In three-and-a-half years of following a strict gluten-free diet due to Celiac Disease, I generally find eating in restaurants to be stressful. I have navigated around many a menu, often ordering the most plain, unseasoned, undressed options available. It takes a great deal of demonstrated knowledge on the part of the waiter/waitress before I will fully trust that my food is free of both obvious and hidden glutens.
During a visit to the local Red Robin restaurant in Fairview Heights, IL, I entered full of skepticism. An incredibly knowledgeable server, a clearly labeled, gluten-free menu, a delicious meal and no after effects proved my uncertainty wrong.
With my first bite, I realized just how much I had missed a great burger on a soft bun with a side of fries. It sounds so simple, but honestly, gluten free buns are often extremely dry and French fries are usually off-limits due to cross contamination in a fryer that also fries battered items.
How does Red Robin solve these dilemmas?
They order their hamburger buns from French Meadow Bakery. They are, by far, the best gluten free buns I've ever eaten.
I had prepared my kids that the fries might not be an option, as the website warned that each location varied in their frying capabilities. I think each one of us wanted to hug the server when he told us the Fairview Heights, IL location "does have a fryer dedicated to JUST FRIES!" A great burger and awesome all-you-can-eat fries. There really isn't much more to ask for.
My kids have already requested this as the official birthday dinner location - and with their customer rewards card (buy 10 burgers, get one free) I am sure we will stop in more often than 6 times a year.
Before your visit, be sure to stop by their online, allergy menu to explore your options for various foods.
Red Robin. Yum!