Last week Jeremy and I took a trip to Martinique. Martinique is a rugged Caribbean island that’s part of the Lesser Antilles. An overseas region of France, its culture reflects a distinctive blend of French and West Indian influences. Its largest town, Fort-de-France, features steep hills, and narrow streets. Located 3.5 miles south-southeast of Fort de France, is the town Pointe du Bout. Pointe du Bout is a “popular” tourist destination because it offers lots of shops, restaurants, beaches and ferry access to Fort-de France.
With that said, the tourist industry in Martinique is still rather small. It wasn’t until 2015 that Americans really started travelling to Martinique. Many people I’ve spoken with have never even heard of it!
Pointe du Bout offers quite a few restaurant options. While there aren’t gluten free menus anywhere, there are plenty of gluten free options. Most menus feature grilled fish and meats, and as long as you speak french or have a french gluten free guide card, you should be just fine!
Le Bistrot d’en face is a wine bar/French restaurant that serves a variety of meat dishes. Many of the grilled meats, without marinade, are gluten free.
Fish is also very popular on the island. Marlin, Dorade (sea bream), smoked salmon, Chatrou (small octopus), shrimp and prawns can be found on restaurant menus throughout the island.
Colombo is a signature spice of the Island and is made with a blend of French, West- and East Indian spices. It combines turmeric, brown mustard seed, hot pepper, coriander, West Indian bay leaf, thyme and black peppercorn. The most famous dishes include Colombo de Martinique which is a curry traditionally made from lamb cooked in coconut milk, ginger and Colombo powder. It is also used to season chicken, goat, pork or vegetables such as aubergine, pumpkin or other local root vegetables.
Ceviche is also quiet popular. We had ceviche twice during our trip.
Breakfast was a little trickery, as most people ate pastries of some sort. Luckily, fresh fruit and eggs are on every restaurant menu.
We had such a great trip and there was no shortage of fresh fish or fruity drinks!
Last week Jeremy and I went to London for our “mini-moon”. We didn’t have to time go on our honeymoon right after the wedding – we’re going to Bora Bora in May – but did have time to escape to London for a few days.
I went to London for a few days in 2007, when I was studying abroad in Spain, but that was before I was gluten free. I was excited to go back, but a little nervous how eating gluten free there would be. But, let me tell you – it was so easy! There are so many gluten free restaurants and cafes, and restaurants offering gluten free menus! I was actually quite impressed with the number of restaurants offering gluten free bread and the labeling of all allergens on restaurant menus – U.S. restaurant owners could learn a thing or two by visiting London.
Here are a few of the restaurants we dined at during our trip (*Reservations recommended or required for all restaurants):
London is synonomous with afternoon tea – classic tea, with scones, tarts and finger sandwiches. Luckily, there are a few establishments now offering gluten free high tea options. We went to Fortnum & Mason’s Jubilee Diamond Tea room, and it was an experience to remember. The setting is a classic and traditional English tea room with old-school glamour. The staff are very Knowledgeable about the menu and you are not missing out on anything here when ordering gluten free.
Although afternoon tea is typically served in, well the afternoon, I would recommend going for lunch. You get plenty of food and tea, and free refills on it all, for £44.
Beyond Bread: A 100% gluten free bakery in Fitzrovia. From fresh bread to muffins and cinnamon rolls to sandwiches, cookies and cupcakes, Beyond Bread has something for every meal. Not only gluten free, many items are also dairy free, and/or nut free. Each item is labeled.
As you would expect with a gluten free bakery, it isn’t cheap, but it isn’t too expensive either.
Andina Casita – This Peruvian restaurant and Pisco bar in Soho scored big points with us not just for the delicious, fresh food, but also for the comprehensive allergens labeled on their menu. The staff here is incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients used in each dish. It was delicious and I highly recommend it.
Cinnamon Soho – A vibrant and stylish modern Indian restaurant in Soho. London is also known for great Indian food. While Brick Lane is the famous street in South London lined with curry houses, we chose an option that had a gluten free menu and was more conveniently located to our hotel.
Cinnamon offers fresh, seasonal Indian food, with a quirky British twist. Open all day from breakfast through to lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and cocktail hour, plus Indian takeaway, you’re guaranteed great service and great food in a friendly atmosphere. Menu items are labeled (gf) Gluten-free (df) Dairy-free (v) Vegetarian and (n) Contains nuts. Additional Allergen menus available on request.
Dishoom – Another modern Indian restaurant just a few hundred feet from Cinnamon is also known for their gluten free options, but does not accept reservations. The wait on Friday night was over two hours, so either get there early or just go to Cinnamon.
Pizza East Portobello – Spread over two floors of a restored Georgian pub in the middle of Portobello Market. It serves wood oven pizzas, antipasti and daily specials in buzzing, modern surroundings. Italian cured meats and cheeses are available to buy at the Deli. Upstairs, a laid-back dining room and terrace provide a little green haven. This was one of my favorite restaurants – I loved the decor and atmosphere, not to mention the fresh gluten free bread! Now we didn’t come here for pizza, we came here for the gluten free rye bread!
Borough Market – London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years! Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers: the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread. Other traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough. Together, the Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world.
One of the best parts is not only trying different foods, but that things are labeled gluten free! We had English oysters, Indian food and gluten free, dairy free brownies from The Free From Bakehouse, a 100% gluten free bakery with a stall at the market.
For cocktails, check out The Luggage Room (reservation recommended). Tucked away in the corner of Grosvenor Square (at the Marriott Hotel), The Luggage Room draws on the spirit of the Roaring Twenties and serves up delicious cocktails. To enter, you must knock on the door and wait to be left in.
While our trip was short, we had a great time and ate great food. We can’t wait to go back again someday and explore new neighborhoods, new cuisines, and new gluten free options in London.
Have you visited London recently? Where did you eat gluten free?
New Orleans is a great place for eating…gluten-free! New Orleans is one of the culinary capitals of the U.S., with a mix of Cajun, Creole and French cuisines, making it uniquely it’s own. There are a few staples you must try if you are there – Po’ Boys, Chargrilled Oysters, Gulf Fish – and luckily you can find gluten free versions of all these dishes and more.
Raw oysters served on the half shell are popular throughout the South, but chargrilled oysters are a distinctly New Orleans specialty. Traditionally made with a mixture of breadcrumb, herbs, cheese, and melted butter, you can find a gluten free version of this NOLA staple at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar and The Irish House.
Po’ Boys are also a NOLA staple, but finding a gluten free version of this French Bread sandwich filled with fried seafood, can be hard. There are two restaurant that offers a gluten free version, Casamento’s and Meals from the Heart Cafe. Casement’s has the classic, with fried shrimp and fried oysters, but the catch is they close at 2pm and you must get there early if you don’t want to wait in line. We didn’t know this and ultimately did not want to wait over an hour, we were hungry. So next time I am in NOLA, it will be my first stop of the day.
If you are a seafood lover, then NOLA is definitely the city for you. With fresh gulf fish and seafood on almost every menu, you must try gulf shrimp, blue crab, alligator, and red fish.
My favorite meal was at Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. The waiters are knowledgable about the menu and they offer many gluten free dishes.
On Christmas we ate dinner at Richard Fiske’s, a martini and jazz bar serving creole food in the French Quarer. While they do not offer a gluten free menu, they can do just about any seafood dish gluten free. They also have a great happy hour, with $3 martini’s from 4-7pm!
After we decided not to wait in line at Casamento’s we ended up at the best Vietnamese Restaurant, Magasin Cafe in Uptown.
Other Gluten Free Restaurants in NOLA:
3 Potato 4 (French Quarter) organic baked potato-fries company that serves a variety of organic, gluten free, 99% fat free, baked potato-fries with homemade sauces in a biodegradable paper cone.
Bayona (contemporary American, French Quarter) almost anything on the menu can be made to accommodate gluten allergies.
Bourbon House (Seafood, French Quarter) Gluten Free Menu available
BRAVO Cucina Italian (Metairie) Gluten Free Menu available includes salads, pasta and grilled entrees
Last weekend Jeremy and I went to Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea what a foodie town it was until we got there. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to eat gluten free in the south, and if that was really on their radar yet. But I was plesanlty suprised to find so many restarants with gluten free menus, and servers aware of what “gluten free” means; such a relief!
Here is a recap of the restaurants we went to in Charleston.
Lowcountry Bistro serves high quality food, using the freshest and most local ingredients possible, combining both modern-creative and traditional southern styles of cooking. The menu offers farm to table Lowcountry food; a casual mix of Creole, French, Southern and comfort foods. This is one of the few restaurants that offers Lowcountry gluten free food. Gluten Free options include shrimp and grits, jambalya, seafood, crab dip, salads, and more.
Toast Restaurant is hailed as a must-eat by the NY Times, which is evident by the line out the door at all hours of the day. Luckily we didn’t have to wait that long to be seated [20 minutes]. While Toast does not offer gluten free bread, it has plenty to choose from; eggs and hash, omelettes, salads, side dishes. We decided to eat here not only because everyone recommended it to use, but they also had crab omelettes, and I was on a mission to have crab while in Charleston!
Note: They have a shared fryer and cooking surfaces.
Sticky Fingers is a Memphis style-barbecue chain restaurant with many gluten free options to choose from. Here you will find wings (baked if you specifically ask, so they don’t fry them in the gluten fryer), meat platters (chicken, pork, brisket, ribs) and a variety of southern sides and sauces on the separate gluten free menu. We had the ribs which were messy and delicious and so tender from slow cooking on-site over aged hickory wood, that the meat fell right off the bones!
And all 5 Sticky Finger sauces are gluten free!
Black Bean Co. is a fast casual restaurant, which they refer to as “Energy Food” offering natural, organic, and vegan friendly food, with many gluten free options. For lunch one day I had a delicious salad with goat cheese and Italian-style tofu with a citrus vinaigrette.
Joe Pasta uses Tito’s Vodka in many of their drinks, and indicates which drinks are gluten free. Tito’s Vodka can also be substituted for other vodkas. We had brunch here on our first day in Charleston. I had a vegetable omelette, and we both had Ultimate Bloody Marys.
And of course we just had to have pralines while we were in Charleston. You can find pralines at dozens of places, but we loved the chocolate and pumpkin pralines from River Street Sweets on King Street.
The atmosphere at Carnivale is global, festive and fun – next time you’re looking for a unique place to eat in the West Loop, or just craving Latin fusion, Carnivale offers a great environment and lots of gluten free options.
The menu features dishes masterminded by Chef Rodolfo Cuadros, which bear the strong influence of his Latin-American upbringing while incorporating flavors from around the world.
The menu indicated which items are gluten free and vegetarian. There is a chance of cross contamination for anything that is fried, such as tortilla chips and tacos.
Two weeks ago I was in Portland, Maine. Portland offers a taste of a classic New England city. Its waterfront setting and Old Port district are filled with unique shopping, art galleries and museums, and some of the best dining in Maine. Portland is also home to some of the most famous lighthouses in Maine, including Portland Headlight, Portland Breakwater Light and Spring Point Lighthouse, and it is a short drive away from the beaches of Oguniquit, York, Old Orchard Beach, and Wells.
Bam Bam Bakery offers gluten free baked goods for the discerning palate. All of their goods are gluten free and they offer many vegan, dairy free and soy free options, all made from scratch. From cupcakes, pies, and breads, to cookies, brownies and more, you will not be dissapointed here. The prices here are so very reasonable. For two bars we paid $4.25 total! In NYC that would have been $4.25 each!
Every bakery has its secret, and for The Holy Donut, it’s potato. Maine potatoes are used in all the donuts, with sweet potato, gluten free and vegan options available every day. The menu rotates daily, and recent gluten free options have included cinnamon sugared, dark chocolate sea salt, and glazed (usually something like maple, lemon, coconut). Get there early because they will run out.
Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room is casual seafood restaurant on Custom House Wharf, serving fresh local seafood to visiting tourists and locals alike. The menu has a variety of options, including; seafood, meat dishes, Asian inspired woks, wood oven pizza, and lobsters (most expensive I’ve ever seen so heads up, this is not the place to get lobster). The fish selection is always changing, depending on whats fresh and available. I love that the menu tells you where the fish is from. Some of the local Maine fish on the menu last weekend were Cusk, Monkfish, Halibut, Hake, Cod, and Haddock. Note: fryer is not gluten free.
DiMillo’s, is a floating restaurant in Portland offering fresh seafood, beef and Italian fare with a gluten free menu available. Located in the Old Port, DiMillo’s is one of Maine’s most famous restaurants. It was founded in 1954 on Fore Street as Anthony’s and moved to its present location on Portland’s Long Wharfin 1978.
The Corner Room Kitchen & Bar features a bright, wide-open space with towering ceilings andeasy view of the kitchen and pasta-making station. Located in the beautifully renovated former home of “The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies,” you will find fresh, house-made gluten free pastas, antipasti and more. The food here was delicious, but the service is slow and the gluten free pasta is $3 extra.
David’s Restaurant is the Old Port’s most renown dining establishment. Serving contemporary American cuisine & fresh seafood from chef/owner David Turin. Gluten Free menu options labeled.
Vinland is a bar/eatery serving a 100% locally sourced, organic, gluten-free menu in an eco-chic space. It’s quite pricey but may be worth the experience. Dobrá Tea offers healthy Mediterranean food enough for a light meal with vegetarian options, with some being vegan and gluten free.
White Cap Grill offers 3 contemporary dining rooms, alfresco dining on the portico during the warmer months, and the option at the bar to enjoy some of the best people-watching in the Old Port. Signature dishes include fresh fish caught from Maine’s cold waters, beef from local farms that believe in the value of grass fed cattle, and vegetarian entrees that are created from scratch and help set us apart. Gluten Free menu items are labeled. Silly’s, located in the East End of Portland, has an outdoor garden patio located at the back of the building where you can enjoy a pitcher of Silly’s Sangria while soaking up some sun. Silly’s offers multiple options for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free diets. They have a dedicated gluten free fryer and a dedicated vegan fryer. All the dressings, sauces, dips, spreads, marinades, chilis, breadings, gravies, bread, cookies, pies and cakes are made at Silly’s according to Colleen’s recipes downstairs in the prep kitchen so if you have allergies, sensitivities, diet restrictions or just want to know what is in the food email Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out. The only thing they don’t make is the tortillas. Menu items are labeled gluten free.
The Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro was created in 2007 and opened as Portland’s premier haven for mindful dining. Established by chef and owner Dan Sriprasert, the Green Elephant offers to its friends and patrons a degree of culinary balance that is often elusive in today’s world; compassion and indulgence, health and gratification, food for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Dan united ingredients and flavors from Malaysia, Japan, China, India and Thailand into a meat-free menu with something for everyone. The Green Elephant sources and provides as many local products as possible. We offer Portland beers, hand-mixed home-grown teas, coffee roasted locally, sweet sodas from Maine, and an entirely organic and sustainably farmed wine list. Gluten Free Menu items are labeled.
Are you traveling this holiday season? Or planning an overseas trip?
Triumph Dining Cards allow diners to provide food service workers with the necessary information to make a Gluten-Free meal in their native language.
Order safely in ten languages: English, Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish (Mexican), Thai, and Vietnamese.
All cards are written in English on one side and the second language on the backside. The all say, “I have Celiac Disease and must adhere to a special diet or I can become ill. I would be most grateful for your help in choosing a meal I can safely eat.”
Each card then describes what you cannot eat, i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats or foods made from them like flour, pasta, bread, beer, soy sauce, etc. The cards are tailored to each cuisine. For example the Japanese card prohibits imitation crab, soy sauce, and tempura, while the Mexican card prohibits flour tortillas, and the Greek card prohibits phyllo or meat dusted in flour.
Each card also lists foods you can eat, including oil, fresh meat and seafood, rice, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, yogurt, legumes, nuts, salt, honey, balsamic and wine vinegars, and non-processed cheeses like feta— to name a few!
The cards also include an important warning about cross contamination.
The cards are laminated and portable cards fold neatly into any wallet or purse.
These cards are great to have with you when traveling to countries you don’t speak the language. I have also found them to be incredibly helpful here in New York City.
In August Jeremy and I took a weekend trip to Ogunquit, Maine. The weather was a little chilly but we had a great weekend spending time with his family, walking around the town, and dining out of course. Below are a few of the places we went to during our 3 day trip. I didn’t include the first night, we ate at a restaurant that was not very gluten free friendly.
A Lifestyle Emporium is bringing York a new kind of store— one committed to offering a marketplace of healthy products in an eco-friendly environment. All products have to meet at least one of the following criteria: clean, organic, locally or globally sourced, fair-trade, environmentally gentle, or cruelty free. There are dozens of gluten free options. The made to order wraps can be made on gluten free wraps.
Fox’s Lobster House offers lobster at a great price. Starting at $15.95 for a 1-1/8 pound lobster, they had the best prices we saw all weekend. When in Maine you MUST order Maine Lobster! For $18.95 I got a 1-1/4 lb lobster and two sides.
Fox’s also offers gluten free pasta for an additional $1 that can be subbed in any of their pasta dishes. But, I do have to say the management here leaves much to be desired. We were a party of 16 and they wanted to charge us $2 per person for bringing in our birthday cake. They don’t offer GF desserts so ordering from them was not an option. Obviously, we took the cake outside.
I never expected to find gluten free pancakes in Ogunquit and was surprised when we walked into Amore and saw that, not only did they have gluten free pancakes on the menu, they also had gluten free waffles and bagels! I can’t tell you the last time I had a waffle. This one was delicious. They also have soy milk available for coffee and drinks.
Have you been to Southern Maine? Where do you eat?
I just got back from my forth trip to Spain. You could say that I love traveling to Spain. This time I went to Galicia. It was my first time in this part of the country. Jeremy and I spent 6 nights traveling to different cities— Vigo, Pontevedra, Ourense, and Santiado de Compostela. We also spent 2 in Portugal– I’ll be posting about Portugal later this week!
Located in the northwest corner of Spain, surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean, is the region of Galicia. Seafood is the king of cuisine here and about half of the seafood consumed in Spain comes from the waters of Galicia.
Why do I love Spain so much? The people, the landscapes, the culture, and the food is all amazing! If you haven’t been to Spain, you must go! And I promise gating gluten free is a breeze! In Galicia is quite easy, as most dishes are seafood-based. The selection of tapas in Galicia is not as broad as that of Barcelona or Madrid, but the quality is just as good and you won’t feel a lack of options! I promise! [If you are interested in learning about the gluten free options in Barcelona and the Rioja region, click here.]
Here is a list Galician tapas that are naturally gluten free.
Almejas (clams) Almejas refer to a broad category of clams. In Galicia you will most often find the small grooved carpet shell species.
Berberechos (Cockles) Very similar to standard clams but you can distinguish them by the ridges on their shells and their heat-shaped shape when viewed sideways.
Mejillones (Mussels) One of the most affordable options are mussels, served fresh with lemon wedges as mejillones al vapor (steamed mussels) or in a spicy marinade called tigres.
Vieiras (Scallops) Scallops are the symbol of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route that ends in the Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela. The yellow scallop shells direct the path all the way from the French boarder across northern Spanish boarder. In Spain, scallops are served on the half shell. Smaller scallops are called zamburiñas.
Percebes (Goose Barnacles)
Galicia is also famous for Piemientos de Padron, (Pedron peppers). Grown in the city of Padrón, these small green peppers have a mild taste.
Once in a while you will get a spicy one, but of the 10+ times I’ve ordered them I have yet to come across a spicy pepper. Padrón peppers are usually eaten fried in olive oil and with a sprinkle of coarse salt that not only enhances their flavor, but adds a nice crunch.
There are many types of chorizo in Galicia.
Tetilla cheese. The word “tetilla” means “small breast” clearly defines the traditional shape of this cheese made from cow’s milk.
Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet) No doubt about it, the Tortilla Española is the most commonly served dish in Spain. Made with eggs and potato.
Patatas Bravas are not too easy to find in Galicia but you can still find plenty of fried potatoes.
Galicia is also known for its wine— Albariño, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei, and Valdeorras.
On our first day in Spain we went to the Alboriño Wine Festival in Cambados, Spain.
This festival is held every during the first week of August. The outdoor festival is free to attend. You pay by taste or you can pay 15 euros for the exhibit hall and try over 100 wines.
We also visited the Viña Costeira Winery in Ribiero, one of the wine regions in Galicia. We took a tour of the facility and then did a wine tasting, complete with a tapas spread.
Viña Costeira is available in select states in the US. Off the top of my head I know you can find it in stores and restaurants in New York and Ohio.
I highly recommend doing a wine tour if you ever make it to Spain. Make sure to book your tour well in advance of your trip. It’s not like here; you can’t just show up for tasting and tours, appointments are required.
Whether you are a travel newbie or a seasoned explorer, there is always something new to learn.
Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Kristine and Toni, co-founders of travel company, Journey Soulo, have visited 19 countries around the world and have collected tips, tricks and stories on each trip. The result? The Top 5 Lists Of All Things Travel — a book full of simple (and sometimes silly) lists that will help you plan and embark on your next trip.
Through this quick read you will:
• Discover fun places to stay that you may never have considered.
• Learn new ways to save for your next trip.
• Learn to avoid the pigeon **** pickpocket.
• Discover what this means: Wo kann ich Lederhosen in meiner Größe?
• Be inspired to plan your next trip now!
The Top 5 Things of All Things Travel also includes stories from fellow travelers, links to helpful websites and apps, and space for you to add your own lists (in the paperback version).
The Top 5 Things of All Things Travel provides you with a planning template to use whether you’re preparing for a trip to a neighboring state or a foreign country, traveling with a group or making a go of it solo. By the end of the book you’ll be ready to book the trip of your dreams!
This is a fun read that can really prove to help you. I like the different facts Kristine and Toni provide and tid-bits about how the book came to be. I would recommend this for anyone who is about to travel or loves to travel.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to 26 countries, Portugal in August will make 27! I took my first international trip at age 12 and was hooked. I love traveling for so many reasons; trying new foods, learning new customs, meeting new people, seeing new places, trying things I never thought I could or would do. Traveling has truly opened my eyes to the world and I encourage everyone to travel internationally at least once in their lifetime.
With all my travel experience, I still found this book helpful. There were some things they mentioned that I hadn’t thought about, such as writing down the number for making calls to the U.S. If you have it written down you won’t be scrambling if/when the time comes you need to call.
So where have I been you ask? Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, Ireland, England, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Morocco, Australia, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.