Every Thursday night Palm Springs holds a large street festival on North Palm Canyon Drive (basically, the downtown strip) called Village Fest and we spent forever trying to find a restaurant that took my Celiac seriously.
First we looked up reviews and found Bill’s Pizza was highly regarded by Celiac’s. Fortunately when we arrived and explained my Celiac condition to the server, he was good enough to say that Bills:
- offers gluten free choices but the kitchen has more cross contamination than someone with Celiac disease would tolerate
- is better suited for gluten intolerant than those with Celiac
We then went to Blaze Pizza and found it to be so contaminated with wheat flour that we had to through our pizza’s in the garbage. Check out our short review of Blaze Pizza.
Any medical professional will tell you that if you have Celiac Disease you are better off working with larger restaurant chains because they have a lot to loose if they tell you something is gluten free and it is not. However, at this point we were starving and getting excessively cranky so we decided to talk to some of the street vendors.
We were thrilled to find a number of vendors selling products made from whole products they had personally sourced (or grown) and could vouch for them containing absolutely zero wheat, barley or other problematic ingredients (like flavor, color or generic ‘spices’). This food was clearly not lab certified but when you are super hungry you need to trust someone.
The best food we found came from them a very large chicken and gyro stand near the top of the N Palm Canyon. One of the owners is gluten intolerant and so they told us they are not just careful not to mix foods, there gluten free prep is done in a completely different way than their other foods. They also used different grills and utensils.
As you can see in the two pictures to the right, the food was amazing and the owner was very proud of his food.
The two owners were friendly, outgoing and knowledgeable. We were happy and satiated… that was a lot of very very good hot food.
We also found a few baked goods along the way although they were expensive. At one stand we purchased 6 or 7 gluten free small ‘dough knots’ (sold in a small hamburger container). That cost USD $10 which was a bit much.
Our evening started out very badly but the street vendors came through for us and we had a great night in Palm Springs/