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Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Just thought I would contribute a few restaurants for eating out in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for anyone that might need it.

The only chain I am aware of actually offering a gluten free menu at the place is Outback Steakhouse, just off I-59. In the downtown area, I have had great success at 206 Front, a wonderful local restaurant with a chef who must be educated about the diet, since I've eaten there safely three times now. The waitstaff is very good about checking with him. Crescent City Grill is another great place that is local with a knowledgeable chef(s). I have eaten there at least three times, and the last time, the waiter even seemed to recognize the words "gluten free" and made a recommendation about what to order. Their specialty is New Orleans-style food, especially seafood. I had a hamburger once at Walnut Circle Grill, and the chef came out to talk to me about it. That's a nice local place, too.

Qdoba is a chain restaurant with Tex-Mex food (with a line that you go through, like Chipotle) that has gluten free options on their website. It is on Hardy St. close to the campus of USM. There are two McAlister's locations, and they have gluten-free options listed on their website. One is west of I-59 off Hwy 98, and one is on Hardy St., closer to campus. There's also an Olive Garden, but I have never eaten there.

As far as shopping for supplies, the Wal-Mart on Hwy 49 has about the biggest selection of gluten free stuff, all packaged (no frozen food). New Yokel downtown is a nice place but only carries a few products. I do most of my shopping at Vitamins Plus off Hwy 98 and Westover Dr. Corner Market (I think all locations) usually has a few things.

Hope this helps! I'll continue to add restaurants as I eat out more. I'm still new here.

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Hey, thanks. I come to Hattiesburg (from Jackson) to go "junking." You've given me some new options. (I had been settling for a Wendy's baked potato!)I love anything connected with Robert St. John.

Don't y'all have a new Wentzel's Oyster there? Have you tried it?

And since you are so close, do y'all have a support group?

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Hi, there!

I am headed to Jackson tomorrow -- any recommendations for lunch??

I'm glad to give you some ideas for the 'Burg! :) I have not been to Wintzell's -- do they do gluten-free? I don't think there is a support group, best I can tell there are a few Celiacs around but nothing organized. I'd definitely be interested if there were.

Hey, thanks. I come to Hattiesburg (from Jackson) to go "junking." You've given me some new options. (I had been settling for a Wendy's baked potato!)I love anything connected with Robert St. John.

Don't y'all have a new Wentzel's Oyster there? Have you tried it?

And since you are so close, do y'all have a support group?

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Sorry. I just saw your question and I guess it's too late for that trip. For future reference:

P F Chang recently expanded gluten-free menu

Biaggi's gluten-free menu includes safe pasta

Sal & Phil's They understand being careful... try the grilled redfish

Fat Tuesday good red beans and rice; has Tony's Tamales, which are gluten-free

Bravo. waitstaff familiar with gluten-free and can advise you

Most of the better restaurants will bend over backwards to make you a good safe meal

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Thank you so much! I wound up doing breakfast with my friend at the Hilton - had a nice omelette. I will definitely have to try those other places next time we are up.

In Hattiesburg - another success: Brownstone's, downtown on Front St. They checked and rechecked everything about my dinner! The waiter and manager were incredibly accomodating. I had grilled shrimp, steamed veggies and white rice. And creme brulee for dessert.

Update on grocery stores: New Yokel downtown is now carrying more packaged products, and frozen waffles. Also, a friend of mine found frozen ravioli at a Corner Market but can't remember if it was the one on Old Hwy 11 or on Hwy 98 out west. Either way, a very exciting find! :D

One warning about a BBQ place: Strick's marinates their meat in soy sauce. That information is from last spring; however, probably not likely to have changed.

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Ate at Caliente on Hardy St. near campus last week--can't recommend it for a Celiac. I've heard people say that they eat at places like Chipotle, Qdoba and the like and just ask the servers on the line to change their gloves, but here the tortillas were all put on the same grill, spoons from the beans and rice were touching the tortillas, and gloved hands were touching all the other foods. I don't see how you could eat here without cross-contamination. Since I was starved and with a group, I made the best of it and got a salad (and luckily, the lettuce came out of a fresh bin) but again, the gloves were all over the shredded cheese. I didn't feel well the next morning (which is usually my gluten reaction). I don't necessarily blame the food, could have been something else, but again, I just wouldn't recommend it, even though the actual food might be gluten-free. Perhaps if you went at a totally not busy time they would pull out fresh bins of all the food, but it seems like a lot of trouble.

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Ate at Little Tokyo on Hardy St. last week with my family. I wanted to post about it because something interesting happened... it is supposed to be a Japanese restaurant, but I heard more than one person on the waitstaff speaking Mandarin (and therefore, how would you know what restaurant card to use?). No one spoke enough English to really help me. They did not recognize the word "wheat" or "flour," that I could tell.

Of course, I didn't eat anything off the hibachi; you could see the crumbs on the grill when you sat down at the table. I ordered stir-fried veggies "from the kitchen" with no soy sauce, and when it came out, it appeared to have a sauce of some sort on it. The manager-person and the server conferred when I asked what exactly was on it--she said starch, I asked what kind, then they spoke again, then he said "no starch, just oil". It definitely had something on it, though. I didn't get sick, but due to the communication issues, I would not recommend this place for gluten-free eating.

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I have been meaning to write that I had lunch at Surin (Thai food) on Hwy 49 a while back. The server was not really familiar with the term "gluten-free" (even though the menu states that you should inform them of food intolerances!) but my sister had eaten there before and she guided me through the menu. We had a sushi roll (I think it was submarine, but can't remember now); there were only about 3 rolls that did not include imitation crab or other off-limits ingredients. We also had the Masaman curry and the hot coconut tofu soup. Everything was wonderful and I definitely plan to go back!

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The Nam-Sod appetizer (cabbage leaves, ground pork and spices) appears to be gluten-free as well. I've eaten it twice and love it!

I have been meaning to write that I had lunch at Surin (Thai food) on Hwy 49 a while back. The server was not really familiar with the term "gluten-free" (even though the menu states that you should inform them of food intolerances!) but my sister had eaten there before and she guided me through the menu. We had a sushi roll (I think it was submarine, but can't remember now); there were only about 3 rolls that did not include imitation crab or other off-limits ingredients. We also had the Masaman curry and the hot coconut tofu soup. Everything was wonderful and I definitely plan to go back!

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Update on where to shop:

All the above mentioned places have expanded their selections -- particularly New Yokel and both Corner Market locations. Vitamins Plus will do special orders.

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Ate again at Crescent City Grill last night and had another knowledgeable server. I had the shrimp and grits and it was divine! The ranch salad dressing was good too. They are pretty good at handling the diet.

I have eaten at The Depot downtown for lunch. They willlingly checked lots of things. I had the tomato basil soup -- my Celiac sister has had the salad with the goat cheese -- can't remember the name. This is a fun, friendly place to eat.

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Hey! I was checking for a support group in the city and stumbled across this post. So, here's the good news:

The Fresh Food Company in the Thad Cochran Center at USM offers Gluten Free pizza and pasta. MOST of the chefs are well informed, but one or two are still figuring it out. The pasta has been absolutely fantastic and I get to try my first pizza today. I'll let you know how it is. Don't pay any attention to their daily menus; you have to ask for Gluten Free stuff and it's rarely the same as what they're serving. That said, the staff will readily ask a chef if they are uncertain and have no problem changing gloves or preparing special food for you. These are some good people. Be wary of anything prepared with butter, such as eggs or grits. One of the chefs here seemed to think that the butter substitute they regularly use is not Gluten Free (wtf, gluten in butter?) and mentioned that it is not used in any specifically Gluten Free dishes.

I'm including the website for anyone curious. They've been e-mail friendly so far.

http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSS/UnivSouthernMS/

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I live in Hattiesburg and have a son with Celiac Disease. He has had ITP most of his life and since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease over a year ago and going gluten free as a family, he has not been in the hospital ( we used to go at least once a month) and symptoms have gotten so much better.

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Thanks for posting this ---- I live in Florida but go back "home" ( the Hattiesburg area ) to visit. Now I know some places I can eat ! :)

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Ack! I am just now seeing this! I thought I had logged in fairly recently, but that does not seem to be the case! Thank you for posting this. How was that pizza? Thank you so much.

Hey! I was checking for a support group in the city and stumbled across this post. So, here's the good news:

The Fresh Food Company in the Thad Cochran Center at USM offers Gluten Free pizza and pasta. MOST of the chefs are well informed, but one or two are still figuring it out. The pasta has been absolutely fantastic and I get to try my first pizza today. I'll let you know how it is. Don't pay any attention to their daily menus; you have to ask for Gluten Free stuff and it's rarely the same as what they're serving. That said, the staff will readily ask a chef if they are uncertain and have no problem changing gloves or preparing special food for you. These are some good people. Be wary of anything prepared with butter, such as eggs or grits. One of the chefs here seemed to think that the butter substitute they regularly use is not Gluten Free (wtf, gluten in butter?) and mentioned that it is not used in any specifically Gluten Free dishes.

I'm including the website for anyone curious. They've been e-mail friendly so far.

http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSS/UnivSouthernMS/

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Hi, Tim -

So glad that your son's diagnosis has enabled him to stay out of the hospital! I have only lived here for three years, but I can tell a difference in the number of gluten-free products Hattiesburg is stocking. Hope you will post if you have had some good gluten-free dining experiences here in town, too!

I live in Hattiesburg and have a son with Celiac Disease. He has had ITP most of his life and since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease over a year ago and going gluten free as a family, he has not been in the hospital ( we used to go at least once a month) and symptoms have gotten so much better.

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Another place to add to the list:

Jutamas Thai Restaurant

910 Timothy Ln

(601) 584-8583

I ate there a couple of weeks ago. The server told me they could do anything on the menu gluten free! They have a separate gluten-free stir-fry sauce. I went with a safe option, regardless: the green curry. It was delicious, well-priced, and I didn't feel sick at all anytime afterward. I also ate the mango sticky rice dessert, which was beautifully presented.

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I am very new to the gluten-free diet and Celiac Dx, so thanks for the info! I had thought there was no hope in going out to eat until this (I live in the Hattiesburg area)! I am still mourning no imitation crab because I will miss most of my favorite sushi! Do you have any more sushi recommendations?

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