Friday, April 25, 2014

Lots of gluten-free stuff at The Players

I went on a media tour yesterday of some of the new food venues for The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in two weeks, and it's very impressive from a gluten-free perspective.

Tacos on 12
Maybe the best part is the new Tacos on 12 tent behind the 12th green, which is actually a TacoLu tent.

As you probably know, TacoLu in Jacksonville Beach is one of the most gluten-friendly restaurants in the area, and they will make an effort to take care of us at the golf tournament.

Because of the limited space in the tent, TacoLu is only offering three of its most popular taco options: The Baja Fish, Bangin Shrimp and TacoLu Verde tacos. Unfortunately, the TacoLu Verde is the only one of the three that can be made gluten free (although that does work for me).

For the most part, the tacos are being made with flour tortillas. But as in the restaurant, you can request a gluten-free corn tortilla. Co-owner Don Nicol said it may take a few more minutes to prepare the gluten-free taco, but that's okay.

TacoLu didn't bring any corn tortillas to the tent yesterday but the other co-owner, Debbie Nicol, put all of the TacoLu Verde ingredients into a cup for me so I would have something to eat there. That's why I like the people at TacoLu.

The Players has a map available of all the food venues on the course that includes a list of venues with gluten-free options. Some of the local restaurants on the list include Metro Diner, Indochine, MShack and Medure. There is also a Winn-Dixie Fresh Cafe that will have gluten-free items, including beer.

Strangely enough, TacoLu isn't on the gluten-free list.
View from the Sea Best 17 Deck

Also not on the list is the new Sea Best 17 Deck, a fan venue that overlooks the 17th green and also offers view of the 16th and 18th holes.

This looks like a private tent but it is open to anyone with a ticket. One of the food items in that tent is Sea Best Shrimp & Grits, which the tournament organizers are describing as a signature menu item for The Players.

The shrimp looked pretty good so I asked what was on it during the tour yesterday. They said it was just shrimp with a pesto sauce. I took a chance that it was gluten free and tried it (without the grits), without any problems.

I'm pretty confident that if you're going to The Players, you're going to find plenty of gluten-free food to safely eat.

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