Friday, May 6, 2011

Eating Gluten Free in the Airport (ABIA, DFW, MFE)

Last weekend I was traveling from Austin to McAllen for a friend's wedding. As most celiac/gluten sensitive people know, airports aren't the most friendly to gluten-free travelers. I've grown accustomed to living off gluten free cereal bars for hours on end, as do most people in our situation. But I thought I'd share my gluten free finds (or lack thereof) in the 3 airports I visited this past weekend. I hope if you ever find yourself in one of these airports this may be able to help you!

Side note: Just because a chain offers a gluten-free menu doesn't mean that the airport version of the restaurant will. Make sure to check the ingredients and training are the same. I found Maudie's in Austin and Blue Mesa in Dallas both have gluten-free menus in their restaurants, but could not accommodate the allergy at the airport. So beware!

Austin Bergstrom International Airport:
I have to say, I was really disappointed with the gluten free options. I've never paid much attention since I'm usually not in the airport for very long; however, after having a cancelled flight I had plenty of time to walk around and ask a few questions.

Mangia Pizza: look for the prepackaged salads. Make sure to check the dressings and that there are no croutons in the package.
Amy's Ice Cream: I couldn't get an extensive list, but ask and it shouldn't be difficult to find out!
Salt Lick BBQ: I'd stick with the baked potato with cheese and butter to be safe. The Salt Lick has a normal gluten free menu in their restaurant that states all of their meats, dry rubs, sauces, and potato salad are gluten free. But like I said above, make sure to verify that their products are indeed gluten free.

Other than the above choices, you can always find nuts, dried fruit, chips, and candy bars.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Subway: Yes! The 2 locations in the airport serve GLUTEN FREE BREAD! (and brownies too!) The 2 locations are A33 and B13. If you have time, this is a winner!
Cantina Laredo: Although the airport venue did not have a gluten free menu, my waitress knew all about gluten. I ordered the Enchiladas Del Espinaca without the poblano mole sauce. The rice, beans, and queso are gluten free.

Other options worth a try:

U Food Grill
Red Mango Yogurt
Dicky's BBQ
Einstein Bagels (I've heard they are testing a gluten free bagel in a few locations. Although I've never encountered one, it's worth a shot!)
Grove Natural Snacks
Smoothie King

McAllen Miller Airport
As any airport with only 4 gates, I didn't expect much as far as gluten-free fare goes. Although the only food option inside security was Quiznos, I was surprised to find rice chips in 3 varieties! They also had the usual chips, nuts, and candy to choose from as well.

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