Osijek: a stop at a very cozy hotel with a restaurant overlooking the river
I woke up early at the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb. Theoretically, my partner, Carlos, had arrived in the late at night. We had arranged to have breakfast at the hotel’s “Zinfandel’s” restaurant. Djurica would pick us up at 8 am. We had three visits that day. I had a strange feeling in my stomach. I think it was due to the weird schedule I had made the day before. It was as if I had a hangover. I had woken up very early and had eaten very little and at unusual hours for me… That day we would sleep somewhere else. I was looking forward to discovering gluten-free restaurants in Osijek, the city where we would sleep.
I arrived early for breakfast and, as they had to prepare mine separately, I sat down without waiting for Carlos. He would come when he was ready. He had it easier than me to have breakfast. There was a free buffet with bread, cereal and sausage. When I saw this, I spoke to the waitress to explain my celiac condition.
When I told her, she brought me the menu of hot dishes and pointed out what they could prepare as gluten-free. As I was looking at it, she told me that they would start preparing gluten-free bread. I ordered some toast with avocado, bacon and fried eggs that were delicious.
That day was a pretty full day as well. We had three visits to clients and a lot of miles on the road. After the last visit, it was 4 pm and we still hadn’t eaten lunch. Knowing that this is common when I travel with them, I was prepared with gluten-free cookies so I could eat something on the way. We had almost 3 hours of driving to get to Osijek.
On the way, between conversations about work and life (so many hours give a lot to talk about) we also took the opportunity to look for gluten-free restaurants in Osijek.
I typed into Google “gluten-free restaurants in Osijek” and, as expected, Tripadvisor always has something to say. I found a couple of reviews but the restaurants were either closed or not answering. In parallel, I had posted in the Coeliac Youth of Europe Facebook group. This is a group where usually other celiac reply and give very valuable information. Luckily, I was with Djurica. Like his colleagues from Greece and Bulgaria, she has always been very concerned that restaurants have a good understanding of my dietary needs.
Finally, we called the hotel and asked about their restaurant. They told us it would be no problem. knowing that we stopped looking. We decided to have dinner there.
We arrived at Hotel Osijek around 7 pm. It is a hotel that has just been renovated and the rooms are really nice. Also, it is next to the river and has awesome terraces. At the Al we went down at 20h to have dinner at the restaurant “Zismka luka restaurant”, in the same hotel.
I showed the gluten free travel card in Croatian to the waitress, and it seemed clear to her that I could not eat gluten.
When she came back to take note of what we wanted, I asked her what she recommended as a starter. She told me about a dish called “pogacha”. It turns out that it is a typical Croatian dish, which contains flour! That is to say… gluten!
I joked that she was trying to kill me and, while laughing, I explained again my celiac condition. Finally, I ordered a grilled entrecote with white rice and vegetables. Although it wasn’t specifically so on the menu, I asked if they could make it. No problem.
It was a simpler dinner than the day before, but with that I felt pretty safe. I still had that weird hangover feeling in my gut. I didn’t eat dessert that day.
After dinner we went back to the room to get everything ready for tomorrow’s meeting. It was the main meeting of the trip.
BY CLICKING ON THE MAP OF GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS YOU FILL SEE ALL RESTAURANTS WE DESCRIBED IN THIS POST LOCATED IN THE MAP OF GLUTEN-FREE PLACES:
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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