Sunday, March 4, 2012

G-Free Visit to Chicago

This weekend I was lucky enough to finish my MBA mid-terms AND fly up to Chicago to spend some quality time with my brother, mom and dad. It was so great to see them and every time I come to Chicago I enjoy it. We hit up the Field Museum, The Second City, the "L" (I was impressed with my train navigation skills) and of course some great restaurants. I knew coming to this city would be easier than traveling to most. With the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, headquarters of companies such as Enjoy Life Foods and the Gluten-Free Expo I figured it'd be much easier to figure out than other traveling I've done.

Upon arrival on Friday night I have to admit we spent awhile trying to figure out where to go for dinner. It's not that we couldn't find anything it's just that my brother doesn't have a car in the city and was not in the mood for anything. Luckily, within walking distance of our hotel and his apartment was an Irish pub/bar called Wilde Bar & Restaurant with a full and impressive gluten-free menu as well as a gluten-free menu for brunch. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich on Udi's bread with mashed potatoes the first night and then for lunch the next day (yes we went back) I got the gluten-free Wilde macaroni & cheese which was AWESOME. And for those of you who are beer fans they had a few varieties. Please note though that our waitress wasn't sure why the french fries were still on the menu because they are fried in the same fryer as everything else!! I'm glad she told me!

For dinner Saturday night we went to my brother's choice Weber Grille which also had a printed up and ready to go gluten-free menu! I got the traditional burger with coleslaw and it was fantastic. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get any of their famous BBQ (rubs and soy sauce based BBQ) because it smelled fantastic from across the table. It's a great place for families though and right downtown. They definitely display their famous Weber Grills everywhere.

For lunch today we went to the famous Lou Malnati's for their deep dish pizza. For the gluten-free patrons they make something called a "crustless" pizza where the crust is made out of lean sausage (see pic below - not mine but you get the idea) and the remainder is the same. It's not as deep as the originals but having some marinara, cheese and fresh veggies on my pizza was nice! I would definitely suggest it. We did discover that Gino's also had gluten-free pizza but didn't have time to get there this weekend.

Finally, for dinner tonight I ordered delivery from an asian restaurant called Big Bowl (one of the Lettuce Entertain You locations) and was thrilled to finally find a place that would deliver to my brothers house (no car), had gluten-free food and gave me some confidence. I ended up getting the gluten-free mongolian beef and it was great! They did put some regular soy sauce and fortune cookies in the bag but the meal itself was completely safe (I'm still here!).

Overall, it was a really successful trip. We didn't have a chance to hit up any breakfast locations but there are Starbucks' at every corner so I was good with my grande skinny vanilla latte and a banana :) Thanks so much to my family for making this weekend fantastic!

1 comment:

  1. There is also an Apple app titled Gluten Free Chicago that lists over 300 gluten free eating establishments in downtown Chicago and throughout the suburbs to help safely eat in this city.