Can You Eat Gluten Free At The Red Rock, Las Vegas?
Lately, I've been traveling a lot! I’m a seasoned traveler, but this much can be hard for the average Jane, let alone if you add celiac disease, food allergies or other special dietary restrictions to the equation. You will most certainly have a recipe for utter distress, illness, fatigue and of course the danger of being “glutened.” I have repeated myself ad nauseam; peppering restaurants, hotel managers, and servers with the endless questions about their gluten free options. “Do you have a gluten free menu?” Do you keep everything separate in the kitchen or take any kind of precautions?” “Do you know the ingredients in the salad dressing? Is it made in-house?” Etc., etc… I am sure you are all familiar with the drill.
I made it through Florida, unscathed, except for a head cold. Now, I sit in my hotel room in Las Vegas, venting to all of you about my frustration and disillusionment. Sometimes, even I feel defeated. Las Vegas is known for giving people what they want, right? My previous experiences have been great. I know what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but not this time! Here's the story:We checked into the Red Rock, in Sumerlin, and trekked to our room. We were startled to open the door and find a man in his underwear watching television, lounging leisurely on the bed. Okay, but my key card DID open that door. Can you say awkward? I have never had that happen before and I hope it never happens again; can I add that it was not a pretty sight? In hindsight, it was pretty hilarious. The bellman graciously(after that mistake, graciously is being generous) brought keys to our new room. I was starved, so we quickly decided where to eat. The Grand Cafe' seemed the best all around choice, or not? I began this restaurant endeavor with my usual litany of questions, “Do you have a gluten free menu?” To which the hostess replied with a flat, “No.” End of conversation. When I asked for a manager, none was ever sent and the server seemed to be trying as best he could, nevertheless I felt defeated. I settled on an omelet and verified that it wasn't cooked on the same griddle as the pancakes. Unfortunately, the server proceeded to explain to me that I couldn't have the pancakes, because they have gluten in them. Duh! Do I have, "Please gluten me written across my forehead?" This is not my first gluten free rodeo, folks! I’m pretty sure I didn't ask for pancakes, much less how surprised I was that he knew that there was gluten IN pancakes.
This afternoon, I had ordered a glass of chardonnay from room service. What? Don’t judge! Don't you drink in the afternoon too? Besides my fave was on the menu. Anyway, when it came up I didn't really look at it, took a few sips, and happened to notice “floaters” in the wine. Eww, gross, right? Luckily, they brought me a new glass but I wish they would have left the bottle for my trouble. I had mentioned in casual conversation that I had a website that helped people with food allergies, gluten free dining and special dietary requirements. My server quickly piped up with, “We have all kinds of gluten free options, and we even have bread!” If you are wondering,yes, my teeth are still in my mouth - for now. I surrender - how could a place like this fill me with so much apprehension and not have consistent education throughout the resort? Is that too much to ask?
Let me give you the lay of the land, if you've never been to the Red Rock, it’s about 20 minutes from the strip, so my choices are limited and my courage fleeting. My husband informed me that we needed to entertain some co-workers for dinner and to make a reservation.Restaurants should take notice at this point - I WAS IN CHARGE OF THE RESERVATION! Panic, anxiety and sweats broke out. I’m sure to make a scene tonight if I don’t do my research and bust some balls. Yes, I said balls. If there is nothing to eat, then I will probably embarrass myself, because vodka is gluten free after all. Red Rock Casino & Resort boasts an upscale steakhouse, T-Bones. It was my go to choice. Steak houses can be some of the easiest restaurants to navigate. I rang the concierge (I love having someone at my fingertips) to request seating for five at 6:30 pm. To which she promptly replied, “Is this a special occasion and are there any FOOD ALLERGIES we should be aware of?” The heavens parted, angels sang and the Red Rock has been temporarily redeemed.
Overall T-bones did a pretty good job with the gluten free issues. Actually asked if it was okay that they bring bread for the table and my server knew offhand that the demi glace for the lamb chops contained flour (I prefer the mint jelly anyway). He mentioned they have a separate area where they can prepare my food, a special ticketing so that the kitchen is made aware and that his daughter and wife had tree nut allergies, so he fully understood my issues. He was patient with me and left me feeling pretty assured.
Dinner tonight? Hmm, I guess that my gluten free Las Vegas (ok, Sumerlin) adventure is to be continued….(cue mysterious organ music - da, da daaa).
For additional information about traveling with food allergies and gluten free requirements or how to dine out safely, check out these related articles:
Written by Juli La Porte | August 27, 2013