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Applebee's Restaurant - Gluten Free Menu


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19 replies to this topic

#1 CalicoSue

 
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Posted 01 June 2010 - 06:47 AM

I just found out that Applebee's now has a gluten-free menu (along with other allergen menus). I remember years ago I basically was told there was nothing on the menu I could eat and they didn't want me to serve me! Times sure do change!

The Gluten-free menu can be found on Applebee's website under the link for allergen information (similar to "Chili's" and "On the Border" allergen menus). Applebees are found throughout the U.S.

A word of caution - they specifically outline cross-contact issues, etc., so you really need to ask all the right questions. Eating out is risky.

Sue
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#2 Korwyn

 
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Posted 01 June 2010 - 08:21 AM

I just looked at their allergen information and I didn't see anything for gluten. Only a wheat allergen page. Did I miss something? The copy on their website states it is effective through 7/12.
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Undiagnosed for 20 years since first symptoms.
March 2009 - Negative Blood work
April 24, 2009 - Gluten-free
April 29, 2009 - Notably positive response to gluten-free Diet.
May 2, 2009 Dairy Free
May 6, 2009, Soy Free
May 27, 2009 Enterolab Results: Positive Anti-gliadin IgA, tTG IgA, Casein, HLA DQ2.2, HLA DQ8
June 4, 2009 Refined sugar free (except Raw Honey, pure Maple syrup)
June 29, 2009, Dad diagnosed Celiac by GI specialist via blood work and dietary response.
July 2009, Dad's gene test: double DQ8! Thanks Dad - I'll try to get you something nice for Christmas! :)
August 8, 2009 Really Soy free this time - Thanks Blue Diamond for the soy lecithin in the almond milk! :(

#3 luvs2eat

 
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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:48 AM

I just looked at their allergen information and I didn't see anything for gluten. Only a wheat allergen page. Did I miss something? The copy on their website states it is effective through 7/12.


I'm assuming they're calling it a wheat allergy rather than celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Chilis menu says wheat and gluten allergy. Their wording's not great.

What concerns me tho, is that they list french fries as safe, but they also have fried onion rings and other fried things at Applebees. I'd question them good about that one!
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luvs2eat
Living in the beautiful Ozark mountains in Arkansas
positive blood tests and later, positive biopsy
diagnosed 8/5/02, gluten-free (after lots of mistakes!) since that day
Dairy free since July 2010 and NOT happy about it!!

#4 mamabear272

 
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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:33 PM

FYI, it is not safe! They do not take any of the proper precautions! Those are just items that are naturally gluten-free. I just went there last week and got sick almost immediately! I have contacted corporate and informed them that just because the items are gluten-free doesn't mean they're safe if they don't use proper protocol.
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Molly
dx: celiac sprue 6/7/2011 via blood test and biopsy
gluten-free: 6/7/2011

#5 AE Paul

 
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Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:43 PM

I cannot stress enough my agreement with mamabear. APPLEBEE'S IS NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE WITH A FOOD ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE!!! Ask others or look at allergy review sites - they are one of the worst rated chains by our peers.

It's great that Applebee's has allergen and gluten lists, but they do not train their staff to take allergies or gluten-free seriously and they do not understand the risks of cross-contamination.

Further, while they change their menu often, THEY DO NO FORWARD THE NEW ALLERGEN LISTS TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL RESTAURANTS! That's right - those are there for your eyes only. Individual restaurant managers are not told to check for updated allergen lists either. Food-allergic or gluten-free diners have to hope that the manager printed out the most recent list; otherwise, eating there can be even more dangerous than if they didn't have a list!

Dining out with food allergies and gluten-free is my expertise and my full-time business. I have no personal gripe against Applebee's. I've tried hard to show them how valuable (let alone "right") it would be to cater to our community. They have no interest. Restaurant behavior is dictated from the top. If the top isn't interested in accommodating our community, neither will most of the restaurants.

That's why so many Applebee's are rated so poorly - not just an isolated incident here or there.

So until they make the conscious choice to be more allergy and gluten-free-friendly, please make the responsible and safe choice to dine elsewhere... almost anywhere else!
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#6 Roda

 
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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:48 PM

I have eaten at a FATZ pretty sucessfully. However this was well over a year ago before I became more sensitive. The wait staff was great and if they had a question they went and asked the chef/cook. I had the waitress even come back and told me that the chef would be more than happy to make me some safe FF in a seperate pan/oil. WOW! I decided to go with the salad instead because I was still scared. But They understood so I was impressed. They have allergen info for their menu also.
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Me:
Celiac disease(positive blood work/biopsy- 10/2008), gluten free oat intolerent, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis/Disease, Raynaud's Disease


DS2(age 9):
celiac disease(positive IgA tTG, no biopsy- 11/2010)


DS1(age 13):
repeated negative bloodwork and negative EGD/biopsy. Started on a gluten free trial(8/2011). He has decided to stay gluten free due to all of the improvements he has experienced on the diet.


#7 cap6

 
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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:46 PM

I have eaten at Applebees twice and twice been very sick. The last time the server understood (or so she said) celiac and CC. All I had was a salad and still was very sick. I would rather wait in the car while everyone else dines than go inside.
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#8 lpellegr

 
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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:35 AM

Yeah, also not impressed with Applebee's. I was taking a road trip to FL and wanted one nice dinner out. I looked up their gluten-free list online, saw that they had one, but it wasn't like an actual gluten-free menu. When I got there the hostess had no idea what I was talking about, but she found a manager who did. The manager brought me a binder with the same list I had seen online, along with all of the other allergen info lists. Half of the stuff on the list wasn't even on their regular menu. They then sent me a waitress who said she had celiac relatives, so she knew not to bring me bread, etc. I ordered conservatively, since I had seen enough on this site to know not to trust them. I got a steak, some mashed potatoes, and their veg of the day, broccoli. It was mediocre for restaurant food, and although I didn't have a full-blown reaction it seemed of all the risk I had to take on the trip, this was the one that caused me some internal distress. And it was a crappy steak even if I didn't have celiac. Which was a shame, because I couldn't even say that the dinner out was worth the reaction!
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Lee

I never liked bread anyway.....

#9 BethJ

 
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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:09 AM

Friends invited us to eat with them after church and they took us to Applebee's. They had a coupon which is why they chose the place. I looked at their online gluten-free menu and decided the spinach salad with grilled shrimp would be safe. I was still unsure of the hot bacon dressing so I ordered Italian on the side.

My salad came with five pathetic little quarter-sized shrimp on top. They had left off the bacon and all that remained was a few specks of chopped tomato and pepper. The rest was spinach that obviously came out of one of those dreadful bags. Apparently when I asked to substitute the bacon dressing, they assumed I didn't want the bacon, either.

I was never impressed with them before and I certainly am not impressed now! At least I didn't get sick which actually surprised me.
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Beth in Florida

Gluten-free since 7/19/08
Alcohol free since 6/28/10

#10 jrhanson

 
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:21 AM

I work at our local Applebee's and just found out that I have celiac disease. I know that with a little help from your server that you can have a very positive gluten free meal from any Applebee's. I would question about the fries or anything fried for that matter but other than that I think the staff along with the manager could help you enjoy a healthy meal. I had the oriental chicken salad there just yesterday and I ordered my chicken grilled and had them leave off the rice noodles and it was GREAT!
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#11 sa1937

 
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:52 AM

I work at our local Applebee's and just found out that I have celiac disease. I know that with a little help from your server that you can have a very positive gluten free meal from any Applebee's. I would question about the fries or anything fried for that matter but other than that I think the staff along with the manager could help you enjoy a healthy meal. I had the oriental chicken salad there just yesterday and I ordered my chicken grilled and had them leave off the rice noodles and it was GREAT!

I think of an oriental chicken salad and I think of soy sauce. Did it not have soy sauce in the salad dressing, which normally contains wheat?

Welcome to the forum!
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Sylvia
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#12 AE Paul

 
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:21 PM

jr -

How does your unit prevent cross-contamination? How do the servers communicate to the kitchen? Where is the separate preparation area? How is the gluten-free meal communicated from the kitchen back to the server? And most importantly, how does corporate train all of the employees in the 2000 nationwide units, 90% of which are franchised? Asking these questions on a forum is an incredible softball since you can think as long as you want about the right answers.

I have never heard of an Applebee's training employees in anything but putting an allergen/gluten book in front of people (and corporate doesn't even tell the units when that book is updated - they told me this directly - kind of important since so much of the food is prepackaged and shipped in). In fact, Applebee's fought hard NOT to have me inquire about their practices.

I just ran a yet-to-be-published phone survey that will be enlightening. Even on the phone, before the lunch rush, only about half of Applebee's managers could answer allergy/gluten-free questions adequately. That doesn't bode well for how finely trained the entire staff is and how they can handle a dinner rush.

And if I may be as blunt as possible, I find the fact that this is your first post as very suspicious. I've already had a similar experience on a separate blog from an individual who didn't realize his IP address could be traced to his location. Of course, Lenexa, KS is a bustling metropolis.

Sorry to challenge your credibility, but anyone who claims that "I know that with a little help from your server that you can have a very positive gluten free meal from any Applebee's" hasn't dined there more than once or twice... let alone at a significant percentage of the 2000. If you are in fact being genuine, then I wonder if you'll be willing to stand behind your claims after a few visits to other Applebee's units you don't work at.

I hope one day I can be proven wrong. I've challenged Applebee's corporate and I've shared with them the economic upside. I told them I would praise their efforts publicly as they began the change process. Nothing. No desire. Then again, with the franchise model, corporate has less to gain than if they ran the units themselves. Eh... let the franchisees fend for themselves.
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#13 Juliebove

 
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:33 PM

I think of an oriental chicken salad and I think of soy sauce. Did it not have soy sauce in the salad dressing, which normally contains wheat?

Welcome to the forum!


I also remember reading here in the past that the chicken in and of itself is not gluten-free.
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#14 psawyer

 
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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:22 PM

And if I may be as blunt as possible, I find the fact that this is your first post as very suspicious. I've already had a similar experience on a separate blog from an individual who didn't realize his IP address could be traced to his location. Of course, Lenexa, KS is a bustling metropolis.

Her IP does not trace to Kansas. What is your point?

Sorry to challenge your credibility, but anyone who claims that "I know that with a little help from your server that you can have a very positive gluten free meal from any Applebee's" hasn't dined there more than once or twice... let alone at a significant percentage of the 2000. If you are in fact being genuine, then I wonder if you'll be willing to stand behind your claims after a few visits to other Applebee's units you don't work at.

Um, you have something to back up this I presume. Please share your facts to support this. Share them here, with support in the form of links to sites other than your own.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
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#15 Juliebove

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:17 AM

I think of an oriental chicken salad and I think of soy sauce. Did it not have soy sauce in the salad dressing, which normally contains wheat?

Welcome to the forum!


I just looked that their website. Not only does that salad contain breaded, fried chicken, but they have a disclaimer on their website saying that they can not make the food safe for people with food allergies.
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