California Palm Desert & Yuma, AZ Surprises

Hi all,

When we find resources that provide truly Gluten-Free food we like to post about them. 

As we slowly travel to Phoenix, AZ we spent a week in the Palm Desert area of California and were delighted to find a restaurant, Palm Greens Cafe, that is considerate of people with Celiac. They know the risks of any contamination in the food prep areas and have made specific accommodations. The food is excellent, local, fresh and prepared well. They serve fresh made juices, our favorite was CC Punch, (you can find the menu on their web site). 

Our favorite dish was breakfast (they serve breakfast dishes until 3pm), Huevos Rancheros:


OUR NEXT SURPRISE: to find a grocery store, Clarks, that has the kinds of products we like to buy~Organic, fresh, local with unusual things such as Straus Organic ice-cream (which is Gluten-Free--most ice creams are made in environments exposed to Wheat/Gluten-please read all the labels if you are Celiac). We even found fresh sunflower sprouts and raw pistachio nuts (in the shell). Previously, the only place we have found raw Pistachio nuts is in our Coop food store in Olympia, WA.

YUMA, AZ SURPRISE: We found one of the best restaurants so far here in Yuma, where we are visiting relatives who winter over from Montana. The place is called River City Grill. They are also on Facebook, rivercitygrillyuma. Our whole group had a steak night, excellent Rib-Eyes, I had a New Yorker, all grass-fed, real mash-potatoes. For lunch I had Shrimp Curry, excellent. They take special care for Gluten-Free. A bit on the pricey side, similar to any restaurant in Olympia. My New York steak dinner with all sides was $31. Lunch was $12.

Warning: I have been told I can get Gluten-Free at Red Robin restaurants, but that is only as good as your relationship with each restaurant. After discovering contamination we now ask before we order: do they have individual filler-free ground beef set aside for patties for Celiacs? We discovered that most of the prepared beef at Red Robin Restaurants have glutenized fillers in them, so unless the manager, or someone is trained specifically about Celiac and how to prepare food for them, you will be exposed to contamination. If you go to Red Robin when it is busy it is even more likely you will NOT get a waiter/waitress who will pass your Celiac information on, instead they are more likely to serve you whatever and not tell you. Once you are diagnosed as Celiac this contamination, no matter how minor THEY think it is, has devastating affects as it takes months to recover after being contaminated.