Our first night in Vegas was not so glamorous... We had trekked from our room at Circus Circus to our friends who were staying at Bill's Gamblin' Hall. It was late in the evening, and we were pretty hungry. We decided on Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, knowing ahead of time that the chain has a gluten free menu. I had good experiences at the local Jimmy Buffett's Cheeseburger in Paradise back in Cincinnati and expected the same quality. We waited about 30 minutes on this Tuesday night.
Once we were seated, I asked for a gluten free menu. Our host disappeared to find one and never
returned. When I politely asked the server for a gluten free menu, she
only asked, "What do you want?" Her tone made me
feel like an inconvenience, definitely not a guest. I didn't have a menu yet, and I'm not
familiar with their offerings - how could I know?
When she returned with our drink orders - one at a time - my friend's
drink was wrong. It was a strawberry daiquiri instead of a strawberry margarita. That wasn't a good start, but I still had faith in the
kitchen. I was relying on my experience in Cincinnati...and blinded by the fact that the clock was ticking, and my
belly didn't want to wait longer.
Eventually the server
returned with a small menu that she read aloud to me. It seemed that I
was meant to memorize it, because she wasn't letting me look it over. When she turned to leave, I asked to take a picture of it. I
set it on the regular menu to give a point of reference for the scale.
She brought out the barbecue sauce
first, adding, "I don't know why you ordered the sauce. It's got
gluten." It was as if I should have known, and she laughed at me. I was in shock and spoke in a staccato rhythm. "I don't want it if it has gluten! It
was on the gluten free menu, so I thought it was safe. I don't want
it. It'll make me really sick. Please take it away."
A few minutes after
that hair-raising moment, my meal arrived. Scott politely asked the
food-runner, "And this is gluten free?" The server - who hadn't written
down the order - quickly came over, interrupting the food-runner to say,
"Yes, of course it's gluten free." (In food allergy and intolerance
world, you always have to double check.)
May you all have happier eating experiences!