Tag Archives: Olive Garden

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?


Diary of a Road Trip, and Gluten Free Meals

Going on a road trip can be a challenge if you are gluten free.  I have usually tried to plan meal stops near fairly large cities, so there will be a variety of choices.  My husband and I are traveling to New York for a getaway with friends, with a stop in Springfield, Ohio, to stock our booth in the Heart of Ohio Antique Center.   For lunch, we often eat at an Olive Garden, but we stopped near Lafayette and ate at a Chili’s.  Chili’s website lists a number of menus for people with food allergies – egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, soy,  tree nuts, and wheat/gluten.  I chose one of their Fresh Mex Bowls which was ordered without the corn salsa or tortilla strips, per menu instructions.  It was quite nice, and I was pleased to see the extent to which Chili’s is accommodating people with food allergies.

Springfield, Ohio is an eating challenge on Sunday nights, even if you’re not gluten free.  The Courtyard by Marriott has a relatively nice restaurant, Mela, but it is closed on Sunday evenings.  (Note – the Courtyard by Marriott is in downtown Springfield.  We had previously stayed in one of several chain hotels near the Interstate, but that neighborhood is run-down, and the nearby restaurants don’t offer much variety – hamburger chains and Bob Evans, etc.)   Springfield isn’t much of a town for fine dining.  Even the B & B recommended by the hotel desk clerk as a good place to eat wasn’t open for Sunday night dinner.  We wound up at a deli, and I ate a sandwich sans bread.  Springfield is the location of a number of different events, so it is rather surprising that they can’t support a better selection of restaurants.

If you ever travel to Springfield, do take a ride on High Street to see the great Victorian houses.

Monday’s breakfast was in the hotel restaurant.  An egg breakfast (plus sides)  is often the option for me when there are no special GF choices.  Then we pushed on, and had lunch in Pickerington, Ohio at a Longhorn’s.  Lucky again!  They provided a gluten-free menu (not included on their website).  There were a number of selections, and I had a nice lamb chop meal with mashed potatoes (mixed with a bit of horseradish sauce) and spinach.

Our evening stay was to be in Somerset, Pennsylvania.  Due to a two-hour delay caused by an accident, we arrived after 7:00 p.m.  Fortunately, we found a King’s Family Restaurant close to the hotel, and there, too, there were gluten free items posted on the menu. (Again , these items are not noted on their website.)  King’s has a number of locations in Pennsylvania, and the Somerset restaurant had a fantastic-looking soda fountain.  They sell hand-packed ice cream.  Although we passed on the ice cream this time, we’ll definitely plan to try it at a later date!

While the choices offered by the chains don’t compete with the extensive GF menu options offered at a number of restaurants on my listing, I’m happy to find them catering to people with eating restrictions.  This greatly expands the options available on the road.

I’ll be providing updates soon.