Since it’s Thursday, I thought I’d post a throwback to a trip we took last year. I started this blog post on our flight home, but never quite finished writing. Hubby and I took advantage of a three-day holiday weekend, flew out to Kentucky to visit his family, and witnessed Keeneland first hand. We took a late Thursday flight and started the weekend midday on Friday 🙂 I have to admit, this was one of those trips that I wasn’t able to do recon beforehand on the gluten-free options we’d have.
We started our Lexington fun with a local chain, and favorite of hubby’s cousin, Saul Good. There honestly could not have been a better start to the weekend. One of the things I was really bummed out about in Italy was that I only found gluten-free pizza in two restaurants. Saul Good not only had gluten-free pizza crust, but they also had my favorite spicy Italian red sauce as one of their options! The staff was more than friendly about working with me and double checking each item I ordered. They offered to put together a fresh vegetable platter for me when I told them I really wanted to try the dip, but could not have their chips.
Our tailgate fare was all low-key, and made for very little prep work that morning. We’d stopped at a grocery store early in the trip so I could help make sure we had enough gluten-free food for me. Be forewarned, I did search around to find gluten-free food options inside the track before we went, but didn’t have much luck searching online. Armed with that in mind, we packed enough pregame food to be sure I wouldn’t go hungry.
We hit up Local Taco for brunch Sunday morning, where I was pleased to find that their menu had gluten-free options marked with a convenient “GF”. After confirming with the manager that their chips and salsa were safe for me to eat, I put in an order for four specialty corn tacos along with the chips. I can not put into words how good those tacos were after a full day tailgating at Keeneland. The smoked brisket was by far my favorite, but trust me, they were all pretty delicious. Thankfully, I remember to snap a picture of my plate before devouring all of it!
Later that night, we decided to hit up the movie theater after a quick dinner. Hubby had been in the mood for barbecue, so we made our way to City Barbeque. In frustrating fashion, my phone froze just as I’d started downloading their allergen listing. Thankfully, the list was also printed out and kept at the front register. Without hesitation, I went straight for the naked brisket. After combing through the gluten-free sides, I settled on baked beans and sweet vinegar slaw. As we completed our order I mentioned that my meal would need to be carefully handled, and that the staff would need to change their gloves for safety. Just as I said that, the woman at the register told me she’d already put our order in, and quickly called over another person from the kitchen to ensure my dinner was safe….phew! I made a quick mental note that all of their sauces were safe, but realized I’d need more help when I saw the condiments station. All of the sauces were kept in large serving vats, with a single ladle in each one. Knowing this was a sure-fire way to make myself sick, I grabbed the woman manning the pickup area to see if she could help. Once I explained my concerns about cross contamination with the sauce ladles, she came out with two fresh to-go containers of sweet sauce for me to enjoy.
Our final culinary stop in Lexington was at the one and only Shakespeare & Co. I have to say, the Victorian decorations were very unique, and I totally wanted to stop at every table so I could sit on their vintage couches. We made it here about midday, making it the perfect time for a late brunch. Upon asking for a gluten-free menu, I was told the restaurant had gluten-free bread, pizza crust, and quinoa for substitution in nearly any dish. I asked for some help since I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted. Our waiter told me hands down that I should go with the Salmon and scrambled eggs. Let me tell you, that dish did not disappoint! The gluten-free bread had been cut into rounds as if it were a biscuit, with perfectly shaped salmon and eggs on top. It came with a side of roasted potatoes and hollandaise dipping sauce, which I obviously smothered all over the eggs 🙂 one word ladies and gentlemen: heavenly!
Our final stop before going home was to the Town Branch Brewery and Distillery. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any gluten-free beers for me, but the first part of the tour was pretty cool anyways. We were each given four tasting tickets at the beginning, so I stashed mine away for the Kentucky Bourbon. I’d done some research about whether or not it was actually safe for me to drink Bourbon, and come to the consensus that the distilling process should make it safe, but that some celiacs still have issues. Personally, I’m a fan of Bourbon, so it was worth giving it a shot for me. I tried their Bourbon, Rye, Pearse Lyons Reserve, and an especially tasty Bluegrass Sundown. My favorite hands down was the Bluegrass Sundown, which is a dark roasted coffee infused with Bourbon and sugar. Our tour guide served it with hot water over cream, and it just might have to replace the Irish coffee on my list of cold weather spirits! The best news is, I had no reactions to the Bourbon…line ’em up 😉