Places We Have Eaten at Without a Problem. Always specify severe gluten allergy if necessary for you. Most people don’t understand what Celiac Disease is. They think you have like a communicable skin rash or something. This is just a list. I’m not saying you won’t be poisoned if you go to one of our recommended spots. Don’t sue me. I have no money anyways. I’ll be adding to this list as we try new places and my brain remembers stuff that we have eaten. These are our go to favorites.
In N Out: It’s what a hamburgers all about. If you like lettuce wrapped or meat in a box. But it truly is delicious. Our Man Boy loves what is called a flying Dutchman. It is not on the menu. It is two burger patties and two pieces of cheese in a box. We don’t do the sauce, could be contaminated. You can ask to have a burger lettuce wrapped too. Tell them you have a gluten allergy when you order. They are usually very good about how they handle those. You can have French fries from here too! Just remember gluten allergy. Last but not least as your reward for not eating gluten and suffering a plight akin to Kim Kardashian not being allowed to become more ridiculous, you get a shake! Yes the shakes are gluten free. You are welcome. http://www.in-n-out.com/nutrition.aspx (has a printable allergen menu)
Chick Fil A: Eat More Chick’n. And we do. They also are very good about handling food if you tell them you have a cross contamination issue. The grilled chicken nuggets and waffle fries are safe for you to eat. Even the ranch is gluten free. It makes for a great kids meal too if you do a fruit cup. Many sauces there are gluten free and I have ordered the deluxe grilled sandwich sans bun and it was delicious. I’ve enjoyed the superfood salad too. And let’s be honest here. I have eaten five packs of chick fil a sauce before. It is like liquid gold people! It is safe. It is heavenly. It is something I must consume in the next ten minutes. http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Allergen-Gluten-Diabetic
Lyfe Kitchen: This isn’t a widely known restaurant but we have them where we are and there may be one by you too! It is hands down awesome. One of our Man Boy’s favorite placed. Their cheeseburger on a gluten free bun is his favorite. He says there is something special in their ketchup. I’m not sure. Maybe it is made with pure love or something. They take such great care to protect against cross contamination. The quinoa crunch salad is one of my favorite things to eat on this planet and is gluten free. So is the farmer’s market salad. They have delicious cheesy flatbreads, so similar to a tasty pizza, different meat choices and the garlic parmesan sweet potato fries with aioli. Oh just put me in a food coma right now. It is fresh, a very good value for food quality and makes me happy. I hope this restaurant chain opens more stores. http://www.lyfekitchen.com/
Stonefire: You may be surprised by this. But if you know what to order, it can be great. We have never had a food contamination issue, but again not saying it isn’t possible. The bbq chicken is one of our most favorite things to eat. Tender, super flavorful and the best bbq sauce. Man Boy really loves their garlic mashed potatoes too. We round it out with one of their many salads. The lemon tahini dressing is delicious as is the buttermilk ranch. Oh and the garlic salmon. Give me that and float me out to Hawaii and I’m going to be golden. Right. And the cauliflower salad. THE CAULIFLOWER SALAD. It is is divine. Me love me some Stonefire. Check them out if they are nearby. http://stonefiregrill.com/gluten-free/
Gluten Free in the SCV. If you live in Southern California… you may want to check out these local gems.
Sicily- Valencia. They make a delicious gluten free pizza, some very tasty salads and a flourless chocolate cake that really takes the cake. Haha. They have been very consistent in being cautious of cross contamination. They even prepare the pizza in its own area away from other pizzas. They offer gluten free pasta and delicious marinara sauce or you can do butter and cheese. The Man Boy really enjoys eating Italian food here. Double check with server about dressings. We do oil and balsamic to be safe. http://www.sisleykitchen.com/
Daily Harvest- Newhall. It. Is. Yum.
Eat Real Café- Valencia. Those salads, though.
Shredded Tacos- Granada Hills and Valencia. THE BEST TACOS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Gluten Free. THE BEST SALSA IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Gluten Free.
Rustic Burger- Valencia. Man Boy loves the cheeseburger on a gluten free bun. These are the best gluten free buns we have found at any restaurant. Have some serious sides too.
Fish Tail- Valencia. A delicious assortment of various fishes and corn tortilla tacos.
Tomato Joes- Valencia. The best gluten free pizza we have ever had. Prefer to all others. Tell them gluten allergy and they are very good about contamination.
Pizza Rev- Valencia. For fast inexpensive very trustworthy pizza, this is the place. Everything is handled with caution here.
Lilac Patisserie- Santa Barbara. It doesn’t get safer than this. A totally gluten free restaurant and bakery. It almost makes me want to move to Santa Barbara so we could eat there every day and I would never have to cook again. I mean we’d poor and living in a box but imagine the convenience! This place is a gem and I am so grateful every time we get to go there and see the Man Boy’s face light up.
Places that Have been good the first time and contaminated the second:
Cheesecake Factory. Now when we were new to Celiac we ate there. At the time they had a wonderful dedicated gluten free menu. Well that must have not made them enough money because they no longer have it. It is all mixed in with the 100 pages of regular menu items. Man Boy had enjoyed a cheeseburger (notice how that is his most favorite thing in the world?) on a gluten free bun here and safe French fries. At the time they said they used a dedicated gluten free fryer. Well when we went there several months ago, the waitress has no clue about their gluten free items and gave me the worst feeling I have ever had at a place. Now I love Cheesecake Factory. It is a goldmine of flavors. If I could live in a vat of that ranch dressing and the tamale cakes, I would. But this lady had me nervous like Black Friday at Walmart. It just wasn’t worth it. We did get a gluten free Godiva cheesecake, which I asked for a piece of bakery paper to be used to pull it out and a clean spatula. And also a middle piece. All that to stave off contamination. Man Boy ate it happily and did not get sick. If we have a knowledgeable server, we are comfortable ordering from here. The Fresh Vegetable Salad is a delicious gluten free choice, FYI.
Places that we will never frequent again.
Burn me once… I’m not your friend anymore. Burn me twice… I’m putting bulldog slobber in your pizza oven. Oh BJ’s. I’m not going to get into the whole thing but when a place obviously contaminates your food, makes your child throw up mid meal and have the worst stomach issues after you kind of write them off. It just doesn’t make sense to ever go again. And I don’t like their pizza. I said it. We had an emergency and didn’t have safe food for Man Boy to eat and were forced to concoct what was supposed to be a gluten free meal with a waitress that was literally insane. Like talking to herself, taking hits off of people’s Diet Cokes crazy. I ended up being charged $17 for something our child could only get six bites into when he started feeling sick from it. They should have paid me $17 for some kid Depends because that food just wasn’t right.
McDonalds, Carls Jr, and the like. Nope, it is just scary. There is not the space to separate ingredients; employees are not trained in contamination issues, etc. It isn’t their fault really, it is the nature of the place but we just don’t frequent these places. Again, if you have the time and a good feeling from an employee more power to you. I just get too nervous. Like when you put something that says dry clean only in the washing machine. You know you shouldn’t do it, but it’s easier. Well the result is usually heinous. Sorry.