Gluten-Free Dining Out Ideas

Today I would normally be making and posting my gluten-free menu for the upcoming week. However, this week is Spring Break for us so we will be doing a lot of dining out – which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it gives me a break from the kitchen, but dining out with a Celiac and figuring out the carb count for our diabetic can be difficult. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of favorite spots. It is important to note up front though, that sometimes (but for obvious reasons we don’t know how often) my daughter (the Celiac in our family) is asymptomatic when exposed to gluten.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brew House – BJ’s is my FAVORITE place to eat out if we have my daughter with us. Overall they have a little bit of everything on their menu and their GF menu is great too. My daughter and I usually get a GF cheese pizza to share and then bowls of tomato basil soup (no croutons).

Red Robin – We have eaten here several times because my daughter loves being able to get a “normal” cheeseburger and fries meal, thanks to the GF bun and fries being fried separately. Good for Celiacs, bad for my IBS 😦

Outback Steakhouse – I’ll be honest, I am usually not a fan of Outback. I have had a few back experiences there and I find the blooming onion to be disgusting. However, my daughter, who typically doesn’t like meat much, thinks their GF ribs are the cat’s meow. Plus, they usually do them as a kid’s meal to save us some coin.

Jason’s Deli –  This is more for me because Jason’s Deli is overall my very favorite place to eat. Ours here is across town and we hadn’t been since Celiac struck our family, so we were pleasantly surprised at the GF choices when we went last week. We both had a sandwich on the GF bread (which was good if a little crumbly) and the tomato-basil soup is GF – which makes the drive for crumbly bread worth it!

Schlotzsky’s –  I haven’t been here to eat GF but my daughter went here with another GF friend and loved their GF bun. She highly recommends it.

Chick Fil A – Waffle fries cooked separately…thanks, Chick Fil A!

Wendy’s – Last year during Spring Break is when we found out that E has Celiac, starting our lifestyle change. We quickly learned that fast food options are few and very far in between. We don’t eat a lot of fast food, but when in a pinch, we get baked potatoes from Wendy’s.

Here are some places we avoid at all costs due to bad experiences or very limited selection (resulting in 10-year-old’s temper flaring while hungry):

  • McDonald’s (hardly anything on the menu) – although we will shoot through the drive thru for drinks (I swear there is something added to their Coke to make it more addictive)
  • Santa Fe Steakhouse (although to be fair, we just had one really bad experience)
  • Burger King (got glutened and was in very bad pain)
  • Mexican Restaurants (this is tough because we love Mexican food, but unless it is one of our local places that we trust, we don’t typically eat it on the road)
  • Chinese Restaurants – never tried it. I would imagine it would be a cross contamination nightmare in the kitchen. But I’ve heard good things about Pei Wei
  • Any Buffet – We haven’t been to a buffet as a family since my son’s diabetes diagnosis. Counting carbs must be a pain the butt. And with Celiac, too much risk of cross-contamination

Hope this list helps someone and feel free to comment and share!

-J

 

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