Saturday, January 3, 2015

A South Floridian Gluten Free Road Trip

The warmth of Southern Florida is always a joy to get away to in the winter months. I have a fondness for Florida because I lived all over the state in my early twenties. That's what you do when you are twenty, move to a state that is exotic compared to North Carolina. I lived in Jacksonville for a short time, then Daytona, and Ft Lauderdale before settling on Key West. Although, back then, gluten free was not even a thought in my mind, nor did I know anything about it. This road trip would be made in September, while it was still quite hot.

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the South Florida Gluten Free Expo, run by the South Florida Celiac Support Group in West Palm Beach. They have had an event going on there for 7 years! It was one of the first events I had attended with around 85 vendors. The food was amazing and the support group were wonderful in welcoming me, which always makes an event more fun.

I was extremely honored to be contacted when they sought out an event management company and excited to bring them aboard Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events. As always, I went down to check out the area and get a feel while on the road to Jacksonville. I stopped into Jacksonville for a couple days and then it was back on the road. So I dropped into St Augustine for lunch at a little place that serves up raw delectables and has a top-notch juicing bar. Present Moment Cafe has a comfy funky atmosphere and yummy healthy options fill the menu which is clearly marked for gluten free.

Collard Wrap with fresh veggies and Cashew Spread 
with a freshly made Beet Juice

You always know you are hitting the Southern tip of Florida by the palm trees along the Interstate. I figured I would stop in to see West Palm Beach's only dedicated gluten free bakery,  Joey's Home Bakery Gluten Free, and was delighted to try some of their delicious looking treats. They also do a large amount of grain free/Paleo.

The second way you know you are in South Florida in September is that you can be up at 7 am and the air will be steamy already before the sun comes up. The next morning, I decided to stop into The Original Pancake House in West Palm Beach for breakfast. This chain breakfast eatery is a safe bet while on the road gluten free. Where else can you get a gluten free Belgian buckwheat waffle that looks like this?

My short jaunt to South Florida ended after my meeting that day and I headed back up the road. However, our next event will be held there on February 22, 2015. You should come on down and enjoy the Florida weather while taking in an event. If you pre-register, you get 1 yr of Delight Gluten Free Magazine. Visit TICKETS to register.