This Gluten-free Aruba #nimatested guide is brought to you by Jenny Powell and her daughter Maryalice.
Maryalice is the youngest of four children – a seven-year old coexisting in a house full of teenagers! Days before her seventh birthday she was diagnosed with Celiac disease. This was shocking to say the least- she had no typical symptoms! Fast forward six months, she has taken control of her health and is thriving. Our trip to Aruba was the first international vacation that we attempted post-diagnosis. Nima made it possible for us to enjoy our trip to the fullest and keep Maryalice healthy! You can watch video of Maryalice talking about Celiac disease here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeBlv205kSk.
Our trip to Aruba was one we will not soon forget. Aruba has a fascinating blend of cultures that is apparent in the music, art, language, and, of course, food! The beaches are stunning, and the inland desert landscape is unique in comparison to other Caribbean islands we have visited. We had an amazing vacation and would not hesitate to return to “the happy island”!
#nimatested Dish: Free-Range Rotisserie Chicken and Baked Potato.
Notes: This has a casual atmosphere with open air dining, live entertainment on some nights, and it is in the middle of all the action in Palm Beach. Food was good, reservations are suggested. Note – we also tested the sour cream and gluten was detected.
#nimatested Dish: Gluten-free Dutch Pancake with Bananas.
Notes: This is the BEST breakfast in Aruba! It is a 20-minute walk from the high-rise area of Palm Beach but SO worth it. The owner (Linda) was diagnosed with Celiac disease years ago and began preparing her own gluten-free bread and pancakes. They have mastered the process and we ate here on multiple days during our trip. The syrup is also gluten-free, they do not recommend eating the whipped cream (not tested).
#nimatested Dish: Chicken Tacos with Corn Tortillas.
Notes: We came to this restaurant and asked them if they offered gluten-free options. They did not, but they asked us what they could do to help. The chef came out, discussed the food prep process with us to make gluten-free chicken tacos. He then invited my husband into the kitchen to read labels on ingredients and go over cooking the chicken, etc. He also prepared some plain rice for her, but they did not think it was GF. We tested- tacos were perfectly GF, rice was NOT! In fact, we tested rice at multiple eateries in Aruba, all came up positive on Nima. Kailin’s served wonderful food and went out of their way to help us, they come highly recommended!
#nimatested Dish: Grilled Chicken and Veggies (kids’ menu).
Notes: They offer numerous gluten-free options that are clearly labeled on the menu.
#nimatested Dish: Variety of meats and items from the salad bar.
Notes: This place is DELICIOUS and has so many gluten-free options. They bring meat to the table (all GF), and then you get a salad bar with it. The manager came out to speak with us and told us exactly which items were gluten-free. We still tested several items, all came up gluten-free.
#nimatested Dish: Gluten-free Pasta with White Sauce.
Notes: They take their gluten-free menu options very seriously. We spoke to them about boiling the pasta in clean water, draining in a clean strainer, etc. They showed us the cream and cheese used in the white sauce and assured us that these were the only ingredients. Nima tested POSITIVE for gluten in the sauce. Our server was distraught about it—I do not know why it detected gluten, but we had pasta with parmesan instead. Wonderful atmosphere and delicious food!
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