Monday, March 19, 2012

Gluten Free In Isla Mujeres Updated 4/22/18

Just my experience, not a guide.... consider this a disclaimer. I tend to eat the same things in the same places that were safe in the past. I am assuming you know the basic guidelines about being gluten free. I avoid foods that may have had contact or "contamination" by gluten.

"Tengo un Alérgica de Trigo,.... un Alérgica de Pan y harina blanco. No puedo comer comidas con Salsa Magi ni Salsa Soya."

Photo of the Gluten Free section at Chedraui, taken Jan. 10, 2017.

Beware of marinades because both Maggi and Soy sauces contain gluten.Bloody Mary's are likely to contain Magi Sauce. Tik n xik fish may have Maggi sauce in the marinade. Some types of Worcestershire sauces contain gluten.

Local corn tortillas from the tortillarias have been safe for me. Among the tostadas sold in  bags, most that I have read have been free of wheat flour, but not the labels. It is likely that the tostadas served on the table (or in the nachos or chilequiles, etc) were fried in oil that is used to fry items containing wheat.  Ask, or avoid them. 

I don't eat at the little restaurants in the nearby colonias that sell flat chicken tacos in different varieties called tostadas, sopes, panuchos, etc.; because their tortillas are cooked in the same pan in the same oil. The tortillas used for sopes have wheat flour added in their masa (Or maybe it is panuchos.).

I usually eat shrimp rather than fish because it is less likely to be marinated, and I like shrimp. When I want fish I usually have it "en paquete"..which is a filet filled with seafood with a sauce cooked in an aluminum packet called "filete relleno con mariscos". I like Shrimp Diablas, which is usually  sauteed in a fresh tomato sauce in a pan with sweet peppers & onion. It is not particularly spicy if you remove the whole chipolte pepper before you start eating. I have eaten both of these at Minino's safely many times, and they seem safe at other places.Vera Cruz is style is also safe there, and generally does not contain gluten. Minino's is a cocteleria on main street/Medina Rudina, north of the gas station. (Update: They moved and are on prolongacion Rueda Medina/'the road to Garrafon' near Oscars & across the street.) I have ordered these dishes elsewhere with success.

Breakfast at Amigos (on Hidalgo) has consistently gone well and is a favorite of mine; the waiter even remembers I want corn tortillas and not pan tostada. My favorite is the Popeyes omelet which is served w fried (fresh) potatoes w bacon. But generally a safe bet is a fruit bowl...hold the granola & yogurt.

Be careful about rice or soups which can contain gluten from bouillon. This may also be true of Chilequilles. Maggi bouillon is gluten free, Knorr bouillon is not. Maggi sauce has gluten.

Be careful about cochinita pibil...some cooks marinate it with beer. Be careful of ANYTHING that may be marinated unless you know all the marinade ingredients are GF. 

Most restaurants with signboards saying "Gluten Free" mean they offer options that don't include gluten in the ingredients. It may not mean they are offering foods that are free of cross contamination.

Update 4/22/18:  I forgot to mention that the corn starch commonly used here contains gluten.
 Here's a few more places I've been eating safely & often...and I recommend the tasty food, good service, etc.
 Asia Caribe has GF cornstarch & soy sauce & GF options labeled on the menu....just be sure to mention to the waiter that you want it made 'sin gluten'. Owners are usually out front: Peter & Analise.
 Brian at aMar Peruviana is very knowledgeable & careful. On the back street Guerrero, just north of the cross street Abasolo & the Culture Center.
 Nic at Madera also has GF soy sauce & is careful & aware about cross-contamination & sneaky ingredients. It's on the Caribbean coastal road south of Villa la Bella ('beer so cold') and north of Isla 33.