Coors Field to offer Gluten Free food!

Though I don’t really eat Gluten Free anymore, well lets say I’m not strict anymore.

Anyway, I still follow this because there are some health benefits and since it is a pretty popular diagnosis these days (celiac disease) not to mention those with wheat allergies or just sensitivity to wheat and/or gluten.

Here is the article from the Denver Post:

Hot dog! Coors Field offers gluten-free food

OMFG! Udi’s Gluten Free Bread OMFG!

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I can’t believe two posts about GF food in two days. The last one was about a week overdue. Anyway, I have had a real hard time living without bread. Sure there is gluten free bread, but it tastes like shit, weighs about 5 lbs a slice and is usually about 300 calories a slice. Not that calories are an issue with me.

Anyway, after reporting about King Soopers supposedly carrying Udi’s bread, then hearing from some other Gluten Free folks hat the bread is THAT good I had to go find it.

I found it at one of the 3 king soopers that are all equi-distant from my house. It was about $6 for a loaf. The whole loaf was lighter than 3 tiny slices of this other crappy gluten free bread.

I opened it up, it even looked like real bread. Threw a few slices in the toaster to thaw em out and toast em up a little. This is a must with MOST gluten free breads just to make them bearable to choke down.

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It SMELLED like real bread, I took a bite of the warm toasty dry bread. I thought I was going to collapse. It….it tastes like real bread. I can’t believe it. As they say, this is the greatest thing since sliced bread…because it is!

Anyway, I went back to Udi’s site and realized they converted their old bakery to the Gluten Free facility and you can now get the gluten free bread at either of their locations. This is just f’n awesome!

So anyway, here is a link back to Udi’s

Yes, that other picture is a Cinnamon Roll! And it was MOTHER FU*&^%’ GOOD!

Gluten Free Grocery Shopping in Colorado

Since I realized I have this curse of a disease as they call it, it has been quite challenging to adjust to the lifestyle of not being able to just eat whatever is right in front of you. It’s really about restaurants and catered events, preparing your own food is really no different than everyone else…or is it.

As it turns out, other than meats and veggies, the breads, pastas and desserts you can make are pretty pricey. Hell even pancake mix is a lot. On top of that you can’t really find everything at one store. I mean you can shop totally at Whole Foods, but then you pay a lot more for stuff you can get a the larger chain stores like King Soopers (Kroeger).

Often we find ourselves shopping at at least two stores to do the grocery shopping. We also spend almost twice as much as we used to on groceries because of the exorbitant pricing on GF items. Though there is no relief in site for the costs, there may be a little as competition heats up. Within weeks of my diagnosis Whole Foods created some special Gluten Free sections of their store. A stand out dry goods section and a freezer section. They even have the Gluten Free Bakehouse which bakes gluten free breads and pies and some cookies. They still have the best overall selection, but as of late they have been really slacking with keeping inventory and bringing in new items.

However, King Soopers stores in the area now have a dedicated freezer for GF items! This is great news. Plus they are offering items not sold at other stores including locally prepared items. Now I will admit Vitamin Cottage does this as well. They bring in stuff from a GF bakery in Colorado Springs. The problem with Vitamin Cottage is that they are REALLY expensive. Back to King Soopers, they are carrying mostly KinniKinnick brand items, but they also have stuff from Deby’s Gluten Free under the name 8 Free Foods. They are also going to be carrying gluten free breads from Udi’s. I used to love Udi’s back in my gluten full days, so this will be exciting to try out.

In the end, we will still be spending a lot, but it’s nice to see the larger chain stores coming around. It it is VERY difficult to roam the store looking for GF items. They are putting up flags where there are GF items which is nice. On that note, ALWAYS read the labels, just because it is in the GF freezer or shelf does not mean it is GF. We have notices both Whole Foods and King Soopers mingling in some organic, but not Gluten Free items.

One last thing, Super Target has the best price on Vans Wheat Free Waffles. I regularly buy them there for about $1.89/ box (you only get 6 waffles, sigh), whereas at King Soopers and Whole Foods you pay $2.29 – $2.49/ box. I know that seems trivial, but it all ads up. Plus we buy all our household supplies at Super Target because they are cheaper (paper towels, TP, cleaning products, etc.).

I know this is an out of the norm post for me, usually I am complaining about something else, but I know there are other people like me out there scouring the web for answers and hints on how to live like this. My hope is that this will be useful.

Sin City 2008….the aftermath

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Well it’s been a few days now, I have totally recovered from 3 days of fun in Las Vegas. Yes, we were just there in March, but this was the “big Vegas trip” with everyone. Well not everyone because there were people who should have been there, but they weren’t.

Anyway, we got into Vegas all around the same time last Wednesday. Six of us were on the same flight out which was pretty cool. After a short cab ride to MGM Grand we got checked in and headed to our room. About an hour later we were grabbing food at Nine Fine Irishmen (which now has a Gluten Free menu!) at New York New York and then back over to Fat Tuesdays for a fillup. We also met up with Chad’s cousin who flew in from Chicago.

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Somehow that evening I became a tour guide for those that had not frequented Vegas as much as we have. We walked down the strip to about Ceasars Palace for a refill on the Fat Tuesday’s and to wreak havoc at FAO Schwartz. Afterwards our drunk asses hobbled over to O’Sheas and I think the Flamingo, or maybe Harrah’s. Oh, we also hit Barbar…er Big Bills. They have a new slot machine that replaced the old GIANT Wheel of Fortune machine. It is eBay, yes, there is an eBay slot machine. I was losing on it, I was down like $8 (pennies) and this lady next to me hit something that paid us all out. I got like $10, woot. Maybe it was the Jello shot or the second Fat Tuesday but there was a point I could no longer feel feelings and I think I wanted to just pass out. Still, I found a way back to the room and proceeded to sleep it off.

The next day consisted of about half the group hitting the pool and the other half (including Renee and I) doing our own thing. We hit the strip, worked our way down to Treasure Island slowly as we had been abruptly awoken by the sounds of hammers and phone calls. Did a little gambling, then worked our way back to MGM to take a nap then meet everyone for dinner.

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That evening we dined at the Burger Bar over at Mandalay Bay, then decided that we were going to head down to the Keno Lounge at Bally’s to do some gambling and some drinking. This is where the night got interesting. We waited until Little Brown and Baby Brown arrived in Vegas and headed towards Bally’s. Once we arrived we attempted to settle into the Keno lounge to play some keno, take a load off and get some drinks. Unfortunately, there is this jackass named Stu that works the Keno lounge at Bally’s. Little Brown ran into him the last time he was here. Maybe it has to do with working the keno lounge at 1am or maybe he is just a bitter bitter man.

The gaming begins, we buy the first ticket and we win..woot, $6 on a $2 ticket. I don’t think I have ever won at keno before…ever. So then we go buy another, and another. We’ve gone trhough three rounds, no drink service and we have already given back all our money. Keep in mind there are 8 of us, and if you keep us around we’ll spend a lot more money. We get another came or two under our belts and one of our group members heads to the bar to request a server. I head to the counter to buy the next game. Stu, the friendly guy he is, snaps at me and demands to see my id, I’m so flattered. I politely hand him my identification and he throws it back at me. To which I reply politely, thank you. I sit back down, the game proceeds and you can actually see Stu squirming in his seat. He gets up makes a call after the game ends then comes waddling out to us. He then DEMANDS that each of us plays a ticket every game otherwise, no drink service.

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If you have ever been to Vegas gambling, especially at slot machines, it’s no mystery people work the drink system. The casinos know this, but they also know, if they ply you with drink and you are happy you will spend money. Stu on the other hand has no comprehension of this idea. After his little tirade against us which was loud, finger pointing and just plain incredibly rude we decided to get up and leave. Of course a few people wanted to have words with Stu, but that would do nothing. We were all pretty miffed about being mistreated. It’s not like we were 19 year olds trying to sneak in and drink. One member of our group sought out the casino manager and talked to him. The manager of course was very apologetic and said what Stu did went against casino policy and as long as our group is spending any sort of money we should be offered drinks, no question.

At this point you may be saying to yourself, all this over drinks. We were a large group, we had a lot of money to spend this week, and a lot of places to spend it. We are all adults, and we are on vacation. If you want money from me, you are going to have to give me something in return, either a jackpot or a bunch of booze.

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After talking to the manager the buzzkill was complete and we decided to move on. One person had some chips we needed to cash in at another casino from the night before so we headed to O’Sheas to do that and watch some beer pong. Then back to MGM, some of us were still raring to go, but after a bit of sitting around and playing some video poker figuring out what to do Renee and I went to bed around 4am, the rest stayed up til dawn.

Friday morning we awoke to more construction above us. I was appalled. I failed to mention this before, but the afternoon before when we took a nap I called the front desk to complain about construction above us. I said there was hammering and a power saw. I was told by the hotel there is NO construction going on anywhere in the hotel and they would send security up to investigate and get back to me. I never heard back. So, back to Friday morning. Awoken by more hammering I call he front desk again to complain.

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I explain to them that this is the second morning in a row we are being brought from out sleep by this apparent construction. This time the front desk fesses up and explains that there is widespread renovations going on throughout the hotel. I then asked why were we not made aware of this at check in and had we known, we would have stayed elsewhere. Well doy, they want our money so they aren’t going to say a word. I press the front desk gal to at least take the opportunity to help us out, all she is willing to do is hand me over to a manager. I speak to the manager who was very nice, he quickly arranged for us to change rooms. That was it though, not even a few free drinks, or a buffet or anything like that. Bear in mind, we were staying in a suite and stay at all the MGM properties and come out at least twice a year. Granted we are no high rollers, but we spend money well.

We go get some breakfast then go get the keys to our new room which is two floors down. Of course we have to pack up and move our shit. Then we get this room with a crummy view, but no biggie, we just sleep in there so I’m not to bent about that part. After settling in, it’s time for the pool!

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I haven’t been to a pool in ages, suited up and met everyone downstairs. We headed into the MGM pool area and secured a primo spot with some shade under a walkover right on the lazy river. I went and got my Fat Tuesday mug filled and proceeded to drink. The lazy river was a blast, unfortunately I can no longer drink beer so I missed out on the mass beer drinking. Upwards of 80 beers were consumers and lined up along the river.

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After five hours at the pool it was time to clean up, and then head out for a nice steak dinner at Craftsteak at MGM. The food was great, I had Bison and Renee got a filet. Of course we shared our meals. We also had some incredible Potatoes Au Gratin. They were so damn good! Once we finished dining some people called it a night, the rest of us headed out for some more entertainment. Chad n Wendi needed to get to Caesars to go get a gift for their daughter and we just wanted to go out and have some fun. They took the monorail, we walked with Justin. Of course Justin and I filled up at Fat Tuesday first. We got to stop and see a couple water shows at the Bellagio as well, including the last one of the night which was the national anthem.

Once we got to Caesars some folks wanted to go back, no big deal to us, so we headed back. Then Renee Justin and I headed over to Tropicana to play some 5 dollar table. We played Let it Ride, I had never played it before, it was pretty fun. I still prefer blackjack, but I will give it a shot again next time.

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Once Saturday was upon is it was time to head back. Renee and I felt we could have easily done another day in Vegas. In my opinion that’s how you should feel when you leave. That means you stayed long enough and you will be excited about going back.

There are pictures to be seen, I will upload them soon and share them. For those that couldn’t make it, we are going to do this as an annual trip. So get ready for Vegas 2009 everyone. Start stashing the money now and you’ll be able to fund the trip.