Saturday, June 17, 2017

Roadside Dining with Food Allergies

me with Son #2 at The Cheesecake Factory
Our road trip from Colorado to Florida began today. Yesterday we got to see Son #2 one more time with lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.

It occurred to me that for any of my readers who may have food allergies/intolerances, you may be interested to know what I'm eating to avoid my particular food allergies and intolerances while Beloved and I are on the road.

When possible, I check a restaurant's menu online before arriving to see if there is something I can order for myself. With the exceptions of dedicated fast-food burger, fried chicken, and pizza  businesses,  there is usually something I can have and even enjoy.

After I've been to a restaurant with an entree that agrees with me, I usually order that same thing anytime I go to that particular place or chain. 

Yesterday when we met Son #2 at The Cheesecake Factory, I simply checked the menu to be sure they were still serving what has worked for me in the past, their Santa Fe Salad.

The Cheesecake Factory's Santa Fe Chicken Salad

This is salad is a very flavorful combination of Lime-marinated Chicken, fresh corn, black beans, corn tortilla strips, tomato, and mixed greens with a spicy peanut-cilantro vinaigrette. The menu description includes cheese, but I asked them to omit that and they did. It was delicious, as it always is.

IHOP's Spinach Salad with grilled chicken

For dinner last night we ate at the IHOP located next door to our hotel. The Chicken Cobb Salad is advertised to be crispy or grilled chicken, hickory-smoked bacon, a hard-boiled egg, tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles with a buttermilk ranch dressing. 

I asked our server to amend that to grilled chicken, omit the cheese  and egg entirely, and to give me a vinaigrette dressing instead. No problem. It was wonderful and filling.

When we travel, I always take along some kind of store-bought fruit-and-nut bar (Lara Bars, KIND bars, and the like) that has ingredients I can eat. (label reading is essential, of course) They tuck easily into my purse and serve as my default plan when I am confronted with a hopeless (for me) menu.

Today while we were on the road, we stopped at a McDonalds in North Platte, Nebraska. McDonalds sometimes has a salad I can eat but I've learned the most tasty ones tend to be on their menu only temporarily. However when stopping along the Interstate for lunch, one can't be too picky. I made sure I had a nut bar in my purse and we went inside. 

McDonald's Southwest Salad 
Happily, McDonalds currently has a wonderful entree called Southwest Salad. It was made up of spinach, corn, black beans, a small amount of jalapeƱo pepper, corn chips, grilled chicken, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Cheese was listed as an ingredient, which I asked them to omit. The salad was great. It hit the spot!

Yes, I do eat a lot of salads, but I've grown to love them and make it my business to include as large a variety of fresh veggie and fruit ingredients as possible. That makes them so much more flavorful, healthy, and interesting.

Shortly after I complete writing this post, we plan to have supper at The Cracker Barrel. My choice there is usually the grilled trout over rice with a couple of side dish veggies. I pass on the dinner rolls and cornbread. 

Writing about all this food has made me hungry. I'm going to dinner!

P.S. The comments are closed for today since we are on the road (and will be for the next couple of weeks).

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