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Reviews Written by JWClinton:  



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Red Robin
6500 North Illinois Street
Fairview Heights, IL 62208


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Great gluten free dining at restaurant in Fairview Heights, Illinois Sep 02, 2013
reviewer: JWClinton from O'fallon, IL USA

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!

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries
2923 Lakewood Village Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72116


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Five Guys: a safe restaurant for gluten-free dining in North Little Rock Mar 16, 2011
reviewer: JWClinton from San Juan, PR, Puerto Rico

In the mood for a tasty, 100% beef burger and delicious fries? This is your place. While the restaurant does not advertise that it is Gluten Free, nor does the menu reflect it, every order is custom made, so it is very easy to get exactly what you want (or in this case what you don't want - no bun!) In addition, you can see the entire preparation process, so there is no confusion as to who or what might have touched your food. Burgers can be ordered with a wide variety of toppings, all included in the price. While getting a bun-less burger might not sound that special, the fries seal the deal. They are made from real potatoes, with skin still on them. Nothing else in the restaurant is fried (no nuggets, or onion rings) so there is NO chance of cross contamination with batter in the fryer. We rarely order french fries anywhere because of this strong possibility. The only thing I wish they had: plates. Burgers are served wrapped in foil and fries in a big cup. They do have plastic knives and forks, but a paper plate would make eating a lot easier.

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Jason's Deli
4209 McCain Boulevard
North Little Rock, AR 72117


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Jason's Deli: many gluten-free options at this restaurant in North Little Rock Mar 16, 2011
reviewer: JWClinton from San Juan, PR

Jason's Deli was one of our favorite family-friendly restaurants, long before our Celiac diagnosis and becoming a Gluten Free family. Their menu clearly denotes which items are Gluten Free, from huge baked potatoes to delicious salads. The most exciting news was their addition of Udi's Gluten Free bread. How nice to be like a "regular" diner and order one of their many delicious sandwiches. My kids love their grilled cheese. Always careful and a bit skeptical, I asked how they prepare the Gluten Free sandwiches. On a number of occasions, every different server I asked gave me a detailed explanation of changing gloves, using a new work surface and a new knife to prevent cross contamination. It was clear that at this location, workers have been well trained in the process. Another bonus: buying bread! This Udi's bread is even better than what I have purchased in grocery stores. (The slices are a little bit thicker and the loaves are larger.) At every restaurant visit I remember to add a loaf of bread to my order for about $9. They present it to me frozen and at home I defrost a few slices as I need them.

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Dempsey Bakery
323 South Cross Street
Little Rock, AR 72201


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten Free Baked Goodness at Bakery in Little Rock, Arkansas May 21, 2012
reviewer: JWClinton from San Juan, PR, Puerto Rico

Dempsey Bakery is a COMPLETELY Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Nut-Free establishment. Those who suffer from allergies or Celiac Disease can walk in and order anything off the menu without fear of cross contamination. In addition, they have Dairy-Free and Egg-Free items. The location has a clean, fresh feel. I love the red and white decor, with large black and white photographs. It has a retro ambience with a completely up-to-date menu, catering to very real nutritional needs. Each member of the staff was friendly and chock-full of information in regards to ingredients and preparation. There are samples of everything! I can think of so many gluten-free foods that I have purchased over the years and ultimately I was disappointed in either the taste or texture. I loved the reassurance that I would enjoy my order. What a smart marketing tool. Dempsey Bakery is confident that if you try it, you will buy it. And right they are! For lunch I enjoyed the lunch combo of soup and a sandwich. During my visit, the daily special was Baked Potato Soup and a Roasted Vegetable Sandwich. Their menu (which can be viewed on their website) gives a schedule of sandwiches. While I ate, I enjoyed the stacks of reading materials for customers to enjoy: Gluten-Free cookbooks and magazines. I did not go home empty handed! I treated my family to a wide sampling of breads, cookies and cakes. While everything was delicious, the favorites included: Chocolate Cloud Cookies and Snicker doodles - their cookies are soft, chewy and generous in size. The breads are to-die-for, especially the baguettes. While I thoroughly enjoyed my cupcake on site, the Chocolate Drizzle Cream Cheese Cake that I brought home was amazing. You can also purchase unbaked cookie dough, and make warm fresh cookies right in your own home. The prices were very fair. I believe that their charges would be similar to a “regular” bakery, or slightly higher, but considering the special, expensive ingredients, they were certainly on par with the Gluten-Free items that can be purchased in a grocery store. I am more than happy to see my dollars spent on a family establishment that provides excellent service, great food and a wealth of information. I urge you to check out this gem. Even if you don't have ANY food issues, it is just so nice to eat in a facility that prepares their own, fresh food without any preservatives. You will not be disappointed in the friendly staff, nor the delightful menu. I guarantee that Dempsey Bakery will be on my Must-Do list each time I find myself back in Little Rock.

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