Yesterday, we checked into the Inn at Essex in Essex Junction, VT at about 4 PM. After bringing our bags to the room, I made a beeline for the restaurant and spoke with the chef. I had actually called the day before, when I made the hotel reservation, and spoke to the chef. But when we arrived, we decided not to eat at the pricier of the two restaurants, instead opting to eat at the tavern. I was still assured that my food would be carefully prepared, with attention to my gluten free needs.
When I met the chef, I reminded her that my sirloin steak be cooked in a separate, clean pan. She initially suggested that it would be ok to grill the steak on the grill and she was sure nothing with gluten had ever touched it. But I said that I’d prefer it cooked in a separate, clean pan. She agreed to comply with my wishes. That was about 3 hours before we actually were seated for dinner.
Shortly after being seated at the restaurant, we placed our order with the waitress, but I forgot to remind her that I’d spoken with the chef earlier and had asked to have my steak cooked in a specific manner. I quickly found and asked another waitstaff to remind my waitress that I wanted the steak cooked in a separate, clean pan AND that the chef knew about it.
The steak came with grill marks all over it. Much to my chagrin and disappointment, it had been grilled. By that time, I was so ridiculously hungry that I decided to take a chance, considering what the chef had told me earlier about the grill having never seen an item with gluten.
They also supposedly prepared a special dessert for me. Or at least that’s what they told me. It was lovely. Chocolate truffle fudge cake, flourless. With creamy milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse, a pear chip glazed with sugar, all served on a plate drizzled with raspberry and chocolate sauce. They insisted it was gluten free, the entire dessert. I wanted to believe them so much. Since my diagnosis, I hadn’t once ordered dessert in a restaurant. I ate the entire dessert like I hadn’t seen food in months. I scoffed the sucker down quicker than you could say jack rabbit.
Didn’t take long. After a few hours, the old, familiar tummy rumblings began. And haven’t stopped. 24 hours later, I’m still rumbling.
Was it worth it? Would you have eaten it? The steak? The dessert?