Tuesday, May 10, 2016

More great gluten-free stuff at The Players

I complain a lot about how difficult it is to find gluten-free stuff at sporting events.

But once a year, we arrive at The Players Championship and a fantastic array of gluten-free choices. Probably better than you'll find in a lot of restaurants.

Just take a look at the menu board at the regular refreshment stands sprinkled throughout the course. The "gf" in a circle indicates you can get a burger, chicken sandwich or hot dog on a gluten-free bun (for $1.50 extra).

However, the real fun is the specialty booths set up by local restaurants, where you can get some really interesting gluten-free fare.

Of course, The Players has featured the Tacos on 12 tent run by TacoLu for the past few years. But I got to take a tour of some of the new food booths yesterday and found some appealing stuff.

Without a doubt, my favorite stop was the Wine & Dine on 9 area along the 9th fairway, which this year features food by Vernon's, a restaurant in the Sawgrass Marriott.

Vernon's offered a dish that I was vaguely familiar with, arepas, which featured pulled pork in a wrap made of corn. It was absolutely delicious, and the sous chef preparing it told me she herself is gluten free so she completely understood our concerns. If I make it to actual golf this weekend, I'm going back for another one.

Actually, as I talked to the people running the booths, I was very pleased to see that they were very familiar with gluten-free concerns, not only at the golf course booths but also in their restaurants.

Mojo's has a booth this year offering barbecue sandwiches. Of course, we can't get a sandwich but we can get a small plate of meat with barbecue sauces that are gluten free.

Likewise, the Candy Apple Cafe offered me a hot dog without a bun covered in candy bacon, which they said was gluten free.

So yes, this is the one sporting event where you can go hungry and not worry about eating before you leave. Have fun!

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