Somewhere in the middle of ripping open the envelope, squealing with delight, and being whisked off to an amazing birthday weekend in NYC, I went ahead and handed over my sash and tiara to the new Queen...er...King of Surprise.
He had an adorable "I have a crush on you" card. He had flights departing Friday morning and returning Sunday. He had Wicked tickets. He had a 4 star hotel in Midtown Manhattan. He had plans for shopping sprees. He... had me at "Hello". :)
And the best news? Between Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, gourmet gluten free meals, red velvet cake, designer bag shopping at Century 21 (hello best store and prices ever), finding a birthday outfit at the GIANT Macey's on 34th, walking around town, chilling in Times Square, drooling over the New York vibe of our hotel and the yellow lily bouquets in the lobby (I know they brought them in just for me)... somehow amidst all of that, I was distracted enough to not think about the big 3-0. A birthday miracle. :)
As usual, New York City did not disappoint in the gluten-free department. It is always one of my favorite places to vacation because of the food. I ate delicious meals all day every day, and didn't get sick once. New Yorkers truly get it.
Here are the restaurant reviews:
It was close to our hotel, and I knew I liked the food, so we visited Blooms again this trip. This time I tried the Turkey Club Triple Decker, which is served on toasted gluten free bread. It was very very tasty, even though there was no sauce (I was told the Russian dressing on the table was gluten-free, but felt weird about it so decided not to risk it. I've learned through hard experience to trust that inner voice). They are pricey for a sandwich ($13.75 without fries), but tasty and filling. This is a great place to go if your loved ones don't have to eat gluten-free too. My husband really enjoyed his very non-gluten-free Reuben Sandwich. All in all, very tasty, and absolutely no negative reaction.
Delish. This is where I chose to eat my birthday dinner, and I loved the cozy atmosphere and the scrumptious Italian food. The employees all knew what "gluten free" was, and I saw other guests ordering gluten free as well.
Each gluten-free meal is served with bread and dipping oil (nice touch), and I ended up ordering the pizza with red velvet cake for dessert. I felt very safe, and had no adverse reaction. My husband said the normal food was good too. Try them. Tasty.
Yum. Nizza was a small, quaint restaurant that was absolutely packed (for good reason). Luckily, we'd made reservations. It's located within walking distance of the Majestic Theatre, which is where we were seeing Phantom that night, so it worked out really well.
Each gluten-free meal is served with breadsticks, which were good, and we decided to go crazy and try one of their famous chickpea soccas as well. We weren't blown away; I think you either love them, or hate them. I know plenty of people love them, but not really our cup of tea. The meal more than made up for it, however.
The Ziti Al Forno, a cheesy baked delight, was exactly what I was craving. Top it off with Tortonni (delicious frozen Italian custard) for dessert, and you have perfection.
No negative reaction. Just yummy-ness. With so many options, I'm really glad we gave Nizza's a try.
We went here for breakfast our last morning, and were glad we did (even though it was no where near our hotel). The service was super fast, the gluten-free (and non-gluten free) selection was great, and I felt very safe.
I ordered the eggs benedict, and was impressed by how normal they were, and how large the portions were.
Other random finds:
*The NBC Studio store has a Red Mango upstairs. Perfect mid-day, Rockefeller Plaza, gluten-free snack (certified gluten free frozen yogurt).