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Gluten Free Body Ecology Summers at Martell's Tiki Bar Point Pleasant NJ

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I really love the summer. It's warm, sunny, and I have weekends off with Anthony! One of the traditions that Anthony and I started early on in our relationship was going down to Point Pleasant Beach as often as possible. In fact the first year we were dating he was in on a summer house down there so we went down every weekend without fail. I love the boardwalk, the live music, and most of the beach. It really is beautiful.

When I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance it happened to be the middle of summer (July 2012). I was really worried how I would be able to adjust our tradition to meet my new health needs. After all I was used to sharing a basket of fries at lunch, eating sausage sandwiches, and getting late night pizza at Joey Tomatoes, not mention drinking grain alcohols. I didn't want to have to give up our favorite lunch spot/hangout Martell's Tiki Bar because I couldn't eat anything. I'm happy to report that I haven't had to. In fact today I am writing to commend Martell's Tiki Bar on their wonderful, accommodating service over the past couple of years as I've made my food transitions due to health reasons.

Our first time at Martell's after my diagnosis I was very hesitant about eating. Once our waiter came over and I explained my situation they were happy to answer any questions I had about certain menu items. My first meal wound up being a custom tiki salad that the waiter helped me put together. I was so grateful that I felt safe eating and that I could still enjoy eating at our favorite place. In the 2 years since my diagnosis I've never had an issue eating there and when I returned this summer I saw they added a gluten free section to their menu. It's only 2 salads but I was very happy and excited to see that they had a readily available option for those with celiac or gluten intolerance. And to this day, even with my more recent food allergy developments, they have always been able to accommodate my dietary needs. I am so grateful to staff at Martells for making my summers just as great as they were pre-diagnosis.

Here's a navigation guide to eating at Martells in Point Pleasant, NJ:

Inside the pavilion there are several "fast food" stations including a pizza/grill, sushi bar, and seafood bar. These are set up cafeteria style and there is no waitstaff, it is purely self serve. At the grill/pizza station there aren't any gluten free options. The sushi bar is a great choice and quite tasty. They do not have gluten free soy sauce though so make sure you tell them no sauce. The sushi is made fresh per order so the staff is very happy to answer questions. I have not eaten at the seafood bar as its mostly shellfish which I have an allergy to.

At the back of the pavilion area you will find Ocean Front Dining at Martells. This is a seated restaurant area with an ocean view. Of the eating options this would be closest to a full service restaurant. This year they are open for lunch and it's a great option if you do not want to pay a cover charge to get into the Tiki Bar area. Its also air conditioned and relatively quiet compared to the other dining spaces available. The lunch menu offers several salads that are easily adapted to meet dietary needs and they also have the full sushi bar menu as well. Every waiter I've had in this area has been very diligent about my gluten intolerance and other allergies and they always make a note on the order. Twice I have been able to create a custom salad and the chef has always asked me about an ingredient if they'd we're unsure if it was safe or not. 

Outside is the Tiki Bar (Note: a cover charge may be required to enter). Once you seat yourself a waiter will come over with menus. On their current menu they have 2 gluten free items.  I have yet to encounter a waiter who has not been accommodating to my dietary restrictions. The 2 gluten free menu items are a safe choice as they do not use ANY gluten items; its just veggies and protein. They have happily made any changes I asked for due to my other food allergies.

Thank you Martells for keeping my summers just as fun, relaxing, and stress free as ever! If you ever find yourself down at the Jersey Shore stop by and enjoy Martells, you won't regret it :-)


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