Vegas, Baby! Glitz, glam, and gluten-free
Updated: Jan 31, 2020
I LOVE Las Vegas!! There is SO much to do no matter what time of day (or night). I spend a few weeks over the course of each year in Las Vegas and still never feel like I've seen all there is to see.
Every time I have a trip out here, friends ask if I'm going to see any shows. Not this chick! For me, people watching in Vegas IS the ultimate show! I love wandering up and down The Strip just taking it all in.
Another reason I love Vegas? I have this town wired for being able to accommodate being gluten-free (as well as other food sensitivities). Breakfast, lunch or dinner, I don't have to look far to find what I need... and what I WANT. No settling for this chick. Having so many restaurants aware of the needs of gluten-free clientele also makes Las Vegas a great town for dining with non-gluten-free family, clients, and groups.
Many of my conventions take place around Bally's and The Paris. BLT Steak is such a convenient stop at the end of a long day that I usually end up dining there (or relaxing with a glass of wine or three at the bar) at least once or twice per trip. While they do not have a dedicated gluten-free menu, the servers are well-informed and can easily help you navigate your options.
Personally, I find that most 'real' steakhouses make nice gluten-free dining options. Steak and seafood restaurants that take pride in the quality of their ingredients tend to season them simply with salt and pepper rather can covering them up with seasoned-salts, sauces, rubs, or breadings.
On this week's visit to BLT Steak, I ordered the hamachi carpaccio appetizer, bone-in ribeye with bone marrow, and caramelized brussels sprouts. Yes, a lot of food for one person! No, I did not eat it all in one sitting. lol I love having 'safe' foods in my room to snack on for breakfast the next morning so I tend to order thinking of leftovers... and always ask for an in-room fridge.
Everything was amazing. The hamachi was the perfect balance of fresh and spicy. The brussels sprouts melted in my mouth. ... AND THAT BONE MARROW! OMG! If you're like me and make a lot of bone broths, you know what I mean about loving that rich, buttery marrow.
Nine Fine Irishmen - New York, New York
With a name like Shannon, you can pretty much guess that I am Irish... and I always seem to find myself in Irish bars wherever I travel. Nine Fine Irishmen is like a 'typical' NYC Irish bar set in the New York, New York - Las Vegas.
During the daytime, it's filled with just enough people to give it an energetic vibe without being packed with tourists. In the evening, it really gets hopping when they have live music or a major soccer game is being aired... or both! If you can't find an open table in the bar area when it's busy at night, it's totally acceptable to just ask others if you can join them.
I have been here a few times over the years, but this was my first time ordering food. On this visit, was here mid-afternoon on a Wednesday and it was perfect. A real Irish happy-day-drinking crowd. lol
Nine Fine Irishmen does offer a dedicated gluten-free menu. I ordered at the bar and both the bartender and food server were very attentive to my needs... in a very friendly, informed way.
I was torn between the seafood chowder, the lamb stew and the mahi. Because I wasn't super hungry and the first two options are very large portions, I opted for the blackened mahi with asparagus and . This fit the bill for what I needed (something light to ease my hangover) and the spice level was perfect.
The Capital Grille is one of my go-to safe choices when I want a nice, classy bar and fresh food. Plus, they open for lunch unlike many steakhouses that do not begin serving until 5pm. While they do not have a dedicated gluten-free menu, there are many items on the menu that are naturally gluten-free.
I LOVE their steak tartare. Even though it's on the appetizer menu, it's huge. This was enough for two of us to split as a light lunch. I also recommend the sea bass!
Nacho Daddy - Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas
When I want to get away from the bustle of the strip and chill with some bar food while watching a game or catching up on work, Nacho Daddy is my spot. From breakfast to dinner, they have their gluten-free items listed clearly on the menu. They also make their own margarita mixes so you can order a frozen margarita sans preservatives and excess sugars.
Golden Steer, I love you in so many ways! If you are looking for a taste of old-school Vegas nostalgia (not to mention, darn good food and service) you have to plan a trip here. We were in Vegas for 4 days over Christmas and ate here TWICE. lol
I'm one of those people who prefers eating at the bar rather than doing a sit-down dinner and this restaurant accommodates perfectly... hello, poker slots at the bar while you're waiting for your dinner! The staff at The Golden Steer are phenomenal, friendly, and attentive... and are one of the reasons they keep returning. Whether you are a local or a mere tourist like me, they are experts at making you feel special and like you are part of the family.
The Golden Steer does not have a dedicated gluten-free menu, but they have no problems working with my needs. When I mentioned that we would like the escargots, the bartender immediately stated that he would make sure that the chefs did not add a breadcrumb topping so that it would indeed be gluten-free. ... And those escargots were AMAZING!! I love to take the leftover garlic butter in the hot tray and dump it over the wedge salad or our steak so I don't wa one ooey, gooey drop!
Speaking of the wedge salad, it is perfect. Exactly what you expect at a seasoned steakhouse. Cool, crispy iceberg lettuce topped with creamy (and gluten-free) blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, and bacon. Maybe not the most low-cal salad, but who cares. Where you're on a diet that doesn't allow for many indulgences like breads and baked goods, I feel no guilt 'indulging'... Plus, when you split , all of the calories go on the other person's plate. ;) It's a rule. I just made it.
When I eat a steak, I want it to be well-seasoned and have the perfect charred crust on the outside. Out of all of the steaks I've reviewed, The Golden Steer is the one that nails both the best! From the prime rib to the bone-in ribeye, you will not be disappointed. On our Christmas trip, we split the ribeye the first night and took half of it for leftovers (we also had the escargot, wedge salad, and "the Biggest Baked Potato In Vegas'). On our second trip that week, we avoided ordering sides and appetizers to we could focus on the steak... and we finished the entire thing!
Already counting the days until I can go back in a few weeks.
Mon Ami Gabi - The the Holy Grail of allergy-free Vegas
There are not enough ways for me to express how great this restaurant is... no matter if you are gluten-free or not. You can actually sit outside on the Vegas Strip and watch the pe go by as you enjoy your meal and sip a mimosa. Or, you can sit inside behind the floor-to-ceiling windows and still feel like you are right there on The Strip.
Mon Ami Gabi takes such pride in their gluten-free service that they automatically include a gluten-free menu on the table as you sit down. Also, the communication between all of the staff members is amazing. On one visit, a food runner was promptly delivering a loaf fresh bread to my table and my waiter immediately (and politely without making a scene) let him know that my table was gluten-free. The bread server politely acknowledged and returned a few moments later with a plate of gluten-free bread and butter.
What I really appreciate about the staff at Mon Ami Gabi is that they aren't trying to make you feel any different than other diners because you have food restrictions. They are diligent with every meal they serve and want you to have the best experience possible every day at any time!
I usually dine here with my husband so he can get his breakfast fix and we'll each order something different so we can share (the gluten free benedicts and french toast are totally decadent). On this visit, since I was alone, I decided to order from the appetizer menu so I could still try more than one dish.
I love salmon and the spicy salmon tartare was to die for. The perfect mix of fatty Omega-3 yummines and kicked up heat that make you want to go back for "just one more bite" over and over.
My duck leg confit arrived on a piping hot cast iron skillet that perfectly highlighted the golden, crispy skin. Creating the perfect bite by combining the rich duck with the tart purple cabbage was OMG heaven!
Needless to say, this was one meal that didn't end up as leftovers in my hotel fridge because I finished the entire thing!
Vegas, I love you. See you again in a few weeks. Now, it's time to get home to my gluten-free kitchen!