We recently returned from an awesome albeit way too quick trip to New York City. I love New York. We both love New York. I won't get into that part right now, but I will tell you that while in New York we had some amazing experiences and ate some fantastic gluten free food!
In this post I am not going to go into detail about all of the different foods we ate or the different places we went to. I will spread those out over a few posts, as it is just too much information for one post. But I will say that the gluten free food options in NYC are abundant, at least in comparison to other places we have been. Instead I want to write today about something very interesting we discussed while in New York.
We noticed that we were not the only ones walking around to different restaurants with our lists in hand, of restaurants that we had read, offer gluten free menus and items. There were loads of people doing just that. We were unsure if it was because we were more aware of it than we had been on previous trips, or if those people had simply found the same information that I had found about these restaurants and they were therefore trying them just like we were. No one will know.
It was most interesting to me to note that we all sorta did the same thing. We walked up to the restaurant, eyed the menu on the front window and then proceeded inside. Once inside we asked the host/hostess the same question "do you have a gluten free menu?" and we all had that same goofy (overly pleased) smile on our faces when we were told "yes, follow me". It's amazing how invigorating something so simple can be to someone who is used to being looked at strangely and told "huh? you want what?".
After sitting down and perusing the menu we all had similar discussions with the server about the gluten free options on the menu or the efforts of the restaurant to avoid cross contamination and thereby ensure our food remains gluten free. We each sat there pleased with our choices and awaited the arrival of our meals. I can only assume, but I'm pretty confident, that just like me they were also each over the moon pleased when their gluten free meal arrived and it looked and smelled just like their fellow diners non-gluten free meal did.
We actually took a picture of our similar looking and equally priced Reuben sandwiches. I realize it may make me sound like a complete dork, but I never realized how exciting a stupid Reuben sandwich could actually be. It was admittedly something that I missed and never actually perfected or enjoyed when we had attempted to make it gluten free at home, but this....was awesome! You cannot even tell the difference between the two.
I found myself commenting in every place we ate "wow, this tastes just like the real thing". Abisaac asked "why do you refer to the non-gluten free item as being the "real thing" and think yours is not real somehow?". Honestly, I do not know why I do that. I can only guess that it is because up until 1 year ago, I was used to things being and tasting a certain way and since being diagnosed celiac, those things (among others) have changed forever for me. And quite honestly there is some pretty nasty tasting and looking gluten free stuff out there. Some of it is hard as a rock, tastes like cardboard and even weighs a ton in comparison to it's fellow "regular" or gluten filled counterpart. So that is why I refer to gluten free foods as "tasting just like the real thing".