Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gluten Free in Las Vegas

Over Christmas Break, we took a trip to Disneyland and Las Vegas.  This was our very first trip to Vegas, and we decided to stay at The Mirage, which is centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip.  Our room was beautiful, and I thought it was reasonably priced.  My only complaint was the smell of the casino.  I cannot stand cigarette smoke or strong scents, so I had a hard time walking through the casinos to get to restaurants and shows, but other than that, we had a great time on our Vegas trip, and would definitely go back.

One of the best parts about Las Vegas is the food.  We were excited to dine at the restaurants of several celebrity chefs that we watch on the Food Network.

Our first night in Vegas, we had dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, which is located in Caesars Palace, a short walk from our hotel.

Mesa Grill does not have a gluten free menu, but our server was incredibly knowledgeable about gluten free options.  I started my meal with a white peach margarita.  With a squeeze of lime, it was just perfect.

For an entree, I chose the New Mexican spice rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho chile sauce, and a sweet potato tamale with crushed pecan butter.  This dish was one of the best meals I had in a restaurant in 2016.  The pork was tender, and the sauce was full of flavor, but if you don't like spicy food, this dish is not for you.  I loved the crushed pecan butter on the sweet potato tamale, which was the perfect side dish for the pork tenderloin, because its sweetness balanced the heat of the pork,

My husband chose another gluten free dish, the sixteen spice chicken with garlic-mango sauce, cilantro pesto mashed potatoes, and Fresno chile-mango relish.  Like my entree, the chicken packed a punch in the heat department.  My husband and I both liked this dish, but the star of the plate for me was the cilantro pesto mashed potatoes, which were divine.

Gluten free dessert options were pretty limited, so I considered ordering a plantain tamale with molasses butter, one of the side dishes on the menu.  Our server said I could have the banana cream pie without the crust, but then I asked if the candied walnut ice cream that was served as an accompaniment to one of the gluten-filled desserts was gluten free.  It turns out it was, so I chose the candied walnut ice cream for dessert.  It was a little bit sweet for my taste, but I enjoyed the crunch of the walnuts, and it was a nice palate cleanser after our spicy meal.  Overall, I loved Mesa Grill, and look forward to dining there again the next time we visit Las Vegas.

Our first full day in Vegas, we had breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.  This restaurant was highly recommended to me by several of my blog readers, so I was excited to try it.  For breakfast, they did not have a gluten free menu, but our server told me that they could make any of their waffles gluten free, and there were a bunch of egg dishes to choose from.  I really wanted to try the blueberry, caramelized apple, bananas foster, or chocolate hazelnut gluten free waffles, which I have heard are incredible, but they are made on a shared waffle maker.  Even though they clean it with oil, I did not feel comfortable with that as a celiac.

I ended up ordering three eggs over easy with crispy date-glazed bacon, hash browns, and gluten free toast.  This dish was not what I hoped to eat for breakfast, but I loved everything on my plate.  I usually dip my breakfast meats in syrup, but there was no need with this bacon, which was thick-sliced and a little bit sweet.  The hash browns were perfectly crispy, and something I so rarely get to enjoy in a restaurant.  I am pretty sure the toast, which was cooked safely, was Udi's, which is great toasted, buttered, and topped with some egg.  We had hoped to have breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi again on Christmas Eve before we left Vegas, but a snow storm was brewing in the mountains we had to drive home through, so we had to skip our sit down breakfast and get out of there quickly.

While we were exploring the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, I discovered The Juice Standard in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  I have a weakness for juices containing carrot and ginger, so I ordered a Bee Grateful with carrot, pineapple, apple, ginger, and lemon.

While I was waiting for my juice, I noticed that they had gluten free carrot muffins.

I enjoyed my juice and carrot muffin so much, I had them for breakfast the last two days of our trip.

We had dinner at Giada in The Cromwell Hotel our second night in Las Vegas.

Gluten free options are noted on the menu at Giada, and I had plenty of dishes to choose from.

Our server told me that they make gluten free pasta in house, so there were several pasta dishes I could have chosen, and the red wine risotto is gluten free too, minus the garnish, which is made in a shared fryer.

After the amazing margarita I had at Mesa Grill the night before, I decided to order one of Giada's signature cocktails, the La Strada with Campari, homemade lemon sorbeto, limoncello, and prosecco.  It was good, but I did not enjoy it enough to order it on future visits.

From the antipasti menu, I ordered Parmigiano-Reggiano with wild sage honey.  You cannot go wrong combining the "king of cheeses" (a Mario Batali saying) with honey, and I love that this dish included a piece of honeycomb.

For an entree, I ordered the pan roasted salmon with golden beat puree and pistachio vinaigrette, which were a nice compliment to the fish, which was cooked perfectly.

My husband liked his side of creamy polenta with spicy sausage, chili oil, and Parmesan, which is marked gluten free on Giada's menu.

For dessert, the chefs at Giada make several flavors of sorbetto and gelato every day, and our server told me that they were all gluten free.  I chose the roasted banana, which was some of the best gelato I have ever had.  It was so creamy, and not overly sweet, and the crunchy nuts on top, which looked like pignoli, were amazing.  Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Giada, but it was probably the priciest restaurant we ate at on our Disneyland and Vegas trip.

On day three, we stopped at GlutenZero Bakery after going to see the Hoover Dam, and before we visited Red Rock Canyon.  We had hoped to have lunch at neighboring Crepe Expectations, which has great reviews on the Find Me Gluten Free app, but they were closed for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

I enjoyed the carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting that I bought, but their only savory dish was pizza with red sauce, which I do not enjoy, so we drove to Fruits & Roots to find me something to eat for lunch.

At Fruits & Roots, I ordered the chicken quinoa wellness bowl with 9 herb chicken, rainbow quinoa, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and creamy avocado dressing.  I am not a huge fan of quinoa, but I enjoyed my meal.  The creamy avocado dressing was beyond amazing, and I wish I had had way more of it.

My gluten-eating family had grabbed lunch at an Asian fast casual restaurant near GlutenZero Bakery, so they shared a juice while I ate lunch.

They all liked the Refresh with organic kale, organic apple, organic cucumber, organic mint, organic lemon, and organic ginger.

Our final night in Las Vegas, we had dinner at Mon Ami Gabi.

I had plenty of options to choose from on the gluten free menu, and I was served gluten free bread with butter and olives to start my meal.

I have a weakness for Udi's toasted bread, so I ate both pieces, which I should not have done with all the food I ordered for dinner.

For an entree, I chose the trout almondine with french green beans, brown butter, and lemon.  This was one of my favorite dishes pre-celiac at a restaurant we used to dine at when we lived in Pittsburgh.  The fish was seasoned nicely, and I loved this dish so much, I would definitely order it again the next time we dine at Mon Ami Gabi.

I also ordered a side of shallow-fry frites, which are made in a dedicated fryer.  I definitely did not regret my overindulgence, because the fries were incredible.

Because I had eaten way too much for dinner, I decided to order the sorbet du jour for dessert, which happened to be cranberry.  I am not a huge sorbet fan, because I find it to be too sweet, but the cranberry sorbet at Mon Ami Gabi was perfect, and I asked for some whipped cream to put on top, which added a little creaminess to the sorbet.  Other dessert options on their gluten free menu included chocolate mousse, vanilla creme brulee, and warm flourless chocolate cake with fudge sauce and vanilla chantilly.

In one of the shops in The Mirage, I bought a bag of Lorissa's Kitchen sweet chili premium pork cuts, which were pricey, but delicious.  I found gluten free snacks easy to find at our hotel, and the Pantry, a 24 hour restaurant in The Mirage, had gluten free options marked on their menu.  Our hotel also had a frozen yogurt shop with gluten free choices noted above each flavor.

Overall, we enjoyed Las Vegas, and hope to return in the next couple of years.  The highlights were definitely the food, and "O" and The Beatles LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil shows we saw.  We also loved visiting Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon.  For free entertainment, I recommend checking out The Volcano at The Mirage, and the Fountains of Bellagio.  We have already decided that when we return, we will be seeing Cirque du Soleil's KA and Mystere.  I would also like to try the gluten free fried chicken at Brooklyn Bowl.

In many ways, Las Vegas reminded us of New York City, with its fine dining and shows.  We don't enjoy gambling, and we all detested the smell of the casinos, but beyond that, we had a great trip.

What are your favorite restaurants for gluten free dining in Las Vegas?


  1. Just wanted to say thank you! I've been waiting for your blog post on Vegas. I'm going next month with my mom, sister and son. My sister and I are both gf, and my son is allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy and nuts. You've definitely given us a place to start. I think Mon Ami Gabi is going to be on the list for my son to be able to eat safe french fries.

  2. Nice post! Looking for some new GF Vegas spots for my next trip! Wynn has amazing options (Sinatra is a fav of mine!) thinking of trying Giadas, did you get any pasta there or would you go back for Salmon? Thanks!

    1. Justine - I would love to try her GF pasta if we go back, but I love fish too, so it would be nard to decide. I make great pasta, so I prefer to eat fish when we go out, because we rarely buy it to cook at home.

  3. What recipe do you use for your pasta you make at home?

    1. I rarely make pasta from scratch. Le Veneziane is my favorite dry pasta, and I use Cappello’s and RP’s fresh pasta. All my recipes for pasta dishes are on the Recipes page of my blog, and pasta reviews are on my Product Reviews page.