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Vail's gluten-free options

img_1134_wildwood_tom-hood.JPGWhile skiing at Vail recently, I was delighted to find that they now offer labeled gluten-free menu items at all on-mountain dining spots! Making gluten free easy to identify fits in well with Vail's healthy-food Appetite for Life program, which not only includes gluten-free items but also sustainably produced and organic offerings ... AND a budget " Lunch for Less," which includes an entree, side, and drink, for $9.95 (how often do you find THAT on a ski mountain?). Vail Resorts encompasses Vail Mountain, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Heavenly, all of which reportedly now identify gluten-free options on their menus.

Other Vail restaurants that serve gluten-free diners include:

>> Terra Bistro at Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa, with menu notations identifying not just gluten, but also nuts, garlic, sustainable seafood, and vegetarian. Chef Kevin Nelson provided these wonderful "Thousand-Year Breakfast" recipes in our Sept09 issue.

>> Larkspur, a local-fave dining spot at the base of Vail Mountain, with menu notations for gluten and nuts. They also have a kids menu (including lunch, during ski season), and a Market next door where you can buy food to go.

>> Restaurant Avondale, a seasonally driven spot in Beaver Creek. Again, notations for gluten and nuts, and a kids' menu with fun (but nutritious) "TV dinners," served in a retro sectioned tray.

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