Carson took a break from the kitchen and gardening for a few days to enjoy his third favorite hobby…. Traveling! On this adventure we headed to sunny Florida.(Carson’s a pro on his 11th flight.)Eating out with a food allergy is tough enough but it can make going on vacation a job in itself.
For the first part of this trip, we headed to Miami for a few days of fun in the sun. We LOVE Loews Miami Beach Hotel. They are by far one of the friendliest hotels we have ever stayed in. They have daily activities for kids and are very accommodating. They always give Carson a gift at check-in and on this trip the wonderful lady at the front desk sent him some cookies and milk to our room as a sweet surprise. Not wanting to be the mean mommy, I gave in and let Carson have a few bites of the Chocolate Chip with Sprinkles. (Nothing a little baby Zyrtec and steroid cream can’t clear up)
A few days later we discovered Insomnia Cookies and their Dairyfree/Gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Amazing! Although Carson preferred the Loews cookies with sprinkles.
Overall it’s fairly easy to find Dairyfree alternatives at restaurants in Miami because they have hundreds of restaurants to choose from. One of our favorites is the Front Porch Cafe on Ocean Drive. Very friendly staff and super accommodating to food allergies. We’ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner here (not all on the same day). We also enjoy the Naked Taco on Collins Ave. They’re also super accommodating and everything is so fresh!
We usually stay at Shades of Green but decided to try out a Disney property this time, so we called Victoria with Hi Ho Vacations and are SO glad we did. She was awesome and found us a hotel for less than we usually pay. She was such a joy to work with and provided so much information it made planning our vacation super easy. We ended up staying at the Port Orleans – French Quarter.
The pool is awesome and the property is on a river, where you can take a free boat ride to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney). The hotel offers a lot of activities including a Mardi Gras party.Victoria suggested purchasing a meal plan but I was a little hesitant with Carson’s food allergies. She sent us plenty of information about how allergy friendly Disney is, so we decided to give it a try.
She was right. Every single restaurant we ate at proactively asked if there were any food allergies. When they found out what they were, the chef at each restaurant came to the table to discuss options. They were all so kind and understanding it made the trip so much more enjoyable. There was no stressing over options or feeling uncomfortable having to ask if the dish is made with dairy, soy or tomatoes.
We started our vacation with dinner at Cape May Cafe, a giant seafood buffet. The chef immediately came out to meet us and walked us around the buffet pointing out things to avoid, even offering to make special dishes if we wanted. We had to avoid a few things but there was plenty Carson could eat. Our hotel had a food court that offered an entire menu of allergy friendly alternatives listed by allergy. After you looked over the menu, the chef would come out and personally take your order. Our favorite was Dairyfree Beignets that were so delicious we had them daily! They even made Carson Mickey Mouse shaped waffles for breakfast.At the Magic Kingdom we ate lunch at the Diamond Horseshoe. The meal is an all you can eat table service and if you can finish more than one plate, you deserve a trophy! Our waitress was so sweet and went above and beyond to make sure Carson had a fun time. The chef came out to meet us and go over the menu. She even brought us out rolls with Dairyfree butter and made a special plate (not offered on the menu) with dairyfree mashed potatoes and green beans. As if the special meal wasn’t enough, she whipped up a tasty dairyfree treat for Carson’s dessert too.
On our last night in town we took the boat over to Disney Springs for dinner.
We didn’t make reservations but stumbled across Portobello. We were happy to discover they took our meal plan too. Eating out at Italian restaurants has proven to be one of the more difficult things to do when you can’t have dairy or tomatoes, but we knew we could find something. Our waiter was absolutely amazing! He walked us through all of the options on the menu and substitutions they could make. He even went to a neighbor restaurant and got Carson a surprise Dairyfree cupcake for dessert. Carson loved it!
We are big Disney fans (Carson’s been 3 times already) but never knew about their allergy friendly programs. I am so grateful Victoria clued us in. If you’re planning a trip to Disney here is the info: Disney Dining with Allergies and if you need help: Hi Ho Vacations
It was a fun vacation but Carson is looking forward to getting back in to the kitchen this week and sharing more cooking adventures with you soon!
We’re also happy to report that the garden is still alive and we will have a progress update this week.