Just in time for Celiac Awareness Month, many of our favorite "gluten-free friendly" restaurant chains have added even more gluten free items to their already impressive Gluten Free Menus. There's bound to be a location of one of these chains near you…and keep the others on your radar when you travel. Our family finds that's part of the fun of traveling…getting to try some of the best GF-friendly restaurants that don't happen to have a location near us.
Burtons Grill -- A chain with locations along the East Coast, Burtons is one of our personal favorites. We dined at their Charlottesville, VA location over our kids' Spring Break when we visited Monticello and Montpelier.
Favorite items ordered included the Spicy Fried Calamari, Beet Salad, Mediterranean Chicken Risotto, and gluten free Fish & Chips (really…how often do you find gluten free calamari and fish and chips?!)
Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano -- This chain, with locations in 10 states, is another favorite we look forward to visiting when we travel. They have many gluten free pastas on the menu, in addition to gluten free pizza (including two new ones). I'm looking forward to trying the Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza at some point.
Another new addition to the menu are the popular Braised Short Ribs. You'll be overwhelmed with choices -- many entree salads, steaks, chops, seafood, chicken…with 10 gluten free sauces ranging from the traditional to the innovative. Like Burtons Grill (and all the chains mentioned here), they take great care in preparing their gluten free orders so that cross contamination is avoided.
Rockfish Seafood Grill -- This restaurant -- with 13 locations in Texas -- recently expanded their gluten free menu to include Shrimp and Crab Louis Salad, Redfish (served grilled or blackened), and a hand cut Ribeye steak. Top sellers include the Cedar Plank Salmon, Ahi Tuna "Nachos," Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, and Jalapeño Cream Soup. Don't miss the seasonal creme brûlée for dessert!
Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen -- If you're lucky enough to live in or visit Arizona, you must make a point of dining at one of the five Picazzo's restaurants there. For years they've been raising the bar for restaurants serving gluten free diners. At this point, their entire menu is gluten free, with the exception of their whole wheat and regular pizza (but they have a dedicated oven for their gluten free pizzas).
They just rolled out a new menu with even more gluten free choices, including more pizzas, pastas, roasted veggies, ricotta and mushroom stuffed chicken, chicken parmesan, quinoa bowls, and desserts (try the GF chocolate avocado pudding). They try to use organic, local ingredients whenever possible, and their pasta is free of GMOs.
Glory Days Grill -- With locations in MD, VA, and WV, this is a family-friendly sports-themed restaurant that our family visits often. They are constantly offering new seasonal specials, many of which are gluten free. They just added their "Pub Chips" as a new gluten free appetizer choice…warm, house made potato chips topped with bacon, green onions, zesty blue cheese dressing, and a balsamic reduction. Although perhaps not the healthiest choice(!), you will find plenty of entree salads on their gluten free menu, in addition to "sports bar" favorites that are often hard to find gluten free: ribs, wings, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches on gluten free buns…and even fries cooked in a dedicated fryer.
They also serve delicious Omission lager, a favorite of ours. Save room for the Petite Chocolate Torte, a former seasonal special that was kept on the menu due to its popularity. Don't let the name fool you, however…although it's called "petite," it's so rich and decadent you'll probably want to share it!
Please share your own favorite gluten-free friendly spots -- and any new items they've added to their menu -- by leaving a COMMENT below…or submitting a quick review on our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, so that others searching your area learn about the best places to find a wonderful and safe gluten free meal!