Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gluten-Free in NYC - Day One

We took a short vacation during the kids' February break week to visit New York City. It was windy and chilly the first day, so we abandoned our original walking tour plans and hit the Guggenheim Museum for a wonderful exhibit on the development of Spanish painting. Despite the current scaffolding which obscures this turban-shaped, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum, it is always a treat because it has so many interesting vistas and angles to frame the artwork. This particular exhibit showed off one high spot of art history after the other by Juan Miro, Picasso, El Greco, Goya and others. The curators showed humor by contrasting paintings by different artists of cow heads, court dwarves, overly-dressed royals and other subjects. The exhibit runs through March 28th.

My first tip for the gluten-free traveler would be to avoid what I did in packing a glass bottle of wheat-free soy sauce in my purse. We planned on a Chinese/Thai/Japanese meal or two, so I had gotten a bottle packed inside a plastic bag to use on our table. This was unfortunately not enough protection as it leaked inside my new pleather purse and onto the floor of our lunch spot and worst of all, on my borrowed library book. My next trip will be to the dollar store to procure a leak-free plastic condiment bottle. And I will only bring ratty paperbacks along for the ride.

Our dinner was at Bloom's Delicatessen Cafe, located at 350 Lexington Avenue, at the corner of E. 4oth Street. This was a quick walk from our hotel room and we had gotten their name from the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program on the Internet. Our omnivorous offspring were thrilled with their Chicken Fingers and Shrimp Parmigiana and even tried a New York deli must-drink, Cel-Ray, a celery-flavored ginger ale. Dan and I enjoyed the complimentary Pickle Bar and were appreciative that they had a gluten-free menu, but there were limited options for a vegetarian. We ended up with okay broiled fish, although Dan opted for the delicious gluten-free french fries. Two doors up on the same block was an Indian restaurant which piqued our interest for the next night's dining, but I will save that for tomorrow's blog.....

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