April 16, 2011

Gluten Free Dining in Disneyland

My husband and I just recently spent a week in Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth.  We went with two of our best friends and it was an amazing trip, we got to act like kids for a week!  Highlights of our trip were the World of Color Show in California Adventure Park, it was a breathtaking water spectacular.  Another new night show is the The Magic, Memories and You which is images played against It's a Small World coordinated to music and the fireworks, very magical! We were also very privileged to get a tour of the Dream Suite which is situated above Pirates of the Caribbean, to bad staying a night there is by invitation only! Another great experience was meeting Rapunzel and Eugene from Tangled and special mention to Ariel from Little Mermaid, who were all amazing characters (that's right, we lined up with all the kids to meet the characters!).  And of course the rides, we always need to do our favorites numerous times: Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, California Screamin', Grizzly Bear Rapids, Space Mountain, and many more.

One of my favorite parts of going on vacation is the dining out and Disneyland is no exception.  I was extremely impressed on Disney's services for those with food allergies.  At every single restaurant we went to, once I mentioned I was a Celiac, they sent the Chef out to review the menu with myself.  The Chef would then explain which items were possible with or without modifications and what other options they had which may have not been listed on the menu.  In my past experience I have always had better luck dining at the restaurants rather than the small food fare areas in Disneyland.  However, I must always enjoy a Frozen Lemonade bought from one of the ice cream carts while I stay in Disneyland, always so refreshing.

Below is a list of the restaurants we enjoyed while in Disneyland and some of the their gluten free options: 

Lobster Nachos- Photo Courtesey Mike

Cove Bar: Although options are limited here, it is always a nice place to sit and relax and enjoy a cold drink.  We dined on Lobster Nachos which can also be made with chicken instead of lobster and artichoke dip, both were delicious.  The restaurant cautioned that the tortilla chips are done in the same deep fryer as many other items.  However, a girl has got to eat and I love nachos, so I was willing to take my chances and I was just fine.  However if you are overly sensitive, I would not recommend taking a chance.  

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria:  Great place to sit outside and enjoy Downtown Disney.  For gluten free options, they offer an assortment of salads, I would recommend the spinach salad and gluten free pastas and fish. Last time we visited Disneyland, I tried the Pasta with Bolognese sauce and it was excellent and a very hearty portion.  For those who are not Celiac, their Pizza is their crown jewel.

ESPN Zone: Since it was getting close to play-offs, we had to take some time out to catch up on some NHL hockey.  ESPN has countless TVs and gives you a place to escape from the heat. We enjoyed the Blue Cheese, Apple Walnut Salad, minus the candied walnuts which are not gluten free.  Some Celiacs do not tolerate blue cheese, so this can be ordered without.  They also offer other salads, steak, fish and chicken dishes which are gluten free.  

Steakhouse 55:  Located in the Disneyland Hotel, Steakhouse 55 is an excellent option for breakfast or dinner.  For breakfast, their omelettes are delicious and will give you energy for hours in the park (or shopping in our case that day!).  As for dinner, almost their entire menu is gluten free with a few exceptions.  Items we enjoyed this time and in the past are: Caesar Salad served without croutons, Filet Mignon, Broiled Salmon, Chef's Potato Stack Au Gratin and Sauteed Green Beans with Applewood-Smoked Bacon.  All sides are gluten free with the exception of the creamed spinach.  Service here is always excellent.  

Storyteller's Cafe: Located in the Grand California Hotel, this was my first visit to this restaurant on this trip and we ended up dining there twice.  They offer a buffet, however once the chef explained the gluten free options, the menu seemed like the best option.  They carry gluten free pizza crusts to make flatbread pizzas, gluten free hamburger buns and gluten free pastas.  I enjoyed the Robusto Flatbread pizza which was made with chorizo sausage, fingerling potatoes and burrata cheese.  It was delicious and a large portion size.  Another night, we split the cheeseburger with fries and the chicken quesadillas made with corn tortillas.  They were quick and simple options, but not my favorite meal.  They also had many other gluten free options on the menu such as steak, salads, chicken, etc.

Blue Bayou: Located in the Pirates of the Carribean attraction, this restaurant is very serene and relaxing.  This was my first visit to this restaurant and I would definitely visit it again next time, it is always busy so make sure to book a reservation ahead of time before going to Disney or on your first day there.  Also, make sure to bring your appetite, they offer gluten free dinner rolls to start (yummy and fresh!), a large starter mixed greens salad and entree. I enjoyed the Cajun Spiced Salmon (minus goat cheese) which was outstanding, served with dirty rice.  Almost all entrees could be modified to be gluten free, an excellent choice for lunch or dinner.

Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery: If you sit upstairs in this restaurant it offers an amazing view of California Adventure Park.  The meal was started with a mixed greens salad with goat cheese, followed by a Scallop, Shrimp and Marinara Pasta.  The portions were large and the meal was delicious.  They offer gluten free pastas to enjoy any of their pasta entrees, also available is fish, chicken, lamb and ribs.  I also recommend the Magicale Dessert Wine which is served at all restaurants in Disney, it is sweet and refreshing.

Some restaurants that we did not dine at on this trip, but that have been accommodating to food allergies in the past are the Rainforest Cafe (huge portions, we have shared a single entree in the past between two people), House of Blues, and Tortilla Joes has numerous corn tortilla Mexican options.

If you are planning a trip to Disneyland soon, first off I am jealous, but I really hope you enjoy!

1 comment:

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