Gluten Free Diet | Surviving Restaurant Food | Allergy

Surviving the Hilton East Brunswick Restaurant

by Allergy Guy

The title of this entry suggests that I eat at the restaurant in the Hilton quite often. Actually, I don’t.
I was at the East Brunswick Hilton for four nights, but only ate at the restaurant twice. That’s how I survived it.

The Problem with the Restaurant

I was in East Brunswick attending an intensive course to help me with the direction of my life and my business. Given that there would be no time to look for food outside the hotel, and expecting challenges in finding food to suit my allergy requirements, I mostly brought my own food. I ate at the restaurant twice, and this was not a happy experience.

Because the course I was attending involved a lot of people, they had a buffet arranged for us. Before buying tickets for the buffet, I told the hotel staff what my allergies are, and asked if I could be accommodated. I was told this was possible.

Luckily, I only bought the dinners. When I showed up at the buffet, it turned out that I could really only eat the salad! The first night, Cindy, a really service super-star, was able to arrange an alternate meal for me. The second night she was not there, and the dozy staff came up with something that technically I could eat, but really was pretty unsatisfactory.

Now this is not meant to be a rant against the hotel, although really they need to learn how to cater to people with allergies a whole lot better.

Bringing My Own Wheat-Free Food

Breakfasts and lunches did work really well because I brought my own food.

I do not eat wheat, but I can eat oatmeal. I brought a one-cup immersion heater to boil water, and added that to a bowl of instant oatmeal. Adding walnuts and almonds made it a pretty good and complete breakfast.

For lunch, I brought rice cakes, and canned meat (which I found at an Italian store in my home town). The cans have pull-tabs, so they are easy to open, and don’t stink like fish, so that worked very well.

Planning for Next Time

I have another similar trip coming up in March. This time I will bring dinner as well as breakfast and lunch.

I have not planed my meals yet, but I have purchased a single-burner stove which I can fit in my suit-case. Some camping pots and implements will complete my kitchen. I will probably have rice with something out of a can – not exciting but better than restaurant food. If I can, I will try to come up with something interesting, but it will all have to work as airplane luggage, so there will be challenges. I’ll add more when I have worked out the details.

 


 

More About Immersion Heaters

Immersion Heater

 

A few people have been asking what an immersion heater is. The photo to the left is one example of one common design.

 

You put it in to a cup or mug of cold water, plug it in, and it heats up. After a time, the water will boil.

 


 

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1 admin March 5, 2007 at 12:23

More About Immersion Heaters

Immersion Heater

A few people have been asking what an immersion heater is. The photo to the left is one example of one common design.

You put it in to a cup or mug of cold water, plug it in, and it heats up. After a time, the water will boil.

Reply

2 Anonymous March 5, 2007 at 08:25

immersion heater

We travel often for business as well. Food is ALWAYS an issue, though we have been fortunate enough to always travel to or near large cities that almost always have Outback Steakhouse or Carrabas’s or Bonefish Grill or PF Chang’s, so we’ve been lucky in that regard. We always find local health food stores (either Whole Foods or smaller local stores) and buy foods we can eat in our hotel room. It helps to have a rental car, of course!

What is an immersion heater? I have an immersion blender, but never heard of an immersion heater? Thanks!

Reply

3 Mrs. Nicklebee February 15, 2007 at 08:43

You are not alone!

Not about the Hilton ๐Ÿ˜‰ but about eating out and not having many/any safe choices. I had a great waitress yesterday at [an unfortunate restaurant choice]. She went out of her way to make sure I didn’t end up blowing chunks on customers across the room.

I can relate to this: “The second night she was not there, and the dozy staff came up with something that technically I could eat, but really was pretty unsatisfactory.”

When we go out to eat, or discuss whether it’s worth the hassle to go out to eat, I’m often asked by my husband if there’s anything I can eat on their menu. While that’s a considerate question, it misses part of the point of going out. Yes, there are things I can it, but I don’t really want to get out of my pajamas to eat a half ounce of ham or four pieces of bacon or, as was the case yesterday, a really nice ham, lettuce, tomato and cuke salad. Yes, I can have that but I don’t want to have it, and, frankly, I’m disappointed that we’re here in this restaurant and once again I get to watch everyone else eat yummy, delicious smelling, hot food while I’m eating my salad. :\

There are times when it is necessary to be gracious and to consider how much better off I am than the starving children in Sudan and other places or how much it means to everyone else that we go to the place and enjoy time out together. There are other times when I just can’t suppress my disappointment! Yesterday was very nearly one of those days. Thankfully, one of the kids did something so sweet I thought I’d cry so I was able to spare my family a Woe Is Me performance for the time being.

Interesting website! I look forward to reading more of your posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

OH! What is an immersion heater?? I’ve never heard of such a thing but it sounds great!!

Reply

4 Wheat-Free February 15, 2007 at 16:48

Immersion Heater

Thanks for your comments, Mrs. Nicklebee.

Eating with others is a very social activity, and there is nothing worse than not being able to eat what everyone else is eating! It feels like being ostracised, even though you are at the table and everyone will talk to you! On the other hand, I feel very much included when my friends and family ask all the boring questions for me, or agree to a restaurant not of their first choice, in order to accommodate me.

On the other hand, its generally better than the effects of the allergies.

Re the immersion heater, it is a small heater that you just put into a mug and plug in. Crappy low-power ones take 20 minutes to boil, but higher-power ones can boil a cup of water in a minute or two. I’ll have to write an article about them and their uses. I have bought crappy ones in your average big-box store, but the higher power one I bought in bought in Mexico. It actually is of rather low quality, but it does the job.

As I discover useful products, I will add them to the Allergy Resources section. So if I can find a place to buy immersion heaters on-line, I’ll add them to that section.

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