Monday, November 11, 2013

Eating Gluten-Free at Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill

Beach Towns

It seems that beach towns are pretty much the same everywhere. Traffic. People. Not enough parking.

Bumper to bumper traffic. Mobs of people. Not enough parking where you need it.

Is this a universal truth? Does it have to be a universal truth?

Could we get this un-universal-truthed? Please?

If we could, there would be benefits for us all. Because we all end up at the beach. Sooner or later. We do.

All that traffic proves it.

It's no different in Ocean City, MD. No, not Joisey. Maryland. On the peninsula. And they have beaches.

Beach. Shore. La playa. Whatever you call it. Everyone goes there. Eventually.

And eventually, all those people want to eat.

And us gluten-free want to eat too. Really, we do.

No funnel cakes. No deep-fried Oreos. No churros. No corn dogs. No soft pretzels.

Not for us. None of those things for us gluten-free eaters.

We need real food. Real, gluten-free food.

Luckily, we found a nice place that has a gluten-free menu and a kid's menu.

Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill

Okay, I'm going to be honest here. (Ahem, when am I not???) We weren't sure we wanted to dine at Macky's by the looks of it. Well, they weren't sure.

No, no. Let me explain.

The place is tucked way back, at the back of a gravel parking lot. Behind other restaurants. And behind their refuse bins. Way off the street.

It isn't obvious that you are in the right place.

But then we saw the sign and we saw a few people walk in the direction of going in. It didn't look like a family restaurant. Not by the looks of it, or by the looks of the people walking in its direction.

My family didn't want to go in.

But I was brave. I went up the stairs and up to the hostess. She had a gluten free menu. And she had a kid's menu. Both. I looked them both over carefully, but quickly. I then thanked her and went back to my skeptical family, waiting in the vehicle.

And none of them wanted to go in! They were concerned about the location or the people or the phase of the moon or the direction of the tide. I don't know what. And then we drove away.

Back out on the street. Almost like cruising, except that we had the entire family and we were hungry. We were on a mission. We stopped at a crab-shacky-kind-of-place. We all tumbled out, went in, scoped it out.

I did not think I would eat safely at this place. It did not look like they could contain the cross-contamination I was witnessing.

Back in the vehicle. Cruising the strip (or whatever they call it there) again, looking, scanning, searching, for a suitable place to eat.

And finally, after all that, my own reason won over my family. Finally.

Reported reviews. Gluten-free menu. Even a kid's menu. Really, people.

Back to Macky's.

And what was it that they were really worried about? They were afraid that it was just a bar.

Well, yes, it has a bar, and it is rather prominent, but they also have a kid's menu. That must mean something, right?

And you know what? It was a nice place! We just happened to be there before the dinner rush, when everyone else showed up in earnest, including several families with kids.

Who probably dined off the kid's menu.

Shocking, I know.

I asked for their gluten-free menu and our waitress was very helpful and knowledgable about it. Whew! What were they worried about, after all? If they can handle gluten-free, they must be able to handle a couple of kids! Really!

I scanned the gluten-free menu, but the choices are not exactly plentiful. Luckily for me, I don't usually mind. Safe, gluten-free fresh food is the most important thing for me.

I settled on a B. L. T. Wedge salad, but immediately asked if I could substitute romaine lettuce and baby greens for the planned iceberg lettuce. Sure, no problem.

Ah… that's makes for a much better salad!

Everything was fresh and crisp and delicious! The greens were great and the salad was tasty.

And I also ordered the Maryland Crab Soup. A full bowl. No wimpy, skimpy cup. A full bowl, thank you very much.

This is a nice, spicy, tomato-based crab soup. Spicier than I was expecting. Full of crab bits. And I loved it!

All in all, we had a great meal, despite all the initial hesitation. Macky's was very accommodating with my gluten-free needs and is a nice, friendly place to take kids. And their food was good, fresh, and delicious.

And I suspect that even if you have no need for the gluten-free or kid's menus, you will find plenty of good stuff at their bar!

Gluten-free or kids or both or none, try Macky's. Just don't let the gravel parking lot throw you!

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