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Restaurants

 

If you are like me, you enjoy being able to eat out.  Maybe it's for the convenience or for the taste of a dish that isn't easily replicated at home.  Some restaurants are more accommodating and safer than others.  Here is what we've been able to find out in our two years of being gluten-free.

 

Red Robin - This is one of our favorite places because of their attention to detail when it comes to allergies.  They put a note on the order so that everyone knows that we have a gluten allergy.  Their (bottomless) fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer, and we order them with no seasoning.  They typically use Udi's buns.  They are okay, but not the best.  Still it is nice to know that we can safely eat out.

 

Fuddruckers - It's pretty simple because you can order your meat how you like it.  Most locations have gluten-free buns.  (At our local establishment, they use buns from The Local Oven, a dedicated gluten-free facility in Mesquite, TX.  The buns are individually wrapped and frozen, and they are not opened until you order.  In my opinion, these buns taste more like the real thing than Udi's buns.)  I think they use the same butter roller for all of their buns, so there is an issue with cross-contamination unless you ask them not to butter the bun.  Like in all places, you should order your fries without seasoning.  The toppings are whatever you happen to put on your sandwich.

 

Mellow Mushroom - If you need to get a pizza while you are out, this is the place to go.  They have a dedicated oven and utensils for their gluten-free pizzas.  They even have the option of goat cheese (really important for those that are lactose intolerant).  We have never had a bad experience, and the pizza is delicious.

 

Chipotle - Forget about getting a burrito.  The bowls will contain the guts of the burrito and are just as good.  They also have crispy tacos made from corn, and my son had no problem with them.  You may want to ask the server to use fresh gloves to avoid cross-contamination.

 

Salata - In the same vein as Chipotle, you should ask them to use fresh gloves.  Then they build your salad with all kinds of fresh ingredients.  The only questionable ingredients are the meat because of the seasoning and some of the dressings.  The establishments that I have visited have things labeled, or if they don't know if something is gluten-free, they can find out for you.  I think it goes without saying that the bread is off limits.  :(

 

Funky Chicken - This is a local establishment that makes fantastic gluten-free chicken tenders!  They are delicious!  They also make wonderful mashed potatoes.  It is however disappointing that their fries are dusted with flour before being fried.  Why they do this is beyond me.  I can get over it because the tenders are so good.

 

U-Swirl/Menchie's - Frozen yogurt shops are good places for a sweet treat.  There should be labels indicated if a particular flavor has gluten.  Typically, half of the flavors are safe, and my sons never have an issue finding a flavor they like.  Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, pecan praline, and cheesecake have been gluten-free.