Monday, June 29, 2009

Schlitterbahn-ing Gluten-Free

I went to Schlitterbahn for the first time this weekend in New Braunfels. Since I knew it would be an all-day affair, I looked up food options on their website. The bad news is that almost everything they sell at the park has gluten in it (except for ices, slushees, ice cream and cotton candy.) The good news is you can bring one of those giant wheeled coolers.

So, I talked with my friends ahead of time and that's what we did. We brought our own drinks, snacks and lunch and picnicked. Afterwards, however, I had to throw myself on the mercy of Omas Haus Restaurant a couple of miles away. I did have some backup sliced turkey and cheese, but I was hoping for a real meal.

Despite the waiter's trepidation - he had never heard of gluten - he checked for me and I was able to eat the lemon, dill grilled chicken, corn and German potato salad. Just about everything else on the menu was glutinous, though. They even had used flour in their coconut haystacks and fudge on sale in the lobby (which probably saved me from an unwanted 1,000 calories.)

Still, I didn't get sick and the food was very tasty. I was able to feel like part of the group instead of eating my turkey and cheese while they sampled local specialties.

Since I couldn't get dessert there, we all went for ice cream afterwards at Austin-favorite Amy's Ice Cream. When I asked if their ice cream had gluten in it, the server said, "Well, it has eggs, milk and sugar, I would think so."

Normally, I would expect something like this, but not in Austin, which is usually such a well-informed place. I asked to see an ingredients list, made sure it was OK and then just ordered Mexican Vanilla to be safe. It was fine, but this makes me so angry. I'm sure the Amy's owners would be appalled, too. They could be missing out on lots of potential sales.

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