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terri

Gluten-free Dining In Northern Virginia

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Just wanted to share with anyone in the Fairfax County or Loudoun County some positive and negative experiences I've had recently.

Take today, went to Amphora Restaurant with 2 friends and presented my dining card to the waiter and told him I was only going to have a salad but felt better if the Chef saw my card. The Manager comes over and refused to serve me at all. Even a salad! Said that there was too much of a chance of cross contamination. So I watched my friends eat and the waiter gave me an apple when I left. The Manager was rude and mean. The only other restaurant where they wouldn't serve me was Glory Days. They have only 1 grill and 1 fryer and everything is cooked together. They, however, offered me a plain salad.

Now for the good news! Ned Devines is wonderful for us! They make their potatoes from scratch with real milk and butter, their meats are not pre-marinated and they'll stand on their heads to give you what you want. Another good one is the Blue Ridge Grill near Leesburg. They actually have a dedicated french fry fryer and 2 grills, one for breaded things and one for not! Their french fries were awesome. Carrabas was great in Reston, Champs had a Greek Salad that worked well but forget Lakeside in Reston. Ate there twice and got sick both times. Tomorrow I'm trying PF Changs which I will go to with their gluten free menu in tow.

That is about the extent of my eating out history so far. I want to try McCormicks and Schmidts but they have only one grill and it's not a flame grill. Oh yes, Beacon Street in Chantilly also has only one grill and it's not flame. I will probably try the salad route with steamed shrimp at McCormicks next week. Oops, went to Legal Seafood in Tysons and they were so nice! But, got a little sick from them too....

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How about Kabob places without their bread? I went to Moby Dick's Kabob place and told them I could not have the bread and they were very careful. My plate came out with just the rice and ground beef kabob. It seemed ok. Anyone have any experiences with this?

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What a wonderful and timely thread for me!!!! I'm so glad it was renewed today through a new post because I missed this in Sept. I'll be in Fairfax in late December!!! Great info!!! Thanks everyone! :lol:

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Today I went to Brios in Tysons 1 in the new area where Coastal Flats is. They were very very understanding of gluten and offered me a wide varity of meals to choose from. Their marinades and salad dressings are made from scratch and the manager was very knowledgable of the ingredients. She even asked if I had additional food allergies! I had the wood grilled salmon salad with asparagus and it was excellent. A very pleasant experience!

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JR Stockyards is a place to avoid in Northern VA. I e-mailed prior to my visit and was told they could accomodate a gluten-free diet. I told my waitress that I needed gluten-free and said said "no croutons" when I ordered the salad. She brought my salad with croutons. When I called her on this she actually picked up my salad, half-turned hiding it and started picking out the croutons. At that point I took the salad, kept it at the table until she brought me a fresh one. I e-mailed the person who told me they could handle gluten-free and gave him the waitress name but got no response.

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I'm in NOVA. I like Artie's, Mike's, Coastal Flats and Sweetwater. I have also eaten at Clyde's with no problem, however their options were very bland.

Oh, and I ate at PF Chang's for my birthday and *hallelujah* I didn't get sick.

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Last week for my wife's birthday we went to back to Ruth's Chris. They no longer have a printed gluten-free menu. I was assured when I made my reservation that the waiter would be able to tell me which items were safe. The waiter told me I shouldn't have sour cream. When I questioned that one he said it was because they didn't make it on site (a strange logic but I might be missing something). I told him I was willing to risk it. I didn't have any ill effects.

I liked the old system with the pre-printed menu. I suppose this system allows for daily specials easier.

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I'm so glad to read these special notes on places that advertise gluten-free menus and would like to add a really fabulous experience at Guapo's in Shirlington. They were incredibly attentive and asked the chef for specific items that qualify as safe. They served grilled chicken, black beans (they make them there without "flavoring"), steamed veggies and I even had good luck with the house-made tortillas and salsa which I was a little reluctant to try despite the assurance of the chef.

I also wanted to share another safe place, at least for me, Bangkok 54 on Columbia Pike. Ask for Nack, one of the owners, and explain your situation - she is wonderful. Their rice noodle, steamed and curry dishes have been safe for me, so far - they make their curries from scratch. I recommend making a reservation, though, it gets busy.

Thanks to everyone who posts reviews!!!:-)

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Good to hear about your Guapo's experience, Christina. I'll have to give it a try!

I had good luck at Silverado in Annandale and Carlyle in Shirlington (both in the Great American Restaurants chain).

I got glutened last Friday, but I'm not sure if it was my lunch (I ate a beef kebab with rice) or if it was what I ate at Mike's American. I asked for the plain grilled chicken in my salad (not sure which salad - it had avocado, pecans, and cranberries), but I have a feeling that this was not plain chicken. I'll have to pay attention next time. I also need to find out what kind of marinade on the beef kebab and if there's anything funky in the rice.

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Thanks for the info. What he said could apply to any restaurant anywhere. If they pick up rolls and place them in a bread basket, and then make your salad without changing their gloves, you're contaminated. I have to travel on a 3 week business trip next January and I'm already losing sleep thinking about it! Guess I'll load up on medicine and hope for the best. I'll pack lots of those tuna and chicken pouches and rice cakes and peanut butter. Imagine being in New Orleans and eating peanut butter! :P

What medicine do you use to control your symptoms? This is the first time I've heard of anyone actually saying anything about medication!

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I had no idea that the Great American Restaurants had gluten free menus. I so wish they would have put that on their websites, they have been missing out on customers I'm sure, me for one. Thanks for the info.

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Has anyone tried the Banjara Indian restaurant in Ashburn Village? I don't know anything about Indian food, but I've always wanted to try it.

I use to go here back in my pre-gluten free days. I have no idea how they would handle gluten cross contamination. I will say that back when I did eat there, it was very good indian food.

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Bungalow Billiards in Chantilly does not have a gluten-free menu, however them manager's best friend has Celiac, so he knows what is safe. If you go there, ask for him, and he can advise on menu selections and ensure that the chef's use protocols to avoid cross contamination. We did this last time we went, and my husband had no issues at all. Besides, it's a great, fun place to hang out!

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Hello! As far as gluten, you're safe to eat everything we carry, except our large wheat flour tortillas for burritos, our soft wheat flour taco shells, and our hot red tomatillo salsa (there is white vinegar in it). Everything else will be fine.

I thought vinegar was okay to have....just not malt vinegar. Am I messing this up?

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I thought vinegar was okay to have....just not malt vinegar. Am I messing this up?

The original posts are 7 years old. The info is likely out of date and the restaurants may not even be in business.

Your right about the vinegar. Some places go by very old info regarding gluten or do not understand.

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I know this thread is very old, but the chef of Bazin's in Vienna was just diagnosed with celiac, and Bazin's now has a gluten free menu that I would completely trust. It's expensive, but worth it for the safety. 

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