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Gluten-Free Guide to THE PLAYERS

One of my favorite weeks in Jacksonville is coming up: THE PLAYERS.  I love the social aspect of this event, running into old friends and walking around to all the different areas is fun. I do make time for the golf too, I like to watch the rush of people following the leaders and celebrities and I enjoy watching the golfer’s attempts at 17.  This year they have added new venues and healthy food options. 

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I was recently invited to participate in a tasting at TPC Sawgrass. They wanted to share some of their new menu items for THE PLAYERS coming up May 6-12th. Included in these offerings are gluten-free and vegan sandwiches and other food. They are trying to go beyond hot dogs and hamburgers by incorporating fresher foods and healthier options.  THE PLAYERS has really tried to capitalize on the social aspect of the tournament as well as improving the fan experience. In addition, they have heard a lot of feedback that people want more options and healthier food.

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Upon arrival to The Patio, they offered us wine and beer. I was so excited to see that among the options was Omission gluten-free beer THE BEST gluten-free beer I have tried. During THE PLAYERS you can get Omission gluten-free beer at the PGA Tour Café.

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Prom Catering, the caterer for the PGA Tour, led the night by explaining some of the new dishes and their signature dish, Shrimp and Grits with a fried green tomato (not gluten-free).

DSCN1571The first item I tried was the Avocado Power Lunch on gluten-free bread. This sandwich Included avocado, tomato, sprouts, cucumber slices and a lemon aioli. This can be found at The PGA Tour Café. I really loved this. Not sure if this would fill me up at the tournament because there is no protein, however, I loved the flavors, the lemon aioli with sprouts and avocado was tasty.
DSCN1580Next up was the Chick’n salad sandwich on gluten-free bread. This can be found at the The PGA Tour Café. I really liked this. It is a vegan play on the chicken salad sandwich, made with chick peas instead of chicken. This was a little more filling than the Avocado Power Lunch.

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Lastly, I tried the Bubba turkey burger on a gluten-free bun. This is served at  the PGA Tour Café.  I probably would have added some mustard or mayo to this but it was hearty and healthy and a great alternative to a regular burger.

Other gluten-free items served at The PGA Tour Caféat the Food Court:
– BLT with Turkey Bacon on gluten-free bread
– POP Chips (ooo I love these!)

Other gluten-free food and where to find it:
Bubba burgers served on gluten-free bread can be found at public concessions behind Benefactor Tent at Nicklaus Gate, public concessions at the No. 5 green, The Patio at No. 10 tee and 18 green
Gluten-free hot dogs (including the bun) can be found at public concessions behind Benefactor Tent at Nicklaus Gate and public concessions at the No. 5 green

Gluten-free food at Taste of Jax:
Indochine – Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine from one of downtown Jacksonville’s most popular locales, plus gluten-free and healthy options;
Metro Diner – Classic American fare with low-calorie and gluten-free options

Gluten-free food at Wine and Dine on 9:
– Enjoy Medure’s gourmet small plates in a beautiful garden setting also features the BERINGER® Wine Bar for a fine selection of reds, whites and rosés. Located left of 9 Fairway, there are also permanent restrooms next to Wine & Dine on 9.

For a detailed map and more detailed listing visit  2013 PLAYERS Course Map

Other cool stuff:

Youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult – there is no limit. However, that policy does not apply to the tournament’s hospitality venues (The Benefactor, The Turn), where children ages 6 and older will need an upgraded ticket to gain admittance.
– The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone, features a “GameTruck,” a putt-putt course, arts and crafts and more.
THE PLAYERS will provide all active duty, Reserve, military retirees and dependents with complimentary admission to the tournament all week.
Sunday is a PINK OUT, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness and mother’s day
You can bring in your own food! They will allow (similar to Jaguar games) visitors to bring in food in a one Gallon zip lock bag per person- though no outside beverages are allowed
Club 1791, named for the year in which Jacksonville was founded, offers fans a place to relax on comfortable seating, cool off while watching the broadcast on large, flat-screen TVs, and stay connected with cell phone charging stations and WiFi hot spots.
Taste of Jax: restaurants include: Indochine, Metro Diner and Pele’s Wood Fire
The Oasis – Located beteen 9 and 18 tee boxes, features the air-conditioned NOLET’S® Silver Lounge (for guests 21 and over), where signature cocktails, including THE PLAYERS Punch made with NOLET’S Silver, are available for purchase. This public venue also has food and drink for purchase. Features a rear deck for prime views of No. 9 tee.
The Patio – adjacent to 16 tee and 18 green offers a larger shaded fan zone that includes open-air seating, a video board to keep up with the tournament and food and beverage available for purchase. The Patio features permanent restroom facilities.
The Grove – Located in the area behind 17 tee and 16 green, is an outdoor, shaded area that is open to the public
Food Court – Located behind No. 16 green – near The Grove – there are plenty of great, local restaurants to choose from in The Food Court. And there’s shaded seating close by at The Grove, so everyone can grab a bite to eat and meet up for a family picnic at THE PLAYERS. Restaurants featured in the Food Court include: PGA TOUR Café, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Brucci’s Pizza, Firehouse Subs, MShack, and Tropical Smoothie Café.
– Two large-scale, permanent public restrooms located at The Patio and Wine & Dine on 9 (near No. 16 tee/No. 9 fairway)
“Four for Free” Parking: Fans with four or more guests in a vehicle can park for free Thursday through Sunday with the “Four for Free” parking voucher. Fans can go online to http://www.PGATOUR.COM/theplayers to download the voucher, which allows free parking in the general lot off of CR210.

For more information about any of this see the 2013 PLAYERS Course Map

Or visit the official PLAYERS website

Do you enjoy going to THE PLAYERS?  What is your favorite part?

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Travel: Gluten-Free Hot Dogs at Braves vs Cubs Game

Ah Summertime…  That means baseball, beer and HOT DOGS! This summer, in addition to visiting Wrigley Field, my boyfriend and I visited Turner Field to see The Braves and The Cubs. I used to live in Atlanta and loved seeing the Braves play, especially Chipper Jones who is from Jacksonville.

I love Turner Field.  While definitely not as crowded as Wrigley Field gets, it is a beautiful park.Once again, unprepared, I did a search on the way to the field and discovered that I could find gluten-free hot dogs in section 106.
Look what I found!Not only did I find gluten-free hot dogs, I found an entire stand dedicated to gluten-free items.The hot dog was pre-packaged which led me to believe it was safe.  The bun was a little dry and the size a little small but it was delicious!

Thank you Turner Field!

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Travel: Gluten-Free Wrigley Field

Recently I attended a Cubs Baseball game in Chicago, IL.  If you haven’t been to Wrigley Field there is no baseball park like it.  My boyfriend is from Chicago and a HUGE Cubs fan.  This was my 3rd time being in the stadium, and while the Cubs did not win, it was my best experience yet.  Each game I look forward to the 7th inning stretch, hearing “Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go” at the end of a winning game and the sound of the old score board as it counts balls and strikes.

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While driving into lively Wrigleyville, I did a little research in the back seat on my smart phone.  I found information on the blog Not Even a Crumb that in March of 2011 they had implemented designated gluten-free spots in the park for beer, hot dogs (including buns) and other snacks.

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Around the corner from our seats on the mezzanine level just outside the bleachers in center field, I found this little nook of a concession stand that had gluten-free beer and snacks.  Next I was on my journey to find the gluten-free hot dogs.

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Sheffield Grill!!! Located on the bottom floor between the bleacher seats and right field seats it is pretty easy to find.  They had gluten-free hot dogs, hot dog buns, corned beef sandwiches, bbq sandwiches and all of the fixings.  I was so excited to have a Chicago style hot dog with peppers, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes with my boyfriend.  It was AWESOME!  Being able to have gluten-free hot dog with a gluten-free beer made me so happy.

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I wish I had taken a better photo to document this momentous occasion but we had to get back to the game and I was so hungry, I couldn’t wait a second longer to have this yummy treat.  While the bun in no way compares to a gluten-containing bun and I made a complete mess, the hot dog was hot and the fix-ins were fresh and flavorful.  You will need to eat it over a plate and have lots of napkins on hand but all in all it rounded out a perfect night at the old ball game.

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