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norahsmommy

Resturant Chains That Have Gluten Free Options?

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I have been pretty careful about my diet and have avoided eating out. My husband and I were out and he really wanted to eat out so we went to Ruby Tuesdays. We were going to go to Outback Steakhouse but it was closed. I have heard Outback has an area of the kitchen that is gluten free but I don't even know if that is true or not. I ordered a steak, it came with butter, salt and pepper on it, mashed cheddar potatoes on the side and sugar snap peas. I felt pretty confident that I got something gluten free. However when the server took the plates away I noticed that there was rice on the table. Neither of us ordered rice and it wasn't there before so it must have been stuck to the plate. So what ELSE was on that plate? I don't feel sick, but I usually don't feel it right away so I don't know yet. Can you guys give me tips for eating out, or perhaps specific menu items to order in certain places? Any help would be great!

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my experiences at Outback and Olive Gardens have been excellent. They do have separate prep areas & orders are tagged. If you live near a Fusion Pizza - they are great. Our local Red Robin has 2 celiac trained servers, although I would probably be very careful at ones out of the area. Chili's is ok, but I order very simple - salad. Just don't trust. A top notch place is usually very good as they have chefs that will work with you. I figure that if I go somewhere (and it's not very often!!) where they have a Chef then I am pretty safe. If they have just cooks i order very very carefully - and simple like a plain salad.

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I went to Ruby Tuesdays four days ago. They have a separate gluten free menu if you ask for it, but I'm not sure whether or not they have a separate station to prepare the food. I had a cheeseburger without the bun and a baked potato. I didn't feel glutened after I ate, and was fine for a couple of days. I am sick today though, and who knows why, it could be any number of things, I was traveling a lot this week.. cross contamination was very likely at any one of the many places I was eating at.

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My "go to" restaurants are as follows:

Chipotle (CO locations are much better than out of state IMO)

Pei Wei

PF Changs

Outback

Ling & Louie's

Everyone else that has a gluten-free menu is "suspect" to me. Sometimes and issue, most times not. The above 4 have a terrific average with my multiple visits.

Iffy feelings about:

Mimi's, Chili's, the Brazilian BBQ's,

1 Chain I don't trust:

Ted's Montana Grill (1 for 3 good experiences, zero training)

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My "go to" restaurants are as follows:

Chipotle (CO locations are much better than out of state IMO)

Pei Wei

PF Changs

Outback

Ling & Louie's

Everyone else that has a gluten-free menu is "suspect" to me. Sometimes and issue, most times not. The above 4 have a terrific average with my multiple visits.

Iffy feelings about:

Mimi's, Chili's, the Brazilian BBQ's,

1 Chain I don't trust:

Ted's Montana Grill (1 for 3 good experiences, zero training)

I am curious about your "Go to restaurants" . Do they have a decent selection of items ? Or is it generally just the ability to substitute gluten free pasta or something of that sort? You list definitely gives me hope ! Thank you !

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Sorry for the delay, I only check-in here periodically.

Don't give up hope!

Chipotle: Here in CO is where the chain started and I've noticed that our locations are the best compared to outside of the state. The only item that actually HAS gluten is the actual flour tortilla (the red, hot sauce has vinegar, and I can't vouch for it). Everything else is gluten-free! So, if you're mindful of cross-contamination (you can ask them to change gloves, be careful, etc), you shouldn't have a problem. Some will say that the spoons may get cc'd, but honestly I've never had that problem after eating here literally hundreds of times (and I'm sensitive to cc'ing). Again, our locations here are spotless, use your common sense.

PF Changs: They have an entire menu that is gluten-free

Pei Wei: an abbreviated menu that is entirely gluten-free as well

Ling & Louies: Regular menu has gluten-free choices available and listed

Outback: Has entire, separate gluten-free menu (a bit more expensive I think? No prices here in CO). Note that they have a great dessert called Chocolate Thunder, but I've heard here that the whipped cream may no longer be gluten-free. This is a great choice if you want everyone else to have a variety of dishes that are non-gluten-free.

PLEASE NOTE: I'LL CAPITALIZE THIS FOR YOU NEWBIES. IF YOU HAVE CELIAC DISEASE, IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MAKE SURE THE RESTAURANT/STAFF UNDERSTAND WHAT gluten-free IS ALL ABOUT. MY FIRST QUESTION IS "ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH YOUR gluten-free MENU"? IF I GET A BLANK STARE, I KNOW I NEED TO EITHER SPEAK WITH THE MANAGER, EDUCATE THE SERVER, SPEAK WITH THE CHEF....OR ALL 3. WHEN MY ORDER ARRIVES, I ASK "THIS WAS PREPARED gluten-free, RIGHT"? AGAIN, ASK QUESTIONS, BE POLITE BUT FIRM AND EXPECT THE OCCASIONAL SCREW-UP...IT HAPPENS.

Don't let the prospects of a possible bad meal ruin your night. Find a few places you trust and enjoy your evening. If things go wrong, just pretend it was another day of your "old" life and move ahead. Yes, it's disappointing to be sick, but think of the joys of feeling like a "normal" person again, without the worries that you can never eat out.

The more you do it, the easier it will be to expand your comfort zone.

I gladly patronize the above restaurants because they give a darn about my business and my health. When and if they stop doing so, they'll lose my business.

Best of luck!

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I successfully go to PF Changs and Outback.

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If you're feeling ill, it may have been the mashed potatoes. I've never been to that particular restaurant, but when I go to any restaurant, I always ask if they put flour in the mashed potatoes. I know--that sounds weird, but about 50% of the time I'm told by the chef that they do, indeed, add flour to their mashers.

I like PF Chang's, Tahoe Joe's, BJ's Grill and Brewery (great gluten-free pizza and gluten-free beer!), and Johnny Carino's. I've never been glutened at any of them.

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I stumbled across this website for DFW celiacs (however most of these are chains) that have a wonderful restaurant list that gets updated frequently. I also found out today that Original Pancake House serves gluten free pancakes!!! (I am really excited about this!)

DFW Celiacs

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I don't know how widespread the Biaggi's chain, but it is an excellent place for gluten-free options. Their pizza is awesome, and they even have gluten-free bread for dipping. Hubby has never had a reaction from them.

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If you are looking for restaurants in your area with gluten-free menus or travelign and want to know what is near your destination try glutenfreeregistry.com

Keep in mind that chain restaurants vary by location. I have a list of ones I loosely trust in my area BUT I have also had bad results with these same restaurants while traveling. I am in Virignia.

The best ones in my area as far as training, staff knowledge and safe eating experiences are:

Red Robin (Both Cheasapeake and Virginia Beach locations have been great)

Uno's Chicago Grill (Virginia Beach location is great, however I was glutened by a salad at the Williamsburg location)

Olive Garden (Great success in Virginia Beach, Norfolk location, however, gave me regular pasta instead of gluten-free--will never eat there again; I have also eaten at Olive Garden in Lansing, Michigan and it was fine)

Z-pizza (Viginia Beach location--never had an issue and they have a vegan cheese option that is gluten-free/SF/DF)

Five Guys Burger and Fries (I have eaten at these all over the place--they look at you funny when you ask for a burger without a bun, but as long as you tell them it's an allergy they are careful to change their gloves and make your burger on a lettuce wrap at a different station. Their fries are the only thing they fry there so they are also safe. I have had the same experience at every one and it has always been good. They do have peanuts in the shell on open boxes there (with a sign on the door warning patrons) so stay away if you have nut allergies).

I have had mixed results at Cheeseburger in Paradise (VB location, 1 good experience, 1 bad)

I have had mixed results at Chick-Fil-A (multiple locations--there char grilled chicken salad use dto be the only safe option but now I cannot have cheese. Their fries have gotten me about 50% of the time so I don't bother anymore)

I like Wendy's okay but the only thing somewhat safe for me is a plain baked potato and chili. I've never gotten sick from those (except when I still couldn't tolerate beans) BUT they are not on the top on my list for places to eat. Basically, Wendy's is my emergency place when traveling--I don't like the food but I know I probably won't get sick from a baked potato and chili. The chili also has soy in it so it's not my first choice for that reason either.

That's all I can think of right now. I really don't eat out much. Mostly when traveling or when I absolutely have to be social (people come to town and my home can't accomodate very many diners).

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I don't know how widespread the Biaggi's chain, but it is an excellent place for gluten-free options. Their pizza is awesome, and they even have gluten-free bread for dipping. Hubby has never had a reaction from them.

Yes, totally AMAZING! Love the bread that comes out before the meal! Pizza great, pasta too! THANKS BIAGGIS! They also have separate prep area!

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With fast food:

Chick-fil-a. So far I've never gotten sick from there! I usually get a bunless chicken sandwich w/ provolone cheese and fries.

Wendy's my locals have always been safe. I get bunless burgers and fries (check each location regarding whether there is a dedicated fryer) or the apple chicken salad.

Five Guys- bunless burger and fries

Chipotle- I always seek these out when I travel because we don't have one nearby and I am addicted to the carnita burrito bowls.

Sit down dining:

Chili's- hit or miss. I usually get the Margherita chicken as this is the one entree I haven't had issues with.

Outback- Never had a problem here with anything on the gluten-free menu.

Logan's- I usually get terrible heartburn here but I don't think it's gluten related as none of my usual symptoms are present. I get bunless burgers or ribs with steamed veggies and a salad.

Sushi- I usually do fine with the plain rolls. I love the philly roll and the king crab california. Make sure it's the real crab!!!

Red Lobster- Steamed crab legs, steamed veggies, and a baked potato. Also the New York Cheesecake has no crust and is delicious. Never gotten sick with this meal.

Ruby Tuesday- I've gotten bunless burgers and ribs without issues.

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Thumbs up for my locale Chipotle! The server not only changed her gloves but she personally went down the line and filled my bowl herself so the other guy on the line who had been handling the flour tortillas would not touch my 'stuff'. I hope they are always this accommodating.

Got the mixed grill and veggies at Olive Garden and had no problems. Waitress was a little clueless but complied with my requests for no croutons on the salad. I found the aqua berry fresca drink makes up for not being able to have a desert. :)

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My father has eaten at both "Subway" and "BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse" and not gotten sick. He is incredibly sensitive and the effects can be immediate. The "Subway" he ate was apparently really, really thorough about it and took extreme precautions the second gluten free was spoken. This was apparently a very well trained staff though as my cousin walked into one and they had no idea what gluten free even was. The "BJ's" was also apparently the same way. Apparently, that company is very serious about as I have heard they have an actual supervisor in the kitchen's separate prep area to make sure there is no CC. He didn't care for the pizza but, he is a very picky eater and is still at the stage to where you are trying to substitute for all your old gluten filled favorites instead of giving up on the impossibility of it and finding new things to enjoy.

He has eaten at Outback before and has been fine. I think he got sick from one recently though. However, it may have been another chain.

The only place I have tried since going gluten free has been "Fish City Grill" but, I do not have an official prognosis. I didn't feel good though and it felt like lava once it was digested. To be fair though, I got the blackened catfish/grilled shrimp combo platter with broccoli and fresh veggies and that was the first time I had eaten any spices in 6 months. Their gluten free vegetables are cooked in their crawfish boil but, the crawfish platter is on the gluten free menu as well. I'm thinking it was the high level of spices that got me but, honestly I don't know and I haven't tried it since then based on the fact that it's easier and cheaper to just by salmon, shrimp, and vegetables and cook it myself. I will praise them for not "over-cooking" the vegetables though. They are properly "cooked" to where they are still firm. I know several people want them mushy but it was nice to see them properly "cooked".

At the end of the day I just don't like the risk of CC or the cost of eating out. My father doesn't mind the cost but, obviously dreads the issue of CC.

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Wendy's for fast food - their chili is pretty darn good! - is my go to place. I also have had success with the gluten free pizzas at Uno's. Also, look in your local area. I just found a local mom&pop italian place that has a HUGE gluten free menu - and after getting their take out, will probably be a regular customer there. Awesome!

I have found, too, that being creative helps. I've been to some local places that don't have gluten free menus, but have been able to order burgers without rolls, things like that. Most restaurants, if you are respectful and polite, will work with you. Calling ahead will help, too.

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I don't know how widespread the Biaggi's chain, but it is an excellent place for gluten-free options. Their pizza is awesome, and they even have gluten-free bread for dipping. Hubby has never had a reaction from them.

Not so for the Cary,NC location. I had the pizza there Sat. nt. and it was not good!!! Also, no gluten-free bread for dipping at this location. With all that said, however, I have had their gluten-free pasta with clam sauce a few weeks ago and it was great! Unfortunately for me, I have to travel over an hour to eat there.

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Just wanted to say I had the grilled chicken cranberry pecan salad with oil and vinegar and at my locale Denny's yesterday. So far I have had no problems. It was very very good. Just make sure you tell them you don't want the bread! :)

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1 - It makes a huge difference when you tell your server/person taking your order that you have a wheat allergy. When people order things "no bread" or whatever, they may just assume no bread and not make the connection that they have to be a little extra careful.

2 - Check out the local health & safety ratings of the places you eat at. I'd guess that places you get glutened at have pretty low health scores. I cook in a kitchen where I still use regular bread and regilar pasta for my husband, and when I am working with those I clean, clean, clean as I work and it does make a difference.

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A couple of wonderful places in Nebraska that have great history with Gluten Free menus are Biaggio's (superb Italian food) in Omaha and Carlos O'Kelly's (Mexican)acrosss the state. Biaggio's is especially wonderful offering their customers a HUGE menu of gluten free items and they even bring gluten-free bread to the table. I ordered from the Gluten Free menu at Brick House....my meal came with a slice of regular bread plopped right on the plate. Ugh, I don't think I will try that place again. We also love PF Changs and have always had great results there. There is a great little bakery in the Old Market area of Omaha too....Bliss! Bought their delicious cupcakes....I was in heaven!

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My father has eaten at both "Subway" and "BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse" and not gotten sick. He is incredibly sensitive and the effects can be immediate. The "Subway" he ate was apparently really, really thorough about it and took extreme precautions the second gluten free was spoken. This was apparently a very well trained staff though as my cousin walked into one and they had no idea what gluten free even was. The "BJ's" was also apparently the same way. Apparently, that company is very serious about as I have heard they have an actual supervisor in the kitchen's separate prep area to make sure there is no CC. He didn't care for the pizza but, he is a very picky eater and is still at the stage to where you are trying to substitute for all your old gluten filled favorites instead of giving up on the impossibility of it and finding new things to enjoy.

He has eaten at Outback before and has been fine. I think he got sick from one recently though. However, it may have been another chain.

The only place I have tried since going gluten free has been "Fish City Grill" but, I do not have an official prognosis. I didn't feel good though and it felt like lava once it was digested. To be fair though, I got the blackened catfish/grilled shrimp combo platter with broccoli and fresh veggies and that was the first time I had eaten any spices in 6 months. Their gluten free vegetables are cooked in their crawfish boil but, the crawfish platter is on the gluten free menu as well. I'm thinking it was the high level of spices that got me but, honestly I don't know and I haven't tried it since then based on the fact that it's easier and cheaper to just by salmon, shrimp, and vegetables and cook it myself. I will praise them for not "over-cooking" the vegetables though. They are properly "cooked" to where they are still firm. I know several people want them mushy but it was nice to see them properly "cooked".

At the end of the day I just don't like the risk of CC or the cost of eating out. My father doesn't mind the cost but, obviously dreads the issue of CC.

i know in my area -upstate Ny- The Outback serves gluten-free bread and rolls . Yummy. I have eaten there many many times with no problems and I often get garlic mashed potatoes as they are gluten free. I have had great experiences with Unos and PF

Changs as well. They really seem to know what they are doing. The Melting Pot has a gluten-free menu but have not tried it

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i know in my area -upstate Ny- The Outback serves gluten-free bread and rolls . Yummy. I have eaten there many many times with no problems and I often get garlic mashed potatoes as they are gluten free. I have had great experiences with Unos and PF

Changs as well. They really seem to know what they are doing. The Melting Pot has a gluten-free menu but have not tried it

Just wanted to make a correction. My father got sick at Chili's not Outback. He has never gotten sick from Outback.

There was a Melting Pot semi-close but they closed. My family went there last year for a family function but, I was unable to attend. I don't recall if it was prior to or after my father being diagnosed though. I think it was after but, I could be wrong.

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