Doing a Lambeau Leap here…!
So, my husband (longtime Packer fan) decides to plan a trip for us to visit Green Bay over New Years with another couple. No problem. I’m a hardy Minnesotan gal, so I am confident that I possess enough layers of clothing to sit on a metal bench, wedged between thousands of green and gold parkas and still maintain circulation to my extremities. The rest is going to be a fun mini-vacation with friends, as we are leaving our respective children with grandparents. The details? Well, to be honest I wanted to be a bit of an ostrich on this, as I am tired of always having to think about calling every place ahead of time to ask about gluten, blahblahblah… If my kids were going, I’d be all over it, but as it was, I pondered packing enough beef sticks, Pirates Booty, and candy to make it through the bulk of our meals on the road.
Lucky for me, our friends are excellent trip planners. They called to inform me that Lambeau Field has a gluten free concession stand*. (more on that later) Now, despite my earlier “meal” that I had planned to bring, I usually try not to subsist on such crappy meals, HOWEVER, the thought of being able to go to a major sporting event and order a beer (Redbridge), a hot dog or chili-cheese dog (with BUN!), nachos with cheese, and a plethora of candy – ALL of this without worrying about cross contamination, well….I can’t even tell you how good it made me feel. Warm, fuzzy feelings (and this in the midst of a stadium being snowed on at the time.) Good thing the team was doing well…I would have looked immensely foolish bundled in green with a silly grin all over my face otherwise.
So, lest you think that this was my ONLY foray into a GF meal, here is what I also found:
In Green Bay: Curly’s (the bar in the stadium, where we ate the day before the game) can do some GF food, although be forewarned that they will also tell you about things that “have only a little bit of gluten in it”, so someone needs to educate them a bit further on that one, but I digress.) The burger (no bun) that I ended up getting was fine. Cheesecake Heaven – okay, I ONLY got a hot cocoa here, but after ordering, I discovered that there was a sheet of paper with 10-point font that had an entire GF menu on it. They also make GF cheesecake there, with no crust. (mental note to get that next time.)
In Sturgeon Bay: So, we spent the night at a B&B: The Inn at Cedar Crossing, celebrating New Year’s Eve at the restaurant downstairs. I had called ahead to see if the B&B could do a gluten free meal for me for breakfast (no sense in going if I can’t enjoy one of the “B”‘s), where I learned that they could not only accommodate, but that they have a regular GF menu. In addition, they had a special menu for that night (as it was New Year’s Eve, after all), so they had a special list of GF menu items, too. I had the duck. It was great! In the morning, I could choose off of their GF breakfast menu…I had the Eggs Benedict…it was okay, but if I had it to do over again, I’d get the frittatta.
In Appleton: On the way home after the game, we stopped by Appleton to meet some relatives for dinner. I learned there was a supper club that has a GF menu, but alas, it was Sunday, so they were closed (big bummer…I MISS a good midwestern supper club!). We did eat at UNO Chicago Grill – I know, a chain, but I must say, the pizza we ordered was awesome. It tasted like a normal (AKA: NOT GF) thin-crust pizza…only it WAS GF!
Back to Lambeau Field for a minute (remember that *?) So, here it is: I found that not only do they have one DEDICATED concession cart with all of the aforementioned GF goodies, they ALSO have 2 other locations in the stadium where you can get the GF snackies and nachos (no hot dogs there.) I ended up going to the dedicated one…here is what was awesome about it: 1. No lines. Every other place had lines at half-time. Not this one! 2. The 2 people staffing it were super friendly and awesome. 3. There was a BUN with my hot dog. And it tasted good. (of course, it was smothered in cheese….but I’m sure it would have been good with ketchup, too) 4. I saw so many parents with kids come up to get food…it made me feel so good to know that my daughter could go to a game with her dad some day and eat a hot dog just like a normal kid. Ah, the things others take for granted!
So, this is a post about trips to Wisconsin if you need to be gluten free…. there were SO MANY more options that I anticipated…I ended up not even opening a single bag of Pirate’s Booty.
One addendum to add: What did we find when googling things on the way home? A dedicated GF bakery in Madison called “Silly Yak.” (get it? Silly-yak = Celiac?? hahaha) I hope it wasn’t an old link, because I am going to hunt that place down next time we are in town. Gluten-free options are expanding people! 2012 is starting out great. Yay!