Each year, our family takes a one-week beach vacation to Ocean City, Maryland. And each year, we are a little disappointed that more restaurants aren't aware of Celiac Disease and gluten-free food preparation. It's not too surprising, given the seasonal nature of the resort...and the seasonal help that often staffs the kitchens and dining rooms. So we typically cook in most meals -- or get food from some of our favorite places as take-out so we can also fix something at home for our kids (one with Celiac and one who's a bit of a picky eater anyway!). But this year we were determined to find at least one new restaurant that could prepare a safe, gluten-free meal (and not just a basic grilled chicken breast, hamburger patty, or steak -- almost anyone can do that). Our quest took us to two restaurants -- one a national chain (Carrabbas) and one an independent local steakhouse (Steakhouse 26). Both meals were outstanding.
Of course, most people with Celiac know about Carrabba's gluten-free menu. We've been there several times in the past, but not very recently and not to the Ocean City location. It is in West Ocean City, on Route 50 just before crossing over the Bay into Ocean City itself. There is also an Outback restaurant (also with a g-f menu) right across the street where we typically dine on our way into town, but this year we wanted to do something different. The Carrabba's menu has plenty of g-f entrees, and we encouraged our six-year-old to try one of their chicken specialties, Pollo Rosa Maria. It was a big hit, and it was so nice to see him enjoy something other than a standard plain grilled chicken breast! (For more on our experience at Carrabbas, read the review posted on GlutenFreeTravelSite's Maryland page.)
The other restaurant we tried, Steakhouse 26 (on Route 26 in Milville, Delaware, between Bethany and Rehoboth) is owned by Jerry Richard, a chef whose three daughters and wife are all on gluten-free diets. While he does not have a printed gluten-free menu, per se, most items can be made g-f if they aren't naturally gluten-free already, and he even can make fried shrimp, calamari, etc. using gluten-free breadcrumbs. (For the details, read my review on GlutenFreeTravelSite.com's Delaware page.)
If you've had a good gluten-free dining experience in Ocean City, Bethany, or Rehoboth -- or any other seaside vacation spot, for that matter -- please let others know by posting a quick review at GlutenFreeTravelSite.com!