Cape Town: trusting the waiters and with a lot of patience, I got to eat gluten free!
That day we saw sunrise again… I had already lost count of the sunrises I had seen from different airports on that trip… that was the 8th flight of the trip through South Africa. Also, the flight to Cape Town was not very pleasant, because the stewardess dropped – by accident – a liter of milk on top of me. Literally! They were serving coffees and the milk bottle – of course open – was right in the corner of the trolley. With the rush, the stewardess punched it instead of taking it… and, as it could not happen other way… the bottle fell on top of my jacket…
Immediately the flight attendant took off my jacket and after thousands of apologies told me that now they cleaned it… she should have said “dry it”, because when they returned it to me it stunk like dried milk… that is, horrible! We had two visits to Customers and I could not go like that. While Rio picked up the keys of the rental car, I took the opportunity to change my clothes.
When we finished the visits, we went straight to the hotel we had booked in front of the beach in Cape Town. Upon arrival, I asked reception to take my jacket to the dry cleaning to pick it up the next day, before going to the airport to return to Johannesburg.
Once installed, we went looking for gluten-free restaurants in Cape Town… I had not found many options on the internet and, furthermore, we were far away… we were tired and did not want to take taxis, or ubers or anything like that. Finally, Rio took out his cell phone and looked for gluten-free restaurants in the Zomato app he had used the first time I went to visit him in Durban.
That application told us the Posticino Italian Restaurant at 323 Main Rd., Right next to the hotel Radisson Blu Le Vendome. I could not believe I had the opportunity to eat a gluten-free pizza next to the hotel! We went straight to the restaurant to check it.
Before sitting at a table, I asked the waitress what were their gluten-free offers. The menu clearly stated that they had gluten-free dishes. She explained that they had gluten-free pizza dough, but not anymore gluten free pasta as nobody ordered it. Perfect! I was dying for a gluten-free pizza. Then came the big question: do you prepare the pizza separately? The answer was a “no, but we clean everything well”.
Inside my head were two little voices: one that said “Go away! Get out of here!” And another that said “Let’s see Santi… it’s late, there’s nothing closer to here and she told you they clean it up very well. Don’t you remember that at the Mugg & Bean in Durban, the same thing happened to you? ” I listened to the second little voice and decided to continue insisting on the importance of avoiding cross contamination and so on. In the end they cleaned the kitchen and the oven twice so that I would could rely on them.
The girl insisted that I did not have to worry, that they had done it before and that she trusted her cooks fully. I nodded as I said: okay, I trust you. When they brought me the pizza, I felt the same sensation I had when I took the first bite of that gluten-free sandwich from Durban… a cocktail of nerves and excitement!
The pizza was delicious and nothing happened to me. In addition, I enjoyed it very much along with the “appletizer” I had discovered on that trip. I liked it more than the “grapetizer”. These drinks are basically grape juice or apple with bubbles. It sounds weird, but it’s delicious!
Then we returned to the hotel to rest until dinner time, when we would meet a friend from Rio who living in the city.
After a good rest and feeling very happy because I did not have problems with that Posticino gluten-free pizza, we went down to meet Rio’s friend. He was delighted to have a European visitor and gave us a tour through the main areas of the city. He even took us to the base of Table Mountain to see the city at night. It was great!
Then we went to a Spanish tapas bar called La Parada. It was Friday night and it was crowded with people of all ages. The site was very cool, but this time I listened to the cautious voice that told me “you have risked enough at noon and it has gone well. Don’t be a smartypants!” So I did not ask for anything and I waited to get to the room to ask for something to come up for dinner.
We arrived back at the hotel about 11 o’clock at night. The kitchen had been closed for half an hour! And they could only prepare what was shown in a small menu that I did not find anywhere in the room. Finally I called reception desk and asked them to prepare some fried eggs with bacon. I insisted on having them without bread. I insisted several times that there was no bread and that they did it in a separate pan.
After almost an hour of waiting, they brought up my dinner… Starving, I ran to the table and took of the lid of the plate… What a disaster! There were three slices of bread next to the eggs and the bacon… Didn’t I repeat several times that they had to prepare them without bread!?
I called the reception again to tell them that they prepare another one because the one they had brought to me had gluten… after 20 minutes they knocked on my door… They did not bring anything! They came to take back the plate that had the eggs with the bread. The same thing happened to me in Thailand, when they brought me a dish full of bread croutons… “No way!” I said… I was angry. Without being rude, I told her to please prepare a new dish and insisted again that they do it without bread. Also, I told her not to do it quickly because it was half past twelve at night and apart from being hungry, I was very sleepy.
At one o’clock in the morning they returned with eggs and bacon without bread… Finally! I devoured the plate of eggs with bacon along with a slice of gluten-free bread that I had brought from Spain.
When I finished, I wasted a little time looking at facebook and instagram not to get into bed right after dinner and, at a quarter to two, I went to bed… what a horror! Luckily, the next day I did not have to get up early.
Although we did not have to get up early, we did not get up too late either, since at 12 o’clock in the morning I had to be at the airport in Cape Town to catch the first plane to Johannesburg to start the trip back to Barcelona.
I had breakfast in the room, eating the last gluten-free cookies of the “just in case shopping” and I met Rio in the hotel parking lot. We loaded our bags and went directly to the Waterfront. This site reminded me a lot of La Roca Village in Barcelona. It was a huge shopping center, closed to traffic, with shops of all kinds.
While looking at the clock so that we do not miss the time to go to the airport, after taking a walk through the shops and enjoy a concert with typical African dances, we started looking for gluten free restaurants in Waterfront Cape Town to eat something before we left. We had located a Mugg & Bean, but in the app there was another restaurant that also offered gluten-free options… We could not find it!
We did not want to waste time looking for restaurants following the wrong indications of several workers in the mall. Also, it was still early and some restaurants were closed until 11:30h. Finally we decided to go to the Mugg & Bean for something safe (or at least already known). This time, but, I did not eat any gluten-free sandwich, since I did not want to risk finding myself wrong during return flights. I ordered a beef filet with roasted potatoes and a little salad with oil and vinegar only.
It was 11 in the morning and I was eating a beef steak with potatoes… a little weird, but considering the bad experience I had with Fly Emirates the first time I flew to South Africa and what happened to Isabel when she traveled to Mauritius, I preferred to eat well even if it was at a strange time.
After a final walk through the mall, I said goodbye to the Waterfront watching the boat leaving towards Robben Island, the island-prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.
Upon arriving at the airport, I said goodbye to Rio and headed for the door to embark for Johannesburg with South African Airways. Being a national flight of approximately two hours of travel, I did not expect them to give me anything gluten free to eat, so I bought some chocolates at the airport. I was very surprised when they brought me this gluten free sandwich with tomato, lettuce and a piece of chicken! I assumed that I got that sandwich because the flight was Swiss Air, but operated by the South African company.
The rest of the trip with Swiss Air was perfect, as always. I ate very well and although the planes that fly to the south of the world are a bit old, on the trip to Zurich I was able to rest comfortably because I had no one next to me.
You can see the pictures of the trip here.
BY CLICKING ON THE MAP OF GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS YOU FILL SEE ALL RESTAURANTS WE DESCRIBED IN THIS POST LOCATED IN THE MAP:
AND HERE WE LEAVE THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD:
P.S.: Please keep in mind that in this blog I share my trips, anecdotes and experiences about gluten free travel around the world. It is possible that, in any of my trips, I go to some restaurant not trained by the associations where the risk of being contaminated with gluten exists. I kindly ask you to also take into account that the list of references can change. Please, always double check before eating in the restaurants we recommend. Thank you very much!
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