Who are you and where are you?
Hi, I’m Emily Rich, a student at the University of Arizona. I live in Tucson, AZ. I am also the president of the gluten free club at the U of A.
Tell me about your relationship with gluten..
I have had “tummy issues” since I can remember but didn’t realize that gluten didn’t like me until about 2 years ago, when I went to the doctor and asked him to diagnose me with celiac disease 😉 Yes, I figured it out myself after eliminating nearly everything else I had read about in my diet. I have been strictly gluten free ever since and can never imagine “cheating” (or as I call it, poisoning myself) because my stomach goes into the most incredible pain.
Why should gluten free travellers visit your town?
Tucson has the University of Arizona, which recently received a top 10 gf accommodating schools mention from Udi’s most recent list. We have a dedicated gluten free restaurant on campus called “Core 2” which serves fajitas, sandwiches, omelets, custom salads, quesadillas, and stir fry. Our campus is very accommodating in other restaurants as well. Tucson also has a dedicated gluten free restaurant called “Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro” which was nominated for a Foggy Award this last year. They have specialty deserts and a delicious food menu as well. We also have very accommodating local restaurants such as Flemings, El Charro, Tucson Tamale Company, Sir Vezas, Renees Organic OvenÂ (a pizza place with a gluten-free menu), Wildflower, and Lotus Garden.
Tell me something fun about your town..
Tucson is a beautiful city and makes all kinds of lists for family vacations, beautiful destinations, and outdoors-y lists. Tucson is surrounded by huge mountains everywhere you look, Saguaro National Park, and has beautiful resorts, hiking trails, and golf courses. We have bike trails alongside nearly every road and it is a popular destination for bikers year round, especially for “El Tour de Tucson” every November. Mt. Lemon is a 45 minute drive and all winter has snow. Each February there is a well known gem show that brings people from all over the world. Â It is a fantastic destination for a vacation but also caters to the gluten free foodie. We have an active CSA group and obviously an awesome University! Plus we have the BEST mexican food (which is easily gluten free) since we are only an hour drive from Mexico border, which also means the best FLAN (my favorite).
Where is your favourite place to eat out in your town and why?
Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery because it is a safe gluten free restaurant that I can eat out at without worrying about getting sick or having to be difficult like can happen at other restaurants. But tied for first place would have to be my on-campus gluten free dedicated restaurant. I am so proud to go to a school (possibly the only college in the country) with a dedicated gluten free restaurant. The restaurant has enough different options to go there every day for 2 weeks and they are always introducing new items like hoagie sandwiches, jello, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Do you live in Tucson or have you travelled there? Where is your favourite place to eat gluten free?