Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gluten-Free Fast Food ~ Interstate Edition

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Corn-Free, Oh My!

What's a weary traveler to do when the options are few?

In our hometown, we've staked out all of the fast-food establishments that easily cater to our special dietary restrictions:

Chipotle for burrito bowls

Qdoba for more burrito bowls

Noodles & Co. for most any noodle bowl with the rice noodle substitution

Chick-Fil-A for chargilled chicken filet wrapped in lettuce, chicken garden salad, chicken fruit salad, waffle fries, egg, bacon and sausage breakfast

Subway for most of the cold-cut lunch meat salads

Good Times for fresh cut fries and lettuce wrapped burgers (Note: Wild Fries are not gluten-free)

On the interstate, eating for our allergies was a whole different story.

My recent 1,000 mile driving trip made me realize just how few fast food drive-thru restaurants provide quick gluten-free options. Seeing as there was one driver, three little kids, and one-thousand miles to cover in a 24 hour period, I needed to drive-thru.

Normally I don't drive-thru. But there are times when I must drive-thru.

There wasn't much stopping and exercising on the way out to Chicago. We couldn't waste an hour sitting down at a roadside cafe. Nor were there any of our other fast-food favorites from the above list.

So we became very friendly with our two drive-thru options:

Wendy's for a meat patty wrapped in lettuce with bacon, french fries, chicken grill filet, baked potato, chili, and salads.

I like Wendy's a lot because they have large leaves of lettuce which fit around the burger like a bun. This makes eating a bunless burger soooo much easier.

Burger King for more meat patties on a bed of shredded lettuce, more french fries, and apple fries. The tacos are an option too if corn is part of your program.

The good news about Burger King is that most of the restaurants have dedicated fryers for the fries. This way cross-contamination is reduced. Always double check with each establishment to be sure about dedicated fryers if cross-contamination is an issue for you.

With Wendy's and Burger King as our only drive-thru options on I-80, two days into the trip I was beginning to feel like I was turning into a french fry. Actually, my thighs are proof that the metamorphosis had begun.

Thank heavens I'm home now eating normal food. I've never looked so forward to slaving over a hot stove in my life.


Quintessential road trip music....

Grateful Dead - Truckin'

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