Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Have you had a good, bad or indifferent experience at a restaurant in the Glacier area? Let us know about it right here!

Moderators: Kathy, Tara

Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby ncwitz » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:37 am

We'll be arriving at the park later this month with stays as follows:

* Many Glacier Lodge (3 nights)
* Sperry Chalet (2 nights)
* Motel Lake McDonald (2 nights)

Can anyone advise on gluten-free dining options? This is medically required gluten-free dining and not a dietary choice, so staff knowledge and prevention of cross-contamination are important.

When making reservations, the staff at Sperry Chalet seemed knowledgeable although I need to check with them on their level of support/accommodation. With the hiking we are planning, I want to be sure my family member has safe meals and doesn't get sick.

Any comments/suggestions are appreciated!
ncwitz
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby Selkie » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:10 pm

With such a medical requirement, I would be concerned about dealing with the effects of cross-contamination and ingesting gluten.
(I don't think there is a guarantee it won't happen, especially at a backcountry facility with limited resources.)
Selkie
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby ncwitz » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:43 pm

Thanks for the reply... after 8 years we're certainly familiar with managing a GF diet and as you note, eating out is always risky.

It was interesting that the Sperry Chalet staff was very familiar when I asked them about it. They do have GF bread, etc., but I will have to ask them about cross-contamination precautions. As always, we bring backup food... just in case.

I didn't know if anyone knew if the Park hotels had GF menus or what the prior experience has been.
ncwitz
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby Selkie » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:12 pm

Ah, I see. Sorry, I do not have GF experience. I do hope everything works out well for you and your group. I have found the Sperry Chalet staff quite responsive.
Selkie
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby Stmarypete » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:05 pm

I would suggest being careful about gluten free foods in the park. Most people who avoid gluten are gluten intolerant or gluten avoiders. Only a few people have true gluten enteropathy and are completely sensitive to gluten. Most of the restaurents have low gluten options, but I doubt they prevent cross-contamination of bread dough. I am sure you are familiar with these problems if you have gluten enteropathy.
Last edited by Stmarypete on Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stmarypete
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:45 pm
Location: Lewiston Idaho

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby llholmes1948 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:06 am

As you may know, the Motel at Lake McDonald is operated by Glacier Park Inc. and does not offer food service as far as I know. The nearby food services at Lake McDonald Lodge and Jammer Joes would be operated by Xanterra which also operates the Many Glacier Hotel. I would suggest that you call Xanterra and see if they can provide you with the phone numbers for the food service departments at Lake McDonald and at Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent and you can then call the food service departments directly to discuss your concern with them.

You can then let us know how it goes since your concern is likely to be of interest to others. Hope you have a great trip to the Park.

Lyman
llholmes1948
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 5029
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby ncwitz » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:31 pm

I called the Many Glacier main desk and they transferred me to the dining room. I will say that based upon the brief conversation I am reasonably encouraged. I don't know who I spoke with (host, server, manager... I should have asked) but when I mentioned dietary restrictions and a gluten free diet she asked about Celiac Disease.

She told me that the staff goes through training on managing the dietary restrictions. Other positive signs... she mentioned using separate pans, changing gloves, having GF bread, and other GF options.

Any mixed kitchen can potentially be a problem for cross-contamination. We'll be clear when we talk to the server about the GF need and any concerns and will have available some "emergency food", but this is certainly a positive sign.

I'll update post-trip with our experience. Thanks for the comments from the group.
ncwitz
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby BCD » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:46 pm

I was at Swiftcurrent on mon lunch. They had gluten-free pizza offered.
BCD
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:06 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby ncwitz » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:31 pm

Thanks for the information. Did you order for someone in your party? Basically, I was wondering if you happened to inquire about preparation and prevention of cross-contamination, e.g. do they use cornmeal rather than wheat flour to prep on... what do they do to prevent contamination of ingredients, etc.

Unfortunately, many places "say" they have gluten free items when they don't really go to the effort to make it safe for medically required diets. Nothing is guaranteed in a mixed kitchen; we understand and accept the risk when we eat out, but places that only do lip service for a gluten free diet shouldn't be advertising it as such.
ncwitz
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: Gluten Free Dining in the Park

Postby twohappykampers » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:38 pm

If you want to watch what you eat, then Lake McDonald Lodge is one place you can find foods that are gluten free, cage free, range free, organic and you can even have flour free chocolate cake! We were good with the range free, cage free and organic. Didn't care for their menu and since we don't need to watch gluten we prefer food with flavor so we'd rather eat outside the park.
Ken & Mary Ann
Life's a mountain, not a beach!
User avatar
twohappykampers
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Phoenix AZ


Return to Restaurant Reviews and Recomendations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests