Okay — first of all I want to thank everyone for your patience on getting our website up and running! I promise you it will be worth the wait with all the recipes, stories, tips and FUN you will find along the way. With the summer heat, we have managed to eat most of our meals at home with the help of our Big Green Egg and outdoor camping grill for now. Of course, there are creative dishes coming out of our kitchen weekly and many will be uploaded with pictures soon so check out my recipe section too!
I can say that our top easy picks for eating out are also pretty consistent. For starters — In and Out Burgers for a quick yummy bite (kudos with having our Rudi’s Glutenfree Hamburger Bun toasted and warm to be able to eat our burger like a “normal” person!). Since they cook their hand cut french fries in a dedicated fryer — we can also chow down on hot ones! I always go in asking questions even if I am a regular at a restaurant. Simply because they have the right to change things at any point. Thus, I confirm that any and all items are gluten, soy and dairy free from the get go. My location has confirmed that they use cottenseed oil for their fryers. The trick is to make sure that you state from the beginning that you are ordering an “ALLERGY plain patty” NOT burger or you get charged the full amount. When you state that it is an allergy order they will take extra precaution and change out their gloves, clean griddle or better yet open the third one for you. Expect to wait a tad longer but it is worth it to enjoy your burger with the ease of knowing you won’t get cross contamination. I do ask for a side of grilled onions, pickles and tomato. Then you build it yourself table side for the most awesome experience with your own toasted bun. If you don’t have a glutenfree bun you may order your patty stacked with your sides and eat with fork and knife or Sean prefers a “Protein Style” which is wrapped in iceberg lettuce instead of bun. www.inandout.com
Pei Wei is also an easy stop for us when we are running. When you go in ask for the glutenfree menu at the front counter. My “usual” is their Gluten Free Pei Wei Spicy Chicken because they can make it both gluten and SOY free which is hard to come by at the other restaurant that serves similar more expensive dishes. I ask for half and half brown and white rice to balance out the meal plus extra spicy sauce on the side. I honestly leave 3/4 of it on the plate and focus on the incredible chicken and veggies. This will give you enough to pack up and take for another meal later!
Being the adventurous one, Sean stepped out and ordered the Gluten Free Vietnamese Rolls. He has found his new favorite which inspired our own version of Spring Rolls you can check out on our recipe page. Whenever you are eating out remember to ask as many questions as necessary to ensure your meal is coming out exactly the way you need it to for your health. Pei Wei has separate woks and utensils used solely for their gluten free menu. Extra precaution is taken with special coding for your dish too. Hands down one of the best when it comes to being meticulous for no cross contamination. Dylan always gets the Kids Gluten Free Chicken with no sauce and its a sure hit! A way to keep your cost down is to order water to drink. They actually have soda water out of the machine too! With the sliced lemons and oranges you can turn your drink into a tasty one with a splash of juice yourself. This is always a treat for us. To stick with teaching our kids culture we have fun using the chop sticks to eat! You can always crack open a fortune cookie and share the fun of what the future might hold — just don’t eat it! www.peiwei.com
Since we are a family that loves pizza occasionally – Mellow Mushroom is the right one for satisfying the cravings. Of course gluten free pizza is becoming more common yet most are NOT soy free crust which we must have in our family. This is a special treat for us since Mellow Mushroom is originally from our stomping grounds of Atlanta, GA and right around the corner from us too! When you order make sure you ask for extra sauce and for the toppings to cover the entire pie. Otherwise it can be tough and not as good. Glutenfree pizza is only one size which will feed two really hungry eaters or three easily. Sean and I always enjoy it because once again, we pack it up and have another awesome meal for later. We take in our own salad dressing since their selections have soy in them. You can order your lettuce of choice with a couple of sides off the gluten free menu. This is the less expensive way of getting exactly what you want in your healthy and safe to eat salad. I usually have one of Drew’s Dressing or Amy’s Organic Caesar dressing if not my own awesome vinegarette (recipes coming soon!) Mellow Mushrooms has a dedicated area behind the counter where they make the glutenfree pizzas and menu items from scratch with separate toppings to prevent cross contamination. They also use special pans and utensils dedicated for the gluten free pizza area as extra precaution. www.mellowmushroom.com
My final destination worthy of blowing the lid off for others to experience is Diablo Burger in the circle on the square in Flagstaff, AZ. We stumbled across this jewel several weeks back when we snuck out of town to beat the heat. It was a MUST on our family trip return and we all say hands down worth the 4 stars we give it. Of course, I brought two Rudi’s Glutenfree Hamburger buns for Sean’s and mine to be served on. I kept my order simple with a diablo burger, green chilies and cheddar cheese plus their fabulous french fries sprinkled with herb de provence. Once again, they choice to ONLY fry french fries in their facility preventing cross contamination and use premium peanut oil. Sean had a spicer version with guacamole, pepper jack cheese, onions and jalapenos. I have to say heads turned when ours came out since they actually branded the buns with a DB. (For some reason our picture did not take of this master piece! Guess we are destined to return for one. FYI they are a cash only for a good cause. Check out their site for the explanation.) The atmosphere was incredible with the live band playing and a chill in the air while we sat outside in July to enjoy the evening. www.diabloburger.com
Stay tuned for our August picks and additional bonus spots! Please add comments of your favorite places to visit too so we can share our information! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy eating out with your families when you can. Remember eating gluten free is FUN and exciting with some preparation and getting out there to explore. Once you frequent a restaurant you will also be surprised with the friendliness you will receive from your soon to be favorite spot.