{friday photos} back of the bike chronicles

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.

When the temperature soared in to the 100s last week, most of you were out on the lake, keeping cool in the pool, or camped out in the A/C with Netflix.

But not this girl. No, I was out on an adventure. (a very hot one)

On the back of the bike.

Very hot is actually putting it mildly — by Friday midday, we were having to pull over for a/c relief and ice water every half hour. (and even then the half hour spurts were too much to handle)

But we made the best of it, and as usual, when traveling with our friend Has, we scored on the gluten-free finds — and in some pretty random places.

Gluten-Free in Mt. Horeb, WI @ The Grumpy Troll

When we first looked up their “gluten free” menu online, I was ecstatic — wings? YES, please.

But, like so many other places that have thrown the words gluten-free on a menu without taking the time to actually research more about cross contamination, the Grumpy Troll still has a lot to learn.

The wings go in a fryer. With everything else breaded. So that was out. And I figured I would have to do a burger minus the bun at some point during the weekend, so I opted for a salad with grilled chicken. There were several dressings listed, which made me a tad suspicious, so I sent the server back into the kitchen to double check — and she came back with oil and vinegar, informing me that was my only choice.


I played it pretty cool and kindly informed her that they shouldn’t have those listed on a GF menu. (inside I was getting really nervous about the food overall — if there were that many errors on the menu, what was I going to end up with?) I explained that someone new to the gluten-free way of life, may come in and order without thinking twice about asking questions, and end up very sick.

Of course my husband wasn’t going to let me have just oil and vinegar on my salad — so we grabbed the brown mustard, salt & pepper, and asked for a bowl to whip up a little vinaigrette. He did a great job. My salad came out safe. I survived.

And there was Crispin. That was the best part.

For dinner, if you want to call it that, we weren’t quite as lucky in Savanna, IL. They won’t be winning any awards for foodie capital of Illinois any time soon.

But I do have to give credit to the young cook at Hawg Dawgs — it wasn’t his fault that the steak was thinner than a pancake. (the overcooking was his fault, but we’ll let it slide for at least getting me a baked potato on the side) No one was thrilled with the food, but my food was technically safe… and I washed it all down with a beverage or three, so no harm done.

Both days I ate breakfast in our hotel room. Even though a typical continental breakfast doesn’t fit the gluten-free diet very well, you can still take advantage of some of their offerings and piece together a meal.

How to make a gluten-free breakfast out of a continental breakfast at a hotel:

  • bring toaster bags with you (and GF bread/bagel) and use their toaster
  • dip the Glutino pretzels you packed in their single serving peanut butter
  • grab ice from the ice machine in a cup, fill half with coffee, half with milk, add sweetener of your choice — iced cafe au lait. 🙂
  • enjoy the fruit! (take some extra for later)
  • hard boiled eggs with salt & pepper are tasty
  • pack your own cereal/oatmeal – top with their milk
  • add OJ to the New Grist you brought along, for a beermosa

Day 2 brought the same heat, which meant frequent stops, even traveling the short distance to Clinton, Iowa.

Gluten-Free in Clinton, IA — Happy Joe’s Pizza

When we pulled into town, we needed water and FAST — but found out that a main line had been hit and power (A/C!!!) was out at most businesses, so they had closed. People were milling around on the main street trying to figure out where to head to stay cool.

There was ONE place open to eat. And they just so happened to have a “we now have gluten-free crust” sign outside their door.

Happy Joe’s saved the day!

They were friendly, understanding, and helpful — despite having every tourist in the city coming through their doors and some very cranky customers. I didn’t mind the wait. They fed me safely.

The rest of the day was spent in Galena, IL. For those who follow along on Facebook, you know that I was born in Galena and lived their until I was seven.

Their Main Street is adorable — very Cedarburg-like with shops on both sides of the street filled with foodie finds, unique gifts, and more food.

Mmm… garlic.

The canning company was big fun because they do their taste testing with corn tortilla chips and their ingredients are simple.

I spied some WOW Baking Co. cookies at one of the shops too.

But what I was looking forward to was dinner at One Eleven Main. 

Where they have an actual gluten-free menu.

Grilled Shrimp with Brandy Sweet Potato Mash and Roasted Tomatoes & Peas

It was worth the hell-like temperatures to get this meal. And the mojito was perfecto.

By nightfall, when 85 felt cool, it was safe to take out the camera (it would have melted in the afternoon) and get some shots.

Sunday’s route took us through Monroe, WI — and I was glad I waited on the burger because I found a juicy, perfectly cooked one at Baumgartner’s. 

For extra precaution, I sent my dining card to the kitchen with the server — they understood and took the time to clean off the grill for me and serve me a safe Sunday lunch. 🙂

Oh… I forgot to tell you about my favorite find of the weekend.

Council Hill Station in Scales Mound, IL.

Where the beer – YES, gluten-free beer in the middle of nowhereville – is always cold. And you walk right up and pick it out yourself.

I was beside myself. Giddy. Could not believe it.

The woman who runs Council Hill Station has a wheat allergy. And according to her, “it’s the first gluten-free beer I didn’t spit out, after the first sip.”

It’s THE coolest little spot — if you are ever in the area, please stop in and say hello.

And take a look around — inside and out.

Has (my GF-good-luck-charm)

And have a gluten-free beer!

The weekend wore.me.out. Big time. But I managed to start running again this week, and I’m making better food choices after a weekend of beer, pizza and burgers. (also, after several beverages on Friday night, Has and I decided we were going to do a fitness/health challenge from now through Labor Day — why not, right?)

Stuffed Avocado: hard boiled egg & tomato, drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Wait until you see what I made with these olives — big fan of the olive bar at Whole Foods.

red pepper stuffed, jalapeno stuffed, kalamatas and a mix

Was this the longest Friday Photos post or what?

Thanks for hanging in there with me — now you know where to eat on your next trip to Iowa.

Have you ever been to Galena before? I always love hearing stories about that place — tell me yours…

2 thoughts on “{friday photos} back of the bike chronicles

  1. We have family who live in Galena and I love driving around the area! Not long ago I had the chance to stroll along the Main Street stores on a day with few tourists around. What fun! I haven’t eaten at One Eleven Main, but I hope we can take our GF daughter-in-law there sometime soon. And this same DIL has recently moved to Milwaukee (as well as our son and grandson). Small world.

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