a babysitter, that's okay too. So when you're on opentable.com you can sign up for a free account, super easy, then you have the choice of how many people to put in, then the date you want, then the time you want. For Valentine's Day it probably would be two people for February 14th and I just put in 8pm. Just to use as a reference and then your last block is location, restaurant or cuisine.
So if you want to try somewhere new or if you are in a location and you're not sure about just put in the town that you want to find. For mine, I live in Park City so I just searched for Park City in Utah for two people for February 14th for 8:00 PM. Now when you have your search results it gives you everything for 8pm and also before and after. I can see when I did the search just now I see the Mustang restaurant, which I've been to before and I know is really good. They have one time slot left at 9:00 PM on Opentable. Now realize this, that on Opentable the restaurants only give Opentable so many time slots. So if it says that there's only one left, and you definitely want that restaurant double check with the restaurant to make sure because they may have other times available that are not on Opentable.
It might be better for your schedule sometimes they don't, it just depends but if they only have one time slot left, call the restaurant and see if they have other time slots available. When I do this search for two people, February 14th, 8:00 PM for Park City, it came up with just Park City so I can add more neighborhoods. It's giving me the option to add Heber City, Kamas, Midway, Solitude and then if I click on the more button, I can also add Wanship, Big Cottonwood Canyon. You can also make your search geographically larger, so if you're not finding enough where you're at. So just in Park City, it came up with 31 tables in my time slot area, I found The Mustang, Buena Vita, Butchers Chop House, Chimayo to Duplo, Firewood and then they just go down the list. The really nice thing about Opentable is that you can see they have a rating on here on The Mustang, which is the first one that came up.
It says "It has an awesome rating of four and a half out of five stars. It has 612 ratings and 88 people recommends The Mustang". And it says "contemporary American" so right there, I can see quite a bit of information about that restaurant so I can sort them by featured by A to Z, by highest rated so if I went highest rated restaurants, when I sort it by highest rated based on my search parameters, Fireside Dining, Deer Valley Resort came up the highest with 94 percent recommended and a best overall rating. So it's really great to see all of these little categories, Firewood came up with 'Fit for Foodies' and 97 percent recommended, Shabu came up with 'Exceptional' and 94 percent recommended from here you have a list of places now on the left hand side, when you search on Opentable, it has the $2 sign, which is $30 and under the $3 sign, which is 31 to $50 and the $4 sign, which is $50 and over per entree.
Now keep in mind that sometimes these aren't exactly sorted correctly because one time I went to a restaurant that had a $2 sign price and it was definitely more of a $3 sign price and vice versa. So always check on their menu, I'll go down here on the left-hand side and under the price sorts, and the price filter and the 'Neighborhood' filter I can also filter it by cuisine. So, if I just want Italian, I can check Italian, if I want to look at Italian, Spanish and Vegetarian, I can check off those. They have Meat, Asian, Continental, Dim Sum, European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Wine bar, so they have lots of choices. You can check off any of those and it will apply those to your filter as well. They also have 'Top Rated', so under top rated category they have 'Romantic'.
So if you're looking for romantic you can check that off. So, I'm just gonna check off romantic and it filtered it down to two restaurants, although there are other restaurants that I feel are romantic as well. These two came up Chimayo and Grappa, which are 'Bill White' restaurants. But there are others that I know that are romantic that I've been to, so if I uncheck 'Romantic' I can check off also 'Quiet Conversation' and that came up with Fletcher's. So, you can check off different types of top-rated categories so if you want something with a fireplace you can check that off. 'Fit for foodies', 'Formal gluten free options' so they do have a gluten free option one. So, if I tag top rated with gluten free options, I came up with eight tables available in the Park City area, Fletcher's, Tupelo, Chimayo, Twisted Fern, Grappa, Grubstake, 350 Main, Lespri Prime Steak Sushi Bar. Lespri Prime steak is actually really good, and I filtered it for gluten free options and 'Quiet Conversation' under 'Top Rated', those will give me a good selection of some of good restaurants that have gluten free options in Park City. Now if you want to crosscheck these, there's a couple different ways you can do that. One is you can ask somebody who has dined at that restaurant before, another is you can cross check it with the 'Find Me' gluten free app. So, if I want to go to, let's say 'Fletcher's' because it's first on the list, I'm going to look up 'Fletcher's' on the 'Find Me' gluten free app, okay? And it says it's not finding any results, so just because it's not in the 'Find Me' gluten free app doesn't mean it isn't a good gluten free restaurant to eat at, it has good gluten free options.
So, I'm going to click on the name of the restaurant at Opentable and it gives me more information about it. Now the best thing to do is to one, look at their menu and then find their website as well and I don't believe they provide the website on Opentable, but I can easily google 'Fletcher's in Park City' and I came up with their website, go look for their phone number and I'm going to call them. So it's important to call them and ask them three different questions. And so we're going to stop here to take a little break and then when we come back we're going to talk about the questions you want to ask when you call a restaurant to find out how good of a Gluten Free Restaurant and how safe they are to eat at if you are a Celiac.
So we're talking about calling a restaurant to verify that they're gluten free because obviously we don't want to ruin our Valentine's Day by getting sick because we'd eaten cross contaminated food or food that has gluten in it. So, what do you do? The first thing that you ask them is do they offer gluten free items on their menu. And if the person you're talking to is not sure, then ask to talk to a different person or asked to talk to the Maitre d' or the chef. If the person says yes, then ask them, "What choices do you offer for gluten free? Do you offer anything besides salads?". Because sometimes they'll just offer salads so they can tell you what items on the menu so you can get an idea of what types of choices you have from that restaurant. Then the third thing you asked them is "How do they prep the food?", "Do they have a separate kitchen area?", "Do they wipe everything down If you tell them that you are Celiacs?", What do they do?". And so if the person has your answers for you, you can pretty much bet that that's a safe place to eat, if they are not sure.
And they're telling you they're 'pretty sure' it's safe, and they're not giving you any one else to talk to, or they're not taking down your number to have somebody call you back. Then I would definitely say skip that restaurant because, if you can't find them on, 'Find Me' gluten free and you can't verify from other reviews on 'Find Me' gluten free, that it's safe and you can't verify by calling them, and talking to them that someone is knowledgeable about being gluten free. Then you know that that is not a safe place to eat and definitely don't be shy about asking.
I'm always asking those questions and if people are upset because I have to put my health first, then that's obviously not a place that I feel safe eating and I'm not going to go there. Which means the people that I eat with are not gonna go there and that also means that I'm not going to frequent that restaurant in the future if I find that it's a restaurant that I like to eat at.
So those are definitely things to consider. Another way you can 'Find' restaurants and you may not have tried this because when you think of this website, you usually think of traveling, but 'Trip Advisor', which is at Trip Advisor.com. So, if I go to Trip Advisor.com, you can also set up a free account here. This is also a really great place to find restaurants, in your neighborhood and you may not have thought of that because usually when we think of Trip Advisor. We think of when we're traveling somewhere, which is one of my places I like to book through, and I also like to find really fun things to do like bike tours when I'm going on vacation. So, if I just look up restaurants in Park City and you can browse by food, you can browse by community picks. If I browse by a 'Community Pick', you can see that there are people on here that are featuring things that they like to eat.
There's a person on here who has eight restaurants he likes to eat at or she likes to eat out. I can't tell by the name. It says on here what they like. So, this person likes Apex Fireside dining at Kenyon Lodge, The Bridge Cafe and Grill, Harvest. Sam Hughes Bistro. This would be kind of hard to find gluten free if you do the search. They have selections so restaurant and then it has 'Quick Bites', so if you're looking for a nice sit-down dinner, we definitely want to take off Quick Bites and then it's updating our result and we look under. They have Establishment Types, Restaurants, Quick Bites, Desserts, Coffee, Tea and Specialty food. They have Online Reservations, Cuisines and Dishes. So, if I look under 'Cuisines and Dishes', I can find lots of different ethnic choices that they have on here, like Caribbean, Barbecue, Spanish, Southwestern, and Mediterranean. Norwegian, obviously just because they have cuisine on here does not mean that it is going to be in that city so I can pick by cuisine and then they have gluten free options as 'Dietary Restriction'.
They also have Vegetarian friendly Vegan options and Kosher. So if I click on 'Gluten Free' options, I can see the list of restaurants in Park City with my two filters on Trip Advisor for restaurants and gluten free options, that came up with Five5eeds, River Horse on Main, Seven 10 Bodega, Harvest, 501 on Main. Powder, Handle, Twisted Fern and a variety of other restaurants that came up under the gluten free options check mark. Now again, you would definitely want to go through these, you can see the reviews so Five5eeds is a newer restaurant it has 113 reviews. River Horse on Main is an established restaurant that has over 1200 reviews. Harvest has 84, 501 on Main has over 1000. Powder restaurant has over 400. You can go through the reviews and see just in general how people like them. Once I have the 'Gluten Free' filter on here and I have that you want to do a sit-down restaurant, I would definitely filter it by 'Dinner'.
We can filter this by dinner again to narrow down our choices. And then they have price so they have 'Cheap Eats', 'Mid-Range' and 'Fine Dining' so you can also filter it by price. Restaurant features accepts credit cards, which is pretty much probably most of them, 'Free WiFi', 'Private Dining', 'Serves Alcohol', 'Wheelchair Accessible', 'Television'. So, you can check off whatever restaurant features you like. Good for: 'Bar Scene' "Families with children', 'Large Groups', they have 'Romantic', and they have 'Scenic View' and 'Special 'Occasions'. So, you can again, let's see if we check off 'Romantic', and apply that filter and what it comes up with. Okay, so this one definitely came up with some different ones than OpenTable did.
So we came up with Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, River Horse on Main; I would agree with River Horse on Main that definitely is romantic Edge Steakhouse. Lespri Prime Sushi Steak Bar, J&G Grill, St Regis Bar, Prime Steakhouse, which is also really good. Ghidotti’s Italian Cafe, The Mustang, Purple Sage, the Trip Advisor is actually giving me more choices than the OpenTable has, which is pretty great. Now of course it doesn't give you the option of looking for your time on here, but you can look through this list. You can cross reference it with, 'Find Me' gluten free app; you can cross reference it with OpenTable to see if that restaurant is available. And again, always double check by calling and asking the 'Three Questions' of the restaurant. So first ask them if "they do have gluten free options" just to verify that.
Secondly, ask them "What types of gluten free options they have?" so you know if you go you have more than three or four choices with half of them being salads, which is not a great deal. And then third is 'How do they prep it?", so ask them "How do they prep their food, do they use a separate space?". "Do they clean everything down?", "What do they know about prepping for food allergies or Celiacs?". Because as we know, sometimes it's just easier to tell them you have a food allergy. Another thing you might want to do too, which is what we did on Valentine's Day is we brought our own breads so that I had bread to eat. So ask them "Can I bring in my own dessert and bread?". So we went to a gluten free bakery in Salt Lake and it was, I believe it was 'Sweet Cakes Bakery' and got their squash roles which are super delicious and brownie.
And so we brought those with us to dinner and then they served it with the regular bread and my husband got a regular desert, which obviously I could not eat. They served me the brownie with some ice cream, which was really great. Ask the restaurant if you can bring in your own bread and dessert because you are Celiacs, and usually they'll be pretty accommodating if it's a restaurant, it's not accommodating. Try a different restaurant if they don't offer some good choices for desserts. Those are my suggestions for how to find a great gluten free restaurant for Valentine's Day. All right my friend. So, here is 'Guilty Gluten Questions' which I ask all my guests. "When was the last time I cheated eating gluten?", that was those French fries from way back like three or four months ago. And that was last time and I definitely don't want to do that again. "What is the food I miss most and why?", I don't know that I'm actually missing any food right now except for Tasty Cakes, tasty cake eclair pies because I haven't made any eclair anything in about 6 or 7 months. I'm definitely missing that. "What is the best Gluten Free food I've eaten?" That is a hard one, I would say one of my go-tos which I really love is Simple Mills, they make a great Almond Cracker and that is really great to take with you when you're traveling and I'm going to be traveling soon. So, I'm going to be taking those with me and the reason why I take those over rice crackers is because, the almond milk cracker is better because it holds up better when it's getting squished in your bag it doesn't become crumbs. So, the Simple Mills Almond Crackers, definitely the best Gluten Free food I've eaten lately.
Alright, future plans my friends check out my new travel deals page, I'm super excited about that I just set it up on my website this past week. Go to my new website which has been remodeled it's www.travelglutenfreepodcast.com and check out under travel 'gf' for travel gluten free when you hover over that you'll see travel deals pull down and click on that page there are about a dozen travel deals there. So definitely check out those before you go planning your next vacation. "What is my ask of the audience?" to definitely hang out with me on Instagram besides checking out the travel deals page and on Instagram you can find me at travelglutenfree.me. I'd love to hear your comments and feedback on what you're doing and definitely check out my Facebook group look for the hash tag #travelgfme, and you'll see all my social media. "Where can people find you?", hash tag #travelgfme and you can find all of the social media platforms that I'm on, and I love interacting with you so please definitely leave a comment, question, anything that you'd like to talk about I'd love to hear from you.
And that wraps up another tasty episode of the Travel Gluten Free podcast. Thank you my gluten free friends who are listening. I appreciate your patronage of the Travel Gluten Free show.
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