Monday, May 5, 2014

[Gluten-Free] Travel: Woes to Woohoos!

This is the face of a gluten-free travel woe.  It's the "I've been up since five a.m., missed my flight because of a flat tire, and now I am stuck in an airport with literally NO Gluten-Free FOOD except for a banana and a bag of chips" face.

Patrick always jokes with me that the only things that make me unhappy are being hungry, being tired, and being cold.  So lets see, I hadn't eaten since breakfast, I had four hours of sleep, and it was freezing in the terminal.  Whoa man...  Let's just say... There was a major meltdown once we got to our hotel.

But this story has a happy ending, I promise!

After traveling hungry for nearly 14 hours, Patrick dried my tears with an amazing dinner and this ridiculously good bottle of wine at a restaurant called Terzo in San Francisco's Marina District (Oh man, I still dream about those short ribs!).  Soon my gluten-free travel breakdown was far in the past.  We were in San Fran for the night and then driving to Napa Valley for the next day.  It was an epic vacation!  Because after Napa Valley we flew to Denver to meet up with some friends to go skiing and... 

Oh wait, I know what you're thinking... uh oh... here comes another airport travel woe story.  Not this time!

No travel woes on this face!  Why?  Because I am holding a bag with a gluten-free meal from Udi's Cafe and Bar in the Denver Airport.  I can't tell you how amazing it was to go from feeling so limited to feeling so satisfied.  It's a feeling that manager Amanda King hears about a lot!

She spoke with me as I anxiously waited for my sandwich.  "We have a lot of people who walk across the whole airport to come to us and then we have those who just walk by and say 'Wait, is that gluten free?'"  She went on to say, "I'm not gluten free.  But I have some friends with gluten allergies.  It's kind of cool that it's becoming mainstream."

Yes it is! :)

Amanda showed off Udi's amazing grab-and-go case.  It had plenty of ready-made meals so that even the rushed gluten-free traveler can get a bite.  Or if your flight gets delayed, you can just sit down with your gluten-free meal and order a drink from their bar!

Before I knew it, my gluten-free meal was ready to go. I ordered their best-selling Chicken Basil Club sandwich with sweet potato fries.  Yum!  And as I walked away with the delightful smell of basil and sweet potato in the air, I couldn't help but laugh when I thought back to the banana and the bag of chips.  Because while there are many ups and downs that come with the gluten-free territory, moments like these are becoming more frequent. And let me tell you, I never take them for granted.   

...if I get stuck in an airport again, I hope I'm in Denver :)

*Just FYI: Udi's Cafe and Bar is related to the company that provides Udi's gluten free baked goods.  Udi's will be changing it's name soon and so will the cafe.  No word yet on when.  The restaurant has been open for a little over a year and is located in the B Terminal of Denver International Airport. 


  1. This is so's to hoping I see them at some of my most frequented airports!


    1. Me too! I'll definitely be on the lookout! Thank you for reading :)