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California Pizza Kitchen (Short Pump Town Center)
11800 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23233


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Two different gluten free pizza crust choices at CPK

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2018

Well, we finally made it to CPK to try their new gluten free cauliflower crust pizzas (as well as some of our favorite traditional-style gluten free pizzas, which we love). Oh my...the cauliflower crust pizza was wonderful...thin and slightly chewy, just how I like my pizza crust. You can get any of the gluten free combinations (with toppings all segregated in a separate area to prevent cross contamination) or even choose other toppings (but just know there is always a slight risk of cross contamination, since they aren't kept separate). The gluten free Barbecue Chicken Pizza is a family favorite, shown here with the traditional style gluten free crust that my husband ordered. I'm guessing there are far more females trying the new cauliflower crust than men, but who knows! I loved it! As you'd expect, CPK is one of the best places for gluten free pizza, whichever type you order.

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Carrabba's Italian Grill
11450 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
United States

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Always delicious and reliable gluten free Italian

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2018

We don't go to Carrabba's Italian Grill enough. I say this because every time we go we have an awesome meal, and I feel confident they are keeping our gluten free son safe. We were traveling to Richmond for a lacrosse tournament and decided to eat at this restaurant, because we had not yet had an opportunity to try their gluten free pasta. I ordered my favorite Pollo Rosa Maria, which is wood-fired grilled chicken stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto, topped with mushrooms and basil lemon butter sauce. It was a generous portion -- two small breasts -- served with a large side serving of pasta (their gluten free pasta is casarecce shaped and very good). The pasta was done perfectly al dente. The meal also came with a choice of starter salads, which were also all generously portioned. (You can also opt for soup.) Here is a link to their Gluten Free Menu. In the restaurants, you get a regular menu, in which all the gluten free options (and there are MANY) are notated. You have your choice of appetizers, salads, soups, many steak and chicken entrees, and wonderful pasta sauces and combinations, including one with scallops and shrimp "alla Vodka." Our son ordered the Pasta Carrabba, with wood-grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms, and peas. It had an Alfredo sauce that was good, but very rich. We were tempted by the creme brulee for dessert, but we were all too full from the wonderful dinner! I'd recommend patronizing any Carrabba's restaurant. I am very thankful that this is a place with many locations that serves the gluten free community so well -- with so many high-quality, tasty, and safe options. You don't feel like you're missing out on anything here (except maybe the bread, but who needs those extra carbs anyway!).

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Firebirds
11800 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23233
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
GF-Friendly restaurant at nice outdoor mall

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2018

This is a gorgeous outdoor shopping mall/plaza with so many gluten-free friendly restaurants that it was hard to choose. It was the eve of our son's birthday, so we let him choose! The bacon wrapped filet mignon on Firebirds' menu appealed to him, so we went here! They have a very extensive Gluten Sensitive Menu with about anything you'd want: salads, steaks, fish, surf and turf, ribs -- and even a kids menu. In addition to the bacon wrapped filet (filet was good, but just one piece of bacon wrapped around circumference of steak was also not very good -- not crisp), we ordered the Beef Filet Kabob and a seasonal fish special. All was good, including the parmesan mashed potatoes and another seasonal side we ordered. The only downside was that we were told there were no desserts that were gluten free. Too bad, as we were celebrating our son's birthday. This restaurant has locations all over the eastern half of the U.S. and in Arizona. We've been to some of their other locations. I'd definitely recommend this as a very nice place to eat with a good atmosphere and plenty of high-quality, safe gluten free choices.

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Kukui's on Kalapaki Beach (in Marriott Beach Club)

Lihue, HI 96766
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Good gluten free dining at restaurant in Marriott Beach Club

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 28, 2017

Kukui's on Kalapaki Beach is the main restaurant within the Marriott Beach Club resort on the southeastern tip of Kauai. We stayed at this resort for a week, so we dined at Kukui's quite a bit...for breakfast 4-5 times, for lunch 3 times, and for dinner once. Overall, I'd recommend it if you are gluten free. However, take note of the following: You will not find many gluten free options at all listed on their Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner Menus. The only way I knew all the gluten free options that were available is that I called well ahead of our trip to make sure this would even be a viable option for dining during our one-week stay. Our son has Celiac, and we try to select locations that offer the most GF options so that he will feel included in the nice dining we do on vacations. It's always a shame to be dining at a nice restaurant and be restricted to just a few options. At Kukui's, I was assured by the sous chef, our son would have plenty of options. This was, indeed, the case. However, these items are not well publicized at all. There is a note on the breakfast menu about "letting your server know about any dietary restrictions." There are only 1-2 salads listed as GF on the Lunch (poolside) menu...and nothing else. And on the Dinner menus (there are several, depending on the night of the week), there is only the notation of gluten free flatbreads being available. Looking at their menus linked from this page ( http://www.marriott.com/hotel-restaurants/lihhi-kauai-marriott-resort/kukui's-restaurant-&-bar/76223/online-menu.mi ), you'd think you were in for a week of very restricted eating. However, this is not the case. For breakfast, we were able to request gluten free muffins (best to do this the day or evening before you want them). They were delicious...fresh, homemade, and moist. We enjoyed 4 varieties during our stay: blueberry, banana walnut chia, chocolate chip, and coconut pineapple. Our son was also able to request gluten free pancakes or waffles (we stuck with the pancakes, as I'm always concerned about having gluten free waffles made on a waffle iron that's used for regular waffles, too, which I always assume is the case). Of course, you could also order eggs, bacon, and sausage, which were all verified gluten free. These and other items noted as gluten free were available at their daily breakfast buffet and special Sunday brunch buffet. There was also an omelette station. So there were always plenty of breakfast options. For lunch, their amazing burgers were available on gluten free buns. They came with chips, but if you ever wanted to order fries, I was also told they could bake some in order to avoid the shared fryer. There were also some salads. I'm not sure if they could have done the fish or shrimp tacos gluten free...I didn't ask about corn tortillas, since our son always seemed so happy with the burger options on the days we were having lunch by the pool (other days we either snacked or were out on excursions/tours). We only dined at Kukui's once for dinner (I've reviewed the other places we dined at nearby on this site: Duke's and Cafe Portofino and a Hawaiian luau). The only thing noted on their dinner menu as being GF were the flatbreads (and that's what our son wanted to order). But in my conversations with the sous chef, he also told me that steaks and various seafood dishes would be an option. I was also told they had gluten free pasta available. I trust this was the case, but I am just so surprised they don't make this more clear on the menu that these things are available (even if it's with modifications). I met a woman at the bar one afternoon that, coincidentally, was gluten free as well. She heard me ordering a burger on a gluten free bun for my son. She never realized they were available (and had settled for a burger wrapped in lettuce) because nothing was communicated to her (and she had no way of knowing all the great items available gluten free, because it wasn't noted on the menu). She didn't know about the breakfast options, either. Perhaps she should have asked, but really, it is so sad that there are probably many, many guests like her that settle for plain, boring meals throughout their stay at this resort because they don't know of all the great gluten free substitutes available. I also learned that the kitchen is VERY careful about the preparation of GF orders (and other restricted dieters' orders), so cross contamination was never a concern. Besides, I always ask the person taking our son's order to note that it's an "allergy" so they take it seriously. To sum up, I'd recommend this place as a safe restaurant for dining, whether you are staying at the Marriott resort or not. Just call ahead to get a better feel for the options for whatever meal you're going to be eating there. Know that there are many more options than what they publicize.

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Pinkberry
300 Rodgers Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96819
United States

3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Gluten free frozen yogurt at Honolulu airport

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2017

Pinkberry frozen yogurt was one of the only gluten free options we found at the Honolulu airport. Although there is a CPK (also in the “food court” where the Pinkberry is located), they don’t offer their gluten free crust as an option at this location. My son wanted the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor at Pinkberry, which is just Nutella added to the yogurt base. We read the ingredients on the yogurt base (used, I think, for all their flavors). It is gluten free, as is the Nutella. If you are flying to Hawaii and passing through the Honolulu airport, I recommend packing plenty of your own snacks from home for the flight (no meal service, only boxed snacks) and to eat at the airport waiting for a flight to another Hawaiian island. This chart on the PInkberry website shows which of their flavors contain gluten: http://www.pinkberry.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/09/PB-090617_Food-Allergies-Sensitivities.pdf

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Kipu Ranch Adventures
235 Kipu Road
Lihue, HI 96766
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free boxed lunch on this ATV tour of Kauai

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2017

This tour was the highlight of the trip for me personally. It was a half-day tour where we got to drive ATVs through a privately-owned cattle ranch and rain forest on Kauai. It gave us a chance to see areas of the island otherwise inaccessible to the public, and we encountered wildlife (chickens, wild pigs, and peacocks) and gorgeous scenery. The mountains, valleys, and jungle are very versatile in terms of providing natural backdrops in many movies. We saw numerous sites used in movies from Indiana Jones to Jurassic Park to Outbreak. We even got to swing on the rope swing used in Raiders of the Lost Ark – and landed in the river (a bit cold in December when we were there, but totally worth the experience!). We also had a picnic lunch and then stopped to see two waterfalls, one of which fed a freshwater pool we got to swim in (also cold but worth it!). Apparently, in the summer months it is a welcome cooling after being out riding ATVs in the heat. I am reviewing this tour because it includes lunch, and they were able to request a gluten free lunch for our son. Even though they couldn’t verify whether the cold cuts (turkey and salami) provided in the make-your-own sandwich buffet were gluten free or not, there was cheese, and they provided gluten free sandwich bread (wrapped carefully in a separate box), a salad, and fresh fruit. Our son had also packed some gluten free snacks as a back-up, but he didn’t really need it. Besides, it was only a half-day tour and was wrapped up by 11:30 or 12:00 (started at 8 am). You need to get yourself to the location on Kipu Ranch where the tours start; the company doesn’t pick you up. Therefore, you need to have a rental car (we didn’t) or take a taxi or Uber (which we found not terribly reliable). We took a taxi, but it's best to arrange those the night before if you can. We needed two for our group and had a hard time getting the second one in the morning. Part of our group barely made it there in time for the tour. We were staying in Lihue, and it was just about 15 minutes from our resort. Despited the transportation snafus getting to the ranch, I'd highly recommend doing a tour with this company! I'm rating them a 4.5, which is more for the experience and overall quality of the picnic lunch, not necessarily for the GF lunch, per se (although adequate). Our guides, Justin and Robert, were great fun!

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Duke's Kauai (in the Kauai Marriott resort)

Lihue, HI 96766
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Great restaurant for steak and seafood on Kauai

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2017

Duke’s is located on property at the Kauai Marriott Beach Club, but it is independently owned and run. While there are very few gluten free notations on Duke’s menu, don’t let this deter you from dining here. It was probably the best dinner experience we had while staying on Kauai (but admittedly, we only rotated between a few restaurants). But we liked Duke’s so much we went back a second night, and it is not cheap (nothing on Kauai is!) Steaks and seafood are the specialties here. They offer plenty of steaks, which they can safely prepare gluten free. They got rave reviews from family and friends who ordered them. The ribs are also gluten free without the sauce, and various types of fish can be prepared gluten free. There is one delicious shellfish dish on the menu that actually is MARKED gluten free as it comes (no changes in preparation needed). It is a combination of shrimp, scallops, and fish in a coconut curry broth with spinach and mushrooms. Both my son and I each ordered that (on separate nights). There is also a salad bar that can be added to any entrée for an additional $4. That has plenty of GF options, but of course, you can’t have the homemade bread or muffins at the salad bar. And you can’t have the fries here, but steaks are typically served with mashed potatoes anyway, and the seafood dishes are served with rice. The one disappointment at this restaurant was that their specialty dessert is “hula pie,” which is a huge wedge of macadamia nut ice cream pie topped with fudge and whipped cream. The problem is, it has a chocolate cookie crust. Unfortunately, they were not able to give our son the ice cream and fudge (both gluten free) without the crust. (They use all the ice cream they order to make the pie – they slice big circular bins cross-wise to form the full pies.) We inquired about having them make a pie without the crust for our large group (9 of us), but that would entail us buying the full 8-piece pie at $11 per slice! Not something we were interested in doing, based on the price and the fact that, for 9 people, you really only need 3-4 pieces of pie! I wish they had some more exciting desserts for gluten free folks. They had fresh raspberry sorbet, but that’s not particularly exciting for a 14-year-old boy when everyone else can eat hula pie!

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Marriott's Kauai Beach Club
3610 Rice Street
Lihue, HI 96766
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Very nice resort on Kauai with restaurant serving GF options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2017

We own a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare, and this was our first visit to their property on Kauai. The Marriott Beach Club is part time-share and part hotel, so you don’t have to be a time-share owner to stay here. I would recommend this resort, based on its convenient proximity to the airport, the wonderful beach right in front of the hotel (not necessarily good for snorkeling, but great for swimming, paddle boarding, and even learning to surf, which our boys tried). The beach is a large crescent shape, and the resort has a few volleyball nets set up which seem to get regularly used. There are a few beach cabanas, including some used for beachside massage. Best of all, there is a grassy area right behind the beach with plenty of lawn chairs. This is where we (and most people) typically sit to get some sun and enjoy the most amazing view of the beach, ocean, and hills in the distance. The view really doesn’t get better than this. One morning I was even able to do yoga on the lawn facing the water. (The resort offers this, and numerous other activities – both active and crafts – throughout each day.) So whether you are a child or adult, there are likely plenty of things to keep you as busy as you want to be when you’re not in the pool or on the beach! For example, one day I went to a coffee seminar and tasting to learn about and sample the amazing coffee of Kauai. But let me also mention the amazing pool…we were told it is the largest single-deck pool in Hawaii. It’s designed well, is warm, and has 5 hot tubs situated under columned canopies on one side. The design is beautiful, as these canopied hot tubs have areas above with large tables for enjoying cocktails or even eating food from the take-away breakfast bar or restaurant (they have both dine-in and take-away). Now, for the food. I’ve reviewed Kukui’s, the main restaurant at the Marriott Beach Club separately on this site. But to sum it up, they do a decent job accommodating gluten free guests. It’s not ideal, as they don’t mark much of anything as being gluten free on the menu(s). However, as always, I had called the resort well ahead of our trip to be sure they had some options – and were familiar with how to safely prepare gluten free meals. I was assured by one of the sous chefs that they were very careful in the kitchen and had plenty of items our son could order (steak, burgers on GF buns, fish, seafood, gluten free pasta, gluten free flatbread, gluten free pancakes, gluten free muffins). This was indeed the case, and I’d say he tried all those things at least once, with the exception of steak and gluten free pasta, which he ordered when he went out to other restaurants at the resort (Duke’s and Portofino, also both reviewed on this site). We only ate dinner at Kukui’s once, but he got their delicious grilled burgers on gluten free buns several times for lunch. We also had breakfast there frequently, where our son had items from the buffet (a good number that were gluten free) or ordered gluten free pancakes from the menu. We also requested various varieties of gluten free muffins throughout the week (we had to do this the night before). Those he was able to pick up at the take-away counter called Aupaka, open for breakfast each day until 11 am (they sell things like muffins, croissants, fruit, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, bento boxes of omelets and other hot breakfast foods, coffee/tea/espresso beverages. This was a nice option for days we didn’t want to sit down for a big breakfast. All in all, this is a great resort, although starting to show its age in a few places (the original tower was built in the 60s, but newer towers have been added over the years, and the resort has obviously been updated constantly, through different owners). I believe it’s been a Marriott property since around 1993.

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Smith Family Garden Luau
3-5971 Kuhio Highway
Kapaa, HI 96746


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Nice to be able to enjoy gluten free food at a luau on Kauai

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2017

We had read about how gluten-free friendly this luau was here on this website, so we bought tickets well in advance of our trip. If going to Hawaii for the first time, attending a luau is a definite must. This one seemed to have the reputation as one of the best on the island of Kauai. The evening started with a ceremony at 5:45 in which the owner (a Smith family member) demonstrated how they roast a pig in an underground pit with volcanic rock and steam. Then we were all called into the covered pavilion for drinks (unlimited mai tais and open bar with soft drinks, tropical juices, and alcoholic spirits). If you have a large party, you get a reserved table. If you are a smaller group, it’s open seating. We were called table-by-table to go up to the buffet. Fortunately, when we checked in, we were told that our son (and one of us parents) could go through the buffet first before there was any chance of cross contamination due to someone using a wrong utensil or something similar. Thankfully, all items that were gluten free (and there were quite a few) were labeled as such. Our son could eat the pulled pork (really the highlight of the meal…some of the best we’ve ever had), various sides like delicious mashed potatoes, and salads. He could also have the fresh fruit and coconut rice pudding from the dessert table. Then, after we were back at the table eating, they brought our son another plate with chicken, fish, and rice, since he couldn’t have those items on the regular buffet (based on how they were prepared). I tried those items, and they were all very good. All in all, it was a good meal with lots of choices, and we felt VERY comfortable there wouldn’t be any issues with cross contamination, based on the fact that he got to go through the buffet first. Just note your dietary restrictions when you make the reservation and then go into the pavilion before dinner to remind one of the servers of your needs. They will show you the buffet and go over everything with you. The show after dinner is pretty good as well…and you sit in an arena that is covered in case of rain. It lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. The evening wraps up by 9 pm.

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Cafe Portofino
3481 Ho'Olaulea Way
Lihue, HI 96766
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Italian Dining with gluten free options on Kauai

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 19, 2017

This restaurant is on the property of the Kauai Marriott Beach Club, although it's not owned/run by Marriott. Anyone can dine here, whether you are staying at the resort or not. Although their menu online doesn't mention anything about gluten free accommodations, I called before our trip, since we were staying at the Marriott. They informed me that they get the request for gluten free often and had many options available, including appetizers, salads, various steaks and seafood -- and also gluten free pasta to be substituted in many of their pasta dishes. They also have a few GF desserts. Three of the four members of our family ordered gluten free pasta (bolognese, vongole with clams, and carbonara). All were very good. We also got the prosciutto with melon appetizer, with plentiful prosciutto draped over melon slices. Yum! I checked before ordering, and I was told the kitchen takes great care in preparing gluten free orders safely, using separate pots/water for the gluten free pasta orders. This is a restaurant with a nice setting overlooking the beautiful crescent-shaped beach of the Kauai Marriott Beach Club. You can eat indoors or outdoors, and there is a harp player during dinner. My only complaint would be that they should mark the menu items that are, or can be made, gluten free so that more people know about it. Also note that the same family owns a pizza restaurant below Cafe Portofino that specializes in Neapolitan style pizza. They do offer gluten free crust. However, we were personally not 100% comfortable having our son order it, since there didn't seem to be the proper precautions put in place to prevent cross contamination. We asked the pizza maker himself. It sounded like they typically put the GF pizzas right into the pizza oven, as opposed to cooking them in a pan. He said they could cook the GF pizza in a pan, so it wouldn't touch the surface of the oven, but even the pan seemed to have flour dust on it. At that point, we felt like we'd have too many other concerns (surface the pizza is prepped on, contamination of cheese, sauce and toppings from dipping floured gloves/hands into the bins, large spatula used to put the pizza in/out of the oven, and pizza cutter used to cut pizza). Best to avoid their GF pizzas if you are Celiac or gluten sensitive. If you choose to avoid gluten for other reasons and aren't concerned about cross contamination, you may feel comfortable trying them out.

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Merriman's Fish House
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Street
Koloa, HI 96756
United States

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten free dining at seafood restaurant on south shore of Kauai

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 19, 2017

I knew this restaurant had been reviewed on this site, and coincidentally, we found ourselves in this shopping center on a lunch stop with our tour of Kauai (our tour took us around most of the island, including Waimea Canyon and the Wailua River). Our tour guide gave us an hour for lunch, and there were many spots to choose from here in this nice, upscale shopping center of shops and restaurants. Ruth's Chris had opened recently, but this was not the "quick lunch" we were looking for (but note that all their locations are very GF friendly, so if you are looking for a fancier -- albeit expensive -- steak dinner, this is the place). However, when we saw Merriman's Fish House, we were happy, because we knew we could get a safe gluten free lunch for our son. With only an hour, we didn't have time to go from restaurant to restaurant comparing menus. This restaurant doesn't have gluten free markings on the menu (at least not the lunch menu), but when I asked the hostess before we were even seated, she told us that the salads, burgers (with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun), and all tacos were gluten free. My son and I both wanted tacos, so we ordered one order of fish tacos and one order of pork carnitas tacos to share. The tacos are expensive ($15-$17, as I recall), and you only get two small tacos. The meat is topped with cabbage and avocado and various salsas/sauces. They were pretty good...just kind of small for the money. Just a couple small pieces of fish in the fish tacos and a small portion of carnitas in the pork tacos. We also got a couple orders of fries for our family to share, since they were gluten free and fried in a dedicated fryer. They were awesome. My husband had one of the best turkey burgers he said he's ever had. Unfortunately, though, they don't offer GF buns (he isn't Celiac and therefore isn't gluten free so he had the regular bun). It would be a nice addition to keep GF buns in stock for those that need them. It would make the burger experience better (as opposed to just offering a lettuce wrap). All in all, a decent experience if you're on the south coast of Kauai and want to go to a restaurant that knows how to keep Celiacs safe.

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Antiche Sere
10 Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi
Bevagna, 06031
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free at restaurant in Bevagna, Italy (Umbria)

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 30, 2017

When we stayed right outside Bevagna on a recent tour of Umbria, we dined at this restaurant one night. Not everyone in our group was gluten free, but the restauranteurs sure knew how to accommodate those of us who were! Or, rather, they didn't need to accommodate us too much, because much of the menu was already gluten free. I ordered the eggplant parmesan, which, believe it or not, is not covered with breadcrumbs, so it was naturally gluten free. And it was truly delicious. Most of our table ordered the same thing and also loved it! I also had an appetizer of polenta with steamed greens (spinach or kale?), along with an omelet-type appetizer with truffles. This is a popular appetizer in Umbria (omelettes with truffles). The Italians aren't big on eating eggs at breakfast, however! The final thing we tried at dinner was a rabbit entree, which we passed around to share. It was really good...had some spices that made it taste like sausage. Knowing we were coming, the restaurant owner also made us a type of gluten free chocolate cake for dessert, which was delicious. If you're planning to dine here, I'd just recommend calling or emailing in advance to let them know of your gluten free dietary requirements. That way, perhaps they can be ready with some special GF items for you, as they were with our group!

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Trevi 41 Boutique Hotel
41 Via della Panetteria
Roma, 00187
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Really loved this boutique hotel in the heart of Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 30, 2017

This was my second visit to Rome in 16 months. On the first visit with my family, we stayed in an apartment. However, on this visit, which was a week-long tour of Umbria with a friend, with a night in Rome before and after, we didn't need a full apartment. So we went with this hotel recommendation made by my travel agent, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us (she specializes in taking care of travel arrangements for gluten free travelers). This is a small boutique hotel with only 15 or 16 rooms. They also have an "annex" around the corner with more rooms, but we didn't see that. We stayed in the main hotel. The lobby is tiny...just a front desk and a couple chairs. There is no lift, but our room was only one flight up. There is a bellman to help with your luggage, so you don't need to worry about hauling heavy bags up yourself! The rooms aren't huge, but they aren't cramped, either. What I liked about this hotel was that it was clean and modern with all the necessary amenities. Free WiFi, good hair dryers, comfortable beds and nice bed linens, room for hanging clothes, a desk, private bathrooms (small but nice toiletries), and good air conditioning. The staff was also extremely polite and helpful. The breakfast, included free with our room, was also quite impressive. Because there is no lobby to speak of, breakfast is delivered to the rooms. It consisted of coffee/capuccino/tea/hot cocoa, juice, fruit or yogurt, cured meats (prosciutto or ham), cereals, and croissants and toast with Nutella spread, cream cheese, butter, etc. It was quite a bit of food...and nicely presented. If you need gluten free substitutes, which we forgot to request in advance, they can get gluten free bread or other items from a local store. (The bakery they use to supply the croissants, etc. doesn't have gluten free options.) However, the manager said that honestly the gluten free substitutes they'd be able to get from the store wouldn't be that exciting. Still, you will have plenty to eat with the yogurt, fruit, meats, juice, coffee served. The hotel was also kind enough to deliver breakfast to our room a bit earlier than they typically start serving breakfast, as we had an early plane to catch. The prices at this hotel were also quite reasonable, especially considering the IDEAL location in the heart of Rome (right near the Trevi Fountain and other tourist sites). You can't go wrong staying at this hotel.

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Il Giardino degli Elfi
Via delle Pietre, 10
Bevagna, 06031
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
A wonderful place to stay (and eat) in Umbria, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

This is the agriturismo (like a B&B) where we stayed during our 7-night Food and Wine Tour of Umbria. It is a beautiful restored farmhouse, and it is actually a sustainable farm. The owners have animals, hazelnut trees, and gardens. I believe they even produce their own electricity and heat the water via solar energy. The couple that owns the property, Giancarlo and Fabiola, bought and restored the old farmhouse and property 10 years ago and have turned it into a beautiful and relaxing space that will welcome you. The location is perfect for touring Umbria, as it is centrally located among all the Umbrian towns we visited during the week (Assisi, Spoleto, Montefalco, Trevi, Bevagna, Orvieto, Perugia, and Foligno). It is only about 20 minutes from the train station in Foligno, where you can catch a train to either Rome or Florence. My friend/traveling companion and I had one of the smaller rooms, with two twin beds. I believe all the other rooms are larger, and there is even a suite with a kitchenette available. All rooms have private bathrooms. Breakfast is included each morning, and although the homemade cakes are not gluten free, there are other gluten free options for you like fresh fruit and yogurt, eggs, and tea/coffee. They had the most amazing fresh-squeezed blood orange juice each morning. Now that I'm back at home, oh how I miss that! There is a gluten free store and bakery called The Gluten Escape in nearby Foligno, where we purchased some gluten free cakes and tarts (also reviewed on this website) to supplement the breakfast offerings at the agriturismo. You can also eat dinner at the agriturismo. We dined here twice. One night, our group helped prepare parts of the meal, and the other night, Giancarlo and Fabiola prepared everything for us. The food is delicious, and they made all the necessary gluten free accommodations for things that weren't naturally gluten free (you just need to give them advance notice). Bruschetta was served on gluten free toast, risotto and polenta as side dishes instead of pasta, and the dessert was made with a gluten free crust. We enjoyed many delicious dinner items here like the most amazing chickpea soup, braised pork over polenta, and roasted chicken with sweet local onions and peppers. It is a nice atmosphere sitting at the long table in the family dining room and being served course after course of wonderful food, accompanied by wine. I'd recommend this as a wonderful place to stay when touring Umbria. The tour company we traveled with, Bluone Tours, often has their guests stay here, but you can certainly stay here even if you're not with a tour group. It is not what you'd call a "luxury" property, but it is a comfortable and very clean property...and an authentic way to see Umbria.

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Be Well Chocolates
8 Via dell' Agricoltura
Perugia, 06135
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free chocolates in Perugia, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

I purchased some of this company's delicious chocolates at the annual Perugia chocolate festival. They had a huge stand selling their many varieties of chocolate bark, fudge, etc., and all of it was gluten free. I think the address above -- on the business card they gave me -- is the address of their shop, but maybe it is just their headquarters. Not sure. But if you see chocolates in Umbria made by this company, they are gluten free (as we found were many of the chocolates from the Perugia area, which is known for their chocolate).

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GROM
Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 31
Perugia, 06121
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Perugia, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

This is the best gelato we've had in Italy. There are locations in all the big towns/cities in Italy. However, they make small, artisan-style batches of gelato using only the finest ingredients (nothing artificial), and ALL flavors are gluten free. In fact, I believe everything in the store is gluten free, including the cones and biscotti (which you can buy packaged to go). I love this place and have now visited many of their locations throughout Italy.

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Cantina Di Filippo
Vocabolo Conversino, 153
Cannara, 06033
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Vineyard tour and lovely light lunch with gluten free option

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

We had a tour of the Di Filippo vineyards/winery, which is just outside the famous town of Assisi. We had a horse-drawn wagon ride through the vineyards, with the owner of the property, Roberto Di Filippo, telling us about the organic production of the grapes. They use animals to keep away pests, fertilize the soil, etc. Afterwards, we had the opportunity for a lovely light lunch of cured meats and cheeses, gluten free crackers (for those of us who are gluten free) and a delicious salad...along with a sampling of 5 of their wonderful wines. Like many vintners in Umbria, they specialize in Grechetto (white) and Sagrantino (red) wines, but they have other varietals as well, like Trebbiano, Sangiovese, and various white and red blends. This is a great winery to visit in you're visiting Umbria.

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The Gluten Free Expert
51 Viale Roma
Foligno, 06034
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free store and bakery in Foligno, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

This small grocery store is entirely gluten free. They have wonderful food of all types, including things in a refrigerator and freezer section. There are pizzas, meals, desserts, and more. All the good European gluten free brands on the shelves, too. And they have a small bakery section with fresh-baked gluten free cakes, cookies, biscotti, tarts, etc. All very good. If you're staying in the Foligno area and need some gluten free staples -- or just want some gluten free treats (fresh from their bakery or packaged), this is a great place to stop.

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Coccorone
11 Via Tempestivi
Montefalco, 06036
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful and elegant dinner in Montefalco

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

This was one of the nicest restaurants we dined at on our recent trip to Umbria. It is a rather elegant restaurant, and the food was outstanding. Here, we chose the specialties of the night...and the specialties of the house. There are no gluten free markings on the menu, but like most restaurants in Italy, they understand very well what is in their food -- and how to prepare a safe meal for someone with Celiac. Here they also have gluten free pasta which can be substituted for regular pasta. As a first course, I ordered the pasta special of the day, which was pasta with Sagrantino wine sauce and mushrooms. For my main course, I ordered the house special: a T-bone steak, Florentine style. I never typically order a steak this big, but as it was the specialty of the house, I'm so glad I did. The man in charge of cooking steaks over the open fire in the front of the restaurant came to ask us if we wanted to come see our steaks before he cooked them. We did -- and stayed to watch how he prepped them for cooking. He scored the strip side and then poured a bit of olive oil on them. I ordered it cooked medium rare/medium, and it was perfect. So much flavor. When brought to the table, the server asks what type of salt or other toppings you want on it. I opted for a bit more olive oil and had various salts put on my plat to try, including the famous Sagrantino salt (salt soaked in the region's red wine) and pink Himalayan salt. Everything was perfect, along with the sides of baked potatoes and baked artichoke that a few of us ordered to share. They did have a gluten free dessert: panna cotta, but after this meal, I was too full to eat another bite!

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Sto bene
Corso Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, 121
Foligno, 06034
Italy

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free pizza at restaurant in Foligno, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

While we did not eat at this restaurant, they very prominently displayed a sign outside advertising their gluten free pizza. I only discovered this as we were getting ready to leave the town for another restaurant elsewhere (we were with a small tour group). But if you're in Foligno, check it out. It is on the main shopping thoroughfare, which is well worth a visit. We found some of the best shopping in Umbria in this town, which is more a "locals" town of businesses, etc. than just a touristy town. It's hard to RATE this restaurant since I didn't try the pizza, but if it's anything like the other places serving gluten free pizza in Italy (good, and safe), I'm guessing it's at least worth investigating.

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Caffe Accademia
34 Via del Tritone
Roma, 00187
Italy

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Some gluten free options at this restaurant in central Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

We decided to eat at this restaurant near our hotel and right near the Trevi Fountain in the heart of Rome. Because the street was teeming with tourists and a bit crowded, we decided to sit inside, not out. It was nice inside and the menu was very helpful, in that all items containing gluten were marked. Other allergens were marked, too. While they didn't have any gluten free pizza or pasta, there were many, many options to choose from among the antipasti, salads, and meat entrees (and good grilled vegetables, too!). We had a nice meal and some good wine here. It is a bit pricier than some comparable restaurants, probably because of its location right in the heart of things. For example, I regretted paying 5 euros for a cappuccino, when ordering one from the counter of a bar/coffee shop is usually no more than 2 euros. That's what happens when you order one seated at a restaurant! Oh well...it's Rome!

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Il Tempio Del Gusto
Via Arco di Druso, 11
Spoleto, 06049
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful cooking class and dinner in Spoleto, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

Our small tour group of 10 people had a cooking class at this wonderful restaurant with a celebrated chef. We actually helped prepare all the courses of the dinner we ate: an appetizer of prosciutto and squash blossoms stuffed with cheese, an amazing mushroom risotto (or two different homemade pastas for those that were not gluten free), a stuffed chicken breast (specialty of the house), and gluten free crepes stuffed with pastry cream for dessert (this is the course I had the good fortune to prepare!). I would highly recommend this restaurant for the quality of the food, the wonderful and welcoming chef, and the fact that they are open to substituting courses when necessary to make things gluten free. In fact, this was the first time they had attempted making their crepes dessert gluten free, and I think they were happy with the result, so that should be a dessert option in their arsenal now!

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Mama Frites
28 Borgo Pio
Roma, 00193
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Amazing gluten free Neapolitan style pizza

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 27, 2017

I found myself back in Rome only 16 months after my family's last visit. This time I was with a friend, and we were going on a food/wine tour of Umbria. We flew in and out of Rome, and because I love this city so much -- and because my friend had never been -- we decided to spend a night on either end of our Umbria journey in Rome. On the first night after arriving in Rome, we stayed close to the Vatican, so we'd be close by for our early morning tour. I had, of course, remembered this amazing little cafe on Borgo Pio, which ended up being right down the street from our hotel. So, after our morning tour of the Vatican, and before rushing off to the train station to catch our train up to Umbria, I just had to stop in at Mama Frites and order one of their amazing hard-to-believe-it's-gluten-free Neapolitan pizzas. I'd literally craved this pizza since leaving Rome the last time. This time, I ordered it with ham on top. The entire restaurant (tiny, with only a few tables, and offering take-away) is gluten free, and there are plenty of other things other than pizza on the menu. However, I really think pizza is the thing to order here. I didn't have time to order dessert on this particular visit, but their desserts are amazing, too! You can find a larger restaurant in Trastevere that's owned by the same folks. It is called Mama Eat! (also reviewed here on this website). There is a Mama Eat! in Naples as well. Those two Mama Eat! restaurants aren't 100% gluten free like Mama Frites, but they are very careful and have separate kitchens for the preparation of their gluten free orders.

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L' Officina del Gelato
79 Corso Cavour
Orvieto, 05018
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
All gelato is gluten free at this shop in Orvieto, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

We stumbled up this gelato shop and, when we asked about which flavors might be gluten free, we were told that ALL the flavors were gluten free. They were very proud of that, and they also had gluten free cones. (I think they may also have "regular" cones, too, so I can't say with 100% certainty that everything in the shop is GF or not). Very good gelato...artisan, small batch style. High quality.

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Villa Iva
13 Via Casco dell'Acqua
Casco Dell'acqua, 06039
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Wonderful grilled meats and family style setting in Trevi

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

This meal was a real treat. The restaurant is out in the country, and our small tour group of 12 people ate here the first night of our Food and Wine Tour of Umbria. It is a place popular with locals, so you know it must be good. I don’t know that a lot of tourists would go here, unless they were with local guides, like we were, because it is hard to find. The owner (I think his name was Luca), cooks the many meats on the open flame (during the summer, he does this outside, but being October, we were inside). Everything is served family style, course after course. We enjoyed prosciutto, risotto, broccoli rabe, potatoes, and the many meats (pork, steak, and pigeon). All were delicious, as was the panna cotta with a berry topping for dessert. Wonderful experience! The English spoken by the servers was limited, so again, it’s helpful to know Italian or have someone accompany you who does (like a guide)…especially if you need to articulate your gluten free requirements. Most of the food is gluten free, but you’ll need to let them know to substitute risotto for pasta if they are able to (depends on the night).

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Mama Ristrobistrot
19 Via Sforza Pallavicini
Roma, 00193
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
This restaurant in Rome had plenty of gluten free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

While this restaurant didn’t have gluten free markings on their menu, they could make all their pastas gluten free by substituting gluten free pasta, and most of the rest of the menu is gluten free as well. They even brought me gluten free bread. I wasn’t in the mood for pasta, so I ordered a grilled vegetable and mozzarella stack to start, followed by the shrimp with lime and mint. Both were outstanding.

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Hotel Della Conciliazione
163 Borgo Pio
Roma, 00193
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful Hotel near Vatican, with GF choices at breakfast

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

LOVED this hotel, and it was a great value for the money. If you will be spending some time at the Vatican/St. Peter’s and other sites in the area, like Castel Sant’ Angelo, this is a wonderful location. It took us just 10 minutes to walk to the entrance to the Vatican Museum where our early morning tour started, so this location enabled us to sleep in a bit vs. getting to the area from the more “central” part of Rome. For those days you want to visit the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and other tourist sites in the main part of Rome east of the Vatican, you can still stay here and get to those areas via Rome’s Metro, a taxi, or even walking. I loved the street this hotel was on (Borgo Pio). Very safe, with cafes on either side of the hotel, along with other shops and restaurants lining both sides of the street. It was lively at night in this area as well…plenty to do. The staff at the hotel was super-friendly and helpful, the lobby was light, beautiful, and spacious (with a small bar open at night). The rooms were modern and clean. In fact, this hotel is relatively new, and it shows (in a good way). The rooms had everything we needed and were minimalist but bright and cheery. We also had a lovely fenced-off patio outside our room. Breakfast is sometimes included, depending on how you book the room (some rates include breakfast, others do not…but you can always add it on for about 10 euros, which is a very fair price). It is a very nice buffet, and in addition to deli meats, cheeses, vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and juices, tea, coffee, you can also request gluten free toast. (For your gluten-eating companions, there are croissants, plenty of breads and cereals, too.) I didn’t have time for them to defrost/heat the GF toast (I don’t think they use microwaves like we do here in the States!), as we were in a rush to get to our early-morning Vatican tour, but they gave me three small packets of delicious gluten free tea cookies (never seen this brand in the U.S.). I had one packet then and packed the others in my purse for later.

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Hedera, Sweetness & Company
22 Piazza del Catalone
Roma, 00193
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

Located between St. Peter’s Square and Castel Sant’ Angelo, this gelato shop is worth a visit. All flavors posted that day were gluten free. They offer 6 gelatos and 6 sorbets each day, all made in small batches and free of preservatives, dyes, inulins, chemical thickeners, and alginates. They use the highest quality ingredients, including only fresh, in-season fruit.

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Agriturismo Bartoli
Frazione Patrico sul Monteluco
Spoleto, 06049
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Place to stay, dine, and truffle hunt in Spoleto, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

We spent a good chunk of the day at this agriturismo, which is a working farm that welcomes guests to stay (like a B&B). Although we didn't stay here (we were staying at another agriturismo in nearby Bevagna), this looked very nice and sat atop a big hill/small mountain in Umbria with fantastic views. I think I recall that the proprietor said this was the first agriturismo in Umbria (or all of Italy -- I just can't remember). We began the day going out with one of the family members and their truffle hunting dogs to see if we could find some truffles, found only in this part of Italy. Unfortunately, after a little over an hour, the dogs hadn't turned anything up, so we went back to the farmhouse. Here, we enjoyed a wonderful meal of many courses, sitting at a long table with other guests and members of the family. The wife cooks all the meals, and she was glad to accommodate gluten free requests. In fact, a member of their family (granddaughter, I think) has Celiac, so they are well aware of how to prepare safe, tasty gluten free dishes. After a first course of cured meats, cheese, a mini salad, and a wonderful eggplant creation with cheese and tomato sauce, we had gluten free pasta with a light tomato sauce. Our third course was roasted pork, with truffle pesto, sausage, and potatoes. We also enjoyed good wine and capuccinos afterward. This was a unique and lovely way to spend the day. Good views, fresh air, truffle hunting, seeing their beautiful horses grazing, and relaxing with a true Italian family for a true Italian meal.

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Taverna Del 7
8 Vc. Del Sette
Trevi, 06039
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Lovely restaurant in Trevi with gluten free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

This restaurant is sort of a cave-like atmosphere (you step down to enter the restaurant and it’s mostly underground, but it’s very light, with white brick walls and vaulted ceilings). Our group had a really nice meal. I had a basic salad and gluten free pasta with wild boar ragu for an entrée. They brought me delicious rosemary crackers (in cellphane packaging) instead of bread. They were delicious…wish I’d found out where they bought them so I could have gotten some more to take home!). Our server didn’t speak English, but with the help of our guide, we were able to find out what was gluten free at this restaurant (nothing is marked as such, but there are many options, as is typical in Italy, including the gluten free pasta which could be substituted upon request). A gluten free card explaining your gluten free dietary requirements in Italian would work just fine as well. Their chocolate soufflé for dessert was naturally gluten free…no modifications needed!

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L’Alchimista
14 Piazza del Comune
Montefalco, 06036
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free notations on menu at restaurant in Montefalco

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

This restaurant, located in the main square at the top of the hill in Montefalco, has indoor as well as outdoor dining. Our group sat outside to enjoy the lovely weather. They make their own gluten free pasta at this restaurant. It’s a thick spaghetti shape. I had it with a mushroom sauce, which was a special of the day. It was quite good. I started with a delicious salad of shaved parmesan, arugula, pear, and pine nuts, dressed with balsamic. All naturally gluten free (and gluten free on request) items are clearly labeled on the menu, as are the naturally vegetarian (and vegetarian on request) items. So eating here is quite easy, even without knowing Italian.

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Le Grotte del Funaro
41 Via Ripa Serancia
Orvieto, 05018
Italy

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Restaurant with gluten free pasta in Orvieto

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 26, 2017

Built near a cliffside, the space this restaurant occupies was first an ancient Etruscan cave. We arrived here for a very late lunch, around 2:40. They typically close between 3-7 pm, so we begged them to stay and feed us! They were a bit grouchy about this, to be honest. We told them we'd be quick, so we quickly ordered pastas all around the table, with some of us opting for the gluten free pasta. Nothing was marked GF on the menu...there was just a notation about the availability of gluten free pasta. Our server said that, of course, their meat entrees were gluten free as well. I ordered an unusual pasta dish because it was something I'd never seen on a menu....fusilli with salmon, lemon, and crushed pistachios. It was very good, although there were just little tiny pieces of salmon, not what I was expecting. One of my gluten free companions did not like her gluten free pasta with shaved truffles, as it did not have any sauce...just pasta with shaved truffles and a bit of parmesan. Apparently the sauce they typically serve with this dish (which another one of our traveling companions ordered, non-GF) has gluten (flour?) in it, so they leave that off if ordering it gluten free. Upon request, they managed to prepare some sort of sauce for my GF friend to add to give her pasta a bit more flavor. I can't rave about this restaurant, but if we had come earlier and had a bit more time to order and try out a variety of different entrees, etc., I'm sure it would have been a better experience. They have pizza, but it is not available gluten free.

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Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Dining at a southern plantation

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

My friend wanted me to experience a true southern plantation, so after walking around the beautiful grounds here (we were too late for a tour), we ate dinner at their restaurant. While no items are marked as gluten free, the server told me they try to make as much as possible gluten free, including the steaks, fish, rack of lamb, and shrimp and grits. Those were great, as was the seared Atlantic scallop appetizer served with braised morels, spring peas, and pancetta. A nice place for lunch or dinner after a proper plantation tour!

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Saveurs Du Monde Cafe
1960 Long Grove Drive
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Pleasant gluten free surprise in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

Saveurs Du Monde Cafe is located in the Mt. Pleasant "Shoppes At Seaside Farms" shopping center. While this is a traditional French bakery and cafe with all the finest French sandwiches, crepes, and pastries, I was thrilled to see they offered some gluten free things on the menu, including crepes! They offer both sweet and savory gluten free crepe options. I ordered the Chicken Florentine Crepe with chicken breast, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese (on a buckwheat crepe). Typically, they also add béchamel sauce, but they said it is not gluten free, so they omitted that. The crepe was delicious and served with a choice of mixed greens or fresh fruit. I verified that they cleaned the crepe press thoroughly before making the gluten free crepes. There are a few other treats here that are gluten free, including the many flavored macarons and coconut macaroons. I was told by the man helping me that they serve a lot of gluten free customers. It's a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch.

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Langdon's Restaurant & Wine Bar
778 South Shelmore Boulevard
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Wonderful meal and GF options at Mt. Pleasant, SC restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

This is a wonderful restaurant. I dined here when visiting a friend who grew up in this area. This is currently her parent's favorite restaurant, and I understood why. While not overly formal or pretentious, it is elegant and cozy. Turns out, it is Mt. Pleasant's only AAA Four Diamond restaurant. While they don't have a gluten free menu -- or even any items marked GF on the main menu -- there are many items the server told me were naturally gluten free, and the chef could certainly accommodate gluten free diners with substitutions if necessary. I ordered an Iceberg Wedge salad, which was delicious, followed by the Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast with tart cherry-pomegranate glaze. I substituted the succotash for a to-die-for risotto, and the entree was also served with haricot verts (French green beans). Everything was so delicious. The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 palm rating is because they don't have a listing of their gluten free options. That would make things clearer and easier.

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Jasmine Porch at The Sanctuary
1 Sanctuary Beach Drive
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
United States

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Southern dining (and gluten free!) at Kiawah Island resort

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

Was SO thrilled to find gluten free (and vegan) items marked on the Lunch menu for Jasmine Porch, one of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island's restaurants. There are many restaurants at this resort, and one of the chefs told us that, while they don't all mark gluten free items on the menu, there are always plenty of GF items available...you simply need to ask your server or the chef. This particular restaurant, which specializes in "low country" southern specialties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner had so many wonderful options. In fact, most of the lunch menu was gluten free! All but one sandwich -- and ALL entrees -- were gluten free. They offer Udi's buns and bread for sandwiches. Many of the salads are gluten free, too. The chef also explained that they take gluten free orders very seriously and are careful about their preparation. This is a beautiful resort, and you don't need to be staying at the resort to dine there. But you need to have a reservation at one of their restaurants in order to be let in through the gate that gives you access to this part of Kiawah Island, which is a private island. You can't just drive through exploring. So make a reservation for lunch or dinner, and enjoy exploring the resort and beach (or better yet, stay there for a few days!).

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High Cotton
199 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Fantastic gluten free dining in Charleston, SC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

This restaurant not only has a great reputation in Charleston, but it has a great reputation with gluten free diners in the town. They have a wonderful and extensive Gluten Free Menu, which, strangely, was visible on their website a couple weeks ago when I booked a reservation, but is not readily accessible on the site now. However, ask for it when you arrive. You will not be disappointed. They have many appetizers that are gluten free, as well as salads. Best of all, all entrees on the "regular" menu are gluten free except for the ravioli. I ordered the King Salmon served with purple potatoes, steamed spinach, bacon, and grilled peaches. It was outstanding. I started with a great salad comprised of chillled lobster and crab over bibb lettuce and asparagus cream, topped off with caviar and lemon vinaigrette. Be sure to make a reservation, and request one of the adorable banquette tables overlooking the main part of the restaurant. We lucked out and got seated at one of these. The owners of this restaurant own a handful of others in Charleston, including S.N.O.B., which we dined at the next day for brunch (reviewed here on the site, too).

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Slightly North Of Broad (S.N.O.B.)
192 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free dining at popular Charleston, SC restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 10, 2017

Specializing in "modern Southern and lowcountry cuisine," this restaurant is a must if gluten free and visiting Charleston. Owned by the same family that owns High Cotton across the street, it, too, has a gluten free menu. In fact, there is a Gluten Free Dinner Menu, a Gluten Free Lunch Menu, AND a Gluten Free Brunch Menu. There is much to choose from on all three! We dined here for brunch, but I ordered something that is available for lunch and dinner, too -- the house specialty: Shrimp and Grits. According to our server, theirs has consistently been rated the best in Charleston by a local magazine. So I was glad I had waited to try this southern specialty until dining at this restaurant. It was, of course, delicious. You'll find a range of items to choose from on any of the GF menus (Brunch, Lunch or Dinner). AND they have some great gluten free cocktails listed! For ANY of the GF menus, just scroll down past the "regular" menus linked above to view the Gluten Free Menus right below them.

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Outback Steakhouse
12741 Ocean Gateway
Ocean City, MD 21842
United States

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Steakhouse in Ocean City, MD has big gluten free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2017

Like all Outbacks, this location has an extensive Gluten Free Menu with steaks, chicken, ribs, and seafood. Their baked sweet potatoes are delicious, and be sure to try the Thunder From Down Under gluten free pecan brownie sundae dessert!

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Bull on the Beach
17 94th Street
Ocean City, MD 21842
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at Ocean City, MD restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2017

We used to go to this restaurant all the time before our son's diagnosis with Celiac 12 years ago. Their pit beef sandwiches are legendary in Ocean City. On this trip to O.C., I figured I'd call to find out if the beef was gluten free. How thrilled I was to find out the beef IS gluten free (the marinade, too) -- and that they have a full GF Menu! There are appetizers (we got the Seafood Feast of steamed clams, oysters, mussels, and shrimp), a raw bar, entree and starter salads, sandwiches (no GF buns so bring your own like we did), steaks, seasoned chicken, and fish. There are plenty of GF sides (just avoid the fries, since no dedicated fryer) and even a GF Kids Menu. This isn't a fancy place but good food and service. Ask to talk to a manager about your GF order, but apparently they know to take precautions.

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Food Lion
43090 Peacock Market Plaza
Chantilly, VA 20152
United States

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Many gluten free products at this grocery store

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding,VA USA
Reviewed on Aug 02, 2016

This grocery store has been here for about 15 years. It started as a Food Lion, then was rebranded as Bloom, and then switched back to Food Lion. It has evolved over the years, and I can happily attest to the great selection of gluten free products they've carried for the past several years. The store is clean, there area always plenty of people to help with check-out, and they have a whole section near the produce area dedicated to healthy, organic, and many gluten free products. There is a freezer section here, too. It makes shopping for all your favorite gluten free products and brands much easier to have it consolidated this way. Obviously, there are other items in the store that are gluten free, but this area is where you'll find brands like Udi's, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Pamela's, and more. They have A LOT of gluten free cookies, crackers, snack foods, cereals, pasta, frozen meals, waffles, pizzas, and many more of your favorite gluten free staples. It's nice to be able to get more of our gluten free items here, rather than run all the way to other specialty grocery stores.

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Glory Days Grill
130 Featherbed Lane
Winchester, VA 22601


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Many gluten free choices at this restaurant in Winchester, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 15, 2017

Finally...a sports bar when even gluten free diners can eat and drink! This restaurant has an amazing selection of gluten free options on their gluten free menu ( https://www.glorydaysgrill.com/media/menus/Glory-Days-Grill-Gluten-Free-Menu_wAWUDH7.pdf ). You can choose from wings, ribs, tons of different burgers on gluten free buns, steaks, pulled pork sandwiches, salads, shrimp, chicken, salmon, and even desserts. The chocolate torte is amazing...rich enough to share. They even have gluten free beer. There's also a kid's menu. Our favorite items to order are the wings and ribs. Even their fries are safe for gluten free diners, since they're fried in a dedicated fryer. The salmon is a fresh, healthy option, served with delicious mashed potatoes and veggies. They also have seasonal offerings, some of which are usually gluten free, like the Pub Chips. I would highly recommend this restaurant, which has locations all over Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. They also have some newer restaurants in Florida but aren't offering a gluten free menu there yet.

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Rasika
633 D Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Incredible Indian restaurant in Washington, DC where almost everything on the menu is gluten free

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Nov 29, 2016

We had heard rave reviews about Rasika, and then we got word that almost everything on the menu is gluten free. So we decided to dine here one night before a Caps game at the Verizon Center. We had our kids with us. While not the most adventurous eaters, they have had Indian food before -- both at a few other restaurants in the States and in the UK as well as at home (my attempts to make Indian food using one of the many brands of simmer sauces available at the grocery store!). We were not disappointed. Rasika is conveniently located in the Penn Quarter area of NW Washington DC, just a couple blocks from the Verizon Center. The restaurant is beautiful, but it books up early, so you need to make reservations well in advance. They open at 5:30, but the bar opens at 5:00 pm. If you arrive between 5:00 and 5:30, you can most likely secure one of the tables across from the bar that they reserve for walk-ins.

The food is divine. Our server was very friendly and attentive. He explained that virtually everything is gluten free, and he pointed out the few things on the menu that aren't. We were also assured that the kitchen staff is very careful about avoiding cross contamination when preparing food for gluten free diners. We ordered two appetizers, the lamb Seekh Kebab and the Palak Chaat, a crispy baby spinach lightly dusted in chick pea flour and fried, served with sweet yogurt tamarind and date chutney. This is not something that we would have ordinarily thought to order, but our server recommended it as the house specialty and the most popular item on the menu. Now we know why! It was incredibly delicious. Even our sons liked it! For our main course, we decided to choose two lamb dishes and two chicken dishes to share between the four of us. We went with the Chicken Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken Tikka, Kohlapuri Lamb, and Ananas Gosht (lamb). All were good, but I'd especially recommend the Kohlapuri Lamb...so tender and just the right amount of spice. They even offer a gluten free pancake-type bread instead of traditional naan for those who are gluten free. I love Indian desserts, so I saved room for the Carrot Halwa, a traditional Indian dessert of sweetened mashed carrots with saffron sabayon and cardamom ice cream. So unique and so divine! (They did warn me that there is a risk of cross contamination with this, but since it's my son, not me, that has Celiac, I was okay with that. Talk to them about it if you're interested. I believe all the ingredients are gluten free, as long as you order it without the small triangle of phyllo pastry that comes on top of it (more like a decoration). I would highly recommend this restaurant if you're gluten free and like Indian food...or even if you've never had Indian food. The friendly and helpful staff will help you make good choices, and there are many of them that are gluten free, to be sure! The prices aren't bad for a restaurant with a nice ambiance, great food, and excellent service. Just make reservations well in advance -- or arrive early to try for one of the "walk in" tables.

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Hotel Ai Due Principi
4971 Sestiere Castello
Venezia, 30122
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Hotel in Venice, Italy with gluten free options at breakfast

Reviewer: Gftraveler
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

Our hotel in Venice was just what we were looking for: well located just east of St. Mark's Square (but a bit more hidden on a small canal) and close to cafes and shops. It was beautifully maintained, elegant yet comfortable, and modern in its décor -- especially in the rooms. Unlike many high-end Venetian hotels that tend to be very traditional and ornate in their décor (and appear somewhat dated from the photos we saw online), this hotel incorporates the red and gold colors of Venice but keeps things fresh and modern. The rooms also incorporated many "smart" technology features you don't even find many places in the U.S. Once you enter the room, you put your electronic key in a slot to keep the lights/power on. When you leave and take the key, the power to the room automatically shuts off (note that you therefore cannot charge electronic devices while out of the room!). Also, we found out on our last evening that if the windows are open, the air conditioning will automatically shut off. There were no rooms for four in this hotel (typical for European hotels), so we had to get two rooms for our family. The rooms were slightly different, but both very nice. Breakfast was included each morning, and it was a generous spread: meats, cheeses, tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh croissants of all types, hard boiled eggs, pre-made mini omelettes, spinach tart, hot dogs (seemed to be a Venetian thing!) yogurt, fruit, cereals, rolls, juices, and coffee/tea/cappuccino. As you can see, there was pretty much something for any breakfast preference, all set up at a self-service buffet (except for the hot beverages that were made to order). Our travel agent, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us had found this hotel for us and requested gluten free breakfast alternatives for our son when making our reservation. Between the hard boiled eggs, fruit, yogurt (labeled gluten free), cheeses, and pre-packaged gluten free muffins they brought out, he had plenty to eat (and a decent variety for our three-days stay). I'd recommend this hotel, but if your preference is to be in a different area of the city or in a different type of hotel, you can always inquire about/request gluten free alternatives if you're lucky enough to have breakfast included as we were. We always like working with Ellen Morse, as she is able to find the best places to stay at the best prices -- and handles the gluten-free (and any other) special requests.

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Ristorante Al Giardinetto da Severino
4928 Salizada Zorzi
Venezia, 30122
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Restaurant with extensive gluten free menu in Venice, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

We had made a reservation for this restaurant prior to our trip, as it was one of the few restaurants I had found that offered a Gluten Free Menu, was AiC certified for gluten free by the Italian Celiac Association, AND was in a convenient area of the city. Don't get me wrong...Venice is small enough to walk around or get where you're going by a relatively short water taxi ride, but we wanted to stay fairly "central" on this particular evening, as we had booked a Vivaldi concert at the San Vidal church at 9 pm. The restaurant took our 7 pm reservation via email (that's when they open for dinner) and confirmed we would have no problem arriving at the concert in plenty of time. We were pleasantly surprised upon arriving at this restaurant when we were escorted through the small interior into a huge outdoor garden covered with an awning completely lined with vines (and fans and lanterns). It was so beautiful...and larger than any restaurant we'd seen in Venice. It was like a secret garden all tucked away. I'm sure it's even prettier and more romantic after dark. Our son was served a warm homemade-looking gluten free roll when they brought the regular bread basket. My husband ordered the house red wine (you never get a bad glass of wine in Italy, so the "house" wine is always a good bet -- and a good value). I enjoyed my first Bellini of the trip: prosecco mixed with peach juice (delicious!). We all had outstanding meals here. My grilled vegetable antipasto platter was amazing, and I feasted on some of the best gluten free spaghetti Vognole I've ever had. The clams were small, compared to what you often get in the U.S., but there were many of them. Both my husband and Celiac son ordered the gluten free spaghetti Bolognese (meat sauce), and our other son ordered the pasta with Pesto sauce. All pasta preparations/sauces can be ordered with either regular pasta or gluten free pasta. Even those of us in the family that don't need to be gluten free often ordered the gluten free pasta instead of regular because it was so good, and you couldn't tell the difference anyway! On this evening we did not opt for dessert since we had to get to our concert. I would highly recommend this restaurant for its ambiance, the professional wait staff (all very cordial and speaking English), and the wonderful food. A wonderful and safe place for Celiac and non-gluten free visitors to Venice!

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Trattoria Al Gazzettino
Sottoportego delle Acque San Marco, 49977
Venice, 30124
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Two wonderful gluten free meals in Venice, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

After two failed attempts to find a gluten-free friendly restaurant on our first night in Venice, we ended up going to a restaurant we had planned to dine later during our stay. At this point, after seeking out the other two restaurants (who were not equipped to serve gluten-free meals), it was getting late, at least for us. The Italians eat later than we are used to (prime time is 8 pm), and so we were hitting the restaurant right at their busiest time. For the first time during our 2 week trip to Italy, we had to wait to be seated at a restaurant! However, the lovely owners made it so much fun. They brought out a pitcher of spritzers, some salami, and then small plates of pasta. After waiting about 30 minutes out in the narrow street with other hungry tourists and locals, we were seated. The entertainment continued. The place was very lively, and at the end of the meal, we were served complimentary biscotti, grappa, and sweet wine -- as well as a bag of pasta to take home (not gluten free). Such nice touches that made the wait worth it. Now, on to the details of the dinner...they do not have a gluten free menu, per se, but they offer gluten free pasta (spaghetti, penne, and tortellini -- a rarity), gluten free bread, and gluten free desserts. Many other items on the menu are -- or can be made -- gluten free (like the meats). For example, our boys ordered a steak to share. They each also ordered a pasta dish -- the spaghetti with pesto and the spaghetti with clams (vongole). Both were amazingly good, and of course, you could not tell that the spaghetti was gluten free at all. My husband ordered the gluten free tortellini with pesto. Like the spaghetti, it had the perfect taste and texture. I enjoyed the best antipasto I'd ordered during out stay: a slice of cantaloupe melon (coincidentally shaped like a gondola) and draped with fresh prosciutto and shaved parmesan, garnished with arugula and artichokes. Absolutely delicious! I can't believe I actually at the whole thing by myself! I also ordered the lemon veal scallopine as my main course, but that didn't come with any sides, so it wasn't terribly filling (but was very tasty). It was supposed to come with fresh vegetables, but I think they forgot to serve them. For dessert, we ordered the gluten free profiteroles. They also offer gluten free tiramisu. This restaurant was so good we decided to go back two nights later, on our last night in town. On that night, went went earlier -- and had made a reservation -- so there was no wait. We were still treated to all sorts of samplings of food once seated, however. On this evening, I again ordered what I enjoyed immensely the first night: the prosciutto served with shaved parmesan, melon, and figs (I requested all three), all on a bed of arugula. I also ordered a caprese salad, another Italian favorite. I wanted to enjoy fresh Italian specialties as only the Italians can do it on our last night in Italy. Those two items were enough for me for dinner -- both generous portions to say the least. The rest of my family ordered gluten free spaghetti Bolognese, spaghetti with pesto, and a filet mignon. And again, we ordered gluten free profiteroles and various homemade tortes (nutella and amaretto) for those family members that aren't gluten free. Like the first night, we were brought other dessert samples, biscotti, grappa, sweet wine, and a bag of pasta. Once I gave them my business card and told them I looked forward to writing a positive review of their restaurant on my website, the owner gave me a kiss, brought his wife Margheridha (who does some of the cooking and makes the wonderful desserts) to our table to meet us, and brought us a half bottle of their house wine to take home. Despite the warm exchange, they were anxious to turn our table, given the 20+ people waiting for a table outside this small (yet very popular) restaurant! We bid them farewell, and it was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.

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Al Timon
2754 Fondamenta dei Ormesini
Venezia, 30121
Italy

2.0 Palms
2.0 Palms
Not much knowledge of gluten free at this Venice restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This restaurant is in the northern part of Venice and had been recommended as a place for gluten free dining. When we arrived, we had already been turned away at another restaurant that couldn't do gluten free meals that night (Da Poggi -- see my review). Al Timon supposedly specialize in meats, so we figured it would be a safe bet. However, they didn't seem very knowledgeable about gluten free at all. It was only after a lot of back and forth that they seemed to think they could safely prepare a steak and vegetables for our Celiac son. He was not impressed with the situation, so we left and went elsewhere (Trattoria Al Gazzettino -- read my review).

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Da Poggi
2103 Rio TerĂ  de la Maddalena
Venezia, 30121
Italy

3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
A possibility for gluten free in Venice

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

Our first night dining in Venice started out as a bit of a disaster, but ended in pure happiness. Our intention was to take the vaporetto (public water taxi) up to the northern part of Venice after visiting Ca' Rezzonico, a beautiful 18th century palace that's now a museum. We left Ca' Rezzonico at 5 pm when they closed and meandered around exploring churches, canals, and bridges. Then we decided to head up the area where the restaurant, Da Poggi, is located (the Cannareggio area). They'd been reviewed favorably on this site, and I'm sure they can do a good job for gluten free diners. However, when we arrived a bit before they opened, I popped in to confirm they could handle gluten free meals. It's a good thing I did. The woman I spoke with (I think the owner) told me right away they couldn't do gluten free that evening, because they were out of gluten free pasta. OK, well, since we'd come that far, we weren't walking away that easily! I asked if they could prepare the half-chicken (pretty sure that would be a safe GF bet!). She said they didn't have any chicken that night. This restaurant has a wonderful and long menu, but it appeared that they were dependent on what they could get that day (from suppliers). Being in Venice, this is understandable. Since she didn't suggest any other menu items that might be safe for our Celiac son, I took it as a sign we should go with Plan B (always have a Plan B), so we moved on to locate another restaurant not too far from here (Al Timon, but another "dead end" in terms of GF dining (see my review of that, as well as of Trattoria Al Gazzetino where we eventually ended up!). Regarding Ristorante Da Poggi, they don't have a website, and their phone is no longer operational, so its hard to contact them in advance to see if they'll be able to accommodate gluten free. If you're up in that area, however, it seems like it could be a good bet, on the right night.

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Gelateria Grom
2761 Calle Lunga San Barnaba
Venezia, 30123
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Venice, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

Yes, Grom is everywhere in Italy. But don't let the "chain" nature of this gelateria fool you. It is true "artisan" gelato made with fine, all natural ingredients. Best of all, EVERYTHING in the shop is gluten free -- even the cones and biscotti. They are 100% gluten free! On this particular visit, I tried the lemon custard flavor...absolutely amazing and my favorite flavor so far! They have three other locations in Venice, so they are not hard to find wherever your sightseeing takes you. If you're arriving or departing from Venice via the train station, you can visit that particular location!

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La Luna Nuova
93 Via Vincenzo Gioberti
Firenze, 50121
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

On our last night in Florence, we chose to eat at a restaurant just east of our apartment. It's across a highway from the main historic/tourist area of Florence. It's more of a residential area for locals, I'm guessing. But it still had many cafes and shops. We walked there, and as with most nights, we chose to dine on the early side (for Italy) -- around 7 pm. Apparently, 8 pm is prime time for Italians, and the restaurant really filled up at that time. La Luna is a casual restaurant, without much seating inside, but with a nice outdoor area with tables in the back of the restaurant. They are AiC certified for gluten free by the Italian Celiac Association. They specialize in pizza but have other options. Our waitress's English wasn't as good as people working the restaurants in the historic/tourist area of Florence, and she apologized, but it is really us that should be apologizing, right? After all, we are in their country! We certainly got by communicating with the few words/phrases we knew -- and with her English (which was certainly better than our Italian!). I ordered a delicious antipasto platter of grilled vegetables and buffalo mozzarella -- and then shared my son's gluten free Margherita pizza, which was outstanding. It was a very close second to the best pizza we'd had in Italy on this trip (Mama Eat and Mama Frites, both in Rome). I'd highly recommend ordering the pizza here -- and it's worth making the extra effort to get to this restaurant if you're in the mood for pizza. They also offer gluten free Nutella crepes! The bite my son offered me was delicious. And my husband and I ordered a liter of Tuscan red "house" wine (we didn't realize quite how much that was!), and it was only 7.50 Euros -- under $10 at the current exchange rate! This place can't be beat for quality, taste, and value.

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Gelateria Grom
2 Via del Campanile
Firenze, 50122
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Our favorite gluten free gelato in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This chain is our favorite gelateria in Italy. We tried quite a few other gelato shops, all with high-quality gelato that was also gluten free. But none quite lived up to the high standards and creamy texture (and wonderful taste) of Grom's flavors of gelato and Italian ice. Couple this with the fact that everything in the shop is gluten free (even the cones and biscotti), and it's a Celiac's dream!

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Gelateria Grom
56 Via Fillungo
Lucca, 55100
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato shop in Lucca, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This is our favorite gelateria in Italy, and they just happened to have a location in Lucca where we went (after visiting Pisa on a day trip from Florence). Grom uses all natural ingredients, and everything is gluten free, even the cones and biscotti! Nothing containing gluten is found here! And their gelato is the creamiest and best tasting we've had. So nice that it's relatively easy to find, no matter what city you are visiting. I recommend just about any flavor, and today I even tasted the sorbet (lemon and apricot -- both delicious!). They also have sorbet pops, shown here.

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Da Garibardi
38 Piazza del Mercato Centrale
Firenze, 50123
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Terrific gluten free dining at restaurant in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

I had noticed on Da Garibaldi's website that they offer a gluten free menu, but I couldn't find a link to it, so I emailed the restaurant asking if they could send me information. They sent me the full gluten free menu, which was 7 pages, including antipasti/starters, pastas, main courses, salads, gluten free pizzas, and desserts! So glad I took the time to email them! They are also certified by the Italian Celiac Association, which always makes us feel comfortable. We had one of the best meals on our trip to Italy here. We started with gluten free bruschetta, which was perfect -- nice ripe tomatoes with a hint of salt, olive oil, and basil. I ordered the Tagliatelle al Cinghiale (fettuccine with wild board sauce, which seemed to be a specialty of this restaurant). It was similar to a beef stroganoff, with tender pieces of meat in a savory sauce mixed with perfectly cooked gluten free pasta which you'd never have guessed was gluten free. It was so incredibly delicious; I wish I could go back again just for this dish! You must order this if you go! Our sons both ordered burgers, which were available with homemade gluten free buns. Our older non-Celiac son got a regular bun which also appeared homemade and was reportedly delicious as well. The fries are also gluten free here. In fact, most things are gluten free, as reflected in comparing the size of the gluten free menu to the size of the regular menu (about the same). For dessert, we ordered both the Zuccotto alla Fiorentina (ricotta pudding, Florence style -- unique and quite good) and the Flan di Cioccolato Caldo, Salsa al Cioccolato Bianco (hot chocolate soufflé with white chocolate sauce which I was never offered a bit of because it was devoured by my son in a matter of a few minutes!). In fact, we liked Da Garibardi so much that we went back the next day for lunch, even though our intention had been to try another AiC certified restaurant that we hadn't tried yet. This time, we had the pleasure of meeting Sabrina, one of the owners -- and the woman I'd been in touch with via email before our trip. She told us all about how her daughter had many friends that were Celiac, so she and her husband decided to attend certification training for the restaurant so that they could offer a wide range of safe gluten free specialties. They make homemade gluten free pasta in several different shapes, gluten free gnocchi, and gluten free bread. You would never know any of them are gluten free if you weren't told. For this meal, I ordered the gnocchi with tomatoes and eggplant, my husband ordered the fettuccine with meat sauce, our older son ordered the fettuccine with wild boar sauce that I'd ordered (and loved) the night before, and our younger Celiac son ordered the fried fish, calamari, and shrimp platter. All were completely gluten free, and all were excellent. I would highly recommend this restaurant. It's in a central location, that staff is lovely, the food supurb, and they have both outside and indoor (air conditioned) seating. Take your pick, depending on the weather! We lucked out and had a rare temperate night (a nice break from the heat wave of the week), so we ate outdoors on the deck with an awning -- and opted to do the same the next day for lunch. Wish we had restaurants like this in the United States!

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Gelateria Bellamia
4 Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini
Firenze, 50123
Italy

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

Whenever we pass a gelato shop that looks especially good -- and that uses natural looking ingredients -- we try to see if they mention anything about gluten free on their menu or signage. In this case, our instincts were correct. I went in and asked if any of their flavors were gluten free, and the woman at the counter responded definitively that they ALL were (and that they also had individually wrapped gluten free cones). I told here we'd be back after dinner, and we held to our promise. We all tried a variety of their flavors (that's how they do it...they fill your cup with 3-4 small scoops of your flavors of choice). It was very good -- and high quality natural ingredients used. However, it wasn't quite as good or creamy as Grom, our favorite gelato thus far in Italy. Grom does have at least one location in Florence, as well as others all over Italy. Lucky us! Don't miss eating gelato regularly when in Italy -- and your taste may be different, so give a few different gelaterias a try!

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Le Botteghe di Donatello
28 Piazza del Duomo
Firenze, 50122
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free dining near the Duomo in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

Okay, at this point in the trip, we were really craving meat or fish. As much as we love the Italian's gluten free versions of pizza and pasta, you can only eat so many carbs! So we chose this restaurant right near (and I mean literally right next to) the Duomo. The address is Piazza del Duomo. This restaurant is AiC certified (by the Italian Celiac Association), and they do have gluten free pizza and pasta. But three of the four of us had filets of beef, and my husband ordered the grilled sausage. We enjoyed sides of roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach, which had to be ordered a la carte (nothing comes with the beef). We enjoyed a half bottle of Montepulciano red wine, and the waiter even brought our son gluten free bread (we think Schar) that was toasted. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it was the first time during the whole trip (thus far) that we were served gluten free bread without asking for it. They do have some gluten free desserts, but we were (or shall I say our kids were) craving gelato AGAIN!

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Starbene Gluten Free
13 Via dei Neri
Firenze, 50122
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Incredible gluten free bakery in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

We literally stumbled on this gluten free pastry shop and pizzeria our first afternoon in Florence. It must have been fate! It was just a few blocks from the apartment where we were staying. I was familiar with their other location in the north part of Florence, but I didn't know they had a second location. The assortment of beautiful gluten free treats was so overwhelming we had a hard time deciding. We got a donut, which my son said was the best he'd ever had, a chocolate croissant for the next morning for him, and I tried one of their sandwiches on gluten free focaccia. Everything was great, and we swore we'd go back every day we were in Florence. Well, unfortunately, we missed going there the next two days because of being gone on a day trip and sightseeing elsewhere in the city, but went back the last two mornings to try more of their fresh assortment of breakfast treats -- buying some treats to go for later in the day as well! I'm sure everything in the bakery is great, but the items we tried and would recommend include: the sandwiches, pizza, breakfast tarts (I had the artichoke and cheese one), eclairs, tartlets, chocolate turnovers, donuts, and croissants.

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Ciro and Sons
28 Via del Giglio
Firenze, 50123
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful restaurant for gluten free in Florence, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

After reading many glowing reviews of Ciro & Sons in Florence on this website, I booked a reservation for our first night in town. That way, I figured if we loved it as much as everyone else, we could try to make it there another night during our 4-day stay in Florence. Ciro & Sons is in a historic building, a late Renaissance home of the noble family of Pope Clemente VIII Aldobrandini. It has a beautiful interior as well as seating outside. This is a true family run restaurant, with Ciro's four sons and other relatives working in the business. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. Everything can be made gluten free (except the ravioli), and they are certified by the Italian Celiac Association. We ordered gluten free garlic bread, but we probably didn't need to, as they brought out gluten free toast/crackers and olives to start. They were wonderful. My son and I split the gluten free calamari, because we both love fried calamari, and how often can you find it gluten free? That, too, was very good, although a tad pricey at 17 Euros. I had already had quite a bit of pasta and pizza over the course of the week, so I ordered mushroom risotto, which I enjoyed. Our Celiac son ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, and our other son ordered regular pasta with shrimp. My husband ordered Penne all' Arrabbiata, along with a Peroni brand gluten free beer (I opted for the house Chianti, which was quite good.) Our boys could not resist ordering the gluten free crepes with Nutella, and they loved them so much that my husband and I didn't even get a bite! We decided that we really wanted to try the gluten free pizza at Ciro & Sons, so we ventured back the very next day for lunch. It used to be that you needed to give them notice a day in advance if you wanted to come and order gluten free pizza, but that isn't necessary anymore. They are always able to make it. (They even sell their proprietary gluten free pizza mix, which we purchased two boxes of!) So we dined outside the next day for lunch, and three of the four of us chose their Neapolitan style gluten free pizza, which was such a treat! They have many varieties to choose from. I particularly enjoyed the Capricciosa (salami/pepperoni, ham, artichokes, mushrooms). They are a large individual size. Our other son -- who does not need to be gluten free -- ordered the Pesto Fettuccine. Another great meal at Ciro & Sons!

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Trattoria Da Tre Amici Al Pantheon
7 Via della Rotonda
Roma, 00186
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free dining in the heart of Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This restaurant, as its name suggests, is right near the Pantheon. It's a traditional small Italian restaurant that appears to be run by a husband and wife team. The menu has all the typical Italian specialties. We were debating what to order, when the owner mentioned that the special of the day was canneloni stuffed with meat and cheese. Well, that settled things...both my husband I decided on that. The canneloni, however, is not gluten free (which is fine -- it is our younger son that's Celiac/gluten free, not us). He chose to order the pasta with lobster. The gluten free pasta was spaghetti, and his dish was delicious -- a half lobster tail and claw. He proceeded (with my help!) to take the meat out of the shell and mix it with the pasta, which was perfectly seasoned. Our other son ordered a steak with roasted potatoes. I ordered a side salad to go with my cannelloini, and my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful bottle of Barbera d' Alba wine (our favorite), which was extremely reasonable at 14 Euros! Upon finishing our meal, the owner (who we think did the cooking) came and poured us each a complimentary glass of homemade limoncello. A perfect end to a perfect meal!

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Voglia di Pizza, Pizzeria Spaghetteria
33 Via dei Giubbonari
Roma, 00186
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant near Rome's Pantheon

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This restaurant is located not too far from the Pantheon and right near the Campo d' Fiore piazza. It is a long narrow restaurant with seating available outside. It was so hot that day, so we opted to eat inside. It was interesting to see a bride and groom enjoying their wedding reception with close family and friends at a long table outside. We took this as a good sign! Clearly, this is a good restaurant, even though it's extremely casual. Although we assumed their gluten free pizza would be good (being named Voglia di Pizza!), we had all had quite a bit of pizza in the past day or two. So we all ordered gluten free pasta. They offer both penne and spaghetti. They are AiC certified, like many restaurants we chose on our trip, and so they know how to avoid cross contamination when preparing gluten free meals. Apparently, they can make any item on their menu gluten free: pizza, pastas, antipasti, even fried starters like potato croquettes. They also offer many gluten free beers. We all chose to order the spaghetti -- in four different preparations. I ordered the Pomodoro sauce, simple yet delicious. My husband had the Pesto, as good as we've had anywhere, including our own homemade version which we love. One of our sons stuck with his favorite Alio Olio, while the other ordered my new personal favorite pasta which I'd recommended to him: the Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) -- a lite creamy white cheese sauce with cracked pepper. Delicious! I also ordered an antipasto platter to start. Of course, my husband enjoyed some red wine while I ordered another new favorite: limoncello. I can't recall what desserts they offered that were gluten free, because we had our heart set on getting gelato on this incredibly hot day. My only regret was that -- as good as the gluten free pasta was -- at least one of us in the family should have ordered the gluten free pizza to try! A good reason to go back on the next trip, I guess!

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GROM
53 Via dei Giubbonari
Roma, 00186
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Rome, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This is a gelato chain, and they even have locations in many other parts of Italy. Do not be turned off by this fact. Chain or not, they had the best gelato we had so far (and all the others were certainly good!). Grom's gelato is very creamy and delicious, but best of all, EVERYTHING in the shop is gluten free -- all the flavors, the biscotti, and even all the cones! A Celiac's dream! They also have very high quality standards, using all natural ingredients. Some gelato shops you pass by have heaping containers of brightly colored gelato, but even one of our tour guides pointed out that those aren't the best places. Clearly, they use artificial ingredients. She advised us to look for shops with artisan gelato, fewer flavors, natural colors, and covers for the gelato bins (since the best gelato shops don't use preservatives). All good advice! You can imagine how disappointed we will all be when returning to the U.S. -- even the best ice cream doesn't quite compare! And it's so nice that it's all so gluten-free friendly! We will be seeking Grom out in Florence and Venice so that we can try more of their flavors! This place is a must-visit when visiting Italy. Check out their many locations on their website.

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Mama Frites
28 Borgo Pio
Roma, 00193
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free dining near Vatican City in Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This restaurant is owned by the same people that own Mama Eat! (locations in Trastevere and Naples). Mama Frites has this location near the Vatican, along with another in Trastevere. Mama Frites is a more casual, small café that also does a big take-away business, versus Mama Eat! that is more of a typical restaurant/café (although also relatively small). Mama Frites specializes in Cuoppi, an "original Neapolitan small paper bowl filled with a cone shape used to contain fried food. Generally, it is used by street food shops to serve their fried special dishes so that people can eat while walking." Absolutley EVERYTHING in this café is gluten free! All the pizzas, the rissottos, the lasagna, the Cuoppi. Our boys each ordered one of these Cuoppi cone-shaped baskets (we did not do take-away -- we ate in the café). One ordered the Cuoppo Amalfi, cod fried in olive oil, served with fries. Our other son ordered the Cuoppo Napoli, thin fried chicken tenders served with fries. I opted for the lasagna, which was outstanding. My husband ordered a pizza (the Mama Frites with San Marzano sauce, basil, and cheese) at my recommendation. I had told him how amazing (and hard to believe gluten free) the pizza was that I'd ordered at Mama Eat! the night before. He, too, was not disappointed and couldn't believe it was gluten free. True Neapolitan pizza -- thin with a slightly thicker, chewy crust. For dessert, we indulged in the Cuoppo Delizioso, small balls of pizza dough covered with sugar and Nutella (like warm, fresh donut holes). Our Celiac son said they were the best thing he's ever eaten! We would have liked to have gone back to this restaurant (or Mama Eat!) every day, but for the rest of our time sightseeing in Rome, we were in areas that didn't make it convenient. So be sure to work in a stop at Mama Frites before or after visiting the Vatican (or any place near there). Trastevere, where Mama Eat! is located, is a fun area of Rome to visit anyway, so that restaurant should be top on your list when you explore its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. Just always be sure to check the restaurants' opening times. Also note that with Mama Frites, certain items may not be available right after the restaurant opens. For example, the day we went there, after an early visit to St. Peter's Basilica (we had been on a lengthier Vatican tour the day before but wanted to go back to the Basilica) Mama Frites opened at 10 am. We arrived at about 10:45. However, the person taking orders proceeded to let us know that only lasagna and risotto was available then. If we wanted Cuoppi or pizza, we'd have to wait until 11:30 because the pizza oven (and perhaps the fryer) was still heating up. We waited and were glad we did!

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Mama! Eat
7 Via di San Cosimato
Roma, 00153
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Best gluten free food in Rome

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

All I can say is, when in Rome, do not pass up the opportunity to go to Mama Eat! in Trastevere. They also have one in Naples and two smaller "fast food" type street restaurants called Mama Frites (one also in Trastevere and one near the Vatican). But this location of Mama Eat! seems to be their "flagship" restaurant. While there is no shortage of other GF-friendly restaurants in Trastevere, this restaurant is amazing. Everything on the very large menu can be made gluten free. They maintain two separate kitchens so as to avoid any cross contamination. Here you will find all the traditional Italian specialties: antipasto, amazing pastas, Neapolitan style pizzas (almost impossible to find anywhere in a gluten free variety), meat and fish entrees, sides, and many desserts. It literally took us 10 minutes or more to choose what to order. We were salivating and deliberating over the many offerings on the menu. I started with a simple Caprese salad and then went with my gut and ordered a gluten free pizza. I figured this might be the thing to order, as these are so rare to find in the Neapolitan style. Boy, was I glad I did. It was literally the best pizza I've ever had in my life (gluten free or otherwise). I ordered the Capricciosa variety, which is a favorite of mine (ham, mushroom, artichokes, olive). It was perfect. The crispy/chewy crust, sauce, cheese and toppings were all amazing. Because we'd been having quite a bit of pasta and pizza already on this trip, my husband and sons decided on some heavy protein dishes: filet mignon entrees for our boys and huge homemade meatballs for my husband. Like many of our meals, even though we'd been eyeing many of the delectable gluten free desserts, we were too full after our main courses. It killed us not to try some of them (panna cotta, regular or pistachio tiramisu, Nutella crepes, chocolate lava cake, and more)! Again, you MUST try this restaurant. It's a great excuse to spend time in the Travestere neighborhood, a hot-spot for nighttime dining and a picturesque area for exploring. Its medieval history and narrow, cobblestone streets and squares make it a great place to snap some beautiful photos. I'd give this restaurant a higher rating than 5 palms if I could!

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Gelateria Old Bridge
46/A Viale dei Bastioni Di Michelangelo
Roma, 00192
Italy

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free gelato in Rome, Italy

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

This gelato shop is located right near the Vatican. Apparently, it's pretty well known and liked, having been around a while. It's just a walk-up ice cream shop. There's no seating, which is too bad as we'd just completed a 3 1/2 hour tour of the Vatican and could have used a cool spot to sit and enjoy our gelato! We found some shade under a nearby tree and dug into our first gelato of our visit to Rome. Boy, was it good! Many, but not all, of the gelato flavors here are gluten free. Just be sure to ask. The man helping us pointed out which ones were NOT gluten free. He also got a clean spatula and served the gelato from an untouched portion of the container, so as to avoid any chance of cross contamination. Our GF son enjoyed the vanilla, chocolate, and chocolate chip. They also had gluten free cones, which the man helping us was excited to show us (they can pre-wrapped in a cellophane bag). However, with temperatures in the 90s, we figured we be better off getting our gelato in cups so it didn't drip all over us! This is a high quality gelato shop where you'll find natural gelato instead of cheap, artificial flavors and colors (i.e. the pistachio flavor is not bright green like at some places!).

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Taverna Barberini
160 Via delle Quattro Fontane
Roma, 00187
Italy

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten-free friendly restaurant in Rome with Celiac owner

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

We dined at this restaurant upon arriving back in Rome after a very long day trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. This restaurant can make anything on the menu gluten free. The woman who served us (I think one of the owners) also has Celiac. So, for example, any pasta dish can be made with gluten free pasta, and they understand safe preparation methods. They brought bread (both regular bread and gluten free bread in a sealed bag). Our Celiac son said it was good with some olive oil, but I'm guessing it would have been better warmed up a bit. I didn't try it, as I didn't want any bread...I figured I'd save my calories for the dinner! They also brought us a very nice mixed salad with various lettuces and tomatoes. It wasn't something we ordered; I think they must just serve it to everyone. For our entrees, our son opted to try a gluten free pizza (pepperoni, which is called salami in Italy). Other gluten free entrees ordered by our family included an Italian specialty: Tonnarelli cacio e pepe (fettuccine with cheese and pepper -- amazingly simple and delicious), fettuccine Bolognese, and Pasta Aglio Olio, and Veal Saltimbocca. All were great. In my opinion, the pasta or meat entrees are the things to order here. The pizza was just okay. They have wonderful desserts, including gluten free crepes with orange and warm chocolate, which our son was salivating over. But as it was getting late and we were all exhausted (and the service had been a bit slow), we decided to head back to our apartment. However, our Celiac son and I went back a few nights later for that dessert! He loved his gluten free chocolate crepes. We highly recommend ordering these if you go -- or just stop in for dessert!

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Il Viaggio
14 Via Isonzo
Roma, 00198
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Everything at this restaurant in Rome can be made gluten free

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2016

We dined at this restaurant in the northern part of the city on the first night we arrived. We were jet-lagged and had been walking all over the city visiting the Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain. But we decided to walk uphill via the Via Veneto to this restaurant, which is located east of the Borghese Gardens. We arrived a bit early, but they weren't open yet. I had made 7 pm reservations, and it was about 6:45. There wasn't really anywhere else to go while we waited, but soon after 7 pm, they seated us. We were initially only one of two tables of people seated in the small restaurant. Italians eat later than us Americans, so the restaurant got busier as the evening got later. This restaurant has been AiC certified (certified by the Italian Celiac Association) for many years, and anything on the menu can be made gluten free ( http://www.ristoranteilviaggio.it/en/menu.html ). In fact, everything already is gluten free, except you have the option to order regular pasta or bread. We started with homemade gluten free bread (and regular bread for those at the table that aren't gluten free). Both were very good, and we asked for olive oil to dip it in. Soon after, we were surprised with an absolutely heavenly tasting creamy carrot and onion based soup, served in small glass mugs. It was divine. When I commented to our lovely server about how good it was, she offered to bring us more. We declined, as we figured we'd better pace ourselves with the food intake! We felt very comfortable and safe eating here. Items ordered included the fettuccine with mushrooms and bacon (half portions are available, which makes a great appetizer), saffron risotto with bits of braised veal, lemon pasta with shrimp (small pieces cut up and mixed in with the pasta), spaghetti with clam sauce, and sliced beef with three sauces (on the side, so you could choose). Everything was delicious. Dessert was fantastic, too. Our boys both ordered the three chocolate semifreddo, my husband ordered the apple crumble with custard, and I thoroughly enjoyed my tiramisu (softer than most and served in a bowl). I'd highly recommend this restaurant. It's a bit off the beaten path for tourists but well worth a quick taxi ride (or good walk if you want to burn off all the calories you'll be eating!). I just noticed the restaurant offers gluten free cooking classes as well!

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Carnival Victory

,


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 31, 2016

Our family booked a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean, based in large part on the positive reviews for Royal Caribbean that have come in to this website. Granted, not all reviews have been glowing, but they have been more positive for Royal Caribbean than other lines (and by and large, most cruise lines do a pretty darn good job, from what we've heard, on making safe gluten free meals available for their GF cruisers these days).

We chose Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's largest ship (and the largest in the world, as of right now) because there were all sorts of fun diversions for the kids (and us): mini golf, simulated surfing, a teen center, a zip line, a rock wall, tons of different bars and lounges, and many different specialty restaurants.

Turns out, we only ate in a couple of the specialty restaurants during the week. We mostly stuck to the Main Dining Room where we opted for the Early Dinner Seating. This way, we would have the same team of servers each night, so they would get to know our son's gluten free needs and taste preferences. The Main Dining room makes it easy to dine gluten free, because all gluten free items are noted on their dinner menu. There are a good number of choices each night (some standard each night, like steak, salmon, chicken...as well as at least 2-3 entree specials that are gluten free). Everything we ordered was quite good!

The gluten free meals are also prepared in a separate area of the kitchen when you eat in the Main Dining Room. Plus, your servers will show you the following night's menu so you can make your choices, as well as any special requests, in advance. The chef is always happy to try and make something gluten-free, even if it's not noted on the menu. For example, we found out that because they stock gluten free breadcrumbs, they can make a gluten free version of their crab cakes and a gluten free version of eggplant parmesan. But you have to speak up and ask.

There aren't a huge range of gluten free dessert choices, but there are some. They also have 2-3 types of gluten free bread in the Main Dining Room each evening. Again, ask for the "bread of the day." They make a different specialty GF bread each night, in addition to white and whole grain. Gluten free pizza is available all day and evening in Sorrento's, along the main promenade. This is one of the specialty restaurants that does NOT cost extra.

On the other hand, there are many specialty restaurants that do charge a surcharge for dining there (as opposed to the Main Dining Room, which does not involve an extra charge, unless you opt for something like Filet Mignon or Lobster Tail). My husband and I dined in 150 Central Park (along the Central Park open area of the ship) one night and had one of the best meals we've ever had. Almost everything on the menu was gluten free, and the couple things that weren't could be substituted.

Breakfast wasn't quite as impressive as dinner, with only a limited number of items noted on the breakfast menu in the main dining room. It's best to stick with eggs or omelets and breakfast meats (and things like yogurt, fruit, and gluten free oatmeal). The gluten free pancakes and muffins weren't very good. They use a mix that doesn't contain any potential allergens, so what is left is pretty tasteless (and a bad texture). The French toast was good, however. I seem to recall that they also stock Chex cereals, but we never requested those. You can also eat in the Main Dining Room for lunch. We only did that one day (the other days we were on excursions or our son opted for the GF pizza). Our son requested gluten free chicken tenders (an off-menu item). They were delicious. Again, don't be shy about asking for what you want. They can probably make you just about anything within reason, especially if you give them a bit of advance notice.

Gluten free cupcakes are available for a few dollars each in Cups and Scoops shop along the Boardwalk area. The Windjammer Cafe has some items on their breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets marked as gluten free, but it's sporadic, and the chance of cross contamination is always there. If dining here, it's best to ask a manager or chef to walk you through the buffet, check to see which items are GF, and even prepare something fresh in the kitchen for you (to reduce the chance of cross contamination).

When we were on board, they had Barilla gluten free pasta and also had gluten free buns for burgers (both homemade and pre-packaged ones from Udi's). They also have pre-packaged Udi's bagels and cookies but don't seem to list or mention them anywhere. These are good to request for the next day if you plan to go on an excursion, otherwise you may be starving!

All in all, we really liked our experience on the ship. The food we had in the main dining room was varied and quite good. The entertainment each evening was great -- a range of all different types of things from acrobatic shows to diving shows to broadway shows to ice skating shows. The bars/lounges were fun, and the excursions we did in port were also great (zip lining on RC's private beach in Haiti, climbing the Dunns River Falls in Jamaica, and visiting the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico). I would recommend considering a Royal Caribbean cruise if you're gluten-free. Just be sure to have the cruise note your GF request on the reservation, if possible, and confirm things with the maitre'd after you board. If you're not happy with something, speak up. They really do try to please!

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Modern Market (Terminal B, Denver International Airport)
8500 Peña Boulevard
Denver, CO 80249


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten Free at Denver International Airport)

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2016

We had a good bit of time at the Denver Airport and needed to get lunch. We were thrilled to find Modern Market in Terminal B, next to McDonald's. They have some wonderful salads and soups, and many of them are marked gluten free on the menu. My son and I each ordered a Steakhouse Salad, one of the many GF salads on the menu. I explained that my son has Celiac and is therefore on a medically necessary gluten free diet. The woman taking our order seemed to understand and assured me that the person preparing the salad would change their gloves. They even entered the item as gluten free on the ticket. The salads were really good, a combination of romaine, steak, pickled onions, tomatoes, cucumber, walnuts, gorgonzola, and a horseradish buttermilk dressing. SO nice to have a healthy and gluten-free option at the airport! There is also a Wolfgang Puck Express in the same terminal, and I know many of their menu items are gluten-free, but since they don't label them as such at this particular location, my son was a bit skittish about eating there. Who wants to be sick on a plane ride, right?! Better to be safe! We were happy to see Modern Market also has locations in Colorado, Texas, Washington DC, and Arizona.

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Sundeck (on Aspen Mountain)
1 Ajax Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Dining gluten free atop Aspen Mountain

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2016

The day we skied Aspen Mountain, we chose to dine atop the mountain at the Sundeck restaurant. (There are also some other GF-friendly restaurants, Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, at the base of the mountain near the gondola in the heart of Aspen.) But those are fancier and better for dinner. For lunch, we wanted something fairly quick while on the mountain. The chef I'd contacted at Aspen Snowmass told me that they had plenty of gluten free options. It is cafeteria style, and when in line, Chef Juan Martinez helped us and told us that they had both Udi's gluten free burger buns and Udi's gluten free sandwich bread, so that most of the items could be made gluten free. He personally handled our son's order, a burger on a GF bun. Our son likes to play it safe when eating at new places, so he tends to stick with burgers or something simple. The chef told us no regular buns were put on the grill with the proteins (burgers and chicken), and he changed his gloves while preparing our son's meal. There were individually packaged WOW gluten free chocolate chip cookies here, like the other restaurants run by Aspen Snowmass. There are also plenty of other gluten free options, including custom made entree salads with protein like chicken or salmon, fruit, snack bars, and beverages. Many other items could probably be prepared gluten free...just ask the chef. For example, there's a Turkey Reuben on the Grill Menu that could probably be served on a GF Udi's bun or bread. They may also offer GF pizza at their pizza station. I believe the chef also mentioned that the chili was gluten free. It's a bit chaotic at these cafeteria-style venues on the mountains. If you can, try to eat early or late if you want to have the attention of the chef and find out the full range of gluten-free options available. We did end up having a good experience at all the mountain dining venues and felt like the chefs were knowledgeable and well-trained regarding gluten free meals...and there was always a good range of items so you didn't get bored. Our son, being only 12, just typically doesn't like anything too fancy. But for those with more sophisticated taste, I feel comfortable saying there are many, many options so that you're not just eating burgers every day! They also make great espresso beverages at the bar!

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HOPS Culture
414 East Hyman Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Lots of gluten free items on menu at this Aspen, CO restaurant and brewery

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2016

This is a restaurant and brewery in downtown Aspen. While you might think this is the last place you might find gluten free items on the menu, they have one of the better range of options we found in Aspen, because the owner's wife has Celiac. First off, HOPS Culture is a really cool place with great seating enclaves everywhere: outside, a windowed area right inside the door, a cool bar, high bar-style tables, and a cozy couch area with a fireplace and TV (probably always in high demand apres ski!). We went there directly after skiing one day with our kids (yes, since it's also a restaurant, not just a brewery, they allow kids). My husband enjoyed gluten-free Omission Lager, while I LOVED my gluten-free Moscow Mule made of vodka, lime juice, and GF ginger beer (which is non-alcoholic), served in a copper mug. Yum! They had some appetizers and drinks on their happy hour menu for $3. I ordered the gluten-free Chorizo Deviled Eggs, which were delicious. They mark all the gluten-free options with a GF on the menu, so it's easy to see what you can have. And again, they are very familiar with how to keep those with Celiac safe by avoiding cross contamination (we asked all the usual questions). We all ordered gluten-free meals. I got the Kale Apple Salad, my husband got the 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, and both our boys ordered the Ribeye. The crispy red potatoes, fennel roasted carrots, and caramelized brussels sprouts were the three gluten-free sides available (only the bacon cheddar tater tots weren't GF). We all loved our meals, with the fennel roasted carrots being an especially big hit with my husband. Sandwich options were available with gluten free bread, for an upcharge of $2. They also have a mac-n-cheese menu and can substitute gluten free pasta. The only disappointment was that there was no gluten-free dessert. But frankly, we didn't have room anyway! The menu at this restaurant is not large, but what they do, they do well, and a good two-thirds of the items on the menu are available gluten free or already GF. I would highly recommend a stop here if visiting Aspen.

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The Merry-Go-Round (Aspen Highlands mountain)
76 Boomerang Road
Aspen, CO 81611


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free at restaurant at Aspen Highlands

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 23, 2016

Like the other restaurants at the four mountains managed by Aspen Snowmass, Merry-Go-Round, located mid-mountain at Aspen Highlands had a good number of gluten-free options. Hot lunch specials and soups/stews change daily, and some may be gluten-free...just ask the chef or a manager. There are also custom-made salads. From the grill, you can get a hamburger or hot dog with a gluten free bun. They also have gluten-free chicken tenders, gluten-free pizza crust, gluten free pasta, and gluten free desserts. Our son wanted a hot dog, and it was served with a tasty gluten free bun. He also got some fresh fruit and a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake for dessert. They also had gluten-free chocolate muffins and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, individually packaged. There is also a refrigerated case with various beverages, veggies, fruit, milk, applesauce and other snack items. There is plenty to choose from, and they seem very aware of changing gloves and preventing cross contamination when fixing gluten-free meals. Just be sure to tell them you have Celiac, so they take these precautions. That is the buzzword so the employees know what to do.

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Hickory House Ribs
730 West Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Great barbecue (and gluten free) at Aspen, CO restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 22, 2016

I had called this restaurant prior to our trip to inquire as to what on the menu is gluten free. They are very well known as having amazing BBQ. They do not mark anything on their regular menu, aside from mentioning they have gluten free buns for the sandwiches. They do have a Gluten Information Sheet they emailed me. Their ribs, grilled chicken, beef brisket, pork, sausages, burgers, and steaks are gluten-free, as are both of their BBQ sauces (regular and spicy). Off limits are the fries and onion rings, since they aren't cooked in a dedicated fryer. The veggie burgers, prime rib, chicken fingers, catfish, and au gratin potatoes are also NOT gluten-free. The salads are fine, providing you get them without croutons, and all salad dressings except Caesar are gluten-free. Also, tell them not to include garlic toast with your meal if you are getting one of the BBQ platters. The coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob are gluten-free, too. Our food was delicious. I got the rib and brisket combo, and the brisket was undoubtedly the best I've ever had...pulled, not sliced brisket, so more like pulled pork style. It was incredibly delicious and moist, and the BBQ sauce is excellent. The ribs were really good, too. The Italian dressing on my salad was great...I think it is homemade. Everyone else in the family enjoyed their meals, too...ribs, chicken, steaks. But I'd especially recommend the ribs and brisket that I ordered. There was no gluten-free beer available, only GF cider, and of course, a selection of wines. Our waiter was very friendly and well-versed about gluten-free food preparation and assured us that the kitchen is careful with GF orders. I would recommend this popular place to gluten free travelers visiting Aspen. I'd go back a second time if we were staying longer!

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Mezzaluna
624 East Cooper Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free at Italian restaurant in Aspen, CO

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 21, 2016

We had a nice dinner at Mezzaluna in Aspen. Having heard that they offer gluten-free pizza and pasta, I had called ahead to verify they took diners with Celiac seriously and knew how to prepare everything to avoid cross contamination. They discussed the procedure of cooking the pizza on foil so it did not come into contact with any gluten flour in the oven. I also confirmed they use a separate cutter, etc. We did not order any of their gluten free pastas, but if you do, call ahead or talk to the manager when ordering to make sure they take proper precautions with that, too, if you have Celiac (boiling the pasta in a clean pot of water, using a clean colander and utensils, etc.). Some of the entrees can be adapted to be gluten-free, too, like the Chicken Piccata can be prepared without dusting it in flour before sautéing it. Just take a look at their menu online, decide what you might want to eat, and talk to the manager about how it can be prepared for you. This is a nice, popular restaurant in the heart of Aspen.

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Bumps (at the base of Buttermilk mountain)
253 Summit Place
Aspen, CO 81611


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Dining gluten free at Buttermilk Mountain, CO

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 21, 2016

We had a great experience at Bumps at the base of Buttermilk mountain, where we dined for lunch. Although they don't have their gluten free options posted (except for noting they have gluten free pasta available), when I asked for the manager, the head chef, who was standing right in the cafeteria line taking orders, graciously introduced himself and was happy to take care of us. My son wanted a burger on a gluten free bun, and they knew exactly how to avoid cross contamination, preparing it separately. The chef was so nice and assured me again and again that they are very well trained in this regard. This restaurant is run by Aspen Snowmass Dining, and like another one of their restaurants where we dined on Snowmass, they really take diners with Celiac seriously. He pointed out that they had gluten free pasta, and they also had a salad station where you could request custom-made salads with all sorts of toppings and types of protein. Some of their soups may have been gluten-free, but since that didn't interest my son, I didn't ask. t had a wonderful salmon sandwich, which I'm sure could have been made using the gluten-free bun like they used for my son's burger. They had grilled chicken sandwiches, too. Their fries aren't gluten-free, because they don't have a dedicated fryer, but there are all sorts of snacks, chips, fruit, yogurt, and even pre-packaged WOW brand gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and brownies, which were delicious. I'd say this is a safe place to dine if you're gluten-free (Celiac, too) and skiing Buttermilk mountain. Just ask to talk with the head chef when placing your order.

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Gwyn's High Alpine (on Snowmass mountain)
Mountain Court
Basalt, CO 81621


2.5 Palms
2.5 Palms
Close call dining gluten free at restaurant on Snowmass mountain

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 21, 2016

This is somewhat of a long story, but when skiing Snowmass Mountain, we decided to eat lunch at Gwyn's High Alpine restaurant, which is located mid-mountain. The previous day we'd dined at another restaurant run by Aspen Snowmass and had a great experience with their knowledge of how to safely prepare gluten free meals. Gwyn's, however, is independently owned and run. They have one side that is sit-down table service -- and apparently very good. The other side of the restaurant, where we ate, is cafeteria style, where you progress through a line and order. They have many options, and we figured it was a good sign that certain items on the menu were labeled gluten free (chicken stew, burgers on GF buns, salads, and some other items I can't recall). My son wanted a hot dog (listed on the GF menu but without a GF hot dog bun). So he decided that without the bun, he would choose something else. One of the men in the kitchen suggested a rice bowl with chicken, rice, pineapple, and gluten free teriyaki sauce. I stressed the importance of it being gluten free and told them my son had Celiac. The gentleman said he understood and instructed another person to prepare the dish gluten free. A few minutes later when they handed it to me, they said "gluten free rice bowl." I double checked to make sure the chicken was gluten free, since I tasted a piece and could tell it was marinated. They told me it was, indeed, gluten free. However, a few minutes later, a woman, who we later learned was Gwyn, the owner, was walking around the dining room carrying a small container of what looked like soy sauce and clearly trying to find someone at a table. I flagged her down, and she told us that she wasn't sure if the teriyaki sauce we had been given was indeed gluten free. She couldn't seem to get confirmation from her kitchen manager as to whether they gave us the right sauce. Well, this was after my son had taken a few bites, and he was literally almost in tears when he heard this, this being our second day of a 7 day ski vacation. Clearly, he was scared he'd get sick. Gwyn was so sincerely apologetic. I explained to her again that the kitchen staff seemed to know what they were doing when we placed our order and delivered us the meal...and that they had told me the sauce was gluten free. But she just couldn't be certain that there hadn't been a mix up. She offered to make things right in whatever way she could. She made our son a fresh bowl of chicken and rice (this time without any sauce!), and fortunately, our son did NOT get sick. Clearly, they must have given us the GF teriyaki sauce as we'd ordered initially with the first rice bowl. However, it caused us quite a scare. We didn't know if our son would get sick skiing down the slopes in the next hour or so. Fortunately, everything was fine. If you go to this restaurant, just ask for Gwyn to make sure everything is done correctly. I should have done that...it was a good lesson learned and reminder, that when ordering cafeteria-style, you can never be too careful. Gwyn kept checking back with us while we finished our meal, and she refunded our full bill for our lunch.

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Clark's Market
16 Kearns Road
Aspen, CO 81611


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Market with many gluten free items in Snowmass, Colorado

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 21, 2016

While staying across the street from Snowmass Base Village at the Tamarack condos, we shopped at the nearby Clark's Market (there are also other locations in Aspen, Buttermilk, and other ski towns in Colorado). We found they stocked TONS of gluten-free items, including in the frozen section. They have too many items to list here, but suffice it to say, they have all the major brands: Udi's, Amy's, Canyon Bakehouse, Applegate Farms (chicken nuggets and breakfast sausage), gluten free pastas and frozen pizzas, and just about any item you'd be looking for. They also had a nice assortment of organic produce. Considering we were on vacation and not planning to cook all our own meals (I've written reviews for some of the places we dined out in Snowmass and Aspen here on this website), this market is more than sufficient for what you'll need. We had brought a few favorite food items from home, but if we'd known all that was available at Clark's, we probably wouldn't have packed a thing.

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Ullrhof

Snowmass Mountain, CO 81623


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free options at restaurant on Snowmass Mountain, CO

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 19, 2016

On our first day skiing Snowmass Mountain, we went to Ullrhof for lunch. It's located mid-mountain, near the bottom of the Big Burn chair lift. I had contacted the Executive Chef of Aspen Snowmass Dining, Jim Butchart, in advance of our trip to find out what restaurants on Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk mountains had gluten-free options. Virtually all of the restaurants on the four mountains do. This casual burger joint, with outdoor deck seating as well as a large interior room, took good care of us. They made gluten-free chicken tenders AND fries, both in a dedicated fryer in back (and both were delicious). They also have gluten-free buns for their burgers, milkshakes, and typically have gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies on hand. The kids meals, which our son got (burger with GF bun and fries) come with two "sides," like yogurt, fruit, raw veggies, milk or juice. The chef also pointed out that many of the gourmet salads and soups are gluten-free (just ask, since the soups change daily). I had the tomato basil soup, which was gluten-free and very good. The chili is gluten-free, too. It is pricey for casual fare, but it is par for the course for Aspen! I was so impressed with how seriously they took our gluten-free request, when they found out our son had Celiac. The staff is so polite and professional, too. A good experience all-around. I will be reviewing more slopeside dining establishments as the week goes on!

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Smashburger
1500 Cornerside Boulevard
Vienna, VA 22182


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Burger restaurant with gluten free options in Tysons Corner

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 02, 2016

We had never eaten at a Smashburger restaurant, but tried this one last night. They have Udi's gluten free buns for their burgers, fries fried in a dedicated fryer, and they seemed to know to take all the proper precautions to avoid cross contamination. (They don't toast the GF rolls, since the toaster is used for regular buns). Our Celiac son liked the burger/bun, as well as the thin fries. Just not sure if their ketchup is GF...they have their own brand, and the last ingredient was natural flavor. My son didn't want to bother asking about it, thinking they might not know, so he just happily ate his burger plain. They do have plenty of toppings to choose from if you want a more interesting burger. Check to verify GF status on things like bacon, however. They also offer shakes made with Haagen Daz ice cream, but our son didn't order one.

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Brio Tuscan Grille (in Annapolis Towne Centre)
305 Sail Place
Annapolis, MD 21401


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free menu at Italian restaurant in Annapolis, MD

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 02, 2016

We'd been to a couple other locations of this casual, yet sophisticated Italian eatery, and while in the Annapolis area, we decided to pop in here for lunch. Their gluten free menu is somewhat limited in size, but there are enough options to have a choice, and ALL are very tasty. There are a range of salads and pastas, as well as a filet, chicken, and salmon entrees. I got the Grilled Salmon with lemon caper sauce, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables, and my son ordered a gluten free pasta dish (both from the gluten free menu). Both were very tasty. The salads we ordered were good as well. They offer creme brûlée as a gluten free dessert. We've never had a bad meal at Brio, and they are very careful about how they prepare their gluten free orders (I asked all the usual questions about preparation about the pasta, etc.). Would recommend. There are also many other gluten-free friendly restaurants in this area (in Annapolis Towne Centre and right around it), including P.F. Chang's, Bonefish, Outback, Paladar Latin Kitchen, Zoe's Kitchen, and more. Tons of places offering gluten free menus...so this is a good area for GF dining!

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The ADK Market
10915 Highway 9N
Keene, NY 12942


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Discovered a market and cafe with gluten free options in Keene, New York

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 03, 2015

We stumbled upon this market when we were in the area to visit Lake Placid. We went in for tea and coffee and discovered they had gluten free brownies and blondies (individually packaged and wrapped -- from a company called Freed Goods Co in The Bronx, NY) in their refrigerated case right up front. When I looked around, I noticed TONS of gluten free products in the market, which is a one-room store stocked well with high-quality grocery items. They had many items on the shelves that were gluten free, like crackers, pasta, cookies, soups, salsas, pasta sauce, and all the basic necessities. They were all the good brands that we buy back home, including gluten free Xochitl corn chips (also non-GMO). They had freezer and refrigerated cases, too, which had many gluten free items: gluten free waffles, gluten free frozen meals, etc. They also sell fresh eggs at the store, plus expresso based drinks like lattes and capuccinos. About the only thing I didn't see here were meats and fresh fruits and veggies. Just about anything else you'd need for a local stay can be purchased here. The ladies working there were so friendly, too, and they said they also make some gluten free baked goods. We bought the pre-packaged brownies and blondies, which were expensive but very good.

The ADK Cafe, right around the corner at 2837 NY-73 Scenic in Keene, which is under the same ownership, apparently also has gluten free choices on their menu. Their website is http://www.theadkcafe.com

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Big Mountain Deli and Creperie
2475 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free options at deli in Lake Placid

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 28, 2015

We were so happy to read the review of this deli here on GlutenFreeTravelSite. We had just arrived in town and needed to grab a fairly quick lunch. There was a very long line even at 1:00 pm, but it was worth the wait. This place has many homemade options for bread and rolls (if you're not gluten free), and they also offer sandwiches on Glutino bread for gluten free customers. All of their lunch meats are gluten free, and there are many sandwich combinations. Our son just wanted something simple -- ham and cheese with mustard and mayo on gluten free bread. They use squeeze bottles for the mustard and mayo, so there's no double-dipping cross contamination to worry about. They change their gloves prior to making gluten free orders on a piece of paper on a clean surface. Our son said it was the best sandwich he's ever had and had no issues afterward. There are many breakfast options here, too, and I'm sure you could order various types of eggs, omelettes, and egg sandwiches on the Glutino bread, too. They also have many coffee beverages and interesting cocktails. A really great spot for anyone gluten free (or not) in Lake Placid!! They are only open until 4 pm. However, they have another new location (called Simply Gourmet) at 2099 Saranac Avenue in Lake Placid. They are open from 7 am to 6 pm.

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Circus Cafe
392 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 27, 2015

We were only in Saratoga Springs for one night, en route to Lake Placid. However, we had a very memorable meal at Circus Cafe, a restaurant right in the heart of the main restaurant and shopping area of Saratoga Springs (Broadway) with a circus theme. They have a very extensive gluten free lunch and gluten free dinner menus, which they've offered since 2008. The dinner menu includes most of the items on their regular dinner menu. You have many choices of salads and appetizers, including antipasto and a quesadilla made with corn tortillas. Burgers and sandwiches are offered on gluten free multigrain rolls from Saratoga Gluten Free Goods. Gluten free items ordered at our table included the strip steak (probably the best we've ever had -- large, done perfectly and with a great grilled flavor) and steak and chicken fajitas (with excellent corn tortillas). Other entree items on the gluten free dinner menu include some wonderful-sounding large entree salads (including a tuna nicoise and kale salad with quinoa); Pan Roasted Salmon with jalapeño aioli; ahi tuna; Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Veracruz; and gluten free pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce, prosciutto, and baby peas. Both the chicken wings and sweet potato fries are listed on the gluten free menu, but have an asterisk next to them indicating they are not fried in a dedicated fryer, so those would not be a wise option for anyone with Celiac. Gluten free dessert options are many, and we essentially ordered one of each: cotton candy (a HUGE portion!), sea salt caramel gelato, and a warm chocolate lava cake (our favorite!). My husband ordered a delicious cocktail...something called the Saratoga Mule made with a gluten free ginger beer, limeade, and Tito's vodka -- all served in a cute copper cup. All in all, this is a fun restaurant with great food -- a good choice for dining with or without kids. The owners of the restaurant also own the restaurant next door -- called The Crown Grill. They also offer a gluten free menu.

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Bravo Cucina Italiana
1500 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Very nice Italian restaurant with gluten free menu in Pittsburgh, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 15, 2017

If you're in Pittsburgh, you may want to consider this nice modern Italian restaurant, part of a larger chain. They have a limited but very good Gluten Fre Menu ( http://www.bravoitalian.com/gluten_free-at-memorial_square.html ) that gives you ample options no matter what you're in the mood for. They are very careful about preparing gluten free orders in the kitchen and take gluten free diners' concerns seriously. Their offerings include starter and entree salads, 5 different pasta entrees, two types of steak, and a chicken dish with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. I ordered the Pasta BRAVO! which was delicious. It was gluten free fusilli with grilled chicken, mushrooms, and roasted red pepper cream sauce. Our sons both had the filet mignon, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. All in all a great meal in a very nice atmosphere. This location is in the "Galleria" Mall in Pittsburgh, a nice upscale mall. They have other locations in Pennsylvania and in 22 other states. I'd give them a full 5 stars if their gluten free menu was just a bit more extensive...and if they offered gluten free bread (relatively easy to do).

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Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
1133 Emmet Street North
Charlottesville, VA 22903


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free pizza at restaurant in Charlottesville, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Feb 23, 2015

This past weekend one of our sons had a hockey game in Charlottesville, and we drove down there from our home in the suburbs of Washington, DC. It was a long drive -- taking us much longer than it should have, due to a snowstorm. We had grand plans to tour Monticello in the afternoon once we got down there, but even if we had made it down sooner, the option was off the table due to the weather. They had closed Monticello for the day. We figured that was fine -- we'd check into our hotel, relax a bit, and then go out for a nice dinner at one of the many "gluten-free friendly" restaurants in the area (Travinia Italian Kitchen and Burton's Grill being on the top of our list of possibilities). However, we quickly found, upon calling these restaurants, that they were either closed or closing before the dinner hour, due to the continued snowfall and slick roads. We probably called a total of about 10 restaurants to find them all closed. We finally found one -- Mellow Mushroom right near the University of Virginia campus -- that planned to stay open. We were on our way there, when our directions suggested taking a side street which looked pretty treacherous. Fortunately, I spotted a Brixx Wood Fired Grill right along the main road, and I remembered they offered gluten free pizza. We had never been to one before, and I wasn't sure ALL locations offered gluten free pizza, so I popped in to ask. Fortunately, that location does have them -- as well as a whole gluten free menu including many entree salads, too. And although they had also decided to close and weren't seating any more parties, they offered us the option of ordering take-out. They were very nice, and before ordering, I explained that our son was on a gluten free diet due to Celiac and confirmed that they take precautions when preparing their gluten free pizzas. They do -- the pizzas are cooked in the pan the crusts come in (they use a brand called Rich's), and a separate pizza cutter is used. We ordered three gluten free pizzas and a Mediterranean salad. We took it back to our hotel, and everything was delicious (of course, at this point, we were just happy to be eating!!). But aside from the pizza crust being a bit undercooked (if I were to go to this location again, I'd request they cook it a couple minutes longer than usual), the pizza was very good. Even though the crust was less "crusty" than I like, it tasted fine (actually, it was pretty tasteless, so you really couldn't not like it). It was a thin crust and so therefore really let the flavors of the toppings shine. I LOVED my Rosemary Chicken Pizza, and in addition to the rosemary chicken, caramelized onions, and mushrooms that come on it, I also added artichokes. It was one of the best-tasting pizzas I've had in recent memory. My husband got a gluten free pepperoni pizza which he agreed was quite good (again, great toppings), and our son got his favorite: a gluten free Hawaiian pizza. He really enjoyed it, too. The Mediterranean salad was fantastic, too, with a homemade gluten free feta dressing. After this dining experience, I found myself wishing we had a Brixx Wood Fired Pizza location near us, and I look forward to looking for them again when we travel! We were so glad they were among the few restaurants that stayed open in the snowstorm that night!

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Ford's Fish Shack
44260 Ice Rink Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20147


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Good gluten free seafood at restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Feb 14, 2015

We had been to the Ford's Fish Shack in South Riding before, but never this Ashburn location. The menu is the same at both restaurants -- a range of good seafood. Our son with Celiac likes to order the King crab legs or Snow Crab legs, which are, of course, gluten free. There are plenty of other seafood -- and meat -- entrees on the menu that are gluten free, too. Just talk to a manager or your server. The fries are NOT fried in a dedicated fryer and are therefore not gluten free, but our son was happy ordering the grilled corn on the cob and broccolini as sides with his huge crab claws. Other notable choices at our table included steak and lobster tail. Take a look at their menu online ( http://www.fordsfishshack.com/pdf/FordsDinnerMenu.pdf ) and call ahead to find out if what you'd like can be done gluten free. This place is always pretty crowded (a good sign) so it helps to have a reservation. I just wish they'd mark the items on the menu that are gluten free -- it would save them from getting a lot of questions, I'm sure.

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Lost River Brewing Company
155 West Main Street
Wardensville, WV 26851


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Nice restaurant that understands gluten free in Wardensville

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Feb 14, 2015

This restaurant was a great find. My husband discovered it online when looking for someplace to stop en route from our suburb of Washington DC to Timberline Ski Resort in West Virginia. We wanted to find something other than fast food -- a place with reliable gluten free options. After looking at their menu online, which didn't have any gluten free items specified (but many things looked like they would be gluten free), I called the restaurant. Lucky for me, I talked to the owner, who was very knowledgable and assured me that, yes, there were many items on the menu that were naturally gluten free or could be made gluten free. He also understood when I explained that our son was on a medically necessary gluten free diet due to Celiac Disease. Virtually everything is made in house, and he said they even had a dedicated fryer for their french fries. The restaurant is located in a tiny town and is cozy with an impressive bar area, in addition to about 15-20 tables. As luck would have it, our server, Ann, also had Celiac, so explanations weren't necessary. She advised us of all the things on the menu that were gluten free -- steaks, the ribs, and more. I had a fish entree that was gluten free and wonderful: Roasted Salmon with cucumber dill sauce, rice pilaf, and steamed asparagus. Our son's filet mignon was perfectly cooked, but our other son's NY Strip was a bit overcooked (he had ordered it medium). My husband had the ribs. There were plenty of veggies to choose from as sides, too. For dessert, our gluten free son ordered the creme brûlée, served in a big cup and with a generous portion of whipped cream and honey-candy garnish on top. He loved it. I'd recommend this place if you're ever in the area -- or passing through. It's one of those small town discoveries you'll be glad you stumbled upon!

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Ruby's Dinette
1 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free at restaurant in LAX airport

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 05, 2015

This cafe serves organic, plant-based cuisine. All gluten free, nut free, and soy free items are clearly marked on the menu, too. Ingredients are non-GMO and prepared fresh on-site. They also have locations in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Pasadena. We only purchased a gluten free piece of carrot cake, as we'd already found some other meal options and snacks before stumbling upon Real Food Daily. The cake was good, but very expensive (almost $9 for a large piece). Other options on the menu for gluten free travelers included all juices, smoothies, and milkshakes; salads; two breakfast tofu dishes; all soups; and an extensive selection of customizable "bowls" of grains/veggies/plant protein. Everything is quite pricey, but after all, nothing is cheap at the airport, and at least this is high-quality, healthy food.

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Trader Joe's
21055 Ventura Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91364


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Market with gluten free products in Woodland Hills, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 05, 2015

We were staying right next door at the Courtyard by Marriott and popped over just to buy some fruit and bottled water at Trader Joe's. But if we had needed to buy more groceries, this store has many, many gluten free items in all grocery categories. Ask for their gluten free listing (or pull it up online): http://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/gluten-free They also have a similar listing for Kosher and Vegan. They have many national brands here, as well as Trader Joe's branded gluten free items.

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Courtyard by Marriott
21101 Ventura Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91364


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Nice hotel in Woodland Hills, CA with gluten free breakfast

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 05, 2015

We like staying at Courtyard by Marriott hotels when we're looking for a hotel for a night or two that's priced well. When visiting the Los Angeles area recently, we chose this particular Marriott, based on its location right in the middle of several places we were planning to visit: Universal Studios, the Reagan Presidential Library, and The Getty art museum. It was only about a half-hour's drive to each of those locations. There was a Trader Joe's right next door, but we really didn't need to buy much food, other than fruit and water, as we ate all our meals, except breakfast, out. The Courtyard by Marriott hotels now have very nice lounges where you can relax at a table and work, watch TV, have a drink, or get a bite to eat. They have a cafe that is open all day and has a good selection of food. For a gluten free breakfast, you can request eggs done as you like (I just alerted them that our son was gluten free and asked that they prepare them in a clean pan, not on a griddle where any gluten-containing items may have been cooked). This was no problem. They also have frittatas which I believe were gluten free. For some reason, they told my husband that the bacon wasn't gluten free, which didn't make sense (I probably would have inquired further and asked to see the packaging if he'd really been craving bacon). They also had other breakfast meats. They also have fruit cups, which our son opted to add to his meal. They do not have any gluten free bread for toast or gluten free pastries. It's pretty much eggs, breakfast meats (if you confirm they're gluten free), and fruit. But it beats trekking out to find a place for a quick breakfast early in the morning. And the atmosphere is really nice in this lounge/cafe area, and they have the morning papers to look at while you wait.

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Benihana
4250 Birch Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten-free friendly Japanese steakhouse in Newport Beach, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 03, 2015

Our family loves dining at Japanese steakhouses, and we usually find ourselves at one 2-3 times per year. When traveling, it's always a good bet, because we've never had an experience in which the restaurant couldn't provide a safe gluten-free meal.

By nature, tepanyaki-style dining is very gluten-free friendly. Only oil or butter and lemon are used for the grilling of meats, vegetables, and rice on the tabletop grill in front of you.

Simply call ahead to ensure they have gluten free soy sauce (or tamari) on hand. If not, you can always bring your own. This particular Benihana in Newport Beach (as well as another Benihana we've visited near our home in northern Virginia) had gluten free soy sauce (Kikkoman). We always request that it be used for the whole table, to simplify things for the chef and to reduce any mix-up in the preparation of the meal. You cannot tell a difference at all in the flavor of the food. Gluten free soy sauce tastes no different than regular soy sauce.

The two dipping sauces offered at Benihana (a mustard sauce and ginger sauce) are NOT gluten free, but frankly, you don't need any extra sauce/flavor for the food. It is so good just the way they grill it with a bit of the gluten free soy sauce.

I love this restaurant as a fun place to take the kids -- whether it's with the extended family or a large group of friends. It's also a good value for the money, and there are plenty of choices of meat and seafood -- as well as many combinations of meats -- so whatever you are in the mood for, you can order it at Benihana.

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Wildfish Seafood Grille & Steaks
1370 Bison Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at seafood restaurant in Newport Beach, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 03, 2015

I learned this restaurant had a gluten free menu, and since we were in the mood for seafood, we decided to try it out. It's a pretty restaurant, although quite dark...my father, who was our guest for dinner, needed to use my phone's flashlight to properly see the menu!

The food was good -- we ordered various steaks, seafood, and an entree salad from the menu -- but it was quite pricey.

They also have a raw oyster bar, if that's your thing.

For some reason, they do not have their Gluten Free Menu posted online, but it is available upon request when arriving at the restaurant. There are enough choices on the GF Menu for appetizers, "second courses," seafood, steaks, and sides to make this a restaurant to please almost all gluten free diners. However, no gluten free bread was available...only "regular" artisan bread containing gluten. That's always frustrating. It's such and easy thing to stock (even in the freezer) and to defrost as needed for a gluten free guest.

The food was very good and the service friendly.

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Bandara
3201 Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92625


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Restaurant with some gluten free options in Corona del Mar, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 01, 2015

Bandera is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, which also owns the Gulfstream restaurant nearby in Newport Beach. There isn't a lot on the menu that's gluten free at Bandera, however. We've been here before, and I had recalled that there were more gluten free options. We found ourselves picking up take-out here a few nights ago, and the only things on the menu that were gluten free (according to the manager, who we spoke to on the phone first) were the rotisserie chicken, fish, and the salads (which can be made gluten free if they aren't already). However, even the steaks aren't gluten free, according to the manager, due to the marinade used. Too bad, because they have several good-sounding steaks on the menu.

I will say that our experience was good, since the service was very quick for take-out (even though the restaurant was absolutely packed!) and the rotisserie chicken was tasty.

There aren't a whole lot of places (aside from the typical chains) in this area that offer gluten free menus (most restaurants will accommodate however). So Bandera is a decent choice, as long as you like fish, rotisserie chicken, and salads. (They have wonderful mashed potatoes which are gluten free, and their vegetable of the day -- broccoli -- was good as well...dressed with lemon and a bit of parmesan cheese).

It's too bad they don't change their marinades for the steaks and offer a gluten free bun option for their burgers and sandwiches, as these simple changes would open up a whole lot more options on their menu.

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California Pizza Kitchens
1555 Simi Town Center Way
Simi Valley, CA 93065


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free dining in Simi Valley, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 01, 2015

We had spent the day touring the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with some friends and wanted to grab dinner nearby before heading back to the L.A. area to our hotel. We were all in the mood for pizza, so we went to the California Pizza Kitchen in the Simi Valley Town Center, which also has other gluten-free friendly chain restaurants like Red Robin, Chipotle, and Famous Daves.

Dining gluten free at California Pizza Kitchen gives you a choice of their gluten free pizzas (four varieties are prepared in a special GF area using all the proper precautions to avoid cross contamination). You can also order other combinations on their gluten free pizza crust, but other than the toppings used for their four advertised gluten free varieties, toppings are kept in the general pizza prep area and therefore can be prone to cross contamination.

Many of their salads and some of their appetizers are gluten free, too, even though they are not labeled as such on the menu. Just ask your server or ask to speak with a manager. Their salads are wonderful.

Our favorite pizza is always their signature item: the BBQ Chicken Pizza (gluten free version).

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Wolfgang Puck
1000 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91602


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant at CityWalk Universal Studios

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2014

This restaurant is right outside the Universal Studios theme park in the area called City Walk, full of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. I'd heard Wolfgang Puck's restaurants offered a gluten free menu, but we'd never had the opportunity to dine at one. So when we noticed it as we passed by after exiting the park (and since we were trying to decide where to eat for dinner), I asked about a gluten free memu. They do indeed have one. Here is a link to the restaurant's small but very good gluten free menu: http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/sites/default/files/CW%20Gluten%20Free%20Menu.pdf

Our whole family ordered from the gluten free menu, even those of us that don't need to be gluten free. I started with a cup of the tortilla soup, which was very good. I ordered the Salmon with cauliflower puree and broccolini, and both our sons opted for the Flat Iron Steak, served in a red wine sauce. I had a taste, and that was delicious as well. My husband ordered the Pesto Rotisserie Chicken, which looked wonderful and was a very good-sized portion. We were very tempted to order a dessert (both the Chocolate Ganache and Banana Split sounded good), but we were full and feeling tired and wanted to get back to our hotel. I'd highly recommend this small restaurant if you're lucky enough to get a table. It was a healthy, high-quality gluten free meal.

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Pub at the Reagan Presidential Library
40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Gluten free options at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2014

If you are visiting southern California, I highly recommend devoting a day to visiting the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. It's about an hour's drive northwest of the downtown L.A. area. Whatever your political persuasion, there is no arguing that Reagan's time in office was a particularly critical time in our nation's history, and museum visitors will draw true inspiration from the amazing exhibits, movies, and audio tour.

We'd eaten a large breakfast before making our way to the museum, since we figured we'd just grab a snack while at the museum. And that's what we ended up doing. There's so much to see at the museum that we didn't want to take too much time out to eat, but if you do want a "sit down" experience, there's "Reagan's Country Cafe" with sandwiches, soups, salads, and snacks. I'm sure there are items that would be safe for gluten free diners, but we didn't go into this restaurant. Instead, we opted to grab various snacks at the Reagan Pub (the bar was donated and transported to the Library straight from a family in Ireland) in the Air Force One Pavilion (yes, they have Air Force One used by 7 presidents on display!). We were delighted to find a basket full of gluten free cookies on display in the Pub, along with yogurt, plenty of drinks, chips, salads, and Santa Barbara gluten free snack bars (both the cookies and snack bars were outstanding!). Clearly, they were thinking of gluten free folks. So no need to take your own snacks if visiting the library, but if you do want to have a more hearty sit-down lunch at Reagan's Country Cafe, I'd call in advance of your visit to inquire about the gluten free options available.

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Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Gluten free dining at Universal Studios Hollywood

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2014

Universal has a page listing the gluten free options at various restaurants in the park on their website, which is helpful: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/gluten-free-dining/

We were only there for lunch (we ate just outside the park at Wolfgang Puck's along City Walk for dinner -- I posted a review for that on this site as well). We opted to dine at the Hollywood Grill, both because it was convenient to where we were when we were ready to eat and because it seemed to have the most options for gluten free diners. It's nothing fancy -- basically your typically theme-park counter-service restaurant. Our gluten free son ordered a burger on a gluten free bun. The woman taking the order, however, clearly wasn't properly trained because she said they didn't have gluten free buns. Fortunately, after asking her to double check with the manager, she was told that they DO have gluten free buns for burgers. At that point, two other employees came over to talk to us and asked if we'd like the bun grilled. We explained that, yes, we'd like it grilled, but it would have to be on a separate area of the grill. There was also some confusion about the fries. They are listed on their website as being gluten free (and apparently they have a dedicated fryer for them), but one of the employees said most gluten free diners opt for a side salad instead. We didn't want to risk it, since there was clearly not a great level of knowledge among some of the employees. I could just see them not being careful and using the oil to fry chicken nuggets, too. Our son said the burger was good, and the bun certainly looked good. He had no negative reaction from the experience. If I had to do it again, however, I'd probably opt to go to Gru's Lab Café, which had gluten free Rotisserie Chicken (as did the Palace Theatre Café). The Jurassic Café also had gluten free Roasted Chicken. Salads and grilled chicken sandwiches are the other options at various other locations in the park. So there are some choices, but not a ton. Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Dip 'n Dots are also in the park. Both offer gluten free varieties.

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Hugo's
8401 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Amazing gluten free meal in West Hollywood, CA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 28, 2014

This was overall an outstanding gluten free dining experience. In fact, Hugo's impressed us with their amazing array of gluten free options, the likes of which we haven't seen at many other places. While this restaurant isn't a dedicated gluten free facility, it may as well be. Almost everything on the menu is naturally gluten free -- or can be made gluten free. Let me give you an overview of the gluten free options: salads, starters, sandwiches on homemade gluten free bread, tons of burgers on homemade gluten free buns, entrees (all 14 of them are gluten free!), and desserts (8 out of 9 of their desserts are gluten free). They also have some very cool "elixirs," both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as well as smoothies, specialty teas, and cocktails (and wine, of course). They serve breakfast all day and offer gluten free pancakes. They also have a "Create A Pasta" section of the menu where you choose a pasta (gluten free), a sauce, 3 toppings, and a protein. They make their regular (non-GF) pasta in-house but not their gluten free pasta. They buy that, and it's a red lentil based pasta. Our server said it was very good, but as curious as we were, we didn't try it. Too many other things on the menu sounded good. There was also a seasonal menu with many great-sounding items, including a gluten free spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer. The gluten free items we ordered were the nachos as an appetizer, BBQ pork sandwich (served on homemade gluten free flatbread) and served with gluten free fries, chicken Tikka Masala, and the Chicken Carciofi, which is chicken breast served with a delicious sauce of artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, white wine, butter, and garlic. All were excellent, especially the chicken. Probably my favorite thing, however, was the salad I ordered: the Beet and Quinoa salad which was made up of organic field greens, carrots, walnuts, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, beets, and quinoa in a sherry vinaigrette. Wow -- probably the best salad I had ever had. I love how they take such care in choosing their ingredients. Everything is made from scratch, and all menu items are labeled as gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. to make ordering easy for people with Celiac, allergies, sensitivities, and dietary preferences. All their salad dressings are gluten free. Although we didn't order them, the gluten free Tres Tacos were tempting, especially because they were served with gluten free corn tortillas that were also non-GMO. That's rare to find -- and important to me. We did save room for dessert and ordered several gluten free selections. I ordered the Flan De Almendra, a vegetarian and gluten free flan prepared without eggs or cream. Even though I eat both eggs and dairy, it intrigued me, because I love flan. Their particular variety is made using coconut milk, almonds, mango puree, and vanilla beans and is blended to a creamy consistency and topped with mango (and vegan) whipped cream. It was incredible. My son ordered the gluten free chocolate mousse, a very generous portion, and my husband and other son split an order of the gluten free sticky buns, more like deep fried donuts topped with pecans and syrup. I tried a couple bites, and it was unlike any other gluten free dessert I'd tried. Naughty, but delicious! Their fryer is dedicated gluten free. Nothing with flour or gluten goes in there. I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough if you're in Los Angeles. It was nice to find a restaurant that was so accommodating for gluten free diners, as well as reasonably priced (rare for L.A.), convenient, and comfortable (kid-friendly, too). They have two other L.A. area locations: one in Studio City and one in Agoura Hills. We would have liked to have eaten there another night during our trip but couldn't change our other plans. Oh -- and to top it off, we saw a couple recognizable actors dining in the restaurant while we were there. Seems word of Hugo's great food has gotten around.

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Gregorio's Trattoria
1428 North Point Village Center
Reston, VA 20194


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Wonderful gluten free meal at Italian restaurant in Reston, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 23, 2014

We had a wonderful meal at this Italian restaurant in Reston. They have a 2 page, extensive gluten free menu. (On their website, however, they only mention their gluten free pasta available with 4 different sauces and their gluten free pizza...along with a note that many other items can be prepared gluten free.)

Indeed, they CAN prepare many menu items gluten free, as evidenced by their large selection on the printed gluten free menu available at the restaurant. There are antipasti, gluten free pizzas, salads, sides, chef's specialties, pasta, chicken, veal, fish, and seafood dishes. It was hard to decide what to order, because everything sounded so tempting.

I ordered the gluten free version of the Pasta Gregorio, which is gluten free ravioli (they buy it from somewhere else) with shrimp, crabmeat, and rose sauce (pictured below). It was amazingly delicious.

In addition to the gluten free ravioli, which can be ordered with different sauces, they have gluten free spaghetti and gluten free penne, too. Their website says it is quinoa pasta. Our son ordered the gluten free pasta with Vongole (white clam) sauce, and the leftover pasta was even good the next day, which is rare for gluten free pasta. My husband ordered a gluten free spaghetti with a tomato-based sauce and sausage.

At the beginning of the meal, we asked the waiter about whether the gluten free pasta was cooked in a separate pot of water and if separate utensils were used. He assured us that they prepare all their gluten free orders separately and have many people coming to the restaurant that are gluten free for medical reasons...so they take it seriously.

We didn't have any issues, save for the salad (that comes with each meal) arriving with croutons on it. Woops! When we pointed this out, it was quickly whisked away with a new one (we made sure of it) delivered to us with apologies. That's the only reason I'm giving this restaurant a 4-palm rating instead of 5.

Just go through the typical questions with your server -- or better yet, the manager -- and be sure to tell them (again, just to be extra safe) that you are on a gluten free diet for medical reasons (if that is truly the case) to ensure they take great care in preparing your meal. This restaurant was a wonderful new discovery for us, and we actually already have plans to dine there again.

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Il Bolognese Cucina Italiana
626 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten free at Italian restaurant in South Beach

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 31, 2014

My friend and I were visiting Miami for a quick weekend getaway, and we stumbled upon Il Bolognese Cucina Italiana restaurant on Lincoln Road, a pedestrian thoroughfare filled with shops and restaurants in the heart of South Beach. (They also have another prime location -- on Ocean Drive in South Beach, which is where the nightlife is.)

We decided to have lunch here, after seeing that they offered gluten free pasta and gluten free pizza. When I inquired about the gluten free pasta, the waiter went out of his way to say that it would take a while to prepare. That's good...and bad. Good in that they clearly understand that the gluten free pasta needs to be prepared in a separate pot of clean, fresh water (I confirmed all of that), but bad in that they almost seemed to discourage me from ordering it...as if it would be too much trouble. They definitely didn't go out of their way to proudly talk up their gluten free options. My friend and I both decided on gluten free pizzas -- hers "Hawaiian" with ham and pineapple and mine "Capricciosa" with mushrooms, artichokes, ham, and olives. Both were very good, but there was some confusion about whether the gluten free crust was homemade or purchased. Our server told us it was homemade, but I think he must have meant that they put their own sauce, cheese, and toppings on it (as opposed to just sticking a pre-topped, prepared pizza in the oven) because the assistant manager later confirmed they purchase their gluten free pizza crusts, which come in the baking pan (I'm guessing it was the Still Riding brand so many pizza shops use.) The assistant manager also confirmed that many of the starters, salads, soups and other menu items (steaks, veal, etc.) were gluten free, but nothing is marked on the menu, and I felt his answers were a bit unsure. I'd recommend this restaurant, as it's a great spot for outdoor seating and people watching along Lincoln Road (as is their location on Ocean Drive), but I'd recommend calling ahead to have a more detailed discussion with a manager (at a less busy, off-hours time). Also be sure to mention to the manager upon arrival if you are following a gluten free diet for Celiac or other medical reasons -- and review kitchen practices with them (for the pasta, pizza, etc.) just to make sure everything is prepared safely.

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Royal Palm South Beach
1545 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Very gluten free friendly hotel and restaurant in South Beach, Miami

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 07, 2014

I recently met an old college friend in South Beach, Miami for a fun "girls getaway." It was a quick trip -- just 48 hours -- but it was just what we needed. Warm weather, sunshine, shopping, a bit of exercise, great accommodations, and some good cocktails and meals.

We stayed at the Royal Palm South Beach. It is located right in South Beach, about a block north and west of where Ocean Drive ends, on Collins Avenue. I can't think of a more perfect spot in South Beach. While close to Ocean Drive and all its restaurants and bars (nightlife in this town starts at 11 pm!), the hotel's location is even better, because it is right on the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. I've been to Hawaii and many places in the Caribbean, and I've never seen such a wide beach, such beautiful fine white sand, and the most exquisitely clear water. The water was warm, and with a sandbar, you could go out so far in the ocean and still touch the smooth bottom (no rocks, seaweed...just beautiful white sand). The beach concierge takes good care of the hotel's guests, bringing water and fresh fruit. Our room came with lounge chair access, although umbrellas were extra.

Upon check-in, the receptionist had upgraded my friend and me to an even better room, since one was available. It gave us a sitting area, as well as a small dining table. Complimentary bottled water was refreshed daily -- a nice touch and necessary with the hot weather. Toiletries in the room were all labeled GLUTEN FREE. How wonderful! I had never heard of the brand -- Harmonic -- but it was so nice that the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (all in large containers in the shower) and the body lotion were gluten free.

My friend and I had a drink before dinner on the first night in the lobby bar, and there were lots of fun cocktails to choose from.

Dinner at the Florida Cookery right in the hotel was wonderful. My friend and I couldn't decide between all the wonderful choices (most of which were gluten free by nature) so we decided to share two salads and two entrees. We ordered the Red Kale Salad with smoked almonds, mandarin oranges, and citrus vinaigrette as well as the Baby Beet Salad with herbed goat cheese, baby beets, and baby greens (shown below). Both were outstanding -- and presented beautifully. They were not stingy portions, either!

On to our main course...we ordered the Pan Seared Yellowtail Snapper with local baby carrots, spinach, and pomegranate and the Poached Grouper and Cedar Key clams, coconut lemongrass broth, beech mushrooms, and forbidden rice. Both were very good, the Snapper being our favorite. The only thing on any four of these dishes that is not gluten free is a fried beet chip used as a garnish on the beet salad, because our server told us it is fried in a shared fryer. Clearly, she was well-trained.

Billy Boyle is the Executive Chef, and after many years working in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, he arrived at the Royal Palm South Beach one year ago.

He explained that, while there are no "gluten free" notations on the menu, most of the menu is gluten free or can be easily altered to be gluten free. Even the crab cakes are only coated with breadcrumbs, which can be left off upon request. That is rare -- to find a crab cake without breadcrumbs!

He and his staff are very aware of how to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen, and he encourages all gluten free diners to mention to their server if they are on a medically necessary diet. He will then come to talk to the guest personally. Another suggestion is to call the restaurant in advance of one's meal. That way, options and preferences can be discussed in advance.

Although we did not eat either breakfast or lunch at the hotel, Billy mentioned that the majority of choices on both menus are gluten free. They keep gluten free bread on hand if a guest wants toast (and take care not to use the common toaster) or a sandwich. However, there are so many other options for breakfast and lunch (omelets, salads, fish, tacos with corn tortillas) that bread isn't even really necessary.

There are several areas to eat, both upstairs and downstairs in a restaurant next to the pool.

I only wish we'd had longer to enjoy the hotel, wonderful food, and gorgeous beach. As my friend said, "Well, we'll just have to go back." I'd highly recommend this hotel to any gluten free traveler. Be sure to talk with Billy Boyle, Executive Chef. He'll take good care of you!

Miami's "busy" season starts in late November and goes through June. If you're looking for the best rates, you can save money by traveling when we did (July through October).

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Ciro Ristorante
42015 Village Center Plaza
Aldie, VA 20105


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free at Italian restaurant in Stone Ridge, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Sep 28, 2014

We have always really liked this Italian restaurant in the Stone Ridge shopping center, but we hadn't felt comfortable taking our younger son with Celiac there, since they didn't appear to have any designated gluten free options.

However, I recently learned that Ciro, the owner, is able to prepare many of his entrees gluten free (if they aren't already) and also offers gluten free pasta and pizza!

I talked to him extensively on the phone before dining at the restaurant with our entire family a couple weeks ago, and he assured me he and his staff are very aware of avoiding cross contamination. In fact, his daughter has some serious food allergies, so he is personally in tune with the concerns of families who have dietary restrictions.

The brand of gluten free pasta they use is Sam's Mill, which I've heard a lot about (I like that it's non-GMO) but never been able to find in my local grocery stores. They have both gluten free penne and gluten free spaghetti available. My son ordered gluten free spaghetti with white clam sauce, and he loved it. I had a taste, too -- it was delicious. They do, of course, cook the pasta in its own separate pot of water and use a clean, separate colander, utensils, etc. But always remind them when ordering in order to be completely safe.


I ordered salmon and vegetables, also gluten free. They do not use rue (flour and water) to thicken their sauces, and everything they serve is made from scratch, so they know all the ingredients that go into each dish.

We did not try the gluten free pizza (that will have to wait for our next visit), but Ciro told us it is Conte's brand, which is cooked in the tray it comes with and even served with its own special knife for cutting. They take great care to avoid cross-contamination with this, as with everything else.

Again, most of the menu can be made gluten free -- just ask for Ciro. He is there most Friday and Saturday nights. On other nights when he is at his other restaurant in Centreville, he recommended asking for his daughter Laura or one of his managers, Rudi or Richard. They are all trained on how to handle gluten free orders, but of course, as in any restaurant, I always recommend being very specific in your requests and asking all the requisite questions.

I'd highly recommend this restaurant. The food is wonderful, and they will take care of you. I'd just recommend going for dinner on the early side, so you don't hit them right during their busy time. That way, they'll be able to spend more time talking with you and caring for your order.

One other thing to mention: we recently had Ciro's cater a dinner at our church, and they did a lovely job. They made all the Chicken Piccata gluten free and made a version of gluten free baked ziti that was wonderful -- and nearly indistinguishable from the "regular" baked ziti. All the gluten free guests at the dinner were thrilled.

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Nizza
630 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10036


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free Italian dining in New York City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

This is a GIG trained restaurant that was recommended by a gluten free friend living in New York City. We had made reservations here, since we had a big group (9 of us). The service was terribly slow, to be honest. However, the food was good. To start, we ordered a couple of their gluten free "pizzas" (called Socca) which are made using chickpea flour and cooked in a brick oven. The resulting taste was similar to many brick oven type pizzas (gluten free or not). They also serve very good gluten free bread (like foccacia) with ricotta cheese and olive oil for dipping, but it took us over an hour from the time we entered the restaurant until we were served this (and regular) bread at our table -- and this was after asking for it twice! The aforementioned Socca pizzas arrived shortly after. Then, for our entrees, most of us ordered pasta (4 ordered gluten free pasta, and 4 ordered regular pasta). Favorites were the Sunday Pasta, Pasta with White Clam Sauce, and Pesto Pasta (pictured below). They use La Veneziane corn pasta, which is one of our favorites (I buy it on Amazon). There is a wide range of items to choose from on their dedicated Gluten Free Menu in addition to Socca and Pastas. You can view the menu on this page by clicking on "More Menus" ( http://nizzanyc.com/menu ). There is fish, chicken, veal, lamb, steaks, antipasti, salads, and soups. My mother-in-law ordered the Branzino fish from the gluten free menu, but it wasn't her favorite -- a bit salty and not served with much of anything else on the plate. Only two desserts were ordered (a warm chocolate cake which is NOT gluten free and the Affogato, which is espresso poured over hazelnut gelato and IS gluten free). I enjoyed one of their signature cocktails, a Peach Bellini, and they also had a good wine list, which several of the other adults in our party ordered from.

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Otto
1 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10003


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free dinner near Union Square in New York City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

We'd heard this restaurant, owned by Mario Batali, had plenty of gluten free options. They did, but the choices were a bit more limited than I'd envisioned. There is no gluten free pizza, because of the potential of cross contamination (I applaud them for their vigilance), but the pasta entrees can be made with gluten free pasta. They use a brand I've not heard of or seen before called Rusticella d' Abruzzo. It is gluten free AND organic, which I love because I hesitate eating corn-based pastas like this unless they are organic. I ordered the gluten free pasta Alla Carrettiera, which was prepared with baby plum tomato, black pepper, garlic chives, and basil. It was quite good. They also have a very extensive wine list with plenty of our favorite Italian reds. We enjoyed a bottle of Sopra Berruti Barbera d' Asti. Our salads were good (I ordered the Spinach, Ricotta Salata and Truffle Honey without the croutons), so it was generally a nice meal. There are other items on the menu that can be made gluten free (meat and fish dishes), but this is generally a pizza and pasta restaurant. If you have room for dessert (we didn't), there are quite a few options that are gluten free. They do take gluten free orders very seriously, using a separate pot of water for GF pasta even without being instructed to do so (they automatically do this for all gluten free pasta orders). Worth a visit if you're in the area.

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Organic Avenue (at 40th St. and 6th Ave)
1065 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10018


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Healthy, organic cafe in New York City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

I popped in this small counter-service cafe for a quick, healthy meal while doing some shopping. It seems like more of a take-away type place, as all the food is packaged in to-go containers, but if you choose to eat in (as I did), there are a handful of tables. I got a spinach salad with shredded beets, carrots, raisins, walnuts, and various other yummy toppings. There were many salads to choose from, along with organic juices and smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, quinoa and rice bowls, and wraps (about the only thing that is not gluten free), sides, soup, tea, and coffee. The food is prepared off-site (and sent to their 12 locations throughout New York City), but they can tell you what is gluten free and what is not. Everything is organic, thus the name Organic Avenue! Everything they sell is also plant-based (fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds).

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Sweet Frog
13061 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
Fairfax, VA 22033


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Delicious gluten free frozen yogurt in Fairfax, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 18, 2014

This is a fantastic frozen yogurt shop offering many flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt. Most flavors are gluten free, and the cards above each dispensing machine indicate which of the major allergens are present, if any. So each card will typically say either "gluten free" or "contains gluten." One -- the flavor of the month (Root Beer Float) -- didn't say either, so I asked. The manager told me gluten would be listed under the Allergens if it contained gluten. It only said Contains Milk, so it was safe. They also have a couple sorbet (non-dairy) flavors, as well as a Gelato flavor (last night it was Caramel Sea Salt -- to die for!). Some of the yogurt flavors are non-fat or low-fat, too. There is something for everyone here. Our son didn't opt for any toppings, but you could easily request "fresh" toppings (of the ones that are gluten free) straight from the packaging or the containers behind the counter, if you are not comfortable with any potential cross-contamination that might occur with the serve-yourself topping bar. Sweet Frog has many locations all over the country -- as well as international locations.

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Dogfish Head Alehouse
13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
Fairfax, VA 22033


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Great new gluten free restaurant discovery in Fairfax, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 18, 2014

This restaurant has been here for quite a while, but we'd never tried it until last night. It was on our radar because we had heard they had a gluten free menu. We went with a large group of extended family and were able to get the private room just to the left of the entrance. It is "first come, first served," and since we were there at 5 pm on a Sunday night, we lucked out. It was perfect for our family gathering. Their Gluten Free Menu is quite impressive, offering appetizers, salads, burgers on gluten free buns, ribs, fish, sandwiches, pizzas, and a range of side dishes. I had the lamb burger, which was outstanding, and my son had a gluten free pizza that looked and tasted so good we kept asking the waiter if it was, indeed, gluten free. They use Still Riding pizza crusts, but it was better than others we've had. They cooked it more thoroughly, so it had a nice crispness. They also offer their own gluten free beer made with sorghum and a gluten free hard cider. Their fries are not gluten free, since they are not fried in a dedicated fryer. We were so happy to discover this place and will definitely be back.

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P.F. Chang's in Natick Mall
1245 Worcester Street
Natick, MA 01760


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free Asian food in Natick Mall, Massachusetts

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 17, 2014

We chose to eat at P.F. Chang's on this particular night because the two family members that were joining my son and I wanted to get the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken. The meal started out very slowly, as no one came to our table for about 15 minutes once we were seated. A waiter finally appeared and apologized that no one had greeted us. He took our order, but by that time, we'd noticed from the menu that they no longer offered Philip's Better Lemon Chicken. It's now called Cantonese Style Lemon Chicken, which is similar to lemon chicken dishes you may find at other Asian restaurants. It was a crispy chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and chilled broccolini. We decided to try it. It was good, but honestly, we missed the old preparation of the lemon chicken. I wish they'd bring it back. Other gluten free entrees ordered included the Singapore Street Noodles, a favorite of mine, and the Shaking Beef, a favorite of my son's. Both were good, as always, although the beef seemed a bit too salty. They also had Seasonal Specials, but unfortunately, none were gluten free except for the Ginger Panna Cotta, which sounded great: served with strawberries, strawberry sauce, and julienne Thai basil. But since it had taken close to 2 hours to get and eat our dinner, we didn't want to take the time for dessert. (There had been a major delay waiting for our food, we were told, because they only have one wok dedicated to gluten free food, and things seemed to be backed up. This was strange, because we've never had that happen before at any P.F. Chang's restaurants.) All in all, it was a bit of a frustrating experience, although we generally still like this restaurant for its large selection of reliable gluten free choices.

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Chipotle
8911 Ocean Gateway
Easton, MD 21601


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free Mexican restaurant in Easton, Maryland

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 01, 2014

Yeah! Someplace to eat on the way to or from Ocean City, Maryland, that has gluten free options! Our family goes to Ocean City for about 5 days each summer, and in years past, we'd stop at McDonald's if we needed something to eat. We'd get our son a burger without the bun (bringing our own) and fries. But we are thrilled that there are now a few other options, including a Chipotle in Easton that's been open for a few years now. Everything at Chipotle is gluten free, except for their flour tortillas. That means you can get a burrito bowl, a salad, or even corn soft tacos or hard-shell tacos. The chips are gluten free, too. The only thing I worry about is cross contamination from workers dipping their gloved hands into the condiments and touching the serving spoons for the meats to the flour tortillas as they're filling the tortillas. So I'd recommend talking to a manager and requesting "fresh" ingredients from the back that have not yet been touched with either gloved hands (with flour on them from the flour tortillas) or serving utensils that have come into contact with flour tortillas. Many people don't bother taking this step, and I know Chipotle is a favorite of the gluten free community. But being a mom of a Celiac son, I feel much safer asking for things that haven't yet been potentially contaminated with traces of gluten . The food is delicious, so it's worth the effort. Again, everything else if gluten free: all varieties of meats, beans, veggies, rice, sauces, salsas, etc.

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The Greene Turtle
11601 Coastal Highway
Ocean City, MD 21842


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 01, 2014

Our family has always enjoyed Nick Idonis House of Ribs, but they cannot say whether their ribs are gluten free (not sure about the sauce), and they claim they have a small kitchen which would make cross contact a problem. But weren't we happy on our visit to Ocean City this year to discover that not only does The Green Turtle have a decent gluten free menu, but their ribs are gluten free. My husband took my son there, so he could have the ribs. I didn't try them myself, but my son and husband reported that they were very good. This restaurant has many locations in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, and even New York. They all appear to have the Gluten Free Menu available, and there's a nice range of choices: ribs, steak, chicken, shrimp, fish, salads, chili, crab soup, and root beer floats for dessert. Worth a visit. They do have a disclaimer on their menu about it not being a gluten free environment, so I'd just recommend doing what my husband did and stressing to a manager that you're on a medically necessary gluten free diet.

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The Cafe on 26
84 Atlantic Avenue
Ocean View, DE 19970


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful gluten free meal just outside Bethany Beach, DE

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 01, 2014

We had owner Maria Fraser as our server, so we lucked out. We'd been here before -- in fact, every summer we visit Ocean City, we make a point of going to this restaurant, which seems to get better and better. Everything on the menu already is -- or can be modified to be gluten free, including the desserts. I ordered Clams Casino as an appetizer, just because it sounded so good and could be made gluten free. It was delicious. And I had probably the best entree I've had in recent memory (and in fact, one of the best meals ever). I ordered Potato Crusted Salmon with hunks of lump crab on top, along with sides of mashed sweet potatoes and a green bean/carrot medley with almond slivers. Wonderful! My mother ordered another fish entree, and my kids each ordered steaks. They don't serve regular bread there, but they do have gluten free rolls available upon request, free of charge. My Celiac son loved that, for this one meal, HE was the one who got to enjoy the bread while the rest of us went without! Usually it's the other way around in many restaurants! We also enjoyed good wines from their wine list, but alas, none of us had room for dessert on this visit! The restaurant has really been gaining notoriety and accolades, and it is no surprise. This is a must-visit restaurant when in Ocean City, Bethany, Fenwick, or Rehoboth Beach. I recommend making a reservation, because the restaurant is relatively small. It's in the first floor of an older and beautifully restored house. There is a private party room upstairs.

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Noodles and Company
1500 Cornerside Boulevard
Tysons, VA 22182


1.0 Palms
1.0 Palms
NOT a good gluten free experience

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 24, 2014

This was a very disappointing experience. It was my son's birthday, and we gave him the choice of where to go in the Tysons area, where we were planning to take him to pick out a couple special Birthday presents. He chose Noodles & Company in "Tysons West" shopping center on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike). We had been to a Noodles & Company in Chantilly a couple months prior, with much success. However, this one doesn't seem to "get it" when it comes to gluten free. To make a long story short, they got our order a bit mixed up, and we ended up having to re-order an order of gluten free buttered noodles with shrimp for our son. We waited and waited, and when it finally came, it had little specs of brown something in it (breadcrumbs, pasta? -- we didn't know). When I showed it to the manger, he mentioned something about the water it was cooked in. I explained again -- after explaining when we ordered the GF noodles -- that it had to be cooked in a separate pot of water. So we waited again. At this point, our son was so skeptical of how they were preparing his meal (as were we) that he decided not to eat there (we took the pasta "to go" for another member of our family to have later). We got him something else from another restaurant. It was so frustrating that this location didn't seem to understand the importance of cooking gluten free pasta in separate, fresh, clean water. We will not go to this restaurant again -- perhaps the other location where we had better luck. It is such a great reminder that restaurants offering gluten free options don't necessarily know anything about providing a SAFE gluten free experience. Be vigilant at all times. It's such a bummer that this was our son't Birthday choice of where to eat. It broke my heart, because their gluten free noodles are quite good. But it's not relevant if they aren't prepared safely.

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Coastal Flats
11901 Grand Commons Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Expanded gluten free menu at restaurant in Fairfax, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 16, 2014

We dined at this restaurant -- one of our favorite local "gluten free friendly" restaurants -- yesterday for Father's Day. To our pleasant surprise, we found they'd recently expanded their gluten free menu to include even more options. They were able to do this because they recently changed the butter they cook with (they previously used a soy butter that actually contained gluten). They also switched to a gluten free tamari sauce instead of typical soy sauce. The ribs are gluten free -- as is the Hong Kong Style Sea Bass -- in addition to steaks and some chicken and fish dishes. (I almost always order their fish of the day -- whatever it is -- because it is always divine -- prepared perfectly with wonderful sides. (Yesterday, it was halibut on top of corn grits, shown below, covered with a smattering of pesto and greens) Their fries are also gluten free -- fried in a separate fryer. I questioned them at length about the fries, since they previously did not have them on the Gluten Free Menu. That was due to the fact that when they filter the oil from the fryers, they were concerned there might be a chance for cross contamination from the other fryers. But they sent the oil out to be tested at a lab, and it was shown not to contain gluten. They do not have their Gluten Free Menu posted on their website, but they do have one available upon request at the restaurant. Save room for the gluten free flour less chocolate waffle for dessert. It is worth every calorie!

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Five Guys
46220 Potomac Run Plaza
Sterling, VA 20164


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten free burger and fries in Sterling, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on May 11, 2014

There are no gluten free buns here, but the burgers and toppings are all gluten free, as are the fries. We bring our own gluten free bun. The menu is limited here, but what they do, they do well. The great thing is all the fixin's are free, so you aren't paying any more if you like virtually everything on your burger, as I do: mushrooms, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard, etc. etc. Don't go here if you're allergic to peanuts, however, because they have whole shelled peanuts to munch on while you wait for your burger to be cooked -- and they cook their fries in peanut oil. I'm giving this restaurant a 3.5 palm rating, only because of the limited nature of the menu -- and because they really should consider stocking gluten free buns.

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Palm Court at the Westfields Conference Center
14750 Conference Center Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful brunch with plenty of gluten free options in Northern Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on May 11, 2014

My family took me here for Mother's Day brunch, and it was absolutely fantastic. I had called the Executive Chef, Todd Schofield, earlier in the week to discuss the availability of gluten free options. The brunch at the Westfields Marriott is buffet style, and I wanted to know what our son would be able to eat -- and what he'd need to avoid. As it turns out, most items on the buffet were gluten free, with only some obvious exceptions like breads, muffins, waffles, French Toast, and Eggs Benedict. However, the chef had a plate of wonderful gluten free chocolate muffins for our son, it was overwhelming how many wonderful entrees, salads, and desserts there were that were entirely gluten free. All their salad dressings are made in-house and are entirely gluten free. They also do not thicken their sauces with flour, so there are no concerns there. They even use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce. Everything we tried was delicious. They had shrimp cocktail, carving stations with carved roast beef and ham -- and a made-to-order omelette station. Our family enjoyed the carved meats, as well as a beef tenderloin entree, a fish entree, and numerous salads, roasted vegetables, and fresh berries. Our son was so thrilled to be able to have a choice of so many gluten free desserts (like the chocolate mousse "shots" shown below). You really need to pace yourself at the brunch, because you'll want to try a bit of everything. Prices were higher today, due to it being Mother's Day, but typically when they have the Brunch Buffet in the Palm Court restaurant (on the second Sunday of each month), it is $55 per person and $19 for children ages 5-10. Kids 4 and under eat free. Seating times are from 11 am through 2 pm, and the number to call to confirm the Brunch Buffet is being served -- and to make a reservation -- is 703-818-3520. If you would like to talk to a Chef in advance of your visit, I'd recommend speaking with either Executive Chef Todd Schofield or Banquet Chef Justin Bergo, both who were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. We will definitely be going back for future special occasions.

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Nando's
10 Frith Street
London, W1D 3JF
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful, fresh gluten free chicken meal in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 01, 2014

This restaurant is in the Soho section of central London, but Nando's has many restaurants all over England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.

They serve fresh, marinated, flame-grilled chicken, and it's gluten free. We stopped there for lunch and all enjoyed 1/4 chicken platters with sides. Many of the sides are gluten free, including the fries. The chicken was delicious -- they marinate it for at least 24 hours. You can get your chicken "plain" (just the marinade) or also opt for any one of a number of sauces which are gluten free: hot, medium, extra hot, lemon herb, mango lime. I got the mango lime and loved it. The gluten free sides we ordered included sweet potato mash, corn on the cob, and a side salad. This is a great place to go that's relatively quick, tasty, and healthy -- the perfect alternative to fast food, burgers, pizza, or a boring sandwich! You're sure to find one wherever you are in the UK! They do not have a gluten free menu, nor do they mark what's gluten free on the regular menu. But just ask for their binder listing all the ingredients for their food, and you'll find it neatly organized with a chart showing whether there is gluten (and other allergens) in any item on the menu.

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Pelican Grill (in the Pelican Hill Resort)
22701 South Pelican Hill Road
Newport Beach, CA 92657


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful gluten free meal at Pelican Grill at Pelican Hill Resort, Newport Coast

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 26, 2014

We had a wonderful meal at the Pelican Grill at the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California. They are very gluten-free aware. You can read my detailed Blog post on our sister blog: The Gluten Free Travel Blog:

http://bit.ly/13F4E4P

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen
13-14 Maiden Lane
London, WC2E 7NE
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free burger chain in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2013

After finding almost a 2-hour wait at the restaurant we had intended to dine at tonight (a steak restaurant called Flat Iron -- they don't take reservations) and then learning that another restaurant we thought was gluten-free friendly really wasn't, we decided to go to Gourmet Burger Kitchen again. We'd dined there for lunch earlier in the week. Although we hadn't intended to have burgers again, we didn't have much choice, as it was getting late, we were hungry, and most London restaurants were packed. And they do have good burgers at GBK! So in we went...

Your get seated but then order at the counter, and they bring your food to your table when it's ready. This time we opted for buffalo burgers, and they do have gluten free buns. We decided to forgo the fries, and I forgot to ask if they were gluten free anyway (some GBK locations have a dedicated fryer; some don't). Instead, we ordered the blue cheese slaw and milkshakes. Everything was great. This place is clearly popular, as it's always busy, and there are a lot of great toppings to choose for your burger. They have many locations in and around London. While it's not cheap, it's inexpensive relative to other places in London, and it's certainly a couple steps up from fast food like McDonald's!

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Wahaca
66 Chandos Place
London, WC2N 4HG
United Kingdom

2.5 Palms
2.5 Palms
Not the best for gluten free food in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2013

I'd researched this place on line. It's a Mexican restaurant chain in London, and apparently they have quite a few gluten free options. However, there's no gluten free menu, only a chart showing what items do and don't contain gluten. Our server happily went through the menu with us, too, but we learned that the tortilla chips and other hard corn tortillas (like for the tostadas) are not fried in a dedicated fryer. And of course things like burritos and quesadillas were off limits, due to using flour tortillas. So that pretty much left the soft tacos and some "large plates" main courses as options. But not all those were safe, for one reason or another. We'd settled on a steak entree and steak tacos, but then saw that there was even a disclaimer about the steak on the chart. We spoke to the manager, who was nice and felt that the disclaimer was more to cover themselves, but we decided we didn't want to risk it, especially given the fact we would be getting on an 8 hour flight to fly home the next day. Better safe than sorry. If you're gluten free and interested in Mexican food in London, this may be an option for you -- depending on your comfort level and what you're in the mood to order. There certainly were a few truly safe things...they just weren't things our 10-year old son would have liked. And I'd be vigilant in asking questions and studying the chart they provide, if you have Celiac, to be sure their definition of GF coincides with your medical needs.

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La Tasca
23 Maiden Lane
London, WC2E
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free dinner at tapas restaurant in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 29, 2013

This Spanish tapas restaurant, with many locations throughout the UK, has all gluten free items marked on their menu -- and there are many gluten free items indeed. Our family started out with the gluten free flatbread, new to the menu and like a tortilla. It was served with olive oil and balsamic for dipping. We then ordered many items to share: lemon seasoned chicken, another chicken dish with mushrooms and a sherry cream sauce, spicy prawns marinated in chili and garlic oil, chicken wings, and boneless pork ribs. We enjoyed a Tempranillo Garnacha wine and finished with a range of wonderful gelatos (Madagascar vanilla, chocolate, and salted caramel) for dessert). All of those selections were gluten free.

They mark all gluten free items clearly on the menu, and it doesn't in any way feel like you are limited in your choices. So if you like Spanish food and are gluten free, this is a great place to dine -- you're sure to find one near you. They even have them elsewhere in Europe.

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My Old Dutch Pancakes
16 Kensington Church Street
London, W8
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free pancakes in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 29, 2013

Old Dutch has three locations in London: the one we went to in Kensington, one in Holborn, and one in Chelsea. They offer ALL their sweet and savoury thin, large pancakes with the option of a gluten free batter. They also offer their breakfast menu pancakes and kids pancakes gluten free (they just can't offer the "butterscotch" pancake version of the batter gluten free). While I ordered a savoury pancake (more like a crepe with pizza toppings -- I got cheese, bacon, artichokes, tomatoes, and spinach on mine), the rest of our family ordered the sweet pancakes. The one with bananas and chocolate was incredible -- more like a dessert. They take good care in the kitchen so as to avoid cross contamination -- seems the restaurants in London that offer GF menus take it seriously.

My Old Dutch Pancakes is good for breakfast, lunch, dessert -- really any time of the day and whatever you are in the mood for...sweet or savoury. This is a unique restaurant and a really fun option before or after a visit to Kensington Palace. Good prices, too.

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Namaaste Kitchen
64 Parkway
London, NW1
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Indian restaurant with huge gluten free menu in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 29, 2013

We had a wonderful restaurant at this Indian restaurant in Camden, London. It's right near the Camden Town underground stop, about 6 stops north of downtown London on the Northern line. It just takes about 15 minutes to get there on the tube. Their gluten free menu is huge. For our family of four, we ordered all gluten free items: the Lahori Tawa lamb chops, beef kebabs, and chicken tikka. The gluten free menu they gave us in the restaurant is a bit different than the one currently posted online, so you may not see the last two items we ordered on the online menu. Here's the online gluten free menu: http://www.namaastekitchen.co.uk/GlutenFree.pdf

Everything was delicious. We also ordered a very reasonably priced bottle of Shiraz/Malbec wine, and our son ordered a non-alcoholic fruity cocktail (a bit overpriced but good). We even saved room for dessert, ordering a range of gluten free desserts including coconut ice cream.

If you're gluten free and like Indian food, this is a must-visit restaurant...one that's been highly rated and worth the short ride on the underground to Camden Town. The atmosphere of the small restaurant (about 20 tables max) is elegant yet cozy and the staff is friendly and helpful.

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen
2A Tower Place West
London, EC3R 5BU
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Burger chain in London offering gluten free buns

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 28, 2013

Whereas another Great Burger Kitchen we'd tried during our visit was out of gluten free buns the day we visited, this one was not! They had a full gluten free menu with gluten free buns for all the burgers (and chicken and bison burgers). Fries were not listed on the menu, so I asked why they weren't gluten free. Didn't they have a dedicated fryer? I'm glad I asked, because the very nice gentleman helping me said that we were in luck -- that particular location was one of the few WITH a dedicated fryer, so their fries were indeed gluten free (just not listed on the official gluten free menu). Our son was happy to be able to order fries with his burger, and we also ordered a side of their coleslaw, which was very tasty. A great place for a burger or sandwich...they have a lot of interesting toppings and burger combinations -- tons of which are gluten free.

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Starbucks
3 Great Tower Street
London, EC3R 5AA
United Kingdom

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Starbucks in London, England has some gluten free food

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 28, 2013

Word is that many Starbucks locations in London (and the UK in general) have gluten free options. We stopped at the one near the Tower of London yesterday to get some beverages, and we noticed this pre-made gluten free ham and cheese sandwich in the refrigerated case (wrapped, so no chance of cross-contamination, at least in the store). I also asked about gluten free baked goods, since there were none on display. The woman said they had some individually wrapped gluten free brownies they keep out of the case (in a refrigerator). Yeah! I asked if all Starbucks have these options, and she thought they usually do, but for the brownies at least, you have to ask (good thing they don't keep them alongside the other regular baked goods, even though they are individually wrapped). The only downside is that most people (at least tourists) don't even think to ask -- they probably just assume that, like the Starbucks in the U.S., they don't have any options. But I'm happy to say that they do, so ask! There are Starbucks all over London, and they also offer free WiFi. It is one of the few "Free WiFi" places we are able to connect, because it seems Starbucks re-routes its AT&T customers to BT WiFi. Smart for getting business from American tourists!

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Whole Foods Market (Camden)
49 Parkway
London, NW1 7PN
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Shopping for gluten free groceries in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2013

There is a small Whole Foods located right near the Camden Town underground station. They have a decent variety of gluten free foods: gluten free cookies, gluten free cereal, gluten free pasta, gluten free frozen meals, gluten free granola, gluten free bread -- as well as nice produce, meats, and all your basic grocery items (eggs, milk, etc.). They also have many personal care items, natural household cleaners, makeup, and even gift items (candles, chocolates, wine and champagne). If you live in this area or are visiting, it's a good place to get many of your gluten free staples. There are other Whole Foods locations in and around London, too.

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St. James's Hotel and Club
7-8 Park Place
London, SW1A 1LS
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Excellent Gluten Free Tea at London's St. James Hotel

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 26, 2013

We had a wonderful gluten free afternoon tea here at the St. James's Hotel and Club, a beautiful and luxury 5-star hotel in London's St. James neighborhood. While the outside of this boutique hotel, nestled on a quiet side street, is traditional, the inside has a much more contemporary feel. Tea is served in the bistro/bar area, which is decorated beautifully in light colors and has large windows facing the street. It is a small area but elegant. This is definitely the best deal in town for tea, as it is perfectly prepared, graciously served, and a wonderful value at just 29.50 pounds. (You will pay twice that -- or close to it -- for many afternoon teas in London. And here, at the St. James's, the portions are extremely generous, too. It was hard to believe it was all gluten free (it tasted exactly like what you may remember "regular" tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries taste like. The chef has done a superb job creating gluten free versions of all these delicacies. Gluten free fans of high tea will not feel left out of shortchanged in the least. If you are gluten free, you are in for a real treat. We are from the U.S., and we have nothing that comes close to quality of this gluten free tea experience back there! The sandwiches (cucumber and cream cheese, egg with watercress, smoked salmon, and ham) were very tasty and served on deliciously moist varieties of gluten free bread. The scones -- plain and raisin -- were indistinguishable from regular ones you remember. (We knew they were not mixed up with the "regular" ones, however, as they were a bit smaller and shaped differently). They are served with large portions of clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. The gluten free pastries were too many to count -- and oh-so-wonderful: a mini lemon cupcake, almond cake, cheesecake, decadent chocolate cake, hazelnut cake, and even a small cup of chocolate mousse. Frankly, this gluten free assortment was even more impressive than the non-GF assortment. The tea was wonderful as well -- you can choose from many varieties, including a premium assortment. I cannot recommend afternoon tea at the St. James's highly enough -- for the food itself, the quiet and elegant atmosphere, and the attention shown to their gluten free guests. What a treat it was to feel included in this special English tradition.

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Cote Brasserie
26 Ludgate Hill
London, EC4M
United Kingdom

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Nice dinner at French bistro in London with gluten free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 26, 2013

We had a nice meal here on Christmas day. We had been looking forward to their Christmas Menu, which many London restaurants seem to offer during the Christmas season. However, this particular restaurant wasn't offering it on Christmas Day. They had their regular (extensive) menu available and also the option of roasted turkey.

Three out of four of us got steaks, which came with fries. The steaks were gluten free, although if you go to this restaurant and want one of the sauces they offer on your steak, check to make sure it's gluten free. Some are not. The fries are gluten free and cooked in a dedicated fryer. We also ordered a side of French beans. Our son chose a gluten free dessert option: vanilla ice cream with warm chocolate sauce. The restaurant also has a creme brûlée on the dessert menu, which I believe was also gluten free.

The service was a bit disjointed when we were there -- we had several different servers throughout the evening. But the manager and servers seemed to know what was gluten free -- and if they had a question, they called down to the chef (the kitchen was in the lower level of the restaurant, and we were sitting upstairs).

I can recommend this restaurant if you are interested in ordering a steak, chicken, or even fish. It's best to check with your server or the manager regarding specific preparations, however, since we were told many of their sauces are thickened with flour. There is no gluten free menu, per se.

This is a great location right near St. Paul's Cathedral, and they have many other locations throughout London.

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Pizza Express
5-10 Saint Paul's Churchyard
London, EC4M 8AL
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free pizza and other Italian specialties at restauran

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

We were waiting in the queue for the 4 pm Christmas Eve Choral Service at St. Paul's Cathedral and needed to get something to eat. While I waiting in line with one of our sons, my husband took our other son (who has Celiac) to try to find a place with gluten offerings. They stumbled upon Pizza Express, a chain that happened to have a location right around the corner from St. Paul's -- and also happens to have a Gltuen Free Menu. They can make any of their wonderful looking salads gluten free, plus they have gluten free risotto and even a gluten free Eggplant Parmesan made using gluten free breadcrumbs! And of course, they offer all their many varieties of pizza on a gluten free crust. My husband reported that they took care to avoid cross contamination, using a separate prep area and special pan in the oven. They clearly must do a big gluten free business, judging from the size of their gluten free menu, posted on their website: http://www.pizzaexpress.com/our-food/our-restaurant-menu/glutenfree/ My husband and son ordered two gluten free pizzas to go -- a Margherita and a Pepperoni pizza -- and we devoured them as we waited in line. They were quite good, especially the toppings. Oh, and they now even offer Green's Gluten Free Pilsner and a gluten free chocolate brownie, if you're in the mood for something sweet! We would like to go back to one of their many locations and sit down and enjoy some of their other gluten free offerings, like the risotto, eggplant parmesan, and salads, too. They have over 400 locations all over England!

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen
5-10 Saint Paul's Churchyard
London, EC4M 8AL
United Kingdom

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free burgers and buns in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

We were waiting in line to attend the 4 pm Christmas Eve Choral Service at St. Paulâ??s Cathedral and were starving, so my husband went scouting around the area for food with our Celiac son, while I held our place in the very long queue with our other son. They spied Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which does indeed offer gluten free buns with their burgers, but alasâ?¦the people right in front of them in line ordered gluten free as wellâ?¦and took the last of the gluten free buns the restaurant had on hand that day! Oh well â?? good to know they offer themâ?¦maybe another time!

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Park Plaza County Hall
1 Addington Street
London, SE1 7RY
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten-free friendly restaurant in London hotel

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

This is the hotel we were staying at, and we hadn't planned to eat dinner here, just because it isn't necessarily known for their gluten free offerings -- and we'd already booked or planned dinners at other restaurants throughout London during our stay. But our Christmas Eve dinner plans fell through, and we remembered how the hotel had mentioned that they had gluten free pasta, should we choose to have lunch or dinner there during our stay. Given what a great job they'd done taking care of us each morning for breakfast, we were confident we could get a nice, safe meal here for dinner.

The restaurant is very nice and open -- with floor to ceiling windows and a partly open kitchen. It's the same place we dined each morning for breakfast. It's just off the lobby -- up a flight of stairs and situated in the middle of the two sides of the hotel, viewable from the hallways above. The regular menu and Festive Christmas Menu looked amazing. My husband and I chose to order a fixed price 3-course dinner from the Festive Menu. Our sons wanted pasta and ended up ordering custom dishes, one with chicken on top of spaghetti pasta (not GF) and the other with prawns and broccoli on top of the gluten free penne with olive oil and garlic sauce. The chef happily honored our requests and everything was done to our liking. There were plenty of meat and fish dishes on the menu as well, and since our server said they handle gluten free diners each day, they clearly know how to prepare safe and wonderful meals. Even though they don't have a printed Gluten Free Menu, they seem to be easily able to adapt most items from the main menu, if they aren't already gluten free. All in all, this is a nice place to dine, whether you're staying at the hotel or not. I'd just recommend calling ahead to talk with a manager, and if you desire gluten free pasta, just make sure they have it available that day.

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ASK Italian
121 Park Street
London, W1K 7JA
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Italian restaurant chain in England with great gluten free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

This restaurant chain has many locations throughout London -- and even outside London, like in the town of Bath, which we visited today. While we didn't have time to stop to eat during our brief visit to Bath, we did have dinner at one of the ASK Italian restaurant locations upon arriving back in London. They offer a gluten free menu, and it's quite extensive. There are starters and salads, 11 different gluten free pizzas ("prima" and "classic" varieties), 7 different pasta preparations available with organic gluten free fusilli, fish and risotto entrees, and several desserts, gelatos, and sorbets that are gluten free. Each item was as tempting as the next. From this gluten free menu, we ordered the Zucchine E Pesto (gluten free pasta with zucchini in pesto sauce); Frutti Di Mare pasta with prawns, mussels, clams, and squid in a rich tomato sauce; and Sea Bass Al Forno baked in a white wine sauce with potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Everything was delicious, and the gluten free pasta was cooked a nice al dente. The one item ordered by a non-Celiac family member was the Margherita with Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza, and it was much enjoyed -- a wonderful and quick-cooking artisan pizza. (My husband had wanted to order it gluten free, but they were out of gluten free pizza crust at that location on that evening. Fortunately, he does not need to eat gluten free but merely wanted to try their gluten free crust.) That was the only was the only disappointment of the meal. Lesson learned: if we (or you) are craving gluten free pizza and want to dine at ASK Italian, call ahead to verify the particular location where you desire to dine has GF pizza crust that day -- or be prepared to order something else from their extensive and delicious gluten free menu instead. I wish we'd had room to sample their gelatos, but after some good wine and the meal, we were satisfied enough. Perhaps we'll have the opportunity to dine at ASK Italian another time during our vacation.

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Butlers restaurant in the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
35 Charles Street
London, W1J 5EB
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten Free High Tea at Hotel in London

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

I'd read about many gluten free friendly teas at various hotels in London. We selected this particular one to try, in part because it also offered a "Little Prince" or "Little Princess" Tea for kids (actually renamed a "Little Elves" Tea for the Holidays). At 12.50 pounds, it was much easier to stomach than paying the typically high price for tea (34.50 here, and typically anywhere from 20-50 pounds elsewhere) for kids who may not even be keen on some of the fancy items served. So the "Little Elves" tea, instead, served peanut butter and jam sandwiches, scones, cupcakes and other pastries, and hot cocoa. There was a gluten free version of this as well. How splendid! (They also offer a Vegetarian Tea.)

There were about 15 different teas to choose from -- varieties of black, oolong, green, white, flowering, and scented. Coffee and hot cocoa are offered as well. Our family chose four, all of which we shared with each other: the "Christmas blend" of black tea with spices, the "Chocolate Tea" (black tea with cocoa nibs and vanilla bean (unique and my particular favorite), Jasmine Green (my usual standby), and hot cocoa (this was the real stuff -- no powdered mix here!).

We ordered one gluten free version of the Traditional Afternoon Tea, one gluten free "Little Elves" tea, one "regular" Tradtional Afternoon Tea (for my husband) and one "regular" version of the "Little Elves Tea" (for our non-Celiac son).

The gluten free versions of the tea were almost identical to the "regular" ones. The scones were out of this world -- we'd never had gluten free versions of traditional English scones before. They were fantastic -- just right hint of sweetness and the perfect consistency. And that clotted cream just makes everything better now, doesn't it?! We were treated to incredibly moist cupcakes (not chocolate, but I couldn't quite put my finger on the flavor -- something more than simple vanilla -- and with a delicious cream cheese-based green frosting shaped like a Christmas tree with edible decorations). There was also a gluten free macaroon and a beautiful and delicious berry tartlet. The only thing lacking, if I had to say, were the sandwiches. While the gluten free bread was fine (just a tad dry), the fillings were very sparse. The variety was nice, and a bit more than just the traditional offerings. We had turkey with cranberry spread, ham and cheese, egg salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and smoked salmon. But the only sandwich that had much in it at all was the smoked salmon. The other fillings were so sparsely spread, that you could mostly just taste the bread. I found myself wishing for more of the filling and feeling just a bit short-changed, given the relatively high price (34.50 pounds, plus 12.5% gratuity) for the adult version of the tea.

The hotel is beautiful (at least the parts we saw)...traditional décor and decorated beautifully for Christmas (including an incredible gingerbread house displayed in the lobby (NOT gluten free, I'm sure!)

The Chesterfield Mayfair really treats kids well, too. They brought a bag full of activity books for our sons and then presented them each with an adorable small teddy bear (with Chesterfield Mayfair shirt) later on. What a nice keepsake to remember their first real English tea!

I'd give this tea a 5 palm rating, if the sandwiches were a bit heartier. Other than that, it was such a wonderful experience, and the service, as is typical in England, was friendly and polite.

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Park Plaza County Hall
1 Addington Street
London, SE1 7RY
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful hotel in London which understands gluten free need

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

This is, in my opinion, the perfect place to stay, if you're traveling as a family in London. And it's a great choice if anyone in your family happens to be gluten free. It is a new hotel, modern and with all the convenient amenities we needed. It's also in a safe area and very convenient. Located right next to Waterloo train station and Underground station, you are no more than a few tube stops from most of London's main sights and attractions. The hotel overlooks Waterloo station on one side (where our room was located) and has views of Parliament and Big Ben on the other. It is just a couple blocks from the Thames River, and you can cross Westminster Bridge (open to pedestrians), and you are in the heart of Westminster with Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey right there. The London Eye is a few blocks away, and even sights like St. Paul's Cathedral are only a 25 minute walk -- or a short tube ride.

The main reason for booking this hotel, however, was that it offered junior suites to accommodate four people (many hotels in London only accommodate two people per room) and kitchenette for any light meal preparation we might need to do. Our junior suite comprised a bedroom area right as you walked in, plenty of drawer and closet space, a vanity table with mirror, a beautiful bathroom with shower, tub, toilet, and sink, and then a sitting area with a pull-out sofa for our kids, more shelf and cupboard space, and a desk. There was a TV in each room. Between the two rooms and across from the bathroom was the little "kitchenette" area with small (very small) refrigerator, mini bar, sink, microwave, and basic barware and dinnerware. Our thinking had been that we might need to prepare some gluten free breakfast items in the room, if there weren't many options at the hotel. But it turned out we didn't need to do this at all (or even make a trip to the grocery store at all), which I'll get to in just a minute....

We arrived late on a Saturday night, on a direct flight from the DC area. I'd had our travel agent (Lesley Hayden from Travel Leaders (I'd highly recommend her!) mention our gluten free needs when booking the hotel. We had been assured the handle this request all the time and would have plenty of options at breakfast, which was included each morning, as part of our package. Upon arriving in our room after check-in, we found some nice gluten free treats (snacks I wasn't familiar with (various packaged sweets made in the UK) waiting for us, along with a welcome note. There were also two large glass bottles of water (one still, one sparkling) and a selection of juice boxes for the kids. This was a very welcome sight for hungry travelers -- and such a nice, unexpected touch.

Breakfast the next morning was impressive as well. A Continental Breakfast buffet was included with our room, but there was the option of upgrading to a full English Breakfast buffet as well. The dining room was nice -- located on the main level in a room with plenty of windows and natural light. The place was packed, even though we were dining on the late side. The service, as is customary in England, was superb. The staff was so polite, friendly, and accommodating. The hostess that seated us also walked us through the gluten free options, both at the buffet -- and those that were available from the kitchen, upon request (still included without an extra charge). On the buffet, the gluten free options included fruit, yogurt, cheeses, some cold cuts, and juices. She brought us a sampling of other gluten free items from the kitchen: cereal with dried raspberries (quite good, and not too sweet), gluten free toast (there was a selection of jams, as well as butter and individually packed Nutella spead at the buffet), cranberry orange muffins (delicious), and a big, fluffy roll that we swore couldn't be gluten free (we asked, and one of our servers confirmed that it was). It, too, was quite good. From the full English Breakfast buffet (only adults pay extra for this upgrade -- for children, it's free), there were scrambled eggs, various meats, and baked tomatoes that were gluten free. We were told that we could also request eggs prepared any way (and any other gluten free hot items) from the kitchen, if we were concerned about cross-contamination at the buffet.

Coffee, tea, and gluten free hot cocoa are also served. We typically ate a big breakfast here each morning, so that we could just snack on gluten free bars (brought from home) and fruit while sightseeing during the day. This gave us more time for the sights -- and then we always made reservations at a gluten-free friendly restaurant for dinner. Some days we opted for high tea in the afternoon, which is a meal in itself.

I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. Even the price was good, by London standards -- especially given the newness of the property, its convenient location, safe area, accommodations for four, kitchenette, and inclusion of breakfast and all gratuities.

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Stonehenge Visitor's Center Cafe
4 A344
Salisbury, SP4 7DE
United Kingdom

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Cafe at Stonehenge has gluten free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Dec 25, 2013

While staying in London over Christmas, we took a day trip to Stonehenge and other sites west of London. We were thrilled to find that the Cafe at the new Visitor Center had a few gluten free options, including gingerbread cookies and a chocolate brownie (both pre-packaged but very fresh). They also had one pre-prepared sandwich -- hummus with roasted vegetables on gluten free bread. Our son wasn't really keen on that, but it was nice to know it was available. We hadn't counted on finding any gluten free snacks on our day trip, so we'd brought some of our own in our backpack. But it was pretty cool to find gluten free options had even made it to remote Stonehenge! There were soups, but we didn't inquire as to whether or not they were gluten free, because our son wasn't really in the mood for soup anyway. They also offered coffee, tea, espresso beverages, and hot cocoa. However, we couldn't be sure from the ingredients listed on the cocoa mix if it was gluten free, so we opted to choose another beverage. I'd give it an even higher rating if there were more options, but this is a great start!

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Rancatore's Ice Cream
1752 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Ice cream shop with gluten free options in Lexington, Massachusetts

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 20, 2013

Disclaimer: This ice cream store is owned by my husband's cousin (lucky us!).

We stopped in to visit my husband's cousin Joe Rancatore at one of his ice cream shops (the other is in Belmont). He happened to be making ice cream in the back, and we were lucky enough to be offered a peek into the process. They offer such incredible flavors, and Joe is constantly trying out new flavor combinations (too extensive to go into here!). But suffice it to say you will find at least several options that are tempting, whether you are a traditionalist (their vanilla is to-die-for) or more adventurous (a mixture with saffron and cardamom). The assortment changes each day. Joe is fastidious about using high-quality ingredients, and he is able to tell you which flavors are gluten free, because he knows exactly what goes into each and every flavor. He does his best to train staff members as well, so when you go in, ask. They LOVE to take care of people with allergies and food sensitivities. If the person helping you doesn't know or sounds unsure, ask to speak to Joe or someone who does know. They have many gluten free customers, but just note that it is not a dedicated gluten free facility. They do, however, clean their machine thoroughly between runs: hot rinse, disinfect, hot rinse again.

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Bertucci's
1777 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, MA 02420


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Lexington, Massachusetts: A great restaurant for gluten free

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 20, 2013

Bertucci's doesn't have the most extensive Gluten Free Menu I've ever seen, but they still have plenty of choices, and all are wonderful. They haven't gotten to the point of offering gluten free pasta or gluten free pizza, but there are items like filet mignon, chicken dishes, salmon, and entrée salads. They also have appetizers and soups that are gluten free. I ordered a shrimp entrée with risotto and asparagus, which was only being offered for a limited time. It was delicious. There is no gluten free bread, so bring your own if you want to enjoy some bread with olive oil as you're sipping your wine and waiting for dinner. This is a great location -- right near Lexington Green.

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Samba Steak and Sushi House
1138 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free Asian food in Framingham, Massachusetts

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 20, 2013

We had a fun time at this Japanese restaurant offering sushi, tepanyaki-style choices prepared on the hibachi grill in front of you, and even other traditional Asian entrees. We sat at a table for hibachi, and some of our party opted for this and others ordered sushi and the Beef with Mango (delicious). They offer a huge Gluten Free Menu and have organic gluten free soy sauce on hand, so they can prepare any of the tepanyaki-style (and other) items using this. However, since you will be sharing a table with others situated around the cooking surface, they prepare gluten free requests in the kitchen. That way, they don't have to try keeping the gluten-free and regular items separate on the grilling surface at your table. We still got to watch the talented chef use his fancy antics of cutting, throwing, and flaming the items on the grill for those at our table ordering regular items. We ordered an assortment of meats including filet mignon, chicken, and shrimp from the menu. It comes with white, brown, or fried rice and a salad. This is a great place to go if you like Asian food and are gluten free. You will have TONS of choices -- unique entrees, sushi, and hibachi grilled meats and veggies.

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P.F. Chang's China Bistro
4250 Fairfax Corner Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
More items on Gluten Free Menu at this restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 03, 2013

On this visit, we tried two new things on the Gluten Free Menu -- the Shaking Beef, which is on their permanent menu and GF menu. We also tried the Quinoa "Fried Rice," a limited-time entree on their Summer Menu (they are starting to offer a handful of new items each season, and at least one or two will be GF). Both the Shaking Beef AND Quinoa "Fried Rice" were delicious, as is just about everything at this very gluten-free friendly restaurant chain. We also ordered our sons' favorite dish: Philip's Better Lemon Chicken. Always a fun time with great food at P.F. Chang's...and they take their GF customers seriously, showing great care in the preparation and serving of gluten free orders.

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Restaurants at Oriole Park, Camden Yards
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, MD 21201


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten Free Dining at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 28, 2013

Our family attended a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last night. There was no information we could find on the ballpark's website regarding gluten free dining options, and other information online was dated. So we stopped at the Fan Assistance office upon entering the ballpark and got a list of current GF options. I blogged about our experience -- and included the list of gluten free food options at Camden Yards -- in this post on my Blog: http://bit.ly/12VXH0b

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The Dobbin House Tavern
89 Steinwehr Avenue
Gettysburg, PA 17325


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Nice gluten free dinner in Gettysburg, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 10, 2013

After hearing how gluten free friendly the Dobbin House Tavern is, we made a reservation for our Saturday night dinner in Gettysburg. They don't have a gluten free menu, per se, but much of the menu is gluten free anyway, and our friendly server seemed to know what could be modified on the menu, if it wasn't already gluten free. Our son chose the petit filet mignon and lobster tail (quite a treat!), so that was easy. They do also have rack of lamb, duck, pork, strip steaks, chicken, fish, and shellfish on the menu. Again, much of it was gluten free (although I'm sure the crabcakes aren't). Our son had a tough time deciding, but who can argue with Surf and Turf? Dinners come with your choice of a baked potato or sweet potato and a salad (or applesauce for kids). Unfortunately, their homemade assortments of breads and muffins does not include any gluten free items.

Dobbin House is a historic building -- dating to 1776 -- that is furnished in colonial style. They had a few curtain-draped tables that were charming. The Dobbin House also functions as a B&B. It is quite pricey for dinner but suitable for a special occasion -- and worth paying a bit extra for peace of mind regarding gluten free meal preparation. Apparently, they get many GF requests each day. We ate in onef of the formal dining rooms of the restaurant, but there is a more casual "Tavern" in the basement, along with outdoor seating when weather permits. The home was also used to hide slaves and you can visit their very small, free "Underground Railroad" museum on the premises. I'm rating it 4.5 palms, just because I'd like to see a formal Gluten Free Menu with some effort made to prepare sauces gluten free -- and I'd love to see them offer GF bread, too.

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Mom's Coffee Pot
65 West Middle Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free at cafe in Gettysburg, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 10, 2013

We went to Mom's Coffee Pot for breakfast after reading a review on this website. I called the week before to make sure they would have gluten free options. They always do -- they have a gluten free menu with various breakfast sandwiches. They are also open for lunch and have gluten free sandwiches, soups, and salads. Mary, the owner, also said she typically makes some type of gluten free muffins for Saturday mornings (they are closed on Sundays). So we went on Saturday morning, our first morning in town, and they had gluten free coconut muffins, which were really tasty. We had some of those and then also ordered breakfast sandwiches. You have a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham with the egg (and cheese, if you want it), and Mary uses gluten free bread (homemade, I think). It was very good. Their lattes and hot cocoas are delicious as well. They also sometimes have other gluten free baked goods like cookies or brownies, but on the morning we visited, it was just the GF coconut muffins. Mom's Coffee Pot is a true small-town cafe/coffee shop -- a nice change from Starbucks! There's a large sofa and small and large tables -- like visiting someone's home (and it is -- the owners live upstairs!). There are quite a few small cafes and coffee shops like this in Gettysburg, but this is the only one we knew of that served gluten free fare. I'm giving it 4 out of 5 "palms" for a rating, just because the menu is limited, and availability of gluten free baked goods varies by the day.

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Mr. G's Ice Cream
404 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten Free Homemade Ice Cream in Gettysburg, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 10, 2013

Mr. G's makes wonderful homemade ice cream, and most of the flavors are gluten free. It was so good that we went here BOTH nights we were in town! We skipped dessert at the restaurants where we dined for dinner and went straight to Mr. G's! Notable flavors include salted caramel, butter pecan, and watermelon (with chocolate chunks as the "seeds!"). Unfortunately, the Girl Scout Thin Mint, is, of course, NOT gluten free! The flavors change daily, so be sure to ask the staff which are gluten free, and which are not. There were at least a few people on staff who knew. They do not have gluten free ice cream cones, but we brought our own the second night!

We took one of the Gettysburg Candlelight Ghost Tours (Mark Nesbitt's Ghosts of Gettysburg) our second night, right after getting ice cream at Mr. G's. At the end of the tour, the final stop was "the most haunted building in Gettysburg," and Gettysburg is supposedly is the most haunted town in America. Well, we came to learn that this most haunted building was the old Tannery, which now, is none other than Mr. G's Ice Cream store, right where we'd been earlier that evening and the night before! There were some interesting stories of ghosts appearing over the years, but there didn't seem to be any recent sightings since it was converted to an ice cream store!

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Deliso Pizza
829 Biglerville Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free Italian restaurant in Gettysburg, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 10, 2013

We visited Gettysburg for a weekend and chose to eat here our first night in town, based on a recommendation on this website. Deliso is a very casual restaurant just outside the downtown area. You order at the counter and then they bring your food to your table. The woman taking our order, Gabriella, couldn't have been friendlier. She is a member of the family that owns the restaurant. She herself -- and at least one of her parents, I think -- is gluten free. They really hustle in the restaurant, and they know gluten free very well. There were a lot of other gluten free diners there, judging from the conversations we overheard. Our family ordered a range of items from the menu, giving us a chance to sample many gluten free items. Our son ordered gluten free pasta (Schar pasta, cooked correctly), I ordered a gluten free footlong chicken cheesesteak on a GF Schar sub roll, and my husband ordered a gluten free pizza (which comes in both 10" and 12" sizes). The pasta came with salad, too. Everything was good. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to have a gluten free cheesesteak -- that is hard to find. Not too many restaurants stock GF sub rolls, and apparently Schar's are dairy free as well as gluten free. They serve wine and Redbridge beer, which is a nice treat to enjoy with your pizza, past, or sub. They sometimes have gluten free tiramisu, too, but they did not have it the night we were there (too bad!). If you are able to plan in advance, you can call ahead and order it as a special order. We chose to go to Mr. G's Ice Cream in town instead, and boy, was that a treat! I've reviewed that on this site as well.

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BRIO Tuscan Grill
7854 Tysons Corner Center
Tysons, VA 22182


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free at Italian restaurant in Tysons Corner

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jun 06, 2013

I dined at this restaurant with a friend and had a fantastic meal. They now have a formal gluten free menu, and although it's not terribly extensive, they've clearly put a lot of thought into the items they offer. This is not a gluten free menu that just offers boring pasta-with-marinara-sauce or plain grilled chicken. In fact, I had a hard time deciding what to order. I wanted to try everything! I ended up choosing the Pasta BRIO, gluten free penne with chicken, seared mushrooms, and a red pepper sauce. It was excellent -- such great flavors, and the pasta was perfectly done. There are two other, equally appealing and interesting pasta offerings, chicken with lemon caper sauce, grilled salmon with lemon sauce, and a beef filet. There's also an entree salad, as well as two side salads. For dessert, one of their mini "Dolchinos" was gluten free that day: a butterscotch pudding parfait. I wish I'd had room to try it. Maybe next time. I can't wait to go back...I'll probably try either the lemon salmon or chicken.

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Giant Food Store
25050 Riding Plaza
Chantilly, VA 20152


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Grocery store in South Riding has a decent amount of gluten free foods

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on May 27, 2013

This is our hometown grocery store, and it has a decent amount of gluten free food available. In fact, I am able to buy most of our family's groceries here when it's not convenient for me to venture a bit further to a specialty store like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegmans, or Mom's Market (my favorite) where I can buy more gluten free items and organic produce. Giant has a small section of the frozen foods section devoted to "Healthy" Items (what does that say about the rest of the frozen section?!), and that's where you can find things like Udi's bread, Van's gluten free waffles, and other staples. Shelf-stable gluten free products that are gluten free can be found in their "Health Foods" aisle. The section is small, but again, they have a fair number of things we buy (Annie's GF mac/cheese, Glutino pretzels, some good gluten free cookies, GF pasta, etc.). Of course there are tons of other naturally gluten free items throughout the store, but this is where you can find GF items of things that would typically contain gluten. They also have many packaged Boar's Head deli meats, which are all gluten free. Like most stores, they are continually adding new gluten free products.

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Cake Cake Bakery
2630 Chapel Lake Drive
Olney, MD


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free cupcakes, breads, and pies made to order and available at stores in Maryland

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Apr 24, 2013

I had the opportunity to sample Cake Cake's gluten free cupcakes at a recent DC Metro Celiacs meeting, and they were fantastic. I then bought almost a dozen to take home, because we were having a family Bday celebration the next day, and I knew the hostess of the party had arranged for a "regular" (not gluten free) cake. This way, I could take the Cake Cake gluten free cupcakes for my son -- and ALL the other kids -- so they would all be eating the same thing as my son (and he wouldn't feel singled out). Kids prefer cupcakes to cake anyway, and they were a big hit. Sandra had four varieties that day: chocolate with chocolate icing, chocolate with vanilla icing, vanilla with chocolate icing, and vanilla with vanilla icing. I chose and assortment of all of them, and they all were yummy!

Cake Cake does not have a retail bakery, but you can call to order, and they sell their products at both Root's Markets in Clarksville and Olney -- and David's Natural Markets in Columbia, MD.

Their other products -- in addition to the cupcakes -- include old fashioned white bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, banana bread, pumpkin pie, and apple pie.

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Quattro at Whistler
4319 Main Street
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Amazing gluten free menu at Italian restaurant in Whistler, BC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Apr 04, 2013

Well, they say you should "save the best for last," and, as it turns out, we did that dining at Whistler last week. After enjoying three other gluten free meals at Whistler restaurants (Earl's, Old Spaghetti Factory, and Teppan Village -- all also reviewed on this website), we spent our last evening enjoying one of the best gluten free meals we've ever had...at a restaurant called Quattro at Whistler.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I can't remember such an extensive and delicious array of gluten free offerings. This was not your typical Italian restaurant where a few basic items could be made gluten free. No, the Gluten Free Menu at Quattro was virtually identical to the regular menu. There were so many choices -- from Appetizers, Soups, and Salads to Pasta and Main Courses featuring meat and seafood. What really impressed us was the range of wonderful Pastas with unique and delectable sauces that were all available with gluten free pasta. Of course, there were basic Pomodoro and Pesto sauces...but also a Pasta "Quattro" and 4 other mouth-watering pasta dishes, along with a risotto. I literally wanted to order several of the pastas...and I hadn't even made it down the list of equally impressive seafood and meat specialties! After analyzing the menu, I decided to order the Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass with Fire Roasted Pepper Sauce (also served with mashed potatoes and asparagus), but the Pasta Tartufato with British Columbia wild mushrooms, white truffle oil, fresh sage, and porcini cream sauce was something that was also calling my name. I asked our waiter if I could order a half-size portion of the pasta as an appetizer. Fortunately, it was not a problem. After tasting it, I almost wished I had ordered it as a Main Course. It was to-die-for, although probably best for me to have kept it at a half-portion, given how wonderfully rich the porcini cream sauce was! If they didn't have their gluten free act together, I would have questioned whether the pasta was gluten free. It was a perfectly cooked, al dente gluten free corn-based penne which I swear I'd never had before. Turns out they get it from Italy, and I'm going to look into ordering it online if I can! It was not as yellow as other corn pastas, so I'm guessing there might be other flours, like rice flour, mixed in with it. Regardless, it was the best gluten free pasta we'd ever had and was undistiguishable from "regular" pasta. My main course of the sea bass was equally as tasty (incredible mashed potatoes, too!) and was the perfect dish to follow the rich pasta. My husband ordered the gluten free penne with pesto, also delicious. In fact, he captured my thoughts about my own pasta appetizer exactly when he said, "Do you think it would be okay to lick the bowl?!" Our gluten free son ordered the gluten free pasta with Pescatore sauce (prawns, scallops, clams, fresh herbs, and tomato white wine), which is always one of his favorite types of pasta. All in all, an amazing meal and a great way to cap off a wonderful trip to Whistler. The only "downside," if there is one, to our dining experience was that we wanted to order a half-liter of their "house" Italian red wine, since we didn't want a whole bottle. It turns out they didn't have it available anymore, leaving nothing to choose from for an Italian red in a liter or half-liter. So we settled for a half-bottle of another Italian red, which turned out to be very good. If you are a wine connoisseur, you'll be very impressed with their selection, however. They have one of the most extensive wine lists we've ever seen, with a focus on Italian wines, of course. Some are VERY pricey. Despite the incredible ambiance, food, and wine list at this cozy restaurant, it's a place that welcomes children. There were quite a few other tables in the restaurant occupied by families, although I probably wouldn't recommend it for very young children (the experience would be lost on them anyway!). Our own waiter wasn't overly friendly when we first sat down but warmed up over the course of the evening and even engaged our boys in some education about the various Canadian coins. I'm giving Quattro at Whistler the highest rating and would encourage any gluten free (or non-GF) visitor to Whistler to book a reservation at this unforgettable restaurant.

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Teppan Village
4293 Mountain Square
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free Japanese tepanyaki at restaurant in Whistler, BC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 29, 2013

We had a really good dining experience at Teppan Village Japanese Steakhouse in the heart of Whistler Village. They have gluten free tamari that they use instead of gluten free soy sauce, upon request. Our family ordered a range of meats: steak, chicken, shrimp, and scallops. All meals were served with vegetables, steamed rice and a salad. Typically they serve miso soup, but it's not gluten free, so we skipped that course. As is typical for a Japanese steakhouse, there's the element of tableside entertainment in the form of chefs who chop, make onion "volcanoes" and generally keep guests entertained with their knife-wielding talents! The service was fast here...we were actually in and out of the restaurant in an hour! Everything was really tasty. It's not cheap...about $45 for a sampling of tepanyaki meats, but they do also have a very reasonable kids menu with value-pricing. Fun for a night out as a family.

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Glacier Creek Lodge
4545 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Dining gluten free on Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler British Columbia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 29, 2013

Today, after skiing for the morning on Blackcomb Mountain, we ate at the Glacier Creek Lodge on Blackcomb, conveniently located at the base of the Jersey Cream Express and Glacier Express lifts. This was one of the mountainside restaurants that was listed on the Whistler Blackcomb website as having gluten free options -- basically burgers, GF buns, sandwiches on GF break, and some gluten free baked goods. When I inquired about the gluten free options (which were also noted with an icon on the menus that were posted throughout this cafeteria style venue), I was given the same response I had been given at another lodge on the mountain. They had GF buns, but either the burgers weren't gluten free -- or they weren't sure if they were. Okay...but they have gluten free buns! Go figure! Well, fortunately, our son was able to order a gluten free grilled chicken sandwich (with bacon) on a gluten free bun. They grilled the bun on a clean area of the grill. Their other "regular" buns aren't even grilled on the grill...they are put in one of those toasters for buns, so there was no chance of cross contact. Our son was very happy -- and devoured his chicken "burger." They also had "low gluten" muffins and some pre-packed gluten free cookies. Our son chose a chocolate chip cookie and raved about it, giving me just a tiny bite to sample! How could I take more from him when this was the first GF "treat" on the mountain we'd found?! A good lunch experience, to be sure! They do have other things that are GF: some soups, and a sandwich bar that apparently offers GF bread. So this is a good bet for a lunch break on Blackcomb Mountain.

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Dusty's Bar and BBQ (in Creekside)
2040 London Lane
Whistler, V0N 1B2
Canada

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten free options at base of Whistler Mountain

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 28, 2013

After learning from the Whistler Blackcomb website that there were a handful of places on the mountains that offered gluten free options, we decided to try Dusty's, at the Creekside base of Whistler Mountain. There was a bit of confusion when we first sat down (this is a full-service restaurant, not counter service) and asked our server to confirm that we could order the ribs for our son, who is gluten free due to Celiac. She wasn't sure about the rub they use on the ribs or the BBQ sauce, so we asked her to ask the chef, since we'd read that the ribs were GF on their website. She returned with good news: they were/are GF. The potato wedges that typically come with the ribs are not, however, because they are fried in a shared fryer that's used for breaded items. We got an assortment of crudités (raw veggies with dip) instead. Our son really enjoyed the ribs (as you can see from the photo which we didn't remember to take until after he'd devoured some!). Our server confirmed that they also have burgers with gluten free buns and many salads there that are gluten free. I had the Southwest Salad, which was very large and very good, with a wonderful homemade lime dressing. One note: A few days earlier we had a less than optimal experience at another restaurant at the base of the mountain that had GF buns, but one of the chefs said their burgers weren't even gluten free. He said there was really nothing we could eat at that restaurant. (I will say, however, that it was not one of the restaurants listed on the webpage referenced above, which spells out what GF options are available at some of their restaurants.) We always packed gluten free snacks in the pockets of our big ski jackets so we'd always have something "just in case." A good plan no matter where you are...

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Rogers Chocolates
4314 Main Street
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free chocolate shop in Whistler, BC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 27, 2013

We stumbled upon this wonderful chocolate shop while walking around the village in Whistler. Boy were we glad we discovered this place! Turns out, they are the oldest chocolate company in Canada, and ALL their chocolate is gluten free, with the exception of obvious things that would be off-limits like things a few products with pretzels or the like. They do take care to clean their equipment after a run of candy that contains gluten, however. (They just have to let customers know that there are a few non GF things they sell.) These are really high-quality, hand-crafted chocolates. We purchased a few select pieces of candy (caramels, truffles, and a peppermint cream filled Easter egg) for ourselves and a large box of milk and dark chocolates for some friends as a gift. There are 8 locations in British Columbia, including a "factory outlet" in Victoria, which would be great, considering these candies aren't cheap! But worth every penny!! Do check them out if you get a chance.

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Old Spaghetti Factory (in the Crystal Lodge)
4154 Village Green
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant in Whistler

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 28, 2013

We had never eaten at an Old Spaghetti Factory, because they don't have them in our area of the U.S. So when we saw there was one in Whistler, we figured it would be a good time to try it out. After all, they offer a Gluten Free Menu. It's rather limited, but it gives you enough options for some variety: gluten free pasta with a choice of three GF sauces (tomato sauce, mushroom sauce, and mizithra cheese and brown butter), cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta, Red Thai curry with prawns or chicken, roasted garlic grilled chicken, or New York steak. All meals come with bread (although no GF bread is offered -- we brought a GF roll for our son), a salad with choice of homemade GF dressings, dessert (ice cream), tea of coffee. So it's a good value -- and a good place to take the family, especially in Whistler, where most places are quite expensive. Clearly, Old Spaghetti Factory brings in a lot of tourists and locals alike -- the place is big, and it was still packed, with a wait of about 20 minutes even with a reservation.

We wanted to sample most GF things on the menu, so we ordered 4 things to share. We chose the GF pasta with both the mushroom sauce and mizithra cheese and brown butter sauce on the side as one of our entrees. The GF pasta is quite white in color, clearly rice-based pasta. It was linguine, and it was cooked well -- not too mushy. But rather bland. My husband and I agreed it really needed sauce, but our son, who loves "plain pasta" with just parmesan cheese actually loved it and said it was the best GF past he's had. To each his own, I guess. I thought the two sauces were really good, especially the cheese and brown butter sauce which was so unique. I couldn't get enough of it. We also tried the cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta, which was such a nice -- and unique -- option to find. Most restaurants never offer baked GF dishes. It was quite good -- basically the same GF linguine mixed with tomato sauce and chicken breast and baked with melted cheese on top. The garlic chicken entree was fine -- good but nothing to write home about. Our fourth entree was a special request. We love pesto sauce and noticed it on the regular menu. We asked if it was gluten free -- and if we could order it with GF pasta, even though it wasn't on the GF menu. Our server checked with the chef, who confirmed the pesto was gluten free, so we ordered that and were pleasantly surprised with how good it was. There was another pasta entree on the "regular" menu, too, that we'd inquired about (pasta with scallops and shrimp and a tomato sauce), and the chef confirmed that could be done gluten free as well. So if you see anything on the main menu you're interested in, don't be shy about asking if they can do it gluten free.

Overall, our experience here was good. A lot of food and a good value. We were so full we didn't have room for the ice cream. It was nice to try their many offerings from the GF Menu, and my favorite was the pasta with cheese and browned butter -- and the pesto. It would have been fun to try the Red Thai Curry entree with prawns or chicken, but we were planning to have Indian food the next night!

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Marketplace IGA
4330 Northlands Boulevard
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten free groceries in Whistler, British Columbia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

This nice market in the Marketplace area of Whistler has a really good selection of gluten free foods (Pamela's mixes, gluten free pasta, and lots more). I didn't notice many gluten free frozen foods in the freezer case, however, like gluten free pizza. Prices were high, but that's Whistler for you! At least you can know you'll have someplace to buy GF basics for your stay at this awesome resort town (although we'd shopped at a Whole Foods in Seattle, on our way up to Whistler, to get most of our groceries). However, next time, we may not need to get as much there, as we've now discovered this local market.

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The Wallflower Modern Diner
2420 Main Street
Vancouver, V5T 3H9
Canada

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free dining at restaurant in Vancouver

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

We'd heard about this restaurant and their large selection of gluten free food, and we were not disappointed. Almost anything on their menu can be made gluten free. One exception was the peach pancakes (too bad!). We were there on a Sunday -- arrived around 1:00, and the place was packed. Granted, it was small, but clearly their weekend brunch was popular. One gentleman who arrived right before us commented to my husband that the place had gotten very popular lately. After we put our name on the waiting list, I confirmed with one of the men working there that there were plenty of gluten free things on the menu. (I'd missed the big menu posted on the window when we walked in, which would have clearly confirmed this!) His response was yes, they could make just about everything gluten free, they make their own GF bread and use a separate toaster. He said they keep everything gluten free separate, and probably most of the people in there right now were there because of the gluten free options. So THAT probably explains why the place had become so popular. Smart restaurateurs know that it's good business to cater to the gluten free community! Although there were sandwiches, burgers, and plenty of entrees on the menu (many were vegan or vegetarian, too), we opted for the brunch selections (except for our older non-Celiac son who ordered a cheesesteak). Our Celiac son ordered a basic breakfast, which was huge and consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes, amazing gluten free toast, and a small salad of field greens. My husband ordered the breakfast sandwich, on the same wonderful GF bread. I ordered an omelet (they have several varieties or you can choose your own combo, which I did). This also came with the home-fried potatoes, GF toast, and salad. Everything was great, especially the homemade GF bread/toast, which was more like a flat roll that they sliced down the middle and toasted. I've never had any GF bread like it. It was perfect as toast -- tasted just like regular toast. The service was fast, too, and friendly. A very bustling place with an upbeat vibe.

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Whole Foods Market
1026 Northeast 64th Street
Seattle, WA 98115


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Great selection of gluten free foods at store in Seattle

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

Slightly north of the downtown Seattle area, we figured this Whole Foods location might be bigger and have a larger selection of gluten free foods than a location right in the heart of Seattle. We wanted to stock up on essential groceries -- and gluten free items -- en route to Whistler, British Columbia (about a 4 ½ hour drive from Seattle) where we would be spending a week skiing and staying in a condo with a kitchen. Being from the East Coast, we were excited to find some items that aren't yet available in our Whole Foods stores (or may never be, since I believe Whole Foods stores all do their own sourcing, which often includes offering things from local bakers, farmers, butchers and artisans). Among some of our more exciting purchases were gluten free vegan cinnamon rolls from Flying Apron bakery, gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes with choclate icing, the new Udi's frozen French style dinner rolls, gluten free fish fillets, and some other rolls that look like popovers. A really nice shopping experience.

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Earl's
4295 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, V0N 1B4
Canada

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free dining in village at Whistler, BC

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 27, 2013

This is a really cool restaurant that I'd recommend for dining in Whistler -- but be prepared for a someone limited number of gluten free options. The restaurant itself has a lot of character, decorated with antler chandeliers. I love that true western feel in a ski town. It's got a sophisticated vibe, though, with a gorgeous bar with several flat screen TVs and a bar-like room adjacent to the bar with seating for dinner. There's also a large outdoor area for dining, weather permitting. Although they do have a gluten free menu, it's not terribly extensive. But you can make it work, as we did, by bringing our own gluten free hamburger bun so our son could order one of their delicious burgers (they do not have GF buns). Other things on the menu aren't quite "complete" either, like the fish "tacos" which aren't really tacos at all since you can't have the flour tortillas, and a sandwich without ciabatta bread! I get frustrated with restaurants like this because, really, how hard is it to keep some gluten free buns in the freezer and some corn tortillas on hand? It would make the GF menu that much better. But again, the fact that they even have a gluten free menu is encouraging, and they seem to have really checked out and researched to make sure what's on it is truly gluten free. And there are a number of entrée salads, steaks, 2 delicious chicken options, and salmon. Those are probably the best bet, because no major substitutions are required. There are plenty of sides available, too, including the fries which they say are GF and fried in a dedicated fryer, even though they're not listed on the GF menu.

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Pappardelle's
1912 Pike Place
Seattle, WA


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten Free Pasta in Pike Place Market in Seattle

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

This place was a great find that we stumbled upon as we meandered through the Pike Place Market early on a Sunday morning. At first, we almost walked right by, because we figured the dry pasta so nicely displayed in dozens of varieties (including chocolagte) was all full of gluten. But around on the other side, separated from the gluten pasta, were about 10 unique varieties of GLUTEN FREE PASTA! Awesome! It's made from a combination of rice, corn, tapioca, and quinoa flours, so it "holds up" better than regular rice pasta, for example. And the varieties were each tastier sounding than the next (Chipotle Lime, Lemon Parsley). Ultimately, we chose to get Âľ pound of both the Lemon Pepper fusilli and the Garlic Chive rooster comb pasta. The man helping us used clean disposable plastic gloves when scooping the pasta into the bags. It wasn't cheap ($14.00 per pound -- like an expensive specialty coffee!) but worth it for a special treat. We made the Garlic Chive variety tonight, and it was delicious -- not a strong flavor, but subtle, and it held up really well when cooking. Just keep checking it after 10 minutes to see when it's done. For us, it came out perfect al dente! It's available to order online, too, so we may be ordering more...it would be fun to try more flavors.

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Starbuck's
1912 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Original Starbucks in Seattle's Pike Place Market

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

This is THE ORIGINAL Starbucks location -- right in heart of Pike's Place Market. Being huge Starbucks fans, we just had to make the "pilgrimage." Although our kids don't quite understand the significance, they enjoyed their hot cocoas! The very interesting -- and nice -- thing about this location is that they don't serve ANY pastries or food at all, so NO chance of cross contamination. If you stick with brewed coffee, tea, espresso beverages with milk, or hot cocoa, you're safe. Just giving it a "3 Palm" rating, however, because there's no food, just drinks.

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Hampton Inn and Suites
700 5th Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Hotel in Seattle with a few gluten free options at their breakfast buffet

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

I wanted to submit a quick review of this particular hotel, since they, like all Hamptons Inns, include breakfast with an overnight stay. Gluten free items at the breakfast "buffet" include hard boiled eggs, Yoplait yogurt (it says Gluten Free right on the container), and fruit. We didn't inquire about whether or not the scrambled eggs were GF, because my husband (not Celiac like our son) tried them and said they were awful anyway (likely powdered). But that was fine since our son wanted the hard boiled eggs for a change. With the fruit and yogurt (and a GF breakfast bar we'd brought), this made for a decent breakfast. They also had rice krispies, but we were unsure of whether they were a brand that was GF, because they were in a bin, not in individual, sealed packages. Best to avoid. There is coffee and tea and fruit available round-the-clock in this very nice Hampton Inn , conveniently located within walking distance of Seattle's Space Needle and other tourist attractions in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.

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Sky City (atop Space Needle)
400 Broad Street
Seattle, WA 98109


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten Free Dining at Sky City restaurant atop Seattle's Space Needle

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

Since we were only in Seattle for an afternoon and evening en route to Whistler, British Columbia, we (okay, mostly our kids) wanted to make a stop at Seattle's Space Needle a top priority. About two months before our departure, I decided to check into whether their rotating restaurant, called Sky City, under the observation deck had any gluten free options. Not only was I impressed with the very sophisticated range of food they offered (albeit very pricy), but I was thrilled to find out many things were available gluten free -- and were even marked as such on their daily menu (although you won't find these markings on their menu posted on their website -- but they are on the menu in the restaurant). I had the woman taking our reservation over the phone note our gluten free needs, and she assured me they handled gluten free requests daily. Although the prices seemed high at this restaurant, we learned that admission to the observation deck was complimentary for restaurant diners. Therefore, you essentially "save" $19 per adult and $12 per child when you dine at the restaurant. So when you account for that in the price of the entrees, it makes them seem more in line with the prices of other nice restaurants. I have to say we totally lucked out with the weather that day. It could not have been more perfect for a trip up the Space Needle. Even our cousin, who lives in Seattle and showed us around for the afternoon -- and joined us for dinner -- was in shock to have such a gorgeous day (50 degrees and SUNNY) in March. After enjoying the outdoors for most of the afternoon, we shot up to the Space Needle's observation deck in a smooth, fast elevator and had a clear, 360 degree view of the Seattle skyline. Wow! We even saw Mt. Ranier, which is not always visible in this cloudy, rainy city -- at least at this time of year. The sun set as we ate dinner, and then we were treated to the twinkling lights of the city below. The food was as superb as the view. Notable gluten free choices were the beef tenderloin (although the bordelaise sauce was off limits), salmon, and pork chop, all prepared in interesting, modern, and sophisticated ways. Our server was extremely courteous and professional. It was really a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable evening.

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters
616 East Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98122


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Cute coffee shop in Capitol Hill area of Seattle

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 26, 2013

Although we're fans of Starbucks, while in Seattle we also wanted to try a "local" coffee house. There are so many here, and our cousin suggested we pop into Stumptown Coffee Roasters, in his neighborhood of Capitol Hill. Immediately upon walking in, I new this was the "real deal." A barrista was hard at work making handcrafted espresso beverages, with freshly ground espresso and a fancy espresso machine. Several other employees assisted, taking orders and helping with the drinks. They offered a few pastries in a case. When I asked if any were gluten free, they thought one particular muffin was (not real sure!), but they agreed it wouldn't be safe for a Celiac anyway, because of its immediate proximity to the other pastries. Of course, their espresso based beverages were gluten free (although I didn't inquire about any syrups, since I just ordered a plain latte). I did, however, inquire about the hot cocoa, which our sons wanted to order. I was told it was just dark chocolate, sugar, and whole milk. The beverages here were good -- albeit different from Starbucks. I ordered a medium size beverage which apparently had two espresso shots (one regular and one decaf), but I really tasted more of the milk, and not much of the coffee flavor. But it was good. We got the same feedback from our kids: the hot chocolate was very milky, not too chocolaty. I'm just giving this 3 stars, because it would be nice to have some gluten free pastries offered here, safely separated from the other pastries in order to avoid cross contact.

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Blue Moon Burgers
523 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free friendly burger joint in Seattle

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 25, 2013

This is a casual burger joint with three locations in Seattle. We went to this particular location in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle on the afternoon we arrived in Seattle. We were meeting up with a cousin who lives in this particular neighborhood of Seattle. There's a sign greeting gluten free customers upon arrival. They offer gluten free buns for the burgers and sandwiches, and the french fries AND onion rings are gluten free -- and fried in a dedicated fryer. Oh my gosh...to have gluten free onion rings is SUCH a rarity -- almost unheard of unless you make them yourself. So of course, we had to order some, along with an order of fries AND garlic parmesan fries. All were supurb, but I must say the onion rings were incredible --- not greasy at all, and nice and crispy. They were large -- and you only got about 5 to an order -- but that was enough, considering we were eating big , juicy burgers, too! Those who ordered gluten free in our group got beef burgers on GF buns. They also had turkey burgers, chicken breasts, and salmon as other "burger" options. But I wanted to try something other than a burger, so I ordered a steak and cheese sandwich on a gluten free bun. The woman taking my order clarified that the GF bun was a GF hamburger bun, not a GF hoagie-type roll as a steak and cheese would typically be served on. No worries...it was still a typical cheesesteak loaded with lots of yummy grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms. They just spilled out of the bun a bit! But the bun was delicious... warm and moist, not crumbly, so it held together well. Everyone loved their meal here, and we agreed it was probably a good thing we didn't live in the area or we'd be back way too often! My husband's only regret was not ordering a milkshake to go with the burger and fries! Oh -- and they also had a nice selection of GF beers! Any of Blue Moon Burger's locations are a must visit if you are in Seattle. There's another in Fremont and one in South Lake Union.

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Mom's Organic Market
424 Elden Street
Herndon, VA 20170


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Best place to shop for gluten free in Northern Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jan 14, 2013

I have a friend that shops at this store regularly, but for whatever reason, I hadn't made a point of going there. I typically shop at the Giant Food store in our neighborhood, which has been stocking more gluten free foods. To get more of the speciality gluten free items our family likes, we also make weekly visits to Wegmans and occasionally Whole Foods. I like Trader Joe's, too, for an occasional visit to stock up on certain gluten free items they sell. But I get frustrated having to shop at so many different stores to find everything our family likes. It can be very time consuming and exhausting! I think I've now found a better way to shop: a weekly trip to Mom's Market. It is like a mini Whole Foods -- and it's closer to my house. What I like is that the store is the perfect size -- big enough to stock everything I need but not so big (like Wegmans) that it takes you forever to go shopping. But of course the main reason I'm now in love with Mom's Market is because so much of what they sell is organic, and their selection of gluten free brands is second to none. I found just about every gluten free brand we like -- and saw many new brands I wasn't even aware of. I could have filled my cart three times! I had to exercise extreme restraint, reminding myself I didn't have to buy and try everything in this first trip...I could (and will!) go back each week! To be able to buy everything in one place is a huge time-saver, and their prices are good too (they claim to have the lowest prices of any natural food store). I'm also a big buyer of organic produce, and I loved that every fruit and vegetable I saw in the produce section was organic. And their meat section is small, but in a good way. They have most things you'd be looking for (chicken, turkey, ground beef, steaks, port chops) in addition to bison, lunch meats, sausages, and bacon. And it's all healthy, naturally raised without hormones. So again, it's nice to just know that Mom's essentially pre-screens everything so you don't have to! It makes shopping efficient and pleasurable. I can't recommend this store highly enough. My kids were so excited with what I bought that they are begging for me to take them along next time!

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Hyatt Regency Long Island
1717 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, NY 11788


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Hotel in Hauppauge, NY has chef who understands gluten free

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 08, 2012

I just returned from the Celiac Sprue Association's annual conference, held at the Hyatt Regency on Long Island (Hauppauge, NY). What an incredible experience it was to hear so many great speakers, including many from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Another highlight of the conference was the incredible gluten free food prepared by Chef Ralph DeLustro and his team. Hyatt Hotels has already begun to offer gluten free options on their menus of restaurants in their hotels, but clearly, Chef DeLustro took this up several notches in preparing for this important group of gluten free guests at his hotel. From the buffet breakfasts and lunches to the two sit-down dinners and a "Clam Bake" the first evening, he and his team of chefs did a fantastic job. The variety and quality of the food was superb, and the Chef personally plated each and every meal being served at dinner, in order to tend to other dietary needs, beyond the GF requirements of the meal. I had the most incredible chicken dish ever one night at dinner (we were always offered a choice of three different -- and equally wonderful sounding -- entrees). It was an Almond Crusted Chicken with fresh sage, thyme, olive oil, cornstarch, eggs, raspberry and butter. WOW -- I can not even convey how good it was. I devoured every last bite of the huge portion (and this was just one of 4 courses we were served). Another notable offering was the gluten free ravioli we were served as an appetizer...the BEST gluten free pasta I've ever had. Perfectly cooked...and you would never have guessed it was GF! His desserts were to-die-for and beautifully presented (a sweet potato cheesecake was my favorite). Of the many lunch entrees to choose from each day, some of my favorites included the Chicken Saltimbocca and a Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi with a Mint Coconut Reduction. Now where do you typically eat like that?! I cannot sing the praises of this chef highly enough...from the quality and flavor of the food to the presentation and attention to detail, I was thoroughly impressed. And to do this for 100+ guests on strict gluten free diets -- and often with other special dietary restrictions -- was no small task. Apparently, he thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and is planning to share much of what he learned and some of the recipes with Hyatt Corporate so their other hotels can benefit from this knowledge. I plan to encourage that...and hopefully much of his talent in preparing wonderful GF meals will trickle down to Hyatt's other properties.

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Talara
625 South President Street
Baltimore, MD 21202


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Restaurant with gluten free menu in Baltimore

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Oct 05, 2012

I'd heard that Talara in Baltimore had gluten free offerings, so when I went to what's called the "Harbor East" area of Baltimore recently to meet a friend who was there for a conference, I suggested we give it a try. It calls itself a "Nuevo Latino Bistro" and has some really interesting and unique things on its menu, including a seviche bar and tapas. There is a printed Gluten Free Menu for dinner, which includes Seviche (a variation on sushi but also with cooked options), Tapas, Salads, and Entrees. Unfortunately, no gluten free desserts at this time! But alas, we were there for lunch, and they do not have a printed GF menu...but the server was happy to have the chef mark all the items on the menu that were either naturally gluten free -- or could be tailored to be gluten free. In many cases, it meant leaving out a fried item, like plantain chips or tortilla chips, because they do not have a dedicated fryer for gluten free items (not enough space in the kitchen). I suggested they buy gluten free tortilla chips that don't need frying in-house, so they could offer their "Mini Tostadas" and other items (right now, they're off limits because the chips are fresh and fried in the fryer with other gluten containing items). Darn. Most of their soups are gluten free, including the Ancho Tomato Basil, which my friend had and loved, and the She-Crab Soup. I ordered a delicious Chicken and Endive Salad with delightfully flavorful chicken breast, field greens and Belgian endive, grilled watermelon, goat cheese, candied pistachios, and a delicious mango balsamic vinaigrette. It was a wonderful melding of flavors. My friend ordered the smaller and more basic Talara salad (also GF) with her soup. Unfortunately, a big portion of their lunch menu is sandwiches, but for soup or salad -- or seviche modified to leave out anything fried, I recommend trying this unique restaurant which has a cool vibe...or better yet, do what I plan to do...visit them for dinner so you can try the Shrimp and Grits!

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WoWo's Goodies
130 Aldrich Road
Wilmington, MA 01887


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Bakery in Boston suburb delivers gluten free treats!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 22, 2012

Our family just returned from visiting relatives in the suburbs of Boston, and through them, I was introduced to Scott Johnson, owner of the relatively new bakery called WoWo's Goodies (named after his wife's grandmother who had a great baking talents). Scott opened WoWo's in December of last year and then in February added many gluten free offerings to his assortment of baked goodies, at the request of some of his customers. Although he has a storefront in mind, right now Scott works out of his home, which is a Board of Health certified residential kitchen. He can do either pick-up or delivery orders. We had him deliver an assortment of gluten free Whoopie Pies and gluten free Chocolate Brownies -- both of which were delicious! The Whoopie Pies are traditional style with a creamy marshmallow filling. The best thing is -- although he does not run a dedicated gluten free kitchen -- Scott DOUBLE CLEANS the kitchen before making his gluten free baked goods. That means he cleans at the end of the day after making "regular" baked goods AND then he cleans again the next morning, in case any gluten flour in the air settles on the counter surfaces. That was impressive to hear. Then he makes his gluten free goodies. Although we did not sample any, he offers these other gluten free options: cupcakes, cakes, muffins, and scones. He loves to experiment with new flavors and I'm sure would be happy to create a custom flavor (within reason)! His wife makes gluten free granola and they sell both their gluten free goodies at the Wilmington, MA Farmer's Market. All his products freeze well, as he explained -- and we tested. We stocked up on the gluten free Whoopie Pies and Brownies and brought some home to have on hand. What a nice treat for our son to be able to have a GF Whoopie Pie! Give Scott a call and let him know Karen Broussard referred you...he'll be sure to take good care of you!

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McDonald's
250 Maple Street
Marlborough, MA 01752


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Quick gluten free meal in Marlborough, Massachusetts

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 20, 2012

We were in a rush passing through Marlborough, MA and didn't have time to look for something more elaborate, so we ended up at McDonald's for a quick gluten free meal. Enjoyed the usual burger sans bun, fries, and a wild berry smoothie (yum!). Although I get a bit tired of McD's, it's nice to know that they're virtually everywhere, and you can almost always get a manager who understands your request (take the burger from the grill and put it directly in a box without touching any bread). Love the smoothies and McCafe gourmet coffees, too.

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Giant
3301 Trindle Road
Camp Hill, PA 17011


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Amazing grocery store with lots of gluten free products in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 06, 2012

We just ran into this store on our way to Hershey Park for the weekend. We needed a few staples, like bottled water, for our hotel room. I had never been in a Giant like this before. It was GORGEOUS...and it had TONS of great gluten free products. I grabbed some we can't always find in stores "back home" (and our neighborhood store of choice is also a Giant!). I'd wished we could have bought more, but we couldn't buy any perishables. We didn't have a cooler along for the trip. Anyone passing through this area and in need of GF groceries should stop in. They even had new gluten free symbols on shelf tags throughout the store to make spotting GF items a lot easier.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries
5272 Campbell Boulevard
Nottingham, MD 21236


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free burger and fries in White Marsh, MD

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

We stopped in the White Marsh area to grab a quick dinner on our way up to New York. We decided on Five Guys where we always know we can get a tasty, juicy burger (or double!) that's gluten free. Their fries are gluten free, as are all their toppings and condiments for the burgers. There is no extra charge for toppings, even if you want your burger loaded with everything. And the only thing NOT gluten free in Five Guys restaurants are the buns (you can always bring your own, or they will serve it to you in a lettuce wrap if you prefer). They toast the buns on a separate grill top -- not the same one the burgers are cooked on, so there is no risk for cross contamination. They also change their gloves and are very careful with all gluten free orders, but it's always a good idea to let them know your gluten free request is due to a medically-necessary gluten free diet/Celiac Disease. This is a limited-menu restaurant (just burgers and fries) but reliable and worth an occasional splurge when you're in the mood for a burger.

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Hershey Park amusement park
100 Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten Free options at Hershey Park, Pennsylvania

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jun 24, 2012

Hershey Park makes gluten free dining easy by offering at least one or two gluten free options (and in many cases...dairy free, nut free, and vegetarian options) available at their restaurants. You can purchase a special diets "voucher" for $13.50 which lists the GF, DF, nut free and vegetarian options at various restaurants right on the ticket. You get an entree/main dish, side, and 32 oz. fountain drink in a refillable cup. Staff is trained to change gloves, use clean utensils, and follow proper protocol to avoid cross contamination in preparing meals for guests with special dietary needs. All in all, a great experience at a theme park. If this wasn't a theme park, I wouldn't be giving it 5 palms, but given that I have lower expectations for theme parks, I'd say this experience is about the best we've had. For more details on our family's trip to Hershey Park and the specific gluten free options (including what we tried), see my Blog post: http://bit.ly/LsUXnw

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Da Nico Ristorante
164 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten free at restaurant in Little Italy, New York City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

My husband and I had a night out without the kids and wanted to dine in Little Italy. We were pleasantly surprised to find so many of the restaurants on Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy had gluten free pizza and/or pasta noted on their menus. They menus are frequently set up right along the street in front of the restaurant for easy viewing -- making it a tough decision when trying to decide where to dine! We decided on Da Nico, which has a large outdoor seating area in back. It was a gorgeous evening, so the back patio was starting to fill up when we arrived. There is plenty of indoor seating, too, but on that evening, there were very few tables occupied inside. Even though they don't have a separate Gluten Free Menu, they note on their main menu that they can do most pasta dishes on the menu gluten free, using either Bertoli gluten free spaghetti or penne. There are plenty of other items on the menu that are gluten free or can be tailored to be. Just talk to your server or the manager. I ordered a heavenly spinach salad which could have been a meal in itself. It was loaded with fresh mushrooms, pancetta, walnuts, and orange segments. I followed that with gluten free spaghetti with white clam sauce, one of my favorite things to order, since that's not something I'd typically make at home. It was delicious. The Bertoli gluten free pasta was done perfectly. My husband ordered gluten free spaghetti with Arrabiatta sauce, which he also enjoyed. If you have Celiac or are gluten sensitive, be sure to let them know you are on a medically necessary gluten free diet and request that they prepare the pasta in a separate pot of water and use a clean colander, utensils, etc. They do not have any information about their gluten free offerings on their website, but if you are interested in going to this restaurant (and I'd recommend it), call ahead of time and talk with a manager about your gluten free needs and to find out if what you'd like to order can be done gluten free.

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Kind Kupcakes
2307 Mount Vernon Avenue
Ashburn, VA


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Delicious gluten-free cupcakes available in Ashburn, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 03, 2012

Kind Kupcakes is a special-order bakery, with pick-up of orders in Ashburn, Virginia. They will also deliver, depending on the location, for a fee. Lisa, the owner, uses premium ingredients and has four lines of cupcakes: all natural, organic, vegan, and gluten-free. There are 20 varieties of gluten free cupcakes!! We were given the gluten-free S'mores cupcakes by some friends, and they were delicious. I had to call to ensure they were gluten-free. I can't wait to try other varieties. These are expensive but great for a special occasion, like a birthday party (as long as you have kids -- or adults -- who will appreciate the premium ingredients (and taste) of these decadent creations. I hate anything "un-natural" in my food, if I can help it, so I'm happy to pay a little more for a quality cupcake. She has some really unique flavors, including Salted Butterscotch Caramel, Peppermint Patty, and Guava Cream Cheese -- and of course all the usual, classic varieties. I'd highly recommend ordering some if you have a special occasion and live near Ashburn, VA. I believe the minimum order is a dozen.

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Founding Farmers
12505 Park Potomac Avenue
Potomac, MD 20854


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
New restaurant in Potomac, Maryland with gluten-free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 12, 2012

We celebrated a family birthday at this relatively new restaurant in Park Potomac. Founding Farmers has another location in Foggy Bottom (DC) and one at the Georgetown Waterfront that is being renovated after a major flood last year. They have a gluten-free menu (not on their website, but ask for it when you arrive at the restaurant), which had quite a few options on it. Most of their fish preparations are GF, and they have many entree salads, steaks, and other choices. In terms of sides, the fries are apparently gluten-free, as was the delicious butternut squash risotto, which our GF son ordered instead of the mashed potatoes as a side dish with his filet mignon. They also allowed him to get a side salad instead of the vegetable of the day, which was root vegetables. They had a wonderful gluten-free flourless chocolate cake for dessert, which BOTH our boys devoured. I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with this restaurant, however. It was very busy, and a bit noisy (and we were seated upstairs, which was actually probably quieter than the main level). Our service was a bit spotty. We had to ask for certain things several times, and our salads showed up without all the trimmings that were supposed to be in them (grapes, figs, almonds, avocado). We were served plates of mostly lettuce with a few tomatoes. I don't know if they just got the salad order wrong, but we had to ask for the toppings to add ourselves after the fact. The combination of the mashed potatoes (which were not very good) and the root vegetables (both served with many of the entrees) was weird, because the root vegetables were mostly potatoes! My rockfish had some small bones in it and wasn't the most generous portion. The steaks, however, were wonderful, and cooked to order (nice pink/red "medium"). The non-GF folks at our table that ordered pasta (mushroom ravioli and lobster mac-n-cheese) really enjoyed it. But there was no GF pasta. We might try this place again but perhaps at a slower time (Sunday nights apparently are very busy now that football season is over). They do seem to understand gluten-free, so we had confidence in the food our son was eating. So essentially our disappointment had nothing to do with the gluten-free aspect of the meal...it was more with the service and a few disappointing side dishes/salads.

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Slopeside (at Seven Springs Mountain Resort)
777 Water Wheel Drive
Champion, PA 15622


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Restaurant in Seven Springs, PA is happy to serve gluten-free diners

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 23, 2012

We had a really nice dinner at Slopeside restaurant at Seven Springs resort. I had called in advance of our trip and spoke to one of the head chefs, Bill, who recommended that this would be the best restaurant out of their many restaurants at the resort for a gluten-free dining experience. He said they received this request often and would be able to take care of us. When we arrived at the restaurant and reminded the hostess of our gluten-free need, she sent the chef over to our table, and he was very gracious. He mentioned that many items on the menu could be prepared GF if they weren't already -- or that he could prepare something else at our request. Our son wanted steak, which is pretty easy since it's naturally GF (unless there's a marinade, which there wasn't in this case). When we discussed choices of sides, the chef offered to make a fresh batch of fries in a separate pot of oil so they'd be gluten-free. Our son was thrilled. He also was served a side of perfectly cooked broccoli. The restaurant has a salad/soup/bread/dessert bar for only $4 extra, so our whole family opted for this. This also allowed our son to get a nice salad, and although they did not have any GF bread, they DID have two wonderful gluten-free desserts: a creme brűlée and a chocolate mousse, both of which he devoured! If your taste is more adventurous than a New York strip steak, they had other amazing things on their menu which could probably be modified to be GF, like the Pistachio Roasted Chicken, which I ordered (served over black pepper linguine, since I'm not GF, only our son), but they could probably serve it over mashed potatoes, which we confirmed were GF. There was also the Lavendar Encrusted Filet of Beef with Saffron Demi Glace. I was tempted by that, but alas, I could only select one entree! Again, many of their entrees appeared on the surface to be GF -- or if not, the chef said modifications could be made. Their menu does change every few weeks, so it's likely you'll find a whole new set of tempting selections. Just ask to speak with whichever chef is in the kitchen that night, and I am sure you'll be in good hands!

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Chick-Fil-A
1002 Edwards Ferry Road Northeast
Leesburg, VA 20176


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Another good option for gluten-free fast-food

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 23, 2012

It's always nice to have an alternative to McDonald's when looking for a fast option for dining gluten-free. Chick-Fil-A has a pretty decent list of gluten-free items, primarily grilled chicken, their new grilled chicken nuggets (great for kids -- that's what our son ordered), and a couple salads with grilled chicken on top. But it's nice that many sides, including their unique and yummy carrot/raisin salad, are gluten-free, as is their frozen dairy dessert (without cone). And their delicious waffle fries are indeed GF! This particular location gets busy since it's near the Leesburg Premium Outlets, but they seem efficient, and all our food was good.

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McDonald's
123 South Breezewood Road
Breezewood, PA 15533


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
A good old standby for gluten-free food in Breezewood, PA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 23, 2012

If you find yourself in Breezewood, the gateway to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, you don't have much to choose from in the way of gluten-free. But at least there's a McDonald's. The night we were there, they seemed very short-staffed, and there was no sense of urgency in taking orders. However, they were friendly and seemed to understand our request for a burger taken straight from the grill and put into a box, without touching bread. They got it right, and there seemed to be no ill effects from the food. Again...always a good standby if you're hungry and need a quick gluten-free meal.

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Outback Steakhouse
5702 Union Mill Road
Clifton, VA 20124


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
This national restaurant chain with gluten-free menu is still tops!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 13, 2012

Our recent visit to a local Outback Steakhouse confirmed why this restaurant is still top-of-the-foodchain for gluten-free friendly restaurants. There is SO much to choose from on their gluten free menu -- virtually as extensive as their regular menu. So anything you are in the mood for can be ordered. Kids portions of the gluten-free ribs satisfied our kids, without setting us back too much...only $6.50 each. The servers at Outback are always very well-trained and knowledgable as well, making you feel like you are in good hands.

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The Goodstone Inn and Estate
36025 Snake Hill Road
Middleburg, VA 20117


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Unbelievable restaurant in Middleburg, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 21, 2011

This was undoubtedly one of the most fantastic meals I've ever had -- in both taste and presentation. However, I have to say upfront that we did not order gluten-free, per se, since our son (the only one in the family with Celiac) was not with us. This was a special occasion celebration for my husband and me, and what a choice it was! We DID, however, inquire as to whether they could accommodate gluten-free requests, and the answer from our waiter was a resounding "yes." It seemed that many of the items on the menu would have been naturally gluten-free, or if not, easy to tailor. This is the type of restaurant where the chef knows everything that goes into the food, so I'm sure they could accommodate all sorts of special diets. We opted for the 4- course price-fixe menu, which was not cheap, but worth every penny. I ordered the mushroom crepe appetizer (obviously not GF); a wonderful salad with beets, goat cheese, and candied walnuts (and beautiful edible flowers); duck a l'orange; and an incredible vanilla bean creme brulee for dessert. My husband ordered a squash soup, more basic salad, the same duck, and a to-die-for chocolate creation for dessert. I enjoy a gourmet meal just like the next person, but I'm also the type of person who gets frustrated with small portions where there's so much emphasis on presentation (at the expense of portions) that you leave feeling hungry (after having spent a small fortune). The Goodstone Inn is not that type of place. It is s the perfect balance of excellent food and beautiful presentation, and you leave feeling immensely satisfied...niether stuffed nor hungry. The service is attentive, without being overly so, and it is a charming and cozy dining room, in what appears to be a renovated carriage house. The Goodstone Inn is just that...an Inn/B&B, but since we live within about 30 minutes, we did not stay but just went for dinner. We were not able to see the beautiful grounds or explore much of the property since it was dark when we were there. I'd love to go back in the summer for dinner so we could really check out the property, which is nestled in rolling hills about 2 miles north of the main road running through historic Middleburg, Virginia. What a wonderful "secret" we discovered that evening...and to think we'd never before heard about it...it was an Internet find. We will definitely be back, and if you're gluten-free, I'd simply suggest you try to talk with the chef or manager when making your reservation. I'd give this restaurant 5 palms -- or even more! -- except for the fact that things are not labeled Gluten Free on the menu. And since we didn't specifically request our dinners be prepared gluten-free, we can't fully evaluate the experience from that perspective on this visit. Yet another reason to go back...

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Hyatt Regency
100 Heron Boulevard
Cambridge, MD 21613


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Resort on the Eastern Shore can accommodate gluten free travelers

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 21, 2011

I could write a very lengthy review of our long weekend with our family at this resort, but I'll try to be somewhat brief and just get to the takeaway: this resort is able to accommodate people following gluten-free diets, but it does require a bit of work, and they don't necessarily go out of their way to "wow" the gluten-free guest. The food and dining experience is very nice -- a beautiful dining room called the Waters Edge in the main part of the hotel that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then there's the Blue Point Provision Company restaurant on the property -- but a moderate walk from the main building -- that serves fresh seafood and steaks. They were only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday during the "off season" while we were there. There's also a casual poolside cafe and food service at the golf course on the property. This is a fairly new resort -- built about 10 years ago, I think. We got an amazing deal for a long weekend during early November, called their "Winter Escape" package. At times we felt like we had the hotel to ourselves, which was nice and peaceful. This is a great resort for families, any time of year: a very nice indoor pool and hot tub, two outdoor pools, a game room, a kids club, an arcade, and plenty of activities planned during the warmer, busier months. We enjoyed the quiet and some real R&R! Getting back to gluten- free, mention it when making your reservation, and meet with the chef the day of your arrival, if possible. That way, you can find out exactly what your options are for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We didn't find out until our third night there that they had gluten-free pancakes, waffles, and muffins available. No one had told us that the first morning at breakfast (and we had made it well-known to the kitchen staff, server, and manager that our son had to follow a gluten-free diet). So that first morning he had the usual standby: eggs, sausage and bacon, and fruit. A bit frustrating when there was an incredible buffet filled with all sorts of delectable baked treats. But we did order the gluten-free pancakes for him the third morning -- and had a couple quick gluten-free muffins ordered "to go" on our last morning before we checked out. Our dinner at the Blue Point Provision Company was fantastic. Our boys both had steaks from the kids menu, which were wonderfully sized strip steaks, served with a delicious Jasmine rice with cranberries, and fresh green beans and yellow tomatoes. We also ordered some shrimp cocktail to start with, which was excellent. The only problem was that there were no gluten-free options for dessert, except maybe ice cream. Fortunately, I'd suspected this would be the case and had brought some homemade gluten-free cupcakes on our trip so our son could have something special and equally as good for dessert on the nights we ordered something ourselves. But that's the type of thing I'm talking about...you'd think they could at least offer one or two gluten-free options: flourless chocolate cake, creme brulee, something....Our dinner at the Water's Edge restaurant was also very good, and we'd found out that they stocked gluten-free pasta (something else I'd brought on the trip "just in case" -- but ended up not needing). We ordered that for our son, topped with crab, shrimp, and calamari in a fish sauce, and it was very good. But again, no dessert options. Our third night we ate in the lounge/bar area which is really cozy with a beautiful view of the water and a couple fireplaces. Our son opted for a burger, but there were no gluten- free buns offered...and the fries weren't fried in a dedicated fryer, so they were off-limits. It was one of those trips that made me a bit sad because I felt my son got a bit short-changed by the lack of options. But I think gluten-free adults will have an easier time and certainly be less heartbroken over things like having to forgo dessert or fries! They do seem to be making an effort and seem to know how to avoid cross contamination in preparation as well, based on some things the kitchen staff said to us. It's still always a good idea, however, to remind them of things like cooking the GF pancakes on a clean part of the griddle where regular pancakes have not been prepared. Again, I think with some communication upon arrival (and perhaps bringing some snacks, favorite treats, and even things like GF hamburger buns or sandwich bread), this resort can be a nice place to vacation if following a gluten-free diet.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries
44650 Waxpool Road
Ashburn, VA 20147


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten-free burgers at restaurant chain in Northern Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 01, 2011

Five Guys -- with locations across the country -- is a safe place to go and get a gluten-free meal. The only thing in the entire burger and fry restaurant that contains gluten is the buns. And we just bring our own. We also ask that they be careful about handling the burger patties we order for our son, who is GF...we ask that they use clean gloves and that the patty doesn't come into contact with any bread. They do not grill buns on the hamburger grill, so no need to worry about that potential pitfall. They will put your burger in foil, and you can choose from about a dozen different fixin's (mushrooms, grilled onions, cheese, pickles, ketchup, etc.), and there is no upcharge for any of them. The fries are GF as well, and nothing else is fried in the fryer. The burgers are great -- they use fresh ground beef (not frozen patties), and their menu is trans-fat free. They use peanut oil to fry their french fries, and there are peanuts everywhere (to munch on while you wait), so avoid this place if you have a peanut allergy! But if you need only avoid gluten, bring a bun and enjoy delicious burgers and fries with all your family and friends!

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The Don's Wood-Fired Pizza
21018 Southbank Street
Sterling, VA 20165


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Still Riding gluten-free pizza available at restaurant in Sterling, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Oct 02, 2011

I'd heard that The Don's Wood-Fired Pizza offered gluten-free pizza, so I called to verify. I needed to get a gluten-free pizza for our son who was attending a birthday party nearby, where they'd be serving the usual pizza at the end of the party. When I called Don's, I asked to speak to the manager. His name is Antonio. I inquired about the gluten-free pizza, and he said they offered Still Riding GF crusts and told me it was prepared and cooked in the separate pan that comes with it. I also inquired about using separate tomato sauce and cheese that had not come into contact with the ladles or gloves that had touched regular gluten pizza. I didn't get the impression that they typically did this, so I asked if he COULD do it in our case, because it was essential in preventing my son from getting sick. He was happy to oblige. So I told him I'd call later that evening to order. I did, and he followed all my specific instructions. The pizza was a bit odd -- they put the cheese on first and then the tomato sauce on top. But after initially turning up his nose at it, my son ate it without complaint. I had some just to taste it...in my opinion, it wasn't the best GF pizza I've ever had...the crust was a bit doughy...not really crisp, but perhaps that's how Still Riding pizza crust is. I can recommend this place for GF pizza if you're very explicit about asking for "fresh" or "new" sauce, cheese, toppings -- to avoid the cross contamination risk. There aren't many places still open in the area that offer gluten-free pizza. A nearby Uno's closed a while back, as have some Z Pizza locations in northern Virginia.

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Axel's Bonfire
1555 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN 55122


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Small chain restaurant in Minnesota with great gluten-free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

Axel's Bonfire is a 7-location chain of restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (one of these locations is in the MSP airport). They have a very extensive gluten-free menu. It has some standards like steaks, salmon, prime rib, pork chops, but the preparations seem anything but boring. They also have a blackened grouper on the GF menu, along with walleye, fish tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, "bunless" burgers, plenty of delicious entree and smaller-sized salads, and soups/chilis. There are a couple original appetizers, like Bull Bites (blackened tenderloin tips served with horseradish cream sauce) and Fire Roasted Jalapeno Peppers. The gluten-free items we tried were the Chopped Salad, Chicken and White Bean Chili, and the Fish Tacos. All were very good. There is also a kids menu, although I don't think any of the items were GF (although the tacos could be adapted to be GF if ordered with corn tortillas). Overall, a very good experience...I wish they had one on the East Coast.

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Hotel Winneshiek
104 East Water Street
Decorah, IA 52101


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Hotel and restaurant in Iowa that understands gluten-free

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

We recently had the pleasure of staying at the historic and beautiful (and recently renovated) Hotel Winneshiek in downtown Decorah, Iowa when in town for a family wedding. A continental breakfast was included with our room, and they had hard-boiled eggs, Yoplait yogurt, and two gluten-free cereals (Rice Krispies and Rice Chex), available upon request (there's a little sign at the breakfast buffet). They also had gluten-free bread available. We requested some, and it seems we were the first. It was an unopened loaf of Ener-G bread, which we've actually never tried before (they were one of the first companies to make GF bread, but it seems there are better tasting ones available now). Our son didn't like it, but between the hard- boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, and cereal, he had plenty to fill him up. The restaurant, Albert's, is also open for dinner and provides a very nice setting with linen tablecloths and an extensive and sophisticated menu with all gluten-free items clearly marked with a GF. There were plenty of wonderful-sounding options of starters/salads and entrees of any type (steak, fish, etc.) I only wish we'd been able to dine there for dinner, but our other plans didn't leave us with a free night (we were dining at relatives, at the wedding, and at a nearby pizza chain w/ GF pizza). But I look forward to going back! One of the managers of the restaurant mentioned a local college student at Luther College dines there often, as it's the only place where he feels comfortable dining out, due to Celiac Disease. So they are aware of all the proper precautions to prepare GF meals.

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Pizza Ranch
212 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten-free pizza at Pizza Ranch chain in Iowa

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

We were planning to eat at this chain of pizza restaurants and called to confirm, after hearing somewhere, that they offered gluten-free pizza. They did, and after asking a bunch of questions and ensuring they took steps to avoid cross-contamination, I was confident we could get a safe pizza gluten-free there. However, in the end, we chose to go to Mabe's Pizza instead, which is an independent (non-chain) pizza restaurant in town (they also have GF pizza). But if you're in or near Decorah, you can give Pizza Ranch a call and verify they have GF pizza and give it a try. Pizza Ranch has locations throughout 9 midwestern states.

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Mabe's Pizza
110 East Water Street
Decorah, IA 52101


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten-free pizza in Decorah, Iowa

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

Mabe's offers gluten-free pizza, and let me tell you...it is better than their "regular" pizza! It was one of the best gluten-free pizzas I've ever had. After sharing a regular pizza with my husband, I promptly devoured a third of the gluten-free pizza that remained after our gluten-free son was done with his! Just make sure to go through all the precautions they should take when preparing your GF pizza (clean area, new gloves, new cheese and sauce that hasn't been contaminated, clean pizza wheel). They seemed to get it, but you never know how well employees have been trained, so it doesn't hurt to be clear, especially if, like us, you or a family member is on a gluten-free diet out of necessity, not by choice.

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Oneota Community Co-op
312 West Water Street
Decorah, IA 52101


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Shopping for gluten-free groceries at store in Decorah, Iowa

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

We were in Deocrah, Iowa for a wedding and visited this nice market to find some gluten-free foods. They have quite a selection --both on the shelves and in the freezer section. And they have all the "good" items and best-tasting brands. A nice store that's easy to shop with plenty to choose from in the way of gluten-free -- and nice people working there as well!

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McDonald's
186 6th Street
Windom, MN 56101


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
McDonald's restaurant in Windom, Minnesota if you need a gluten free meal

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

We were glad to find this McDonald's in a small town called Windom, Minnesota while traveling en route from southwest Minnesota to Iowa. At least we could get a safe meal for our son. I was also glad to find out, when confirming they never used the french fry oil for any gluten-containing items (apparently, some locations due this on occasion when they're busy, so I've heard), that a local man in the town has Celiac. So they totally "get it" in terms of making sure your food is prepared and handled properly. The manager was very nice and helpful.

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McDonald's
1271 East Bridge Street
Redwood Falls, MN 56283


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
McDonald's restaurant in Redwood Falls, Minnesota for a safe, gluten-free meal

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

It seems very odd to be reviewing a McDonald's restaurant, but when you are traveling through small towns and cornfields in southwestern Minnesota, it's still nice to know you can get a quick and safe meal at someplace familiar. There is also a Pizza Ranch in town, and some of their locations have gluten-free pizza (of course, call to check, and make sure they are aware of all the precautions to avoid cross-contamination).

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Biaggi's
12051 Elm Creek Boulevard North
Maple Grove, MN 55369


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Great restaurant with gluten-free menu in Minneapolis

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 29, 2011

Since there are no Biaggi's on the East Coast where we reside, we'd only eaten at one other Biaggi's in the past -- the one in Salt Lake City, UT. We loved it then, and we still love it now. It is hard to beat the selection on this restaurant's gluten-free menu. They have everything, including delicious gluten-free pizza, gluten-free pasta (two kinds), and will even serve you gluten-free flatbread when the regular bread is served (it looks like what they probably use for the pizza, and they dress it with a bit of olive oil. Everything is outstanding on this menu, from the pizza to the salads, the pastas to the filet mignon, and especially the to-die-for Salmon and Shrimp Milanese served on delicious rissoto in a lemon-basil butter sauce -- SO good! Didn't have room for dessert! This restaurant is TOPS for Gluten-Free Dining!

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The Narrows
3023 Kent Narrow Way South
Grasonville, MD 21638


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Nice gluten-free menu at restaurant on Kent Island, MD area

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 23, 2011

Family members of ours LOVE The Narrows restaurant and frequent it often on the way to and from Ocean City, Maryland, but I had not been there in years. We recently learned they offer a Gluten-Free Menu, so we decided to stop there on the way back from a recent beach trip. Their menu is pretty extensive -- mostly seafood and beef, along with salads and appetizers. They are known for their amazing crab cakes, which unfortunately aren't gluten-free. But we'd had crab cakes the night before, so we probably wouldn't have ordered those anyway! Both our sons ordered gluten-free dinners...one had perfectly cooked and sliced sirloin steak, served with green beans (instead of mashed potatoes, which are not gluten-free) and our other son wasn't very hungry so he just ordered shrimp cocktail and a salad. Our server, Christine, could not have been nicer, and she was happy to answer any questions about the menu. She "got it" because her own son suffers from dietary restrictions. I got the impression that the restaurant would accommodate any special requests not on the Gluten Free Menu if they could. They were very eager to please, which is so nice, because many servers/chefs/restaurants don't really seem to care that much about making their guests dining experience the best it can be. Their Gluten Free menu is not posted online, but you can request it when you arrive. The Narrows provided a nice alternative in an area where there aren't a lot of gluten-free restaurant choices...it sure beat McDonalds!! I'd just like them to try making a gluten-free crabcake (not that difficult to do without bread crumbs) and even using a different brand of chicken stock in their mashed potatoes so they would be GF (again, easy to do...Pacific Foods chicken stock and many other brands are now GF).

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Lia's
4435 Willard Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Wonderful experience -- and Gluten Free Menu -- at restaurant in Chevy Chase, MD

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 31, 2011

We tried Lia's restaurant in Chevy Chase, MD last night, and it was fantastic. This is owned by Chef Geoff, and it is an Italian concept. They have a pretty extensive Gluten Free Menu with salads (I loved the one with roasted beets, spinach, and goat cheese) and appetizers -- plus entrees ranging from risottos, entree salads, steak, veal chop, chicken limoncello (delish!), and fish. The nice thing is that they have a note at the bottom of their menu saying that many of their menu items may be simpy modified to be made gluten-free, so if you see something you like on the regular menu, don't be afraid to ask! The only downside is they don't have gluten-free pasta or pizza, which is really too bad. For anyone accompanying you who isn't gluten-free, their homemade pastas look amazing. Adding some gluten-free bread would also be a nice touch.

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Ozzie's Corner Italian
11880 Grand Commons Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
New Italian restaurant with gluten-free selections in Fairfax, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jun 27, 2011

We decided to try this new restaurant owned by Great American Restaurant Group. It's right near another one of their restaurants in Fairfax Corner: Coastal Flats. I have to say I was disappointed with the "Low Gluten" menu. It seemed more limited than some of the restaurant group's other menus, like the one at Coastal Flats. This is an Italian restaurant, but they don't offer gluten-free pasta, which would certainly be a relatively easy thing to do (just needs a dedicated pot on the stove). Most of the entrees on the "Low Gluten" menu were steaks, but they were all very plain in preparation, with annoying notation after notation saying things like, "no au jus" or "no mushrooms," etc. Basically you get a plain steak or UNmarinated breast of chicken or fish. I appreciate them offering a low-gluten menu, but it seems, knowing the high quality of everything else they do, they could be offering SO much more. Why aren't the mushrooms gluten-free? Why can't they use some sort of marinade that's GF for a chicken breast to make it exciting? After all, why go out if you're just going to get a plain, unmarinated chicken breast...we can all do that at home! They did have several salads to choose from, including the Chopped Salad I ordered that was GF as long as you asked them to hold the croutons. They also have their famously delicious flourless waffle dessert that their other restaurants offer. But our son ended up just ordering a plain cheeseburger (no bun, of course), and they even forgot the cheese on it. The only side that's gluten-free, other than asparagus and broccolini, is the mashed potatoes...not the redskin potatoes...not the fries...not even the polenta. Why not? Again, I can't help but think that simple modifications could be made in order to make a lot of these things naturally GF. They should be...they are potatoes and corn-based dishes. I recall one of the other GAR Group restaurants mentioning that they use a soy butter that's not GF for a lot of their cooking. There are a lot of other butter options that can be substituted that would allow GF folks to have more ordering options in GAR's restaurants. To top it off, they have their own bakery, but they don't offer any GF bread. I asked if our son could get some raw carrots to munch on since he couldn't have the bread, and they brought some. But then they showed up on our bill for $4!! That's just really annoying. You order a burger, can't get a bun (another easy thing to keep on hand, given the many good GF buns available now that can be kept in the freezer and served when requested), can't eat the bread and then get charged for carrots!! I don't think we'll be going back to this restaurant...there are so many more places now with extensive GF menus that don't make you feel like you're missing out.

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Cupcakes Actually
11944 Grand Commons Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten Free Cupcakes in Fairfax, Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jun 27, 2011

We were in Fairfax Corner last night and noticed this cupcake bakery, so naturally we had to pop in and see if they had gluten-free cupcakes. And yes, they did! Only one flavor...and it's the same each day. But what a flavor it is: Flourless Chocolate with vanilla buttercream icing. Yum! They had lots of other wonderful looking cupcakes, but they were all glutenous. I asked about cross contact in the kitchen. They do take precautions, they told me, to avoid any cross contamination, but they do use the same equipment...cleaned thoroughly, of course. I asked the woman to change her gloves before putting our GF cupcake in a small box, because she had been touching the regular cupcakes as she helped the people in front of us. The cupcake was truly delicious. It would be great if they eventually offered one or two more daily GF cupcake flavors, because some of their regular ones sound divine!

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Bertucci's
515 Route 73
Evesham Township, NJ 08053


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free menu at restaurant in Marlton, New Jersey

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on May 17, 2011

Bertucci's restaurant -- with locations in 10 East Coast states and Washington, DC -- has a really good gluten-free menu. They just launched it a couple years ago. They still don't offer gluten-free pasta (a mystery...it would be so easy, providing they could dedicate a pot to keep the GF pasta separate from the regular pasta). But their other selections are really good: chicken, beef, seafood. We had the grilled salmon, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. Very good. We were there for lunch, and they also brought limitless salad to the table, which was a nice touch -- and gluten-free. Just ask for the gluten-free menu when you arrive.

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La Table Kobus
3 Rue Docteur Rousseau
Épernay, 51200
France

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten free dining at a restaurant in the Champagne region

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on May 05, 2011

We were planning a day-trip into the Champagne region from where we were staying near Disneyland Paris. Champagne, with its two main towns of Reims and Epernay, was just east of us -- a little over an hour's drive...and a beautiful drive, especially in the Spring when many of the fields are awash in a beautiful shade of yellow, which I'm told is some sort of plant used for cooking oil. We had asked the concierge at our resort to find a restaurant in Epernay that could handle a gluten-free request. We were planning to go for a morning tour of Moet Chandon and the champagne caves and then wanted to have lunch somewhere in town. After making a few calls on our behalf, the concierge recommended La Table Kobus, which I believe has a long history in Epernay. The restaurant was pretty quiet...only a handful of other tables were occupied. Our waiter was very friendly and spoke English well enough that we could communicate (and he helped translate certain items on the menu for us). He took our gluten-free French dining card back to the chef, and they recommended that our son have a steak and mashed potatoes (as opposed to the potatoes frites, which were fried in an oil they were unsure about). They seemed very careful about making sure our son would be safe, which we appreciated. The steak, which our other son ordered as well, was a bit thin and not the most tender...but that is how many steaks are in France, especially for lunch. They are not necessarily a thick, juicy cut of beef. But our kids like steak, and the mashed potatoes were delicious. We were glad to seemingly be in good hands. My husband and I shared an appetizer, which was an unusual variation of spring rolls. One was stuffed with a lemony cream, almost a sweet dessert-like dish. The other was stuffed with a cold crab meat. My husband did not care for it at all, so I ate most of it. However, my husband did enjoy his entree...a thicker cut of steak, and I REALLY enjoyed the fish I ordered, which was served atop a butternut squash puree, if I recall correctly. That is all we ordered. We decided to get some sort of dessert treat elsewhere, so I'm not sure what desserts they offered, or if there were any gluten-free options. Our son did get a mild stomachache and a bit of diarrhea later that afternoon, but it was hard to know if it was just a result of something he ate somewhere -- and not necessarily at this restaurant -- or if he just had some sort of mild stomach bug, easily picked up when traveling. Fortunately, whatever it was seemed to pass quickly. That's the thing about Celiac... sometimes you don't know if a stomachache is something more. But if you're planning a trip to the Champagne region, La Table Kobus is worth considering, because finding a restaurant that will agree to work with gluten-free requests is hard enough, and they really do seem to take it seriously. Just be sure to take a dining card explaining your needs (in French), and ask a lot of questions.

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Le Reminet
3 Rue des Grands Degrés
Paris, 75005
France

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
A restaurant in Paris that was able to accommodate Gluten Free requests

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on May 05, 2011

I'd read a positive review of this restaurant and its ability to accommodate gluten-free needs from somewhere on the web when planning our recent trip to Paris. In general, finding restaurants that are aware of Celiac Disease and are comfortable preparing a gluten-free meal is challenging in Paris, and when you're a mom, like me, looking out for a Celiac child, you don't want to take any unnecessary risks. So I'd asked our resort concierge to confirm that the restaurant did indeed understand our needs, and I was happily told that yes, they did. We had a reservation here on the first night we ventured into Paris (we were staying just outside the city). We were also planning to meet up with old friends from Germany for this special dinner. We arrived at the restaurant via cab, with a bit of trouble finding it, because it is in one of those very narrow alleyway streets (very quaint). The restaurant was someone hidden by some scaffolding due to work being done on the building. But inside it was darling...small, intimate, lit with candles, romantic. We were the first ones in the restaurant, having made a 7 pm reservation. We had a nice round table in the corner...the restaurant is small, with probably only about 10 tables upstairs. There is supposedly a charming vaulted room downstairs in the basement as well, but I'm not sure they were seating that room the evening we were there. We used our very limited French to greet the owner (I think) when we arrived, but he didn't speak much English, so there was just a lot of smiling between all of us! But we had given him our name, and he clearly was expecting us and knew of our needs. He was very nice and then sent an English speaking waiter to our table to take care of us. We had to wait until our friends arrived about 20 minutes later to be offered menus or anything to eat, but we found service is much less "urgent" and "rushed" in France (that's probably a good thing, but not necessarily when you are starving!). The meal turned out to be wonderful. They were pretty much willing to tailor just about anything on the menu to be gluten-free. We were sitting next to the small, somewhat open kitchen, and the few people working there really hustle! Our sons -- still in the stage where they like things pretty plain and basic -- opted for steaks, which were high-quality and perfectly prepared. They were served mashed potatoes and salad with that. The rest of us had equally delicious meals, which wouldn't appear to necessarily contain gluten, but due to some sauces and other things, were not necessarily gluten-free. I had a wonderful beef dish, served with a decadently rich parmesan polenta (or was it risotto -- I can't recall) served in a very creamy sauce. I had a scallop and pork appetizer that was delicious, and my husband had the scallops as a main course. I remember that they could have done scallops gluten-free. Our son loves scallops, but he opted for the steak and then a night or two later wanted scallops when we were someplace he couldn't get them. Typical! We did not order dessert here, because at this point in the evening -- 10:00 now -- our kids (and we!)-- were exhausted and just wanted to begin the journey back to our resort outside the city. But I'd highly recommend this restaurant for excellent food, warm hospitality, a romantic atmosphere, and most of all, an eagerness to help us with our special dietary requests. Thank you, Le Reminet!

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Disneyland Paris
36 Rue Bichat
Marne-la-Vallée, 77777
France

1.0 Palms
1.0 Palms
Disneyland Paris is NOT like Disney World in Orlando when it comes to gluten-free dining

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on May 05, 2011

We recently took a trip to Paris over our sons' Spring Break. The reason for choosing Paris was due to my mother-in-law owning a time-share with Marriott resorts, and her "home" property (where she initially signed up) was at their resort about 40 minutes outside of downtown Paris, right near Disneyland Paris. So, although the main focus of our trip was to see the sights in Paris (after all, we've been to Diseny in Orlando a couple times and Disneyland in Anaheim once as well), we decided to stay close to our villa and visit Disneyland Paris our first day in France while we were still "adjusting" to the time difference. Our expectations for Disneyland Paris (from a gluten-free perspective) were tempered, at best. After doing a fair amount of initial research, contacting the park, reading posts online, we knew it was nothing like the parks in Orlando and Anaheim, which are the "gold standard" in gluten-free travel if you have kids. Unlike the U.S. parks, Disneyland Paris does not have gluten-free options in most of their park restaurants. In fact, they don't provide any list at all, but rather have pre-made "allergen free" meals they provide at certain restaurants. These "allergen free" meals are pre- packaged microwavable meals prepared by an outside company called Natama. After reading about them online -- and reading the not-so-complimentary comments in the online message boards, we decided to forgo these meals and bring a PB&J sandwich (and lots of snacks!) for our son to nibble on throughout the day. There are only four choices of meals (chicken drumsticks, minced beef and carrots, oriental meatballs, and lamb/vegetables, and the problem is they have eliminated every single possible allergen in these meals, so there's not much to offer in the way of variety or taste (again, hearing this second-hand -- to be fair, we probably should have at least tried one). But as those of us affected by Celiac know, it's hard enough just to avoid gluten (and with some people dairy, too) that we can at least take solace in the fact that there are indeed plenty of other flavorful and delicious things to eat. These meals literally eliminate 54 different potential allergens, reducing the meals to the "lowest common denominator" and treating all allergies and intolerances the same. In other words, no matter what allergy you have, they can give you one of these "safe" meals and be done with it. So again, we chose to pack our own food, and the rest of us just sort of snacked and grabbed quick-serve items within the park throughout the day. However, we had seen an ice cream shop on Main Street when we walked in that we remembered served Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Our son loves their Phish Food flavor, and we know from past research that it's gluten-free. So I decided to take him there for a mid-day "treat." I figured this was safe. Armed with my Triumph Dining dining card (in French, of course), I attempted to explain (after finally finding someone who spoke English) that I'd like 2 scoops of Phish Food ice cream for my son, but because of the "allergy" noted on the French dining card, I asked if they could scoop it out of a "new" container, as opposed to the one that was clearly toward the end and very likely cross-contaminated with gluten from "double dipping." I also asked that they rinse off the scoop. They seemed fine with those requests -- once they understood them -- but they seemed clearly confused by -- and alarmed by -- the gluten allergy. Even though it was clearly explained in French on my card, they mentioned that the ice cream had dairy in it (well, yes!) and then thought it had gluten (even though it was clear they didn't know what gluten was!). I read the ingredients on the new container they brought out, in order to double-check that it was gluten-free and not different from the variety sold in the States, and I assured them it was safe for my son to eat...that we'd done the research with the company in the past. We finally got our two scoops, despite a lot of back-and-forth reassuring and confusion among the staff. The final words of the woman who spoke English were something to the effect of, "There's a medical clinic next door in case he gets sick." OK...after this, you just get to the point where it's just not worth it...I think even our 7-year old agreed! I'll be brief about our dinner experience. We went back to the hotel, dropped our things, changed, and decided to head to one of the Disney-owned hotels nearby, hoping for better luck. We figured we should at least be able to get a grilled steak and steamed veggies and fruit. No such luck...all the hotels were like Fort Knox. You couldn't get through the gates or even park unless you were staying there or had a dinner reservation (which we didn't). It sounded from one security guard like getting a reservation at one of the hotel restaurants that week (it was the week before Easter) would be next to impossible anyway, unless you were staying at the hotel and thus given priority. So, without any hope of dining at a Disney hotel -- that night or any other -- we went back to the park (to Downtown Disney) to check out the scene there. There was a Planet Hollywood, which I've heard has some GF options in the U.S., so we tried this. Of course the place was mobbed, and my husband's attempt to explain our needs (again, showing the French dining card) was met with a blank, scared stare and some mumbling about getting a manager. After waiting for about 10 minutes, we assessed our chances of getting a safe meal here -- and was it worth it -- and decided NO, let's go back to our villa (fortunately with a full kitchen) and make scrambled eggs! Sad, but true. And this was not unlike our other attempts to find someone who "got it" when it comes to GF dining throughout our week in France. (See my other reviews within the France section.) There seems to be a very prevalent lack of awareness of Celiac Disease in France. We had been warned, and we were quickly finding out first-hand!

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Outback Steakhouse
46300 Potomac Run Plaza
Sterling, VA 20164


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
This national restaurant chain still offers one of the best gluten-free menus anywhere!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 06, 2011

We hadn't been to an Outback for a while, and I was reminded why they are really among the top gluten-free dining destinations: a very extensive gluten-free menu and a knowledgeable and helpful staff. Our kids ordered the ribs (gluten-free as they come) and the wonderful baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon. The manager said their fries ARE fried in a dedicated fryer, and he believes the ingredients are gluten- free, but the manufacturer who supplies them cannot claim they are gluten-free b/c they are processed on shared equipment. Too bad, but as a mom, I'm happy that my kids are forced to choose a healthier side dish anyways. We also ordered the "shrimp on the barbie" appetizer (delicious with the GF roumelade sauce). My husband had the Victoria's Filet (always good), and I had the salmon (GF, too -- and always delish) but I asked them to prepare it the way a seasonal special mahi mahi they were offering was prepared (with an artichoke lemon sauce). Not sure the sauce was gluten-free...I should have asked, but sometimes I forget since I myself am not Celiac. I'm usually too preoccupied ensuring my son's meal is gluten-free. You could certainly ask about the seasonal mahi-mahi if you're interested. I was just in the mood for salmon, so I had them do the mahi-mahi preparation for my salmon. We were too full for dessert, but as you may have heard, their chocolate "Thunder from Down Under" is gluten-free and to-die-for (I recommend sharing!)

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Broadway Pizza
7965 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, MD 20854


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten Free Pizza at restaurant in Potomac, Maryland

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Mar 27, 2011

Broadway Pizza offers gluten-free pizza using Still Riding crust, a popular gluten-free crust used by many restaurants. It is really good, and they go to all the proper precautions in preparation to avoid cross contamination (using a pizza pan only for gluten-free, and handling and cutting the pizza with separate utensils). They also use sauce, oil, and cheese straight from the packaging...so it doesn't come into contact with the "regular" pizzas.

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Glutenus Minimus
697 Belmont Street
Belmont, MA 02478


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful Gluten Free Bakery in Belmont, Massachusetts

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 15, 2011

The products I've tried from this gluten-free bakery are fantastic -- whether you buy them pre-made, or buy one of their mixes to make yourself. They sell their gluten-free baked goods and mixes at their bakery in Belmont, and they also have their products available at many area restaurants, bakeries, and markets. You can also order their mixes on their website. Special occasion cakes and cupcakes are available via special order, too. We have tried their blueberry muffins, which were fantastic...very moist and tasted like "the real thing." The mini pound cake we purchased was also very flavorful with a good pound-cake texture. We purchased three gluten-free mixes: the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Mix (a top seller), the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and the Vanilla Cake Mix. The coffee cake was outstanding. We'd never made a gluten- free coffee cake before, and most of the pre-made ones we'd tasted weren't all that special. I definitely know why this is one of their best sellers. And it was SO easy to make (just add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and what I like to call the "secret" ingredient: sour cream (to make it moist). The coffee cake did not last long in our house! Next up was the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, which I decided to try less than a week later...on Valentine's Day. My husband has always LOVED the huge cookie "pies" you can get at Mrs. Field's for special occasions. We hadn't had one in years, and I felt it was unfair to bring one into our house since our 8-year-old son (the family member with Celiac) wouldn't be able to have it. So I decided to make one on my own...using this mix from Glutenus Minimus. I followed the directions on the box, adding butter, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Then I spread a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and formed a large heart with the dough. I was hoping the dough would hold its shape and not "spread" too much as it was cooked, turning my well- crafted heart into a big blob! I had to cook the cookie much longer than the directions for regular-sized cookies on the box, but it turned out great -- held its shape and all. Then I decorated it with some icing around the edges and a Valentine's message...Viola! Mrs. (Gluten-Free) Fields! All family members were happy! I have yet to make the Vanilla Cake Mix...I think our sweet tooths have been satisfied for a while! If you live near Belmont, definitely check out the bakery. If not, try ordering some of their products online. They're easy and wonderfully tasty!

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P.F. Chang's China Bistro
1145 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Restaurant in Newport Beach, CA great for gluten-free dining

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 28, 2011

You can never go wrong at a P.F. Chang's restaurant. They have a very extensive gluten-free menu, and everything we've ever tried has been excellent. They even serve their gluten-free entrees on different shaped plates than the "regular" food, in order to avoid confusion. This is getting to be among the "gold standards" in gluten-free dining at a chain restaurant. And the nice thing about "chain" restaurants is that they are found in just about every major metro area...P.F. Chang's has restaurants across most of the U.S., and we have often relied on them when other gluten- free options were scarce.

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Chipotle
865 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Mexican chain restaurant in Rockville has plenty of gluten-free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 28, 2011

Chipotle offers many gluten-free choices...in fact, everything they offer is gluten-free, with the exception of their flour tortillas. It's nice to have a choice of steak, carnitas, chicken or barbacoa on either a hard shell taco or in a "burrito bowl" (a bowl without the tortilla). However, I always ask them to change their gloves since they touch the flour tortillas as they are preparing other people's burritos. If possible, I also request to have "new" or "fresh" ingredients used, because I do worry about a small amount of cross contamination from the spoons that serve the ingredients coming into contact with the flour tortillas as the burritos are being made. However, we have never had any problems after eating at any Chipotles, but there is always a possibility, so take these proper precautions. You can view a chart on their website...look under the "Menu" tab for info on Special Diets.

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Red Robin
21045 Dulles Town Circle
Sterling, VA 20166


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Hamburger chain with lots of gluten-free options in Sterling, VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 28, 2011

We've dined at many of the Red Robin locations across the U.S. and always had a good experience with their gluten-free options on the menu. You need to request the gluten-free listing, which the managers have in a binder, along with listings for other food sensitivities (dairy free, etc). There are a good number of choices that are gluten-free...some salads, burgers, and entrees. They also have chicken skewers on the kids menu that are gluten-free, so it's nice to have a choice of something other than a burger for our gluten-free son (although the burgers are good, especially the turkey burgers which are healthier, too). I just wish they'd start offering a gluten-free bun...not hard to do...there are plenty of good brands they could keep on hand for gluten-free customers. But Red Robin is definitely a good alternative to McDonald's if you want something less like "fast food."

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P.F. Chang's China Bistro
21078 Dulles Town Circle
Sterling, VA 20166


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Chain with great gluten-free menu has location in Sterling

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 28, 2011

P.F. Chang's has among the best gluten-free menus anywhere, and they recently opened a location just outside the Dulles Town Center Mall in Sterling, Virginia. Our family had a great meal there, ordering the Lemon Chicken (our kids' favorite) and the Mongolian Beef -- both gluten-free. The Mongolian Beef, along with many other beef dishes, was recently added to the already robust list of choices on their fantastic gluten-free menu. As long as you like Asian food, there's something for everyone on this gluten-free menu, including appetizers and desserts. I highly recommend any of their locations nationwide.

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GLUUTENY
1923 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful gluten-free bakery in Pittsburgh

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 10, 2011

Our family traveled to Pittsburgh this past weekend. After seeing a brief review of this gluten-free bakery here on GlutenFreeTravelSite, we decided we would have to make a stop on our way in to town. So glad we did. It was mid-afternoon, and the woman working in the store at the time (Elizabeth) apologized for the lighter selection of baked goods, given the time of day. But we were still very pleased with the range of choices: brownies, iced sugar cookies, mini chocolate vanilla marbled bundt cakes, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, huge Whoopie pies, gingerbread men, huge chocolate chip cookies, mini cinnamon swirl coffeecakes, pound cakes, pumpkin loaves, and lemon loaves. YUM!! What delicious-looking treats. We seriously had to use discipline not to buy everything in the store. We finally settled on a few cupcakes, some muffins, the coffee cake, and a Whoopie pie. The great thing is that they sell the dry mixes for most of the items baked in the store, so we also bought a mix for the marbled bundt cake. (You can order these mixes, plus their cookies and croutons to be shipped.). Now I regret not buying more...but we didn't have anyplace to freeze what we bought since we weren't going home until the next evening. Since they don't use preservatives in their baked goods, they might get a little dry after a day or two. But everything we had was AWESOME. The chocolate cake of the cupcakes was delicious...you wouldn't even know it was gluten- free. The icing was a little sweet, but still very good. I was comparing it to a buttercream icing I like to make from scratch, and then remembered that Gluuteny's products are not only gluten-free but dairy free as well (the owner's daughter was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2005). Well, after thinking about the lack of wheat AND dairy in these treats, I became even MORE impressed! Incredible what some very talented bakers can do without wheat or dairy these days! I cannot wait to make the marbled bundt cake, and I'm looking forward to ordering more of their dry mixes to have at home. AND I'm seriously looking forward to our next trip to Pittsburgh so we can stop at Gluuteny. Neither the owner of the store or the manager was there the day we stopped in, so I'd just like to say, "Keep up the great work!" I highly recommend anyone in Pittsburgh (gluten-free or not!) and those visiting Pittsburgh make Gluuteny Bakery a regular stop for amazing gluten-free, dairy free treats!

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Outback Steakhouse
3000 Mosside Boulevard
Monroeville, PA 15146


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Monroeville location outside Pittsburgh with great selection

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 09, 2011

Outback Steakhouse continues to impress us with their extensive range of gluten-free options. They are really the "gold standard" in gluten-free menus offered at chain restaurants. No matter what type of food you're in the mood for, Outback has it gluten-free: steaks, chicken, shrimp, fish...and even an awesome gluten-free chocolate dessert. Thanks, Outback!

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Boston Market
3776 William Penn Highway
Monroeville, PA 15146


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Lots of gluten free options at this national restaurant chain

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jan 08, 2011

We went to this Boston Market location and had a great meal. There are lots of gluten-free options, including the roasted turkey, rotisserie chicken and lots of gluten-free side dishes including the corn, spinach, green beans, mashed potatoes, cinnamon apples and more. This is a good reliable restaurant and a better option than the usual McDonald's for a quick and healthy gluten-free meal wherever you're traveling.

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Glory Days Grill
42010 Village Center Plaza, Suite #180
Stone Ridge, VA 20105


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
DC/MD/VA chain offers one of the best gluten free menus

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 06, 2010

We visited Glory Days Grill in the Stone Ridge community (just west of South Riding) for dinner last week, and we had a fantastic meal. This family-oriented "sports bar" has a gluten- free menu that is very extensive -- one of the best around. It includes their famous wings (lots of different gluten-free sauces to choose from), which were very tasty indeed (we had the traditional BBQ sauce which was tangy with just a little "kick" of spice. The ribs (also gluten-free) are very tender and out-of-this- world...ranked in the "top three" of any we've had anywhere. They have plenty to choose from on their gluten-free menu: entree salads, steaks, ribs, chicken, shrimp, and even have a gluten-free kids menu. They don't have gluten-free buns for the burgers or sandwiches yet (hopefully soon...they are "working on it" and want to find one or make one that is truly delicious). Definitely check out one of their Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia locations if you get a chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Their prices are reasonable, too.

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Legoland
1 Legoland Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Legoland in California has lots of gluten-free options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 27, 2010

We visited Legoland over Thanksgiving week, and it was very crowded, so once we got into the park, our focus was on the rides and attractions, and not so much exploring our gluten-free food options. However, we knew from other people's recommendations that Legoland has gluten-free options throughout the park, so we were not worried about where or what we would eat when it came time for lunch. Our boys ended up choosing to have burgers from Burger Stop, which offers gluten-free buns as an option. It took a few extra minutes, but we were assured they took great care in avoiding cross-contamination. The bun was very good, due in part to the fact that it was softened from the steam since it was wrapped in foil. Fun Town Hot Dogs also apparently offers gluten-free buns for the hot dogs. I don't believe the fries are gluten-free. There was a terrific salad bar in Funtown Market, but I did not inquire about specific gluten-free items (although almost everything appeared to be gluten-free with the exception of a pasta salad and some marinated items, which I certainly wouldn't recommend eating unless you verify they are gluten-free. Funtown Market also offers Haagen Dazs ice cream in about 10 flavors, most of which were gluten-free (as I know from past experience/contacting the company). Sir Scoops A Lot offers a wide selection of Dreyer's ice cream, most flavors of which are also known to be gluten-free. The Market near the front entrance to the park also is known to have a wide selection of gluten-free snacks. If you visit Legoland's Dining page on their website, you can scroll across the various restaurants, and you'll see that the "gluten-free" button comes up on most of their restaurants. ( http://california.legoland.com/explore/dining/ )

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Tommy Bahama Restaurant
854 Avocado Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Great place for gluten-free in Newport Beach, California

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 24, 2010

We dined at Tommy Bahama restaurant in Newport Beach and had a wonderful experience. This had been one of our favorite places to go for dinner over the years whenever we had an opportunity to travel to this part of California (they have about a dozen other locations around the U.S., but this is the only one we've ever been to). We heard they had a gluten-free menu, so we decided to give it a try with a large group of family members. There were about 12 of us dining for lunch on a Sunday, and in addition to handling our gluten-free requests, they were able to handle some garlic-free requests as well (several members of my extended family have reactions to heavy garlic). Even though the Newport Beach location does not have a gluten-free menu in the restaurant or posted on their website like they do for some of their other locations, the chef (who the server pointed out was a true "chef" and not a "cook") was well aware of gluten-free food prep and was aware of every single ingredient that goes into all their items on the menu. So they handled our special requests beautifully. The gluten-free diner at our table ordered the ribs, which were presented "dry" (without sauce) b/c the blackberry bourbon sauce does contain gluten. The report was they they were very good. They were served with roasted potatoes (fries were not gluten-free) and a nice fruit cup. There were plenty of other choices on the menu...including salads, fish, other meat, etc. They would probably be able to tailor many items on the menu to be gluten- free. I love the island flavors of this restaurant...their preparations are always so delicious and fresh and unique. Giving them a call before dining there may be a good idea just so they know a gluten-free diner is coming (it never hurts to give a "heads-up").

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Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt
2445 Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92625


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Great gluten-free yogurt in Corona del Mar, California

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 02, 2010

This is a great frozen yogurt shop with locations all over California and also in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and even in other countries. We went to the one in Corona del Mar (Orange County). We'd called a day or two in advance and had been told most of their yogurt was gluten-free. When we arrived, the server was not aware of what was or wasn't gluten- free, but she went and got a binder in the back and brought it out to show us. It said (as does their website) that all flavors are gluten-free, with the exception of chocolate malt, vanilla malt, cookies-and-cream, cake batter, fudge brownie, graham cracker, and gingerbread (and I think toffee, too). And they have TONS of other flavors, with the flavors being rotated on a daily basis, but they always have chocolate and vanilla. If you have any questions at this or any of their other locations, just ask to see "the binder" with the nutritional and allergy information. Our son had chocolate, and personally, I'd recommend sticking with chocolate or vanilla. Since these flavors are "constant" (offered every day) and there is no rotation, there is little if any room for cross contamination as there might be if the machines are not thoroughly cleaned between flavor rotations from a gluten- containing flavor to a gluten-free flavor.

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Salt Creek Grille
32802 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten Free Dining in Dana Point, California

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 01, 2010

We dined at Salt Creek Grill's Dana Point location with a big family group the week of Thanksgiving. While they don't have a specific gluten-free menu, they mark all gluten-free items with a "g" on their regular menu. There were a fair number of options and even more things not listed as "gluten free" that can be adapted to be gluten free if desired. Our server and the manager were great about accommodating our needs, including some requests for no garlic (family allergy). Gluten free items ordered included their housemade potato chips with sea salt, thyme, and gorgonzola (passed around the table as an appetizer), the baby back ribs (delish!), and the filet mignon (one of the items not specifically listed as gluten-free but only because of the side dish, which they happily let us replace with one of their many other gluten-free side dish options). In general, the steaks, burgers and possibly some other items like fish can be made gluten-free with minimal adjustment (hold the bun, substitute a side dish, forego the sauce, etc.). All in all, it was a great experience, and I'd highly recommend this restaurant. They have two other locations in California and two in New Jersey as well. You can view their gluten-free menu here: http://www.saltcreekgrille.com/menus/dp/DP_DINNER.pdf

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Roots Market
16800 Georgia Avenue
Olney, MD 20832


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
GREAT grocery store with TONS of gluten-free items!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Sep 21, 2010

I can't say enough about this incredible grocery store. I went there for the first time last month, as it is almost an hour from my house (I happened to be in the area visiting a friend). It is like a small Whole Foods, and they carry ALL the good gluten- free brands, including Udi's breads, muffins, etc. They even had some things I'd never seen anywhere, including some delectable gluten-free cupcakes and other baked goods from a local bakery. I could have spent over an hour there easily, but I was in a rush, so my sons and I just grabbed all the unique items and things we can't find at other stores. I wish we had a Roots Market closer to our house...I'd shop there exclusively for all our gluten-free needs. And the staff was so friendly and helpful...what a breath of fresh air. They also have a location in Clarksville, Maryland. Go if you are anywhere near either of these stores...you WON'T be disappointed!

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Velleggia's Italian Seafood Restaurant
110 Water Street
Baltimore, MD 21202


2.5 Palms
2.5 Palms
Not the best choice for gluten-free dining

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Sep 21, 2010

We dined at this traditional Italian restaurant and had high expectations. But almost from the moment we sat down, we were disappointed. I absolutely hate to give restaurants negative reviews, especially when they TRY to accommodate gluten-free diners, but this experience was very frustrating to say the least. Our server was completely unhelpful, didn't seem to have a clue as to what "gluten-free" meant, and seemed annoyed at our requests to "check with the chef." Typically a chef will come out to talk directly with guests, and perhaps we should have insisted on this, instead of patiently waiting as the server went back and forth getting our questions answered. We eventually talked with the owner, but even that conversation left us a bit frustrated. The only thing "gluten-free" they have on their menu is gluten-free pasta, served with marinara sauce. And it was very overpriced. This was especially frustrating, since, after reading a recommendation of this restaurant, I'd called to talk with them before making a reservation. They assured me they had plenty of options and were very knowledgeable about gluten-free food prep. Well, then they should train their staff. Better yet, they should hire servers who want to HELP paying guests and give them a memorable experience, rather than acting uninterested and bothered. Perhaps this was not the profession this particular server should have chosen. Or maybe he was new. Regardless, we asked him (and then the owner) if we could perhaps add some shrimp or something to the pasta to make it a bit more exciting. It seemed like a tall request. Our son eventually ordered shrimp as an appetizer, prepared plainly (but it was good). His gluten-free pasta portion was small, but the pasta was very tasty and prepared perfectly. The owner did make a point of saying they prepared it in a fresh pot of water with a clean colander, etc., which was reassuring. Our son wanted his marinara sauce on the side ("on the side" is big with him...he's only 7!). For a while there was some question as to whether THAT was even gluten-free, even though it was listed as such on the menu, being the only thing offered with the gluten- free pasta. (The waiter had at first come back to tell us the chef wasn't sure what was in the "secret" recipe...it took talking to the owner to confirm it was "safe"). So you can understand that I was nervous the whole meal and wished in hindsight we'd chosen another restaurant. Our son didn't get sick, but you never know if the meal was truly "safe." I'd be shocked if there wasn't some cross contamination along the way. And at about $15 for a bowl of gluten-free pasta with marinara sauce, I'd just as soon stay home and make it myself for about $2! They clearly could offer more options to gluten-free diners...it would be simple to add shrimp, chicken, and probably some other sauces as options to the pasta, if they made an effort. The rest of our meals were good, however, but nothing to write home about. Again, I hate to be negative...but my portion of linguine with clam sauce was tiny (about half the size you'd typically get), and we were less than impressed with the wine selection. Oh well...live and learn.

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Kirin Asian Cafe
43053 Pemberton Square
Chantilly, VA 20152


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Restaurant accommodates gluten-free diners

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Sep 21, 2010

We've been eating at Kirin Asian Cafe in our neighborhood for many years now. They serve a nice range of really good dishes. Although we avoided going there when our son was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, we eventually gave it a try, taking along our Chinese restaurant card from Triumph Dining. Since our kids are young and not the most adventurous when it comes to eating foods with sauces anyway, we typically ordered either chicken breast or steak, steamed with green beans. I would always go over the basics with the server or manager (i.e. clean wok, no flour, no soy sauce, just a little cooking oil and salt and pepper, etc.). Then I'd hand her the dining card to take back and share with the chef. We've been enough now that they know us and know the drill. The last time we went to Kirin for dinner we took our own gluten-free soy sauce (since the kids have finally realized food is a lot more exciting with a bit of flavor!!) and the chef was happy to prepare the chicken and green bean dish with a bit of the gluten-free soy sauce. The kids loved it. We've never had a problem getting sick there. If you are specific about your requests, they could probably modify most of the items on the menu. I'd recommend brining gluten- free soy sauce so you have more flavorful options. Recommended dishes my husband and I enjoy (although you'd have to see if these can be made gluten-free) include Chicken with Black Bean Sauce, Medallions of Beef with Macadamia Nuts, Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Schezuan Beef, Mongolian Beef, Kung Pao Chicken, and other traditional favorites.

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Mon Ami Gabi
11950 Democracy Drive
Reston, VA 20190


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Mon Ami Gabi in Reston has a gluten-free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 04, 2010

How wonderful to find a true French Bistro in the area...especially that offers a gluten-free menu! We dined here with our kids, and it was certainly suitable to children (although more of an adult atmosphere). They have a wonderful and extensive gluten-free menu with things like French onion soup with gluten-free croutons(!), lemon chicken paillard (which we loved!), steak classique (equally wonderful), and desserts (which we didn't have room for!). They also have gluten-free bread, so you're not "left out" when they bring around the baguettes! You can view the full gluten-free menu on their website. The only negative thing I'd say about this restaurant is that it's not the place to go if you're watching your saturated fat intake (or at least don't go there on a regular basis!). I think it's the French secret of using lots of butter that makes everything taste so good! There are various butters on each of the type of steaks they offer, and even the wilted spinach served with my salmon was buttered (and oh so heavenly!). Of course, you could always request no butter on any of these things, but you'd miss the full experience, I suppose! Of course, you could always wash it all down with some good red wine to balance out the unhealthy butter...the "French paradox" as it's called! Mon Ami Gabi also has locations in Bethesda, Maryland; Chicago and Oak Brook, Illinois: and Las Vegas. Enjoy!

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The Cafe on 26
84 Atlantic Avenue
Ocean View, DE 19970


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
New gluten-free restaurant in Ocean View, DE near Bethany

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Aug 04, 2010

We visited this very "gluten-free friendly" new restaurant that just opened a few months ago in Ocean View, Delaware, due west a few miles from the heart of Bethany Beach. One of the owners, Cathy Berzins, who is also the head chef, has Celiac Disease. So needless to say, your needs are well taken care of here! Almost everything on the menu is gluten-free (although they don't make a big deal about advertising that fact), and anything that isn't can be made to be gluten-free. The restaurant is in what looks like someone's former nice and spacious beach cottage. There are various small, cozy rooms. They are open daily from 7 am to 7 pm and serve breakfast, lunch, and early dinners. They offered many HOMEMADE gluten-free breakfast treats...coffee cake, a chocolate chocolate chip muffin, nut breads, and cinnamon rolls. Typically they even have scones but were out of them the morning we visited for breakfast. We sampled just about everything...the coffee cake, muffin, and cinnamon roll. All were good, but the coffee cake was especially tasty. In addition to this "appetizer" of baked goods, lattes, and gluten-free Ghirardelli hot cocoas, our "party of five" splurged on many other breakfast entrees. Between the five of us, we tried the "crazy eggs" (like a frittata), the gluten-free belgian waffle (yummy!), and the very delicious gluten-free "creme brulee" French toast. The homemade gluten-free bread used to make the French toast tasted like "regular" bread. We'd love to go back for lunch or dinner sometime...they offer sandwiches on their homemade gluten-free bread, soups, salads, and other "light fare" for lunch, and a limited but very appealing menu for early dinners: crab cakes, filet mignon, seared jumbo scallops, beef bourguignon, and duck. The chef/owner, Cathy Berzins, and her co-owner, Maria Fraser, couldn't have been nicer, and we had the chance to talk with Cathy at length after our meal when she took the time to come out of the kitchen as the "breakfast hour" was winding down. They hope to stay open year round...so if you're in Ocean City, Maryland -- or Fenwick, Bethany, Dewey or Rehoboth Beach -- this summer, or any other time of year, stop in to the Cafe on 26. No matter what time of day, there will be many safe and delicious gluten-free meal options waiting for you!

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Melting Pot
1220 19th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20036


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
A great gluten-free dining experience at Melting Pot

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 26, 2010

I posted an extensive review of my dinner with the DC Celiacs support group, where we had an opportunity to try the new gluten-free menu at the Melting Pot. To read the details of our great experience at this very gluten-free friendly restaurant, visit my Gluten Free Travel Blog (cut/paste this URL into your browser): http://glutenfreetravelblog.typepad.com/gluten_free_travel_blog/ 2010/07
/melting-pots-new-glutenfree-menu-makes-this- restaurant-even-more-special
.html

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Fuddrucker's
44036 Pipeline Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20147


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Fuddrucker's accommodates gluten-free requests well

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 22, 2010

My 7-year old son, who has Celiac, was invited to a Birthday party to be held at the Fuddrucker's in Ashburn last weekend. We hadn't been to a Fuddrucker's in years and kept meaning to look into how they were able to accommodate gluten-free requests. Most "burger places" are usually a pretty safe bet, but you always have to run through the list of questions...are the hamburgers 100% beef (or turkey, or whatever), or are any fillers used? Are the burgers grilled in a separate area from where the buns are toasted? Is the kitchen staff trained in avoiding cross contamination (with the buns, etc)? And of course...are the fries gluten free? I'm happy to say that when I called in advance to talk to the manager/owner, Joey Yoon, the answer to all these questions was YES, YES, YES, and YES! The buns aren't toasted on the grill, and they have a dedicated fryer for the fries (but he recommended ordering them without the seasoning that they sprinkle on after they cook the fries). I was very relieved and looked forward to taking my son to the party. We brought a gluten-free hamburger bun for him, and we again spoke to Joey about our gluten-free needs when we arrived at the party. Joey assured us that they handle a lot of gluten-free and other allergy requests, and they seemed to be very careful in taking our order and in all the preparations. All in all, it was a great experience...the burger was good, as were the steak fries. They also have a great fixin's bar with lettuce, tomatoes, etc. The ketchup and mustards are all Heinz brand -- and therefore gluten-free. I can't speak for all the many Fuddrucker's locations across the U.S., but I'd recommend the one in Ashburn. For all their other locations, I'd recommend calling and talking to the manager, because it is likely one more restaurant you can add to your "safe" list!

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Ritz Carlton Battery Park
2 West Street
New York, NY 10004


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Hotel in downtown New York City that's great for gluten free travelers

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Aug 28, 2014

It should come as no surprise that the Ritz Carlton takes gluten free diets seriously. They take hospitality seriously in general, and this particular hotel was no exception. We chose this hotel when for our recent visit to New York City, based on a special deal we got through American Express and its proximity to some of the sightseeing we had planned with our kids (including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial, and the New York Stock Exchange and financial district). It could not have been a better choice. The hotel is accessible to many different subway lines, so even when we ventured uptown, it was always just a quick subway ride away, without even needing to transfer trains.

As with most Ritz Carlton properties, the service is impeccable at this hotel. My husband was impressed that they greeted him with a bottle of water after he entered the lobby after a late morning run…such a nice touch!

But on to the gluten free experience...our only opportunity to dine at the hotel was for breakfast, but we spoke to James, one of the chefs, who assured us that they take gluten free diets very seriously and have many options available for all meals. For breakfast, there are organic eggs and many breakfast meats that are all gluten free. I particularly enjoyed the gluten free chicken sausage. They had wonderful gluten free toast, which they toast in a dedicated gluten free toaster. They also have many Udi's products available -- bread, bagels, muffins. Our kids were with us for part of our stay, and they have a Kids Breakfast, pictured below, which for our Celiac son consisted of organic scrambled eggs, fruit, and an Udi's chocolate muffin -- along with amazing fresh-squeezed orange juice. The chef had also offered to make gluten free pancakes or waffles if we wanted them.

I would highly recommend this hotel if you're planning a trip to New York City. You will not be disappointed, and I'm confident that if you planned to take more of your meals (besides breakfast) in the hotel, you would be in good hands!

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Carrabbas Italian Grill
5805 Trinity Parkway
Centreville, VA 20120


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Centreville, Virginia restaurant with full gluten-free menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Mar 23, 2011

We dined at the Centreville location of Carrabbas last night and were, as always, very pleased. They have a fantastic gluten-free menu, despite the fact that they do not offer gluten-free pasta. One of our favorite gluten-free menu items is the Chicken Bryan, which is a delicious wood-fired chicken breast with a lemon sauce, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese. It is delish! The Pollo Rosa Maria is also gluten-free and yummy -- chicken with fontina cheese, prosciutto, mushrooms, and the same lemon sauce. They've got a fair number of things to choose from...steak, pork chops, salmon, and several varieties of chicken. There are even appetizers, soups, many salads, and a dessert that are gluten-free. I recommend any of this chain's locations. I just wish they'd offer gluten-free rolls (easy to do) and consider adding gluten-free pasta to the menu, too!

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Red Hot and Blue
2403 Centreville Road
Herndon, VA 20171


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Red Hot and Blue Herndon

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 17, 2010

We were excited to try out Red Hot and Blue, since it's an old favorite of ours that we hadn't been to for years. We read about how they have many items that are gluten-free. Our experience was mixed, however. We asked to talk to a manager, who brought out a list of the ingredients in all their menu items, which was only moderately helpful, since many of the ingredients were suspect (vinegars, natural flavorings, etc.). Since we'd read (and confirmed through the ingredient listing) that the pulled pork and chicken were gluten-free, we ordered those for our son (the only one in our family with Celiac). There really weren't many sides that were gluten-free, but we opted to get him the baked sweet potato (with plain butter instead of the cinnamon butter, because they couldn't confirm whether that was g-f). Apparently the potato salad and baked beans are gluten-free, but not the fries. The ribs are also gluten-free. There are different sauces/rubs for the ribs and meats, however, and we had a hard time judging what was gluten-free after looking at the ingredient list. (There's a wet sauce, dry rub, sweet sauce, hot sauce). We asked for our son's meats to be served WITHOUT any sauce (the way he wanted it anyway). However, when a server (not our waiter) brought out the meal, there was sauce on top of both the chicken and the pork. And my other son's fries were on the plate that was supposed to be g-f. When I sighed, he said, "What now?" I calmly explained to him that we'd ordered the meat without sauce and that the fries couldn't be on the plate. But it was his "What NOW?" comment that made me furious...as if we were some inconvenient "high maintenance" table. Clearly, he didn't understand gluten-free, and since he wasn't the waiter who'd taken our order (and who'd seemed to understand our requests), I didn't bother trying to explain. He took it back and brought us a fresh serving of food. But despite the relative good taste of the meal, it left me with a bit of a "bad taste in my mouth" about the experience and a reminder that one needs to be very vigilant when dining at this restaurant. It certainly can be done, and the food is really good, just explain EXACTLY what you can/can't have on your plate. And talk to a manager. And do some further research before going if you want to have more options, like the barbeque sauces. Many may be g-f, but personally I wouldn't risk it without calling their corporate office to confirm it first.

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Charlie Brown's Steakhouse
855 Century Drive
Dubuque, IA 52002


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Charlie Brown's Steakhouse with multiple locations in NJ

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 16, 2010

We stopped at this PA/NJ/NY steakhouse chain on our way to visit family over the Thanksgiving weekend. We'd never been to one before. We had a good experience. Charlie Brown's offered a lunch menu with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other heartier entrees. I ordered tilapia from the gluten-free menu, and our boys split the filet mignon. The mashed potatoes were gluten-free, although the fries were not. There's a nice range of gluten-free options...ribs, fish, chicken, burgers (without the bun), and lots of steaks (what they're known for). While not as extensive as Outback's gluten-free menu, Charlie Brown's is a good standby if you live or are traveling to the NY/NJ/PA area.

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Good Earth Market
31806 Good Earth Lane
Ocean View, DE 19970


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Market with many gluten free items near Bethany Beach, DE

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 01, 2014

We went here to go to the Birch Tree Cafe, which is a dedicated gluten free cafe within the same building as the market. Since we were only at the beach for about 5 days, and this was the second-to-last day of our trip, we really didn't need any groceries. However, we walked out of the store with a large bag of gluten free items, because they were too good to pass up. We found some favorite brands and items that are even sometimes difficult to find back home in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Although the store is small, they really have the best of everything gluten free. So if you're gluten free and heading to Ocean City, MD (where we stayed), Fenwick, or Bethany, you may want to pick up some items here instead of hauling everything with you. I didn't notice if they sell meats (I don't think they do), but they did have an assortment of gluten free and organic deli meats and cheeses. There is another location in Rehoboth Beach, too. I'd also recommend grabbing a bite at the adjacent Birch Tree Cafe while at the Good Earth Market.

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Clyde's (Willow Creek Farm)
42920 Broadlands Boulevard
Ashburn, VA 20148


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Clyde's Restaurants

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 27, 2009

This is a beautiful restaurant with many rooms, each with a distinct character. It is located in Ashburn, Virginia right off the Toll Road. Like all the Clyde's Restaurants throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., this Clyde's is very vigilant about accommodating diners on gluten-free diets. While they don't have a printed gluten-free menu, per se, our waiter told us virtually anything they offer can be tailored to be gluten-free upon request. In the mood for fish? They can make a nice gluten-free version? You get the picture...Their menu consists of some "permanent fixtures" as well as daily and seasonal specials. Our waiter explained how the chef educates the wait staff before opening each day and explains which allergens are in each dish. We were told the chef is very knowledgeable and careful about gluten-free food prep and avoiding cross contamination. Our son ordered the grilled chicken sandwich from the kid's menu (but also available on the regular adult's menu), and the marinade for the chicken was confirmed to be g-f...as was the cheese and bacon served on the top. AND...the fries are g-f...not seasoned with anything except for salt and pepper and fried in a dedicated fryer. The ice cream sundae served with kid's meals is g-f as well, since they serve Haagen Dazs ice cream and Hershey's syrup. But again, adults have plenty of options as well...meat, seafood, and pasta dishes abound, and there are plenty of salads, soups, chilis, burgers on the menu. I'm not sure about which of the soups/chilis are g-f, but all you need to do is ask. I'd recommend this restaurant but, as always, just be sure to articulate your needs clearly and ask questions. This is a great restaurant for either "date night" with a spouse or special someone and equally great for family dining.

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Champps (Fair Oaks Mall)
11724 Fair Oaks Mall
Fairfax, VA 22033


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Champps Sports Bar has G-F Menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 07, 2009

We'd heard Champps sports bar had a gluten-free menu, so we finally had a chance to try it last weekend while at Fair Oaks Mall doing some Christmas shopping. It was a pleasant surprise. We hadn't been to a Chammps in a long time, and honestly, as much as we've always had a really good experience there, it was news about the gluten-free menu that got us to go back after all this time. We were glad, because we were reminded of the extensive menu where just about everything sounds good. The waitress had to come back about three times before I was ready to order...I was having such a hard time deciding among all the great-sounding items (this was on the regular menu). It's a nice mix of some traditional "sports-bar" fare like potato skins, wings, and burgers but with A LOT of other great offerings (awesome list of salads, sandwiches, and a wide variety of tasty-sounding entrees, many of which appeared healthy, too). In terms of the gluten- free menu, it offered a nice range of salads (and salad dressings), burgers, and other entrees (ribs, fish, steaks, etc.) Our gluten-free son opted for the kids' burger (served gluten- free without a bun, of course). I do constantly wonder why more restaurants who clearly make the effort to offer a gluten- free menu can't simply buy some gluten-free hamburger rolls so their gluten-free patrons can have a REAL burger they can hold in their hands like everyone else! Really...it's easy to keep a package or two of gluten-free buns in the freezer and them have ready for their gluten-free diners. But I digress....The kids menu (while mostly NOT gluten-free) offered a better-than- average range of items, if you are dining with any kids that CAN eat gluten. They also offer a CHOICE of healthier side items, other than just fries (they also offer mashed potatoes, veggies, and mandarin oranges -- all of which are gluten- free...the fries are NOT). The kids' meals also come with a drink and a gluten-free ice cream sundae for dessert -- all for $4.99. You can't even get all that food at McDonald's for that price, I don't think! Overall, it's a great value, has good food (g-f and not), and is a fun atmosphere as long as you don't mind sports on every big screen around the room! Request their gluten- free menu when you check in with the hostess. I don't see it on their website.

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Etna I Pizzaria
74-78 Gabor Aron Street
Budapest, 1026
Hungary

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Website that's a great resource for restaurants in Hungary

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 30, 2009

This Hungarian Celiac Society website has information on eating gluten-free in Budapest and other Hungarian towns/cities. They list restaurants that have gluten-free items on their menu or have a working knowledge of gluten-free food preparation. There is even a map pinpointing the restaurants and a description (in Hungarian) of Celiac Disease that you can print out and show to the server/manager/chef at a restaurant to help you communicate your needs. Visit the English version of their site at (cut and paste this link) http://www.liszterzekeny.hu/tiki-index.php?page=%20Gluten-free%20in%20Hungary&structure=%20Gluten-free%20in%20Hungary

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Charlie Brown's Steakhouse
1908 Walbert Avenue
Allentown, PA 18104


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Charlie Brown's locations throughout Pennsylvania

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 30, 2009

We stopped at this PA/NJ/NY steakhouse chain on our way to visit family over the Thanksgiving weekend. We'd never been to one before. We had a good experience. Charlie Brown's offered a lunch menu with burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other heartier entrees. I ordered tilapia from the gluten-free menu, and our boys split the filet mignon. The mashed potatoes were gluten-free, although the fries were not. There's a nice range of gluten-free options...ribs, fish, chicken, burgers (without the bun), and lots of steaks (what they're known for). While not as extensive as Outback's gluten-free menu, Charlie Brown's is a good standby if you live or are traveling to the NY/NJ/PA area.

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Hollywood and Vine -- Disney's Hollywood Studios
351 Studio Drive North
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Backlot Express in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

This is a counter-service restaurant at Hollywood Studios, nestled between the Indiana Jones stunt show and the Star Wars Star Tours ride. They have hamburgers and hot dogs, both available with gluten-free buns, but the manager actually recommended their gluten-free chicken tenders. So we went with those for our son. They were good, albeit a bit overcooked. They came with applesauce and an individually-wrapped gluten-free brownie from the French Pantry (delicious). There was a salad with grilled chicken which I think may have also been gluten-free, and that's about the extent of the gluten-free options from that menu.

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Hollywood and Vine -- Disney's Hollywood Studios
351 Studio Drive North
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Hollywood and Vine Restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

Hollywood and Vine is a diner-style restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios. We dined there with our kids for one of the Character Breakfasts, with characters from Little Einsteins and JoJo's Circus. The buffet breakfast wasn't as extensive as some, but still adequate. There were scrambled eggs, as well as various other egg dishes/casseroles that were gluten-free...and of course all the normal "safe" staples like bacon, sausage, fruit and yogurt. The chef, who first walked us around the buffet, also made our son gluten-free pancakes in the back. Breakfast tends to be pretty safe at all the Disney restaurants...it would just be nice to have a bit more variety...perhaps occasionally offering things like gluten-free bagels, donuts, muffins, or pastries.

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Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney's Magic Kingdom
3111 World Drive
Orlando, FL 32836


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Pinocchio Village Haus at Disney's Magic Kingdom

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

Pinocchio Village Haus is a counter-service restaurant in the Fantasyland area of Disney's Magic Kingdom. They specialize in pizza, chicken baskets and salads. They have Amy's gluten-free pizza available, which is what our son ordered, and it was cooked quickly and just perfectly -- better than it turns out at home (there's something to be said about commercial ovens!). It was nice to ALL be able to eat pizza together. There were also plenty of gluten-free sides available, like at most counter-service restaurants in the parks: carrots, grapes, yogurt.

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Disney's All Star Movie Resort
1901 Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, FL 32830


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Disney's All Star Movies Resort Food Court

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

We ate in the food court here one morning for breakfast, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that they could make gluten- free pancakes or waffles (our son opted for gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes!). They also had eggs, bacon, and sausage -- all gluten-free -- as well as fruit and yogurt (Yoplait, which is gluten- free, is available at all the buffets, in all the parks, and at the various hotels and resorts on the property). A nice surprise at a limited-service food court where we were expecting a limited range of choices. Thanks Disney!

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Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney's Magic Kingdom
3111 World Drive
Orlando, FL 32836


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Crystal Palace -- Disney's Magic Kingdom

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

This was our second time eating at the "Pooh and Friends" Character Breakfast at the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant. They have one of the more extensive buffets, with plenty of gluten-free options...not just scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. The chef made our son gluten-free waffles (frozen, this time, not the Mickey shaped ones made fresh at the Tusker House Restaurant at Animal Kingdom) and also offered him blueberry or chocolate chip muffins (he opted for one of each...one to eat then, and "one for the road"). There was some nice fruit...mixed berries, fresh pineapple, and whole strawberries, so our son was plenty full by the time the meal was over! This is a fun place for a character breakfast for kids when visiting the Magic Kingdom. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger come to the table for photo-ops and also have a "parade" around the restaurant. As always, the staff is wonderful to people following special diets and will walk you through the buffet and make special items for you in the kitchen when available.

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Liberty Inn -- Epcot Center
1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Le Cellier Steakhouse Epcot Center

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

Le Cellier Steakhouse, located in the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot Center, is one of the more popular places to dine at Epcot. Reservations are required -- usually months in advance, and don't expect to get seated earlier than your reservation if you arrive early (we tried!). The food is great, however...mostly steaks, with some other meat options as well as entrees like salmon on the menu. As with most steakhouses, it's a pretty safe bet for people with Celiac. Their steaks aren't marinated, so they are all "safe." Our son ordered one with a side of mashed potatoes (very good). They brought him celery and carrot sticks as an appetizer, and he had an ice cream sundae for dessert. It would be smart for them to offer gluten-free bread as an option, since they bring regular breadsticks to the table. This isn't hard to do, as they have gluten-free rolls at some of the other Disney restaurants where we've dined. And unfortunately their famous cheese soup is NOT gluten-free since the recipe calls for beer. But all in all, a really nice restaurant (but you can still dress casually, as with almost all the Disney restaurants) that has a good range of gluten-free options and friendly, attentive service.

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Liberty Inn -- Epcot Center
1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Liberty Inn Restaurant at Disney's Epcot Center

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

Liberty Inn is a quick-service/counter service restaurant at Epcot Center's American Pavilion. They have plenty of good 'ol American choices on the menu for people following gluten-free diets. They offer hamburgers and hot dogs, both with gluten- free buns, as well as Amy's gluten-free pizza or mac-n-cheese. Our son opted for the mac-n-cheese, one of his favorite quickie meal staples at home. The kids meals come with two sides, including a choice of a gluten-free brownie or chocolate chip cookie from the French Pantry which makes excellent gluten- free baked goods, individually packaged so you never need to worry about cross-contamination. The "regular" menu is average here: burgers, barbeque pork sandwiches, roast beef and cheese sandwiches...fine for kids but there are probably more interesting places to eat among all the wonderful global cuisine available within Epcot's World Showcase of countries, and most countries have gluten-free options.

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Tusker House Restaurant
2901 Osceola Parkway
Orlando, FL 32821


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Flame Tree BBQ for Lunch at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

We had lunch at this "quick-service" restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. The choices ranged from BBQ ribs to rotisserie chicken to hot dogs to fresh salads tossed with the rotisserie chicken. Our son, who is the one on a gluten-free diet, opted for the kids' chicken drumstick order (it came with TWO drumsticks, as well as carrots and grapes -- something Disney offers as part of kids meals, a nice change from fries). The gluten-free rotisserie chicken was delicious...I had it as part of the salad I ordered. The ribs, which my husband ordered, were supposedly g-f as well. They were decent...not the best we've ever had, but not bad. So there's a nice range of tasty, healthy, g-f options here...I'd recommend the chicken or the tossed salad with chicken.

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T Rex Restaurant
1486 Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, FL 32836


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
T Rex Restaurant in Downtown Disney

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

T Rex Restaurant is located in "Downtown Disney" on the Disney property in Orlando, Florida. It, not surprisingly, is owned by the same company that owns the Rainforest Cafe (the decor is very similar...just focused on dinosaurs instead of rainforest animals). It is NOT part of the Disney Dining Plan, which our family was on, but we decided to dine there nonetheless. It was fun, but very noisy and overstimulating (even compared to the overall Disney experience!) You could barely have a conversation in the restaurant with all the noise and the "shows" that occur about every 20 minutes or so (with the dinosaurs "coming to life"). But our boys (ages 6 and 8) enjoyed it. The room in the center is like an Ice Cave, and the lighting changes color throughout the evening. Now...for the food...this restaurant does NOT have a gluten-free menu, but the chef came out and was happy to accommodate where possible. Our son on the g-f diet chose the mahi-mahi fish tacos, which were available blackened or with breaded fish (obviously off-limits for him). We ordered him the fish just grilled, not blackened, and of course they were served on corn tortillas. It came with a choice of sides, many of which were gluten-free. He opted for the black beans and carrots. I, too, ordered the fish tacos, blackened. They were DELICIOUS...a nice small filet of mahi-mahi in both tacos, and topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and a wonderful avocado cream sauce (chef wasn't sure if this was g-f...check first with the chef if you order this...we opted not to have it on my son's order, just in case). They have a decent kids menu, although most things are gluten-laden, so gluten-free diners really have to order from the adult menu. Chicken and steaks were two other options my son could have gone with, as well as grilled fish. My husband (not a Celiac) ordered their traditional lasagna, which was quite good. The range of food here is nice...everyone will find something they like on the menu, and if you can stand the noise, the atmosphere is fun. Just ask to talk to a chef about g- f options when you are seated.

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Tusker House Restaurant
2901 Osceola Parkway
Orlando, FL 32821


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Nov 06, 2009

This was our first morning of our Disney trip, and we had reservations at the Tusker House restaurant in the Animal Kingdom's "Africa" section. They had quite a spread of wonderful food at the buffet, as Disney always does! Much of it was NOT gluten-free, of course (like the pastries), but plenty of it was safe. One of the chefs came to our table to introduce himself and then walked us through the buffet. Our son chose scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit. The chef also offered to make him gluten-free "Mickey"-shaped waffles, which our son really enjoyed -- they looked just like the "regular" ones other kids were able to get from the buffet. There were also some other things that were gluten-free on the buffet that our son didn't happen to try, like the ham roasted on a spit and some egg dishes similar to crustless quiches which I seem to recall were gluten-free. This is a fun place to dine with kids -- it was a "Character Breakfast" with Donald, Mickey, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto. And the range of food and "African-inspired" dishes was a really nice change from the typical breakfast buffet. For those who CAN ingest gluten, there was a too-die-for cinnamon banana bread pudding with vanilla sauce and some unique dishes like a coconut sweet potato and raisin casserole (may have been g-f -- I just can't remember). If our 6-year old son was more adventurous, he easily could have veered beyond the bacon-eggs-waffle choices, with the guidance of the chef.

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Legal Seafoods
7101 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20817


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Legal Seafoods Has Great Gluten Free Menu

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 23, 2009

For those of you who haven't been to Legal Seafoods, it's a great example of a well-executed gluten-free menu. They use gluten-free croutons on their salads -- just so you don't feel like you're "missing out," and there are abundant salads, appetizers, soups (lite clam chowder), main courses, and even desserts to choose from -- all of which are safe. Of course, there's plenty of fish (lots of varieties are available grilled and some are offered baked with a chickpea flour coating). There's plenty of shellfish from the raw bar, as well as battered in g-f breadcrumbs and fried (shrimp, calamari, and scallops). On the kids menu, they have a small half lobster (that's what our son ordered), fish sticks (baked in gluten-free crumbs), or a hamburger/cheeseburger. For adult land-lubbers, there's a filet mignon on the menu. You won't be at a loss for what to order here...there's plenty that gluten-free folks will want to try. This particular location seemed very careful with their gluten-free diners, as I would imagine all their locations have been trained to be. There are also three locations in northern Virginia and one in DC (in addition to many in Massachusetts and the Northeast).

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Clyde's Restaurant (many locations)
11905 Market Street
Reston, VA 20190


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Clyde's of Reston (with more locations around DC/MD/VA)

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 19, 2009

Clyde's owns a range of good restaurants in the Washington, DC area and its Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs. We visited the one in Reston Town Center, which has some outdoor seating and is very nice. All their restaurants have a different theme. Some are really spectacular, like the Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville, which is a beautiful log-cabin style -- and if visited in the winter with snow on the ground makes you feel like you're in the Rocky Mountains. Clyde's Willow Creek in Ashburn, Virginia is made up on reconstructed old barns from New England that were disassembled and transported here. It also has a beautiful outdoor terrace area for dining. But now...for the food. This is great restaurant...you can always get a good meal at any of their locations. We had never brought our son here to dine gluten-free, however, but had heard they were good about special diets. We spoke to the manager once we sat down, and she assured us the chef could make/tailor many things on the menu to be gluten-free. They were very aware of cross-contamination, too -- so much so that they didn't want to serve our son the mashed potatoes, not because they necessarily contained gluten, but because they were concerned with the prep area around them being contaminated with gluten. The fries, too, were off-limits since they share a fryer with other gluten-containing foods. There wasn't much on the kids menu that our son could have, other than a plain hamburger (without the bun, of course...but we had brought our own). Other choices on the kids menu were standard fare: mac and cheese, pizza, hot dog, grilled cheese. But no worries...the adult menu is typically healthier and more interesting anyways. So we ordered our sons a petit filet to split, and they brought it with fingerling potatoes and green beans. Other items on their menu include other steaks, pork chops, roasted chicken, various fish and seafood dishes and entree salads. Many could probably be ordered, but always speak with the manager or chef to be sure. Like I said, this is a place where you can definitely get a safe, gluten-free meal...you just need to be a bit flexible as they don't have a printed "gluten-free" menu and many of their selections change depending on the season and the particular location. They are happy to work with you.

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Cakelove (multiple locations)
1961 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22102


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten Free Cupcakes in DC/Maryland/Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 13, 2009

We finally had the opportunity to try Cakelove's gluten-free cupcakes. This is a 7-location chain of homemade cakes and cupcakes (and a few other select pastries) in the Northern Virginia/Maryland/Washington DC area. In addition to at least a dozen different "regular" (gluten) cupcakes, they typically have their gluten-free cupcakes available in both yellow and chocolate cake, with some sort of buttercream icing (usually vanilla and chocolate but sometimes other varieties). We tried both varieties, and both were quite good (they better be, at $3.50 per cupcake!). I'm a bit turned off by the price people are now charging for cupcakes which are gone in about 6 bites, but heh, it's just nice to have gluten-free cupcakes available, without always having to bake them yourself. Their yellow cake variety with the white buttercream icing was my favorite, with a hint of lemon flavor (not sure if it was really meant to be lemon and the woman helping me thought it was just vanilla, or if they just put a hint of lemon in their yellow cake all the time...either way, it was good!) The chocolate was tasty, too, but I have found making a good-tasting gluten-free chocolate cake isn't as hard to do as perfecting a good gluten-free yellow cake. Having tried several store-bought gluten-free cake mixes ourselves over the years (Cherrybrook Kitchen's chocolate being our favorite) and having just tried the new Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix (another home-run!), I have to say Cakelove's cupcakes aren't necessarily any better than either of those options. The buttercream icing is good, but again, I can make that myself (either from scratch, or using Cherrybrook Kitchen's to-die-for vanilla buttercream mix). However, just having a very good gluten-free cupcake available at a place like this is fantastic. They also take special orders for gluten-free cakes in either yellow or chocolate (with many different buttercream icing options). So if you want a beautiful and tasty gluten-free cake that you don't have to make yourself, give Cakelove a try!

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Carrabbas
12728 Ocean Gateway
Ocean City, MD 21842


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
GF Italian in Ocean City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Jul 02, 2009

We've been to Carrabbas before and ordered off their gluten- free menu, albeit not for a while. We opted to stop at this West Ocean City location on our way into town for our annual week- long beach vacation. We arrived for a VERY early dinner...we were among the first in the restaurant when they opened their doors for dinner at 4 pm. The gluten-free menu was more extensive than we remember...lots of delicious choices including many chicken dishes, steak, and fish. There are also many salads to choose from (just ask them to leave off the croutons and mix the salad in a separate bowl) and even a dessert (the John Cole). We ordered the Pollo Rosa Maria for our gluten-free son, which is a chicken breast stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto, in a lemon basil butter sauce with mushrooms. Yummy...this is typically one of my favorite dishes, and I wanted my son to try it. Ordinarily, being only 6, he prefers (or at least thinks he prefers) things "plain," but the thought of ordering him the plainer grilled chicken from their menu seemed ridiculous, given that there are so many great and flavorful chicken dishes on their g-f menu (the Pollo Rosa Maria, along with Chicken Bryan and Chicken Marsala). We kept our fingers crossed that he'd like the Pollo Rosa Maria, and lo and behold...he loved it! It was so nice to go someplace with exciting g-f choices that were full of flavor...and that even a 6-year-old could appreciate! The only downside to Carrabbas g-f menu is that they do not have gluten-free pasta (perhaps in the future?) or gluten-free bread. But otherwise, anyone following a gluten-free diet can definitely have an enjoyable and safe meal here!

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Prime Steakhouse
804 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Reliable Steakhouse

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 09, 2009

Prime Steakhouse -- like Ruth's Chris and many other high-end steakhouses across the United States -- is a delicious and reliable option for Celiacs. You can't typically go wrong with steak, and this place is no exception. Their steaks are not marinated in anything -- only seasoned with salt and pepper -- and served with butter on a sizzling hot plate. Like many similar steakhouses, all side dishes are a la carte, and almost all (with the exception of the mac-n-cheese) were gluten free: spinach, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, baked potatoes, french fries, and mashed potatoes. We ordered the baked potato, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and green beans (which were outstanding -- seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic). For anyone who doesn't want to order steak, they had tuna, salmon, and a chicken breast on the menu (all that were simply but nicely prepared and I believe gluten-free). Unfortunately their signature dessert, their molten chocolate cake, is not GF, but we were too full after such a good dinner that we didn't have room for dessert anyway. Just be sure to discuss your gluten-free diet with your server/the manager, since they don't have a formal gluten-free menu at this restaurant, and our server wasn't intimately familiar with g-f diets. Oh -- and bring your own bread if you want to be able to join the non-gf friends at your table who will be enjoying the restaurant's wonderful sourdough.

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Zoom
660 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Gluten Free Menu on Main Street Park City

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 06, 2009

We tried this restaurant for dinner, after seeing it mentioned in a listing of places with "gluten free items" on their menu. We arrived to find out that they actually had a printed gluten free menu. It was pretty limited (steaks, roasted half chicken), but there were also plenty of good salads, sides, and veggies, all g- f, fresh, and delicious. One gluten-free member of our party actually ordered the halibut (the fish of the day), even though it wasn't on the printed g-f menu. They just kept the preparation simple and g-f, and it was good, served on a bed of spinach, with sides of mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. The server seemed very knowledgeable about the g-f selections, and we ended the meal with homemade g-f ice cream. This is a safe place to go where the staff is educated on special diets (they had a dairy free menu, too) and is eager to accommodate. They serve lunch and dinner.

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The Bridge
825 Main Street
Park City, UT 84060


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Great Breakfast and Safe, Too!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 06, 2009

This was a nice surprise for our first breakfast in town. The Bridge was right near our hotel, and we sort of stumbled upon it first thing in the morning while looking for a place to eat. We were the first ones in the restaurant, and Anthony, who I believe was the owner, took good care of us. We kept things simple, ordering scrambled eggs, bacon, and home-fried potatoes, with just a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. The portions were very large, and everything was really good and fresh. The Brazilian coffee was really good, too. As long as you go to this restaurant at a time when they are able to spend some time learning about your dietary needs, you should be in good hands. They are also open for lunch and dinner, but we only tried it out for breakfast.

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Squatters Roadhouse Grill
1900 Park Avenue
Park City, UT 84060


1.5 Palms
1.5 Palms
Not a very safe experience

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 06, 2009

Although we found this restaurant listed among a list of Park City restaurants having "gluten free items" on the menu, I can't comfortably recommend this place. We ate here our first night on a family ski trip to Park City, on the way to our hotel. It's a nice enough place, but they just aren't very knowledgeable about g-f food prep. Our son -- and mother in law who was dining with us -- both have Celiac. My mother-in- law ordered a turkey burger (no bun) and side salad. They seemed to get the order right, but she said it was pretty tasteless. We figured the chicken quesadilla might be a good bet for our son, since we saw corn tortillas mentioned several places on the menu. We specified that the quesadilla would have to be made with CORN tortillas, not FLOUR tortillas, when we ordered, and we also gave our waitress our bilingual Triumph Dining Card (English and Spanish), which we were glad we had on hand, since the waitress said the kitchen staff only spoke Spanish. I'm not sure they read or understood it, though. Our waitress was unfamiliar with g-f food prep, but the manager had seemed knowledgeable when we arrived at the restaurant and had suggested just explaining to our server exactly what we needed. Well...the mistake was partly ours...we should have kept the manager involved. The server was a bit rude about everything, and when the quesadilla for our son came out, it looked a bit suspect. Was it a flour or corn tortilla? I had ordered carnitas, and they came with small corn tortillas. My son's quesadilla used a much larger tortilla, however, which made me nervous. It was dusted with corn flour, but it was hard to tell if the tortilla itself was corn or flour. I got up to talk to the manager, who said he'd "triple checked" the order. So I went back to the table, where my son was just starting on the quesadilla, which was now just cool enough to eat. A minute or two later, the manager came to our table, whisked the meal away, and said he wanted to double check. He came back a few minutes later with a much different looking quesadilla, reassuring and scary at the same time. We'll never know what the first quesadilla was, but fortunately my son didn't seem to get sick from the experience. That would have been a very unwelcome experience on the first night of our week-long trip. Again, the manager meant well, but if you choose to dine here, be VERY specific about what you want and how it should be prepared, and talk to the manager directly.

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Rosa Mexicano
575 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Rosa Mexicano -- Outstanding Mexican with many G-F Options

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 08, 2009

NOTE: ROSA MEXICANO HAS INTRODUCED BOTH A GLUTEN-FREE LUNCH AND DINNER MENU SINCE THIS REVIEW WAS POSTED...SO NOW ALL YOU NEED DO IS ASK FOR THE GLUTEN-FREE MENU WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE RESTAURANT. All I have to say about this restaurant is Delicioso!!!! I would give this restaurant a rating of "5 Palms," but since they don't have a formal "gluten-free" menu, you have to ask a lot of questions, and a little patience is required. But I'd say a trip to Rosa Mexicano is well worth it, if you enjoy true Mexican food (it's definitely more "Mex" than "Tex." While not a "fancy" restaurant that entails dressing up, it is more upscale than most Mexican restaurants -- and such a nice, modern break from the typical chain restaurants (although they do have multiple locations on the East Coast -- NY, DC, Atlanta, Palm Beach Gardens, Miami). Everything is so incredibly fresh, and the guacamole, which they make fresh to order tableside is undoubtedly the best I've ever had (and of course gluten-free). It was to-die-for, no kidding. Even at $12 for a 2-person portion, it was worth every cent! I ordered the fish tacos, which are served with some interesting condiments, all of which were tasty. Although I don't have Celiac (it's our son who does), I was told they were gluten-free. The waiter did mention that one of the salsas had flour as a thickener, which I thought was unusual, never having heard this before. But like I said, you have to ask a lot of questions. Our server seemed pretty aware of Celiac and issues of cross contamination, and could often tell us himself which items contained gluten. When he wasn't positive -- and to confirm everything, he spoke to the chef. They advised us it was best to steer clear of the tortilla chips, because it sounded like they might not be fried in a dedicated fryer. But the guacamole and soft tacos were both served with the most delicious small, warm corn tortillas. I lost count at how many I ate. My son devoured them as well, and he and our other (non-Celiac) son split an order of the chicken soft tacos, which they enjoyed. My husband ordered some type of chicken sandwich on ciabatta bread, served with delicious sweet potato fries (again, the fries should probably be avoided b/c of the non-dedicated fryer). Pretty much everything on the kids menu was off-limits (quesadillas were made with flour tortillas, and the corn-battered chicken tenders and crispy tacos were fried). But so many other things on the menu (soft tacos, enchiladas, meat entrees, and salads could easily be safely ordered after verifying everything with the chef. The mole sauce and a few other things were off-limits, but dishes could be tailored accordingly. I can't say enough about the freshness, originality, and tastiness of their food. I could go there every week and not get bored. Apparently, they even deliver within the area, for a $20 minimum purchase.

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Austin Grill
750 E Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
G-F Tex-Mex with locations in DC/MD/VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 01, 2009

Austin Grill is a good Tex-Mex restaurant with a plethora of g-f options that both adults and kids will enjoy. In addition to the location in Penn Quarter in DC, they have five locations in Maryland and three in Virginia. They're open for lunch and dinner and even brunch until 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. We went to the Centreville location, which, along with the Annapolis location, is testing a new menu (no g-f version is posted online -- they just give you a paper g-f at the restaurant -- but the entire new menu is posted on their site at http://www.austingrill.com/austingrillee/pdf_files/Austin_Grill_ Centrev
ille_Dinner_Menu.pdf ). Therefore, the choices were a bit different from the other locations at this point. You can view their regular GLUTEN-FREE menu for all their other locations online at http://www.austingrill.com/austingrillee/pdf_files/AG_Gluten_F ree_Lunch
_Dinner_Menu.pdf The choices are abundant on the g-f menu...traditional Mexican fare like enchiladas (made with corn tortillas, of course!), as well as ribs, salads, fajitas, and fish. Our son, the one on the g- f diet, ordered a chicken and cheese quesadilla, which was really good. It's nice that the tortilla chips are g-f, too, so you don't have to bring your own. I ordered the chicken tortilla soup (very good) and the fish tacos, which were probably the best I've ever had...a good amount of delicious red snapper, perfectly seasoned...not too terribly spicy. I forgot to ask if they could be done g-f or not...maybe if you substituted corn tortillas, but you'd have to check. My husband had the ribs, which he said were good, and our other son enjoyed his steak soft taco. Their brunch menu even includes a range of 5 entrees, sure to satisfy just about any taste. Again, it's nice to see an area restaurant group making an effort to cater to the Celiac community. I'd highly recommend giving it a try if you enjoy Tex-Mex food. Always confirm the g-f choices yourself, either before you go or when you arrive.

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Austin Grill
2300 Annapolis Mall Road
Annapolis, MD 21401


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
G-F Tex-Mex with locations throughout Maryland

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 01, 2009

Austin Grill is a good Tex-Mex restaurant with a plethora of g-f options that both adults and kids will enjoy. They have five locations in Maryland, along with three in Virginia and one in Penn Quarter in Washington, DC. They're open for lunch and dinner and even brunch until 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. We actually went to the Centreville, VA location, which, along with the Annapolis location, is testing a new menu (no g-f version is posted online -- they just give you a paper g-f at the restaurant -- but the entire new menu is posted on their site at http://www.austingrill.com/austingrillee/pdf_files/Austin_Grill_ Centrev
ille_Dinner_Menu.pdf ). Therefore, the choices were a bit different from the other locations at this point. You can view their regular GLUTEN-FREE menu for all their other locations online at http://www.austingrill.com/austingrillee/pdf_files/AG_Gluten_F ree_Lunch
_Dinner_Menu.pdf The choices are abundant on the g-f menu...traditional Mexican fare like enchiladas (made with corn tortillas, of course!), as well as ribs, salads, fajitas, and fish. Our son, the one on the g- f diet, ordered a chicken and cheese quesadilla, which was really good. It's nice that the tortilla chips are g-f, too, so you don't have to bring your own. I ordered the chicken tortilla soup (very good) and the fish tacos, which were probably the best I've ever had...a good amount of delicious red snapper, perfectly seasoned...not too terribly spicy. I forgot to ask if they could be done g-f or not...maybe if you substituted corn tortillas, but you'd have to check. My husband had the ribs, which he said were good, and our other son enjoyed his steak soft taco. Their brunch menu even includes a range of 5 entrees, sure to satisfy just about any taste. Again, it's nice to see an area restaurant group making an effort to cater to the Celiac community. I'd highly recommend giving it a try if you enjoy Tex-Mex food. Always confirm the g-f choices yourself, either before you go or when you arrive.

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Austin Grill (around VA/DC/MD)
8430 Old Keene Mill Road
West Springfield, VA 22152


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
G-F Tex-Mex in Northern Virginia

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Feb 01, 2009

Austin Grill is a good Tex-Mex restaurant with a plethora of gluten free options that both adults and kids will enjoy. They have two locations in Virginia (Springfield and Alexandria), one in Maryland (Silver Spring), and one in Washington, DC (Penn Quarter). They're open for lunch and dinner and even brunch until 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The gluten free menu is posted on their site at http://www.austingrill.com/content/glutenfree.html ). The choices are abundant on the g-f menu...traditional Mexican fare like enchiladas (made with corn tortillas, of course!), as well as nachos, steak, salads, and fish. Our son, the one on the gluten free diet, ordered the cheese enchiladas, which were really good. It's nice that the tortilla chips are g-f, too, so you don't have to bring your own. I ordered the homemade guacamole and carnitas fajitas. Always confirm the g-f choices yourself, either before you go or when you arrive.

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Posa Posa
121 Rockland Center
Nanuet, NY 10954


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Gluten Free Pizza and Italian Fare

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 31, 2008

This is a good, reliable New York Italian restaurant, with an extensive menu of pastas, heroes, calzones, chicken and veal specialties, salads, seafood, and pizza. Although they do NOT serve gluten-free pasta and obviously cannot tailor some things like calzones to be gluten-free, they DO serve wonderful gluten-free PIZZA, which is made in a separate kitchen, apart from their main pizza ovens, so there's no need to worry about cross-contamination. They are also able to make almost all of the chicken and veal dishes gluten-free, but you need to be very specific when explaining that you're on a gluten-free diet and what that means, because not all of the wait staff is well- versed in the intricacies of gluten-free food preparation. With a bit of work on your part, this can be a very enjoyable dining experience, but also try and go at off-peak times, as the restaurant can get busy, and the staff is not shy about wanting to turn the tables. It can leave you feeling a bit rushed, especially when trying to be vigilant in explaining your gluten- free needs.

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Back To Earth
306 South Main Street
New City, NY 10956


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Great Gluten Free Groceries

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 31, 2008

This is a wonderful place to find almost any of your favorite gluten-free brands of food...Glutino, Pamela's, Kinnikinnick, Cherrybrook Kitchen, Orgran, Gluten Free Pantry, Envirokidz, By George, etc, etc. They even carry the Schar line of products, Europe's #1 gluten-free brand, which until recently were hard to find in stores and had to be ordered online. The employees are very friendly and helpful and will special order items they don't carry. The store is small enough that it is easy to navigate and find what you're looking for (and more!) yet big enough to carry a wonderful array of gluten-free foods, as well as the organic, natural, healthy items you'd find in a store like Whole Foods Market. It is honestly one of the few stores I've been to where you can find virtually EVERY good gluten-free item you're looking for (frankly, they have an even BETTER selection than Whole Foods). If you're lucky enough to live in this area -- Rockland County, NY -- you will not have to run around to so many different grocery stores finding what you're looking for...this is one-stop shopping. (Our family just happened to be visiting family in the area, and boy are we jealous of having a place like this!)

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Jackson's
11900 Market Street
Reston, VA 20190


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Another Great American Restaurant

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 30, 2008

As always, we had a great meal at this new addition to the Great American Restaurants family of restaurants. We arrived early before the crowds and got seated right away. We asked for a copy of the gluten-free menu, which they specified as "low gluten" (likely for liability reasons). While there were a fair number of options on the menu, it didn't seem quite as extensive as the gluten-free menu of some of their other restaurants like Coastal Flats and Sweetwater Tavern. All the same, our son ordered a petite filet from the children's menu, which is g-f. My mother-in-law, also following a g-f diet due to Celiac, ordered the grilled fish of the day, which was mahi mahi. I, too, ordered the mahi mahi (but not g-f), and there wasn't too much of a difference between the two dishes. My mother-in-law's did not come with the sauce or the crispy leeks on top, but she raved about how good it was. This came as no surprise...I ALWAYS order fish at the Great American Restaurants, and it is always some of the best fish I've ever had. I don't know what their secret is, but it's fresh and always prepared with yummy sauces/salsas/sides. Many of the salads here (both side and entree sized) can be easily made g-f. But again, other than two fish options, a filet mignon, and one other item, there were no other entrees on the g-f menu. They did have a few interesting sides available g-f, including a delicious rice pilaf with almonds, which we ordered and enjoyed immensely. Like their other restaurants, they offer a g-f chocolate waffle for dessert, which is honestly one of the best desserts ever. They also offer "Atomic Chocolate Mousse," which we didn't try, but it is gluten-free. To sum up, I'd recommend this restaurant if you are okay with a relatively limited range of g-f choices. Chances are, whatever you order will be top-quality and delicious, and everyone (gluten-free and other diners) will have a spectacular meal.

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Bedford Springs Resort
2138 U.S. 220 Business
Bedford, PA 15522


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Bedford Springs Historic Splendor

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Dec 03, 2008

Our family enjoyed three nights over the Thanksgiving Holiday at this beautiful and historic resort. Dating back 200 years, it is full of rich history -- including visits by 10 U.S. Presidents -- and was just reopened in July 2007 after being closed for 20 years. It was completely renovated and restored to its historic splendor. It boasts a top-notch spa, one of the country's first 18-hole golf courses, one of the first indoor pools, and a beautiful interior complete with ballrooms and several restaurants. The rooms were nice -- decorated using historic colors but complete with modern amenities. Now...for the FOOD. I have very mixed feelings about writing this review. There is no question that the food was outstanding. Most meals during our 3-day stay were buffets, including a mid-day Thanksgiving dinner. Typically, I'm not a fan of buffets unless the food is really high quality and beautifully presented, and this certainly was. In fact, all our meals at the resort -- from the wonderful breakfast spread to an elegant dinner in the Crystal Room -- were delicious. My only reservation was the lack of attention we received regarding our 5-year old son's gluten-free diet. As always, I had called before even booking our stay back in August, and I was assured that the resort handles special dietary requests frequently and with ease. So I was relieved and excited for our stay. I called again three weeks before our arrival at the resort to personally talk with the Executive Chef, Konrad Meier. He assured me they'd have plenty of gluten-free foods available. Just as a back up, however, we brought some gluten-free mac-n-cheese for our son, along with a frozen g-f pizza and some g-f pasta. Our first night we were just in the mood for something light, so we opted for the Frontier Tavern, which is really more like a bar with a limited bar-type menu. To keep things simple and because there wasn't a lot other than a burger on the menu that we thought our son would eat, we asked them to prepare the box of mac-n-cheese we brought. That seemed to throw the server for a bit of a loop. It was obvious she had never heard of gluten-free diets before. So we asked to talk with the chef. An assistant chef came out and assured us it would be no problem to prepare the mac-n-cheese and also offered to bring out some fruit for our son. Everything worked out well. I figured we'd meet the head chef the next day, at the Thanksgiving meal, but again, when we asked, they sent out another assistant. His first inclination was to offer to cook our son a steak, which typically would have been fine, but I had been assured when I spoke to the head chef weeks before that our son would be able to eat plenty from the Thanksgiving spread. We wanted him to be able to enjoy as much of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as possible. The assistant chef was fine with that and fortunately he seemed quite knowledgeable as he walked me through the buffet, telling me what was gluten-free and what wasn't and how they used cornstarch, not flour, to thicken their sauces and gravies. However, I found myself wondering just how careful the resort is when it comes to food preparation and avoiding cross- contamination in the kitchen. I also questioned just how much they knew about potential hidden sources of gluten. In general I just felt very rushed through the process and ended up having lots of questions like was chicken broth used in the rice pilaf? If so, was it gluten-free? Was the ham gluten-free? They told me yes, but often ham isn't because of how it's marinated/cured. Our son ate well but did have a stomach ache later. Was there gluten in something? We'll never know. In their defense, it was a busy time, and I probably should have met with the Executive Chef at a less hectic time before the meal. The breakfast buffets were the same, with someone from the kitchen briefly telling me the obvious about what was g-f and what wasn't. I had her double-check the bacon and sausage, which she confirmed was g-f. But it just seemed that there wasn't the level of engagement on the part of the chefs and wait staff that you'd expect from a resort of this caliber. I think I expected them to be more proactive in offering to prepare something special for our son (gluten-free pancakes perhaps?), and it always seemed like a lot of trouble to hunt someone down for that element of special attention. We made due just fine, and I'd recommend this resort for g-f and non g-f diners alike. I'd just try to sit down with a chef upon your arrival to discuss your specific needs -- especially if you want them to prepare anything special for you.

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Ruby Tuesday
25036 Riding Plaza
Chantilly, VA 20152


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Ruby Tuesday -- No Kidding!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Sep 24, 2008

After reading about Ruby Tuesday in Bob and Ruth's newsletter this past month, we decided to give it try. Although they do not have a gluten-free menu, per se, there are many items on the dinner menu that are gluten-free, including their fork- tender ribs, most steaks (although they sometimes need to be requested without the sauce), plenty of burger options (triple prime, ultimate chicken, blackened fish, classic, smokehouse, turkey, bison -- just request them without the roll). They also have some chicken and seafood dishes that are g-f as well (either as is, or with minimal modifications). The mashed potatoes (to-die-for) are gluten-free, as are the wonderful fresh stamed broccoli, premium baby green beans, baked potatoes, coleslaw and sauteed portabella mushrooms. I was there with my 5-year-old son, who is the one in the family with Celiac. Needless to say, there wasn't really anything g-f on the kids menu, except for a burger without the bun, so I ordered him the petite sirloin from the main menu, along with the mashed potatoes and green beans, all of which he LOVED. I had the "classic" baby back ribs, which were really good as well (and I'm not usually impressed with most ribs I order). These were the very slightest bit dry, but tender and tasty, with just the right combination of spice and sweetness. I was so excited that my son could try them...although I think being five, they were a bit spicy for his tastebuds. I'm looking forward to going back with the whole family and trying more of the items that are g- f. The Chicken Fresco (as is) and Chicken Bella (with no sauce) look especially good. Obviously, there are locations all over the U.S., and each manager/chef will probably differ in their range of knowledge about g-f food preparation (the manager at this particular location knew very little). So it is up to you to help educate them and be vigilant about explaining cross- contamination, etc. I'd always recommend taking a Dining Card (as we did -- one of Triumph Dining's American Cuisine cards) so that the manager and chef can read it and completely understand your needs.

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Pei Wei
2338 Woodland Crossing Drive
Herndon, VA 20171


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Limited GF options available, but okay in a pinch

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on May 19, 2008

This restaurant is owned by P.F. Changs, one of the better chain restaurants when it comes to gluten-free dining. However, this more casual restaurant's more limited menu doesn't accommodate gluten-free diners nearly as well. While there ARE a handful of options available that may satisfy your taste, most options are spicy, so this didn't work well when dining with our kids, one of whom has Celiac. Since a salad and some other g-f options didn't look like something they'd eat, we ended up requesting that the kitchen prepare plain beef (just cooked with oil, salt and pepper) and ordered a side of rice. The kids weren't crazy about the beef -- I think it was the flavor of the oil they didn't care for...maybe peanut oil? For us, I don't know that we'd go back until the kids are older and our son's palate has developed to embrace more exotic tastes and spicy options. But it was fine in a pinch, and for adults eating g- f, it would probably be worth trying.

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Bertucci's
44042 Pipeline Plaza
Ashburn, VA 20147


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
New GF items on the menu at this restaurant chain

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Apr 14, 2016

We always enjoy going to Bertucci's. They don't offer gluten free pizza or pasta at this time, which is strange, since they're an Italian restaurant known for their great pizza and pasta. But they do have a small Gluten Free Menu, and everything they offer is quite good. On our latest visit, we noticed they had a few new gluten free items on their GF Menu. However, these are not appearing on the website yet. The Brick Oven Roasted Chicken is new and sounded very tempting, but I opted for the Roasted Eggplant Pomodoro instead (which I'd never tried before). It was very good...just like traditional eggplant parmesan but not breaded. However, it had a generous portion of cheese and flavorful tomato sauce atop the perfectly cooked eggplant. It was delicious. Other choices on the Gluten Free Menu include a Strip Steak, Salmon (grilled or cajun), and Shrimp Risotto (also must try next time!). There is a new Flourless Chocolate Cake on the menu, but we didn't order dessert...too full from all the other good stuff! There's a nice range of starters and salads on their menu, too. Like I said, not everything is listed on their "Gluten Sensitive" menu online (under the Menu tab), but ask for the Gluten Sensitive Menu when you arrive at the restaurant, which should have all their latest additions included.

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P.F. Chang's China Bistro
4250 Fairfax Corner Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Wonderful Gluten-Free Chinese Food -- many locations in Northern VA

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 25, 2008

I'd have to say this is one of our favorite places to dine gluten- free, and let me also mention this is a NATIONALLY-based chain. It is so nice to have a restaurant that has made the effort to create a wonderful gluten-free menu with SO many options. Many of the items on the regular menu are gluten- free anyway, and the range of choices available never leaves you feeling that you're limited by your diet. Ask for the gluten- free menu, and you'll find numerous appetizers, entrees, and now even a dessert option (the "chocolate dome" cake). Our favorites include Phil's Better Lemon Chicken (the best we've ever tasted anywhere, gluten-free or not, and our son's favorite dish!), the Ginger Chicken and the Singapore Street Noodles. But these are just s small sampling of the wide variety of choices available. This is not your typical Chinese restaurant...it blends traditional Chinese favorites with a more contemporary Asian twist. We could literally eat here every week! If only all restaurants could have a menu like this!

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The Cheesecake Factory (Dulles Town Center + also in Fair Oaks M
21076 Dulles Town Circle
Sterling, VA 20166


3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
Gluten-Free Cheesecake!

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 25, 2008

Cheesecake Factory, a national chain of casual dining restaurants originally known for their 30+ types of cheesecakes, had always been a favorite of ours, but we hadn't ventured there with our sons since our younger son's diagnosis with Celiac three years ago. We ended up there somewhat out of necessity one night, since the restaurant we had intended to go to for dinner had closed. We were glad for the chance to give Cheesecake Factory a try, especially since they seemed eager to help us navigate the menu. While they don't have a gluten-free menu, the chef is able to access a list of ingredients for any item on the menu at a computer in the kitchen. Many of the salads are gluten-free, as are the burgers (no bun, of course, and the fries are off-limits since they are fried in the same fryer with chicken tenders and other breaded items). They also serve breakfast all day, which is all our son needed to hear. He opted for the scrambled eggs and bacon. (Home fries weren't gluten-free, so they actually substituted with a huge portion of fresh and wonderful green beans). For more sophisticated adult palates that may want something other than eggs and bacon(!), I would venture to say that you are bound to find something that appeals to you that is gluten-free, or can be prepared gluten-free for you. The menu is huge -- it's a bound spiral notebook -- and there is a wide range of items to suit every taste. The best news came with dessert when the server told us their Godiva chocolate cheesecake with a flourless chocolate crust was gluten-free. We ALL enjoyed sharing a piece (especially our son who dug in with abandon!).

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The Birch Tree Cafe
34738 Atlantic Avenue
Ocean View, DE 19970


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Dedicated gluten free bakery and cafe near Bethany Beach, DE

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Jul 01, 2014

We had dined many times at The Cafe on 26 nearby on Route 26 in Ocean View, DC -- right outside Bethany Beach. Cathy Berzins, who had been one of the partners at that restaurant, left a couple years ago to open this cafe. Although most of what The Cafe on 26 offered was gluten free, she wanted a dedicated gluten free cafe for herself and those customers who are particularly sensitive and require a dedicated gluten free environment. The Birch Tree Cafe, a bit further down Route 26, is small and located in the same building as a natural foods market that has many gluten free groceries. So I recommend making a trip here if you are visiting Ocean City, MD or Bethany or Rehoboth Beach. You can stock up on some of your favorite foods and have breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner at the cafe. It is open 7 days a week, year round. They offer a range of items that changes daily. We were hoping to try Cathy's famous gluten free crab cakes, but she did not have them available that day. They were also out of the pizza by the time we arrived for a late lunch. However, we really enjoyed our chicken salad sandwich, our BLT, a wonderful spinach salad, and muffins that my kids said were some of the best they'd ever had. I also enjoyed a wonderful latte. They also have smoothies made with fresh fruit and your choice of various milks (non dairy options, too). In fact, Cathy is able to accommodate many allergies and food intolerances at the cafe. There are vegetarian items on the menu, too. She offers gluten free beer, ale or hard cider as well as organic wine. In addition to the crab cakes, another seasonal specialty, available certain days, is the shrimp salad. In addition to the sandwiches, she offers soups, quiche, pizza, and salads. You can buy various baked goods, including the muffins and yummy GF brownies, to go. And her gluten free bread is a popular item to buy and take home. We particularly enjoyed the Multi-Grain bread our sandwiches were served on. It was amazing. So fresh and you'd never guess it was gluten free. That was the only bread we tried, as they had run out of the Original Blend that day. Cathy also makes gluten free birthday cakes, available by special order. I would give this an even higher rating if the menu had even more choices -- or if we had been able to try some of the things they'd been out of that day. It's not a fancy place, but I'd recommend a visit -- it's very good, and Cathy is very personable, if you can catch her in between all her hard work in the kitchen!

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Coastal Flats
11901 Grand Commons Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22030


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Great group of restaurants

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA, USA
Reviewed on Apr 05, 2008

We live in Northern Virginia, and we are fortunate to have a group of restaurants under the ownership of Great American Restaurants throughout the area. One of our favorite restaurants, Coastal Flats, currently has two locations -- one in Fairfax and the other in the Tysons Corner Mall. It's a hip, casual, 1950's coastal-florida inspired seafood house. The food is delicious. Best of all, they have a pretty extensive gluten-free menu, including many interesting salads (with just minor modifications like asking them to hold the croutons), several fish/seafood dishes, and two steaks. And to end the meal? Well, a warm flourless chocolate waffle, of course! Our whole family -- young kids included -- enjoys dining there. Other restaurants in the group include Sweetwater Tavern, Artie's, Mike's, and Carlyle Grand -- all of which also provide menus for gluten-free diners. The only downside is that they all tend to be pretty popular restaurants, and there can be a wait at peak hours. They don't take reservations, but they have a "call ahead" list to reduce your wait time.

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Beaches Turks and Caicos
45 Lower Bight Road
The Bight Settlement, TKCA 1ZZ
Turks and Caicos Islands

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Family Fun in the Turks and Caicos

Reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Reviewed on Mar 12, 2008

Overall, this is a good place to go if you're following a gluten- free diet and looking for a family-friendly resort that will please adults and kids of all ages -- infant through teen. (For those of you who don't know, Beaches is the division of the adults-only Sandals resorts, but it's geared to families.) I spoke to the Executive Chef once before booking our trip and again a few weeks before the trip. He assured me they handle gluten-free requests all the time. Once I contacted him upon arrival, we arranged a time to meet, and he guided me toward safe food choices for our four-year-old son. Breakfasts are pretty easy if you stick to eggs, bacon, fruit and yogurt. (The fruit selection was plentiful and varied at each of our breakfasts.) We did bring some of our own food, including our favorite gluten-free pancake mix, and the chef was happy to prepare our son's favorite morning treat: chocolate-chip pancakes! Lunch buffets were a bit more challenging, and it often involved finding a chef who was well-versed in g-f foods and preparation (some were, and some weren't, and that was probably one of the biggest challenges during our stay.) Dinner was better, since we almost always opted for table-service restaurants, and we typically notified the Executive Chef or Sous Chef where we'd be dining. To give you a lay of the land, Beaches Turks and Caicos is one of Beaches' two "high-end" properties, and it has 7 full-service restaurants, along with a sushi bar, bakery cafe, and 24-hour diner that serves things like burgers, hot dogs, fries, ice cream and sodas. The French bakery usually had fruit and g-f Yoplait yogurt, and the pastry chef was even kind enough to make a special batch of gluten-free coconut macaroons for us (they were so good, we all fought over them!). And at Kimonos, the Japanese steakhouse, they even had g-f soy sauce and could prepare our son's entire tepanyaki-style meal gluten-free. The food and experience were great overall, with only a few downsides. While the chefs were eager to please, you need to be patient and constantly ask questions (even reading labels), because only the top chefs seemed to have a working knowledge of gluten-free foods and ways of avoiding cross- contamination. I had to do some educating in order to have some meals safely prepared. (The Executive Chef has since informed me that they have made big strides recently in this area.) Secondly, you should plan ahead and talk to the Executive or Sous Chef before meals, especially dinner, so they know where you are going and can alert the chef at that restaurant. I found "chasing down" the busy chefs a bit time- consuming and inconvenient at times, and I found myself thinking that this had to be inefficient for them as well. Again, I understand they've made a concerted effort to improve the process since our visit, and I"d recommend a visit to this beautiful and family-friendly resort.

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