Red Mesa Grill saved the day, well night, actually. We had just finished week three of the school year and since it was a summery fall weekend, we naturally did no adulting. As in no cooking. A tiny bit of cleaning. We laughed along as the girls made silly faces and shrieked with laughter. A long afternoon nap on Sunday afternoon happened for all of us. I took the girls out late Sunday afternoon to play in the 80-degree weather. Our neighbors had just given us a bigger kiddie pool, so in went the toddler slide and we cheered as Teagan climbed up and slid down into the water for the first time. It was a blast. Hubby and I both avoided the fact that we had nothing easy to pull together for dinner. See, cooking dinner means making two different meals. It’s washing the pans right away to use immediately so I can make a gluten-free version of dinner. After a weekend of intentionally soaking up the warmth, it’s often normal for me to make dinner for everyone else while I throw together scrambled eggs for myself. No complaints, but a good hearty meal is most welcome.
Fall Festival Lunch is Nada for Celiac Disease
We had also enjoyed Fall Fest at our church and Kevin and the girls chowed down delish smelling hotdogs. There were crockpots of chili and soup and cornbread and loads of hotdogs. Sounds like Heaven, right? It’s a nightmare for someone who has Celiac Disease. You don’t know what’s in all the crockpots or if the one labeled gluten-free actually contains chili beans, which are not gluten-free because of the seasoning. How many times did that ladle touch the gluten-filled soup hanging out inches away? Does the kid in front of you touching the ladle have cracker hands? This is just what goes through my brain as I consider whether anything is safe to eat – thanks for feeding the rest of my family though! I gave it a chance and hid my empty plate as I guided the kids out to sit and enjoy lunch in the grass, knowing I had packed some gluten-free chips in the car. I could at least look the part.
Is Eating Out at a Restaurant Worth It?
Sunday evening. 5 p.m. I had already eaten my leftovers from the night before for lunch. Hubby texted “Want to go out for dinner?” “Yes!” I texted back, but I wasn’t quite excited yet because this often meant getting to choose from two things on a restaurant menu that almost never left me feeling full, but somewhat guilty because somehow gluten-free also meant “charge double” in restaurant lingo. Again, not complaining, but it’s just part of the process of choosing to eat out and where.
Red Mesa Grill on the Radar
I opened my FindMeGlutenFree app and noticed that Red Mesa Grill was voted Celiac save by other reviewers. Hubby was on board with the promise of Mexican food. We loaded up the kids a few minutes later, along with the playing cards and baby toys, not sure how long of a wait it would be for our hungry kids.
The first thing I noticed walking into Red Mesa Grill was a sign on the wall indicating they could accommodate patrons with Celiac Disease. I have not experienced this at any other restaurant, let alone in Traverse City! My confidence increased even more as our server greeted us and lead us to a booth. She handed me a gluten-free menu and provided a few details to keep in mind while ordering. Again, I was impressed knowing that I could finally enjoy a “normal” meal without getting glutened – and she was delightful with the kids.
Red Mesa Grill’s Celiac Friendly and Gluten-Free Menu
I scanned the menu (check out the full menu here or download the PDF) and noticed all the options! The hard part was deciding what to try. I wanted tacos, so I ordered one soft chicken corn shell taco and steamed vegetables.
Our server brought out a fun kid’s menu with activities, so our five-year-old was entertained. The atmosphere was relaxing with music playing in the background and plenty of unique decor on the walls to entertain our one-year-old as she played stand up-sit down-stand up-sit down in the high chair. We waited maybe 15 minutes, just long enough to start feeling the toddler energy heighten as she became determined to reach the colorful crocodile decoration smiling right behind us. Food! It smelled amazing and everything was well cooked and nothing was messed up.
Order Two Chicken Tacos – You Won’t Regret It
My soft corn chicken taco was delicious and the veggies were well seasoned and crunchy. My only regret was not odering a second taco, but I was surprisingly full. This was a huge indication that all the ingredients were fresh, which wasn’t hard to imagine because of how flavorful each bite tasted. I’m so excited to plan the next dinner out to Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City after such a wonderful, energizing and filling experience. This completely deleted the whole I can’t eat lunch at the church Fall Festival experience from earlier in the day.
Red Mesa Grill has two locations – one in Traverse City and one in Boyne City. Both locations offer a gluten-free, Celiac-safe menu!
Another great option for gluten-free tacos is Mama Lu’s in downtown Traverse City. Check out my review on why I voted it 100% Celiac safe.