Our love of travel typically involves airplanes, not cars. But up next is an epic 4 day road trip from Dallas, Texas to our new home in Seattle, Washington. We have a dog, who I refuse to put on a plane, so we had no choice but to drive his fluffy white cuteness across the country. This was quite an adventure.
Planning meals for a road trip is similar to a plane trip in that I loaded up on gluten free snack bars, self contained fruits like bananas and oranges and nuts. What was difficult was eating meals along the way. We knew where we planned to stop each evening so I was able to do some research as to where I could eat. As for the rest of the trip….we didn’t have rest stops planned so this was a bit more up in the air – something that makes any traveling gluten intolerant person nervous.
I did best by sticking with old standbys. Shout out to Wendy’s, Jimmy Johns, Outback Steakhouse, PF Changs and surprisingly, McDonalds.
What follows is just a summary of what I ate and where that is intended to serve as ideas for future trips or ideas to others when traveling. If you have any other go-to travel stops please let me know.
Wendys – Good old Wendy’s Chili. This stuff is filling and reliably gluten free. A frosty is also a great dessert.
PF Changs outside of Denver Colorado. They have a gluten free menu and I have always had good luck here so this was an obvious choice and a nice departure from fast food. We picked this up as take out and I was impressed at the labels on the food to ensure there was not a mix up. I had the Singapore street noodles and the Vietnamese crab salad. This ended up being too much food so I ate the salad for dinner and saved most of the noodles for breakfast which worked out well. (We did have a microwave in the hotel room).
Outback steakhouse in Boise Idaho was dinner the following night. They scored on this one. I had called and ordered the Aussie chicken cob salad. I said that my order was gluten free and they got that, but I had apparently forgotten to specifically state that I needed the grilled chicken, not the breaded chicken. When my husband got there (we ordered takeout) as they were slapping the gluten free label on the box the employee noted that they had used the breaded chicken. They went back to remake my salad without my husband having to ask. I so appreciate that they caught this before my husband drove home with a dinner I could not eat.
And finally McDonald’s…the eggs. They are prepared with various not good for you hydrogenated oils and such, so I certainly would not recommend eating them regularly. But as a protein for breakfast or morning snack when in a pinch this worked out well. When traveling across the country by car you can always find a McDonald’s. Side note – big thanks to McDonald’s in 5 different states for having reliably clean and working restrooms. Never have I so appreciated their ubiquitousness than on this trip. (No egg pic because it was not really that exciting – y’all know what scrambled eggs look like).