Road Trip USA: Nutrition Edition [Day 3]

Day 3 – Friday, October 23rd
Chicago, IL to Lincoln, NE
8 hours in the car

Woke up early, had some scrambled eggs, and left for Nebraska! My snacks and lunch consisted of a snack bar, almonds, and a banana. It’s hard to remember to eat when you’re sitting still all day, driving through cornfields, but I’ll try to improve on this tomorrow. The only nearby eatery was a Quiznos across the street from our hotel in Lincoln where I planned to get a big meal to make up for not eating that day. Planned is the key word here because things didn’t go quite as I imagined.

Me: “Are any of your soups gluten-free?”
Cashier: “What?”
Me: “Are any of your soups gluten-free?”
Cashier: *blank stare*
Me: “Do any of your soups not have wheat or barley?”
Cashier: “You want wheat?”
Me: “No, I can’t have wheat…”
Cashier: “Soooo, you want a sandwich?”

I spotted another employee and waved them over.

Me: “Are any of your soups gluten-free? Or do you have a binder or booklet that lists the ingredients in your soups?”
Employee: “I don’t know, but I can give you the bag the soup comes in. It says something on there that I can’t ready because my eyesight isn’t very good.”

He went in the back and came out with a half-congealed bag containing a serving of tomato basil soup. All right, we’re making progress here! Until I looked at the bag and read, “PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS: Thaw in microwave for…”

I had read enough. I settled on the Classic Cobb Salad that comes with grilled chicken, which seems like a good choice. Back in my hotel room, I Googled Quiznos’ gluten-free items and found an “allergen table”. The only menu items that don’t have gluten are the salad dressings and the fruit parfait. I chalked it up to their salads coming with flatbreads on the side until I noticed that even the Honey Mustard Chicken Salad that doesn’t come with flatbreads is indicated as having gluten. Further research on blog posts on celiac.com say to stay away from the grilled chicken strips at Quiznos. I’m not sure about the reliability of these blogs, but there isn’t anything else in the salad that COULD have gluten. What’s gluten doing in grilled chicken that isn’t marinaded? And what else is in the chicken? Lesson learned: we are not going back to Quiznos on this trip.

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