Let me just go out on a limb and say if you’re traveling to Vegas, your main focus isn’t sticking to your diet. How much cash you can lose and still pay the mortgage, how many free vodka gimlets you can score from the casino waitress, and how much does a hooker cost, anyway? These thoughts will take up much more of your head space. For those of us with Celiac, however, no matter how many martinis are tossed back we’ve still gotta’ check the menu for gluten. Phhhhhhpt.
Luckily I traveled with a group of accommodating ladies who didn’t seem to mind me quizzing the wait staff when we sat down to eat. Or at least had the courtesy to talk about me behind my back while I was away, killing it at the slot machines. (Me and Grandma raked it IN.) For that kindness I will not post any photos of any of these lovely women in compromising positions. You’re welcome, Rebecca.
Also luckily, I travel with people who have incredible taste in restaurants. Which is how we found ourselves at Sushi Samba, STK and brunch at Bouchon. I happily got my gluten-free eat on at these restaurants, and all of them were ah-mah-zing. That’s a fact, jack. Also a fact? I ate at all of these restaurants and I was only in Vegas for about 24 hours. Sick!
Even though I used to cruise by it all the time, I never dined at Sushi Samba when I lived in New York. I’m now wishing I could go back in time and remedy that situation because it was super fun times. Maybe it was the waitress who was so on top of this gluten-free business that I felt like I could just tell her to bring me out plates and I’d chow down with confidence, but I was in sushi heaven at the Samba. I ordered the Green Envy rolls without the wasabi pea crust (sharp eye, waitress!) but with aji amarillo-key lime mayo, which meant I didn’t even need the devil soy sauce for dipping and instead could enjoy the gluten-free accoutrement without fear. But you know what? They totally had wheat-free tamari ready to go as well. As if that didn’t make me happy enough, I stole coconut rice from my dining neighbor and I wish I’d ordered five bowls of that lusciousness for lunch. I’m on a mission to recreate that business in my house, because coconut rice makes me feel all warm inside. No, it wasn’t the Hakata cocktail. Okay, maybe.
If you’ve ever thought, hey, I really want to enjoy my high-end dinner while right in the middle of a Vegas nightclub, STK is the spot for you. (You will be excused for never, ever, never, having that desire.) Chef Stephen Hopcraft, of “Top Chef” fame, clearly loves to cook within an environment that encourages table side grinding and sex in the bathrooms, because the food at STK is exceptional. Also exceptional? Our waiter who was so gluten knowledgable he kept checking in with me throughout the night. Or at least I think that’s what happened, because after a few shots I’m not sure if I was just fantasizing about him “checking in” with me or it was really happening. Also he did this thing where I got two small bowls of salads instead of one. Because of gluten. Or just a fuck up, I’m still unclear. About a million things are unclear about that dinner because you honestly couldn’t hear a gd thing what with the “Humpty Dance” blasting. What was clear? Potatoes in a variety of ways and steak at STK are the bomb.
If you’ve been reading my blog over the past few months you’ll know I’m having a love affair with Thomas Keller’s gluten-free flour, Cup4Cup. Which is why I was super excited to hit his Vegas eatery for brunch, even though I was basically guaranteed to be left drooling over all of the pastries that I cannot eat. Rumor has it that Keller serves up gluten-free goodies in his restaurants, hence, his invention of Cup4Cup. Sadly, they did not get that memo at the Bouchon in Las Vegas. Not sadly, I still got this crazy ham steak and eggs breakfast that was out of this world. Even better? I had a plane to catch so I had to eat quickly at the bar, and I left before the basket of pastries even arrived. Whew! No gluten envy for me.
Of course there’s one more way to stay completely gf while you’re enjoying the charms of Sin City. Stick to the blackjack tables, and only order hard liquor. You’ll be totally safe.