Category Archives: Eating on the Road

Horseradish Crusted Salmon, Superb

Once in a while, a chance selection of a restaurant provides an exceptional meal.  I was in Davenport, Iowa,  to attend a conference, and my husband had come along for the ride and a little exploring.  Most of the restaurant options near our hotel were pubs, and didn’t appeal to me, so I used my trusty Map app to search for restaurants “near me”.  Duck City Bistro was the choice, partly because they had paella on the menu.

A quick five-minute walk brought us there, and we were greeted by the chef himself.  There is  a food case near the entrance with examples of his specials, and he introduces his guests to them with enthusiasm and showmanship.  This man really loves what he does.

While the menu doesn’t specify gluten-free items, the excellent staff is well-versed on the menu items, and can advise you about choices.  My original choice – the paella – was set aside because of the wait (the waiter explained that most of their guests call in ahead of time to order it).  I chose the horseradish-crusted salmon, and my husband had a duck dish with a framboise sauce.

The meal started with a garlic salad.  Very fresh. Ample, delicious, and right-sized pieces.  Nothing needed to be cut, or awkwardly brought into your mouth.  My salmon was truly excellent.  The crust was so crisp I had to inquire about the ingredients.  Garlic and butter, with the horseradish!!  A chiffonade of greens covered the salmon, and some accompanying broccoli. It rested on perfectly-seasoned mashed potatoes.  MY husband also had high praise for his duck dinner.  He said it compared quite favorably with a duck dinner at a very highly-rated restaurant.  I’m guessing the other items on the menu would be equally successful.  I only regret that Duck City Bistro is a bit too far to visit regularly.

If you’re going to Davenport, Iowa, any of the Quad Cities, or the region nearby, do plan on having dinner at this excellent restaurant.  You are sure to be well-advised on some gluten free options, and you’ll have a memorable dinner.

Note: – it appears they haven’t updated the prices on their online menu.  We found prices a bit higher at the restaurant.  Also, menu items may be a bit different.  My husband’s duck wasn’t duck breast, but dark meat.

I’d go back in a heartbeat.

On the Road Again

We just returned from another trip East, to celebrate my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary.   While our meal stops included the usual Olive Garden and Red Lobster, we tried a few off-the-beaten-path places.  (Note – both Olive Garden and Red Lobster can provide nutritional menus if you ask.)

One such stop was in Zanesville, Ohio.  We have been there in the past.  There had been a pottery industry, and we had taken the opportunity to combine a lunch stop with browsing in some of the antique shops.  This time, we used our Map app to locate a place to eat, and found ourselves at Muddy Misers.  It is located on the bank of the Muskingum River, and had a pleasant-looking patio for outdoor eating.  Let me say that this restaurant isn’t the best choice for gluten-free dining, but it was an interesting stop.  For my meal, I ordered a hamburger without a bun, with sides.  The deficiencies of the menu for me were compensated by the collection of items that belonged to Zane Grey.  There is a section set aside to display a framed letter, chaps, and other items that were the property of Grey. The menu includes some history of his years in Zanesville.  (Zanesville was his birthplace, but Grey became synonymous with the Western novel – “Riders of the Purple Sage” was his most successful work.)

We stayed at the Mayflower in Washington, D. C., and ate at Edgar several times.  Pricey.  Reviews on this restaurant are very mixed, with frequent complaints about the service.  The first time we ate there, they left something off our order.  (Fortunately, they didn’t charge us for it.)
For breakfast, expect to pay about $60.00 for two.   Check the menu before you order water. Their menu doesn’t carry any gluten free designation, so you’ll need to be pro-active.

Other restaurants we ate at during our trip:  Panache in Washington, D. C.  Middle-Eastern fare, with tapas-type options.  No gluten-free designations on the menu.
Schulas Grill and Crab House in Hagerstown, MD, on our way home.   Again, no gluten-free designation on the menu.

The wait staff at the above restaurants was able to advise me about the dishes on the menu and which preparations would be good choices for me, but I continue to be surprised at the lack of menu information.  Is the Chicago area a Mecca for the gluten-free?


Our New York Trip

We had a full calendar during our five-day stay in New York.  Our group visited the photo 6Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, The 9/11 Memorial, the American Museum of Natural History, The New York Historical Society, the diamond district (the only purchase was a new watch band!), The High Line park, Central Park, the Guggenheim Museum, saw a play, and – of course – ate in a number of restaurants.   Our trip was not planned around proximity to gluten free restaurants.  Still – although the restaurants were all knowledgeable about gluten free issues, and could tell me which items on the menu were safe for me to order – none of the New York restaurants where we ate had a GF menu, or GF items noted on their menu.

All the same, we had many excellent meals, even if my own choices were a bit limited.  From breakfast at Sarabeth’s (Central Park South location), to “coffee and” at Bottega del Vino (where I had a delicious almond creme brûlée), a fine meal at the Evergreen Shanghai restaurant, and lunch in the restaurant at the photo 3
New York Historical Society, we enjoyed our eating experiences.  (The photo shows the tasteful decor at the Historical Society restaurant Caffe Storico, and the display of antique dishes really appealed to this antique dealer’s heart.  English china is my main area of interest.)  We met with friends and had a great evening at Campagna Quattro Gatti on East 81st St. where they did have GF pasta.

(The New York Historical Society has proven to be a very worthwhile destination for us,.  On two separate trips to New York, we discovered excellent, well-mounted exhibits that provided a lot of context, in addition to the usual display of objects.  If you’re planning on visiting New York, I would highly recommend this jewel of a museum.  There is a quiet atmosphere that permits and encourages thoughtful viewing.)

Worth noting is the prevalence of the 24-hour buffet restaurants.  Marche Madison was steps from our hotel, and a great breakfast stop for us.  Many of the hot dishes that were available for lunch and dinner meals looked enticing, and I could imagine I’d eat there fairly often if I were a resident.

From a gluten-free perspective, I realized how appreciative I am for the great GF options available in the Chicago area.  Many of the restaurants here appear to have a commitment to accommodating the gluten free community that appears to be lacking in New York.