We’re smack dab in the middle of a vacation to the Las Vegas area and finally on Monday we made it to the Strip and other spots. I did a lot of research in the morning to find one place that we could go to that has a gluten-free menu and then we decided to figure out the rest of our destinations on a whim.
Finding Gluten-Free Chocolates
Because we’re trying to stay on a budget, we left for Vegas after lunch (we’re staying with my in-laws in Pahrump just west of Las Vegas). First we went to Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory. It is located in Henderson (a suburb of Las Vegas). It is a free tour, albeit quick, and then you can buy some fancy chocolates. My husband talked to one of the people in charge and they said anything without obvious gluten (cookies or crackers) was gluten-free. We got a lot of dark chocolate and milk chocolate caramels, truffles, and “crèmes”. Yummy! There also is a cactus garden to check out – again all free – and around this time of year the plants are lit up with Christmas lights. There’s also a little M & M shop there, which as we know are also gluten-free (except for the ones with the crispy rice inside). So this was overall a good family adventure that in my estimation was safely gluten-free. If you go, I would always recommend double checking with management about the gluten-free status of the chocolates at Ethel M’s, in case ingredients change.
On the Strip
Then we moved onto the Strip. The kids had a great time looking at the cool casinos and the creative buildings they’re housed in. We ended up getting some Haagen Dazs ice cream for the kids since we weren’t eating until later. They really enjoyed the dancing water outside the Bellagio. It was beautiful watching it at dusk, all lit up and pretty. The Forum Shops area at Caesars Palace was neat for everyone. We even played around in the three-story FAO Schwartz toy store.
Dining Gluten-Free in Las Vegas
Then off to dinner. We chose to leave the strip for some “good eats”. After some detailed research earlier that morning, we decided to go to Fleming’s Steakhouse which has a fantastic list of menus for people with all kinds of food issues from gluten to diabetes to MSG.
The steakhouse appeared to be expensive, but we were prepared for that. By the time we got there however, it was so packed (7:30 p.m. on Monday?) that we would have had to wait until 8:30 p.m. at least to get a table. Luckily our backup plan was right next door. We went to Carrabba’s Italian Grill. That restaurant also has a gluten-free menu. Both Carrabba’s and Fleming’s are chain restaurants but neither of them is in Minnesota, so it was a treat for us either way.
Carrabba’s was a good choice. We got in quickly, however the service was a bit slow. The menu was very clear for us and the server. The girls had steak and chicken along with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. Both girls were happy with their meals. The one thing — that is a pet peeve of mine – that Carrabba’s and many other restaurants do is list their various salads on the GF menu, when in actuality many of them really don’t qualify because you have to ask for the main ingredients to be removed; leaving you with a hunk of lettuce in your bowl. Why is this? To fill out the gluten-free menu? I guess I shouldn’t complain since the restaurant was thoroughly accommodating with the gluten-free requests.
We left with full stomachs and cool memories of some of the most popular places in Las Vegas; which really was the ultimate goal. We may go back on New Year’s Eve, if we’re brave enough. We’ll see!