Paleo on Vacation

I spent this past weekend in Santa Barbara for a half marathon.  With the reward of accomplishment and a new personal record comes the reward of a night on the town.  A new dining experience is one of my favorite things to do, but dining out on the paleo diet can be challenging depending on the type of restaurant you go to.  Restaurants that rely heavily on pastas, sauces, and cheese will have limited menu options.  You’ll be able to identify paleo friendly restaurants if you get a chance to peruse the menu ahead of time.  Don’t worry about a restaurant not wanting to accommodate your diet.  There are few restaurants that refuse to change their dishes, but they do exist.  Gluten free options are usually available and that’s a great place to start.  It’s best to notify the server that you are looking for sugar, dairy, and grain free options, then pick your favorite entree and ask if they can eliminate and ingredients that fall into those categories.  I went to the Arlington Tavern in downtown Santa Barbara and they were very happy to modify a few ingredients to meet my dietary needs.  A 3 course menu was available and surprisingly there were more than 3 items I could choose from.  I believe I had the ultimate paleo meal:  roasted bone marrow with a cherry tomato, parsley salad, pork belly with mustard vinaigrette, and lamb shank with tuscan kale.  The pork belly did come with a few potatoes beneath the pork belly.  The potatoes weren’t on the menu listed as a component of the dish, but as a foodie I always appreciate the presentation as it was intended.  I’m no longer looking for starchy fillers in my dishes, in fact, green farro was part of the lamb shank and I asked that they leave it off the dish.  I received a lot more kale that way, too.  Don’t use dining out as an excuse not to stay true to a paleo lifestyle.  There are plenty of options out there.

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