Chain Restaurants

P.F. Chang's has always been one of our family's go-to restaurants for a reliable, safe, and delicious gluten free meal. So my son and I were happy when my aunt treated us to dinner at their Natick Mall location in the suburbs of Boston last Friday night, right after we concluded our annual week at Camp Celiac in North Scituate, Rhode Island (this was my son's fourth year attending, and I volunteer as a parent counselor). My aunt and her friend were craving the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken, one of our favorites, too. However, upon being seated, we quickly discovered the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken was no longer on the menu. It had been replaced by Cantonese Style Lemon Chicken, which is described as, "crispy chicken breast sliced and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and chilled broccolini." We asked our server if we could get the chef to make the Philip's Better Lemon Chicken instead, because I'd remembered they often honored customer requests for this dish during a brief period a couple years ago when they'd taken it off the menu. However, we were told they weren't able to do that, because they did not have all the ingredients required... Read more →


Are you familiar with the hot -- literally hot -- new trend in pizza...custom-created, oven-fired pizza that cooks in just minutes? Well now there's a chain that offers this option to its gluten free guests, too. Yep. Pie Five Pizza Co, with locations in 7 states, lets you choose your crust (gluten free), your sauce, your toppings...and voila...you have your own mouthwatering pizza! If you don't live in one of the 7 states where Pie Five Pizza is currently located (Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia), you may still be in luck. They have locations in Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma "coming soon." Best of all, Pie Five Pizza's gluten free crust is made from ancient grains including teff, amaranth, and sorghum flours so the pizza isn't just gluten free...it's nutritionally superior, with more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than most other gluten free pizzas. Almost all their toppings for the pizzas are gluten free, with the exception of meatballs and Alfredo sauce, and salads can be made in to-go bowls, as opposed to their usual bread bowls (all salad makings are gluten free, too, except the Caesar dressing). Although their restaurants are not dediated gluten free... Read more →


You may remember my recent post about Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen in Arizona -- and their menu that's almost entirely gluten free. It's a favorite spot for gluten free locals as well as a fantastic discovery for gluten free travelers "in the know" who are spending time in Arizona. Picazzo's is now offering a $5 discount coupon exclusively through our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, and our DINE GLUTEN FREE app, now through September 1, 2014 (Labor Day). You'll save $5 when you spend $30 or more any day of the week after 4 pm. You can either print out the coupon from the Print Coupon link on Picazzo's page on GlutenFreeTravelSite -- or simply show the coupon to your server on your mobile phone by pulling it up under the Coupons & Offers tab on our DINE GLUTEN FREE mobile app (which is free and available for iOS and Android). If you're viewing this post on your smart phone, you can just show the server the coupon below, too! Offer valid for dine in only at any of Picazzo's five Arizona locations (Flagstaff, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tempe). One coupon per customer. Coupons may not be combined with any other offer,... Read more →


Rockfish Seafood Grill, with 13 locations in Texas, is a must-try spot if you're gluten free. You won't be bored with starters like Mexican Shrimp Martini, Ahi Tuna Nachos, or Roasted Jalapeno Cream Soup! Several entree salads grace the Gluten Free Menu, along with everyone's favorite fish selections, prepared either grilled or blackened with a choice of plenty of gluten free sides. And this isn't an ordinary preparation of fish, either...5 different sauces -- all gluten free -- suit any taste or mood. How about trying their unique Pontchartrain Sauce? (Perhaps you can, if you win the $25 Gift Card...more on that at the bottom of this post.) If you're more of a land-lubber, no worries...there's a Flat Iron Steak (which can also be combined into a "Field and Stream" combo with shrimp or scallops). There's also chicken, served grilled or blackened. And don't forget the gluten free creme brulee for dessert! If you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, you'll also benefit from the half-priced bottles of wine! Throughout the month of July, Rockfish is offering Wild Alaskan Salmon (order it grilled or blackened for it to be gluten free). For every wild salmon entree sold in July, Rockfish... Read more →


Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen, a popular chain of five Arizona restaurants, sets the bar high for food with a focus on taste and quality -- and an impressive range of healthy, gluten free offerings. In fact, Picazzo's has what is arguably one of the most extensive menus of gluten free options available at an Italian restaurant. I kid you not when I say it would be worth a trip to Arizona just to dine at a Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen! (Read on to learn how you can win a $25 Gift Card to use at one of their restaurants...). Years ago, Picazzo's switched all their pasta to a gluten free variety, and just recently, they made the switch to RP's Pasta, a fresh (not dried) variety of gluten free pasta that also happens to be free of GMOs (which is becoming more important to many consumers, including myself). In fact, this is one of the reasons the owner of Picazzo's, Rick Freedman, decided to make the switch to RP's Pasta. He liked the texture and taste profile -- as well as the fact that it did not contain GMOs. Picazzo's uses five of their pasta products, including their gluten free... Read more →


Named "Best Gluten-Free Restaurant Chain" in the 2012 About.com Gluten-Free Readers' Choice Awards, Ted's Montana Grill is a restaurant you'll want to check out, if you haven't already. My own family has dined there several times and is never disappointed. The menu and atmosphere have a unique twist...making you feel like you are, indeed, dining in "Big Sky Country." Now, in honor of Celiac Awareness Month, Ted's Montana Grill is offering a $30 Gift Card to the lucky winner of this week's random drawing (more details on how to enter can be found below...). Ted's Montana Grill is named after businessman, philanthropist, environmentalist, and avid outdoorsman Ted Turner. In 2002, he joined forces with famed restauranteur George McKerrow to open their first Ted's location in Columbus, Ohio, and the chain has since grown to over 40 locations in 16 states. Their focus is on the hearty food of "Big Sky Country" -- and they offer the biggest bison menu in the world (both steaks and burgers). But they know how to do seafood well, too, and in fact I've ordered fish the last couple times we've visited one of their restaurants. On their Gluten Free Menu, they offer both Cedar... Read more →


Today, we highlight the gluten free offerings at Legal Seafood and give you a chance to win a $25 Gift Card to use at any of their 33 restaurants. This is part of our ongoing series highlighting gluten-free friendly restaurant chains during Celiac Awareness Month -- and giving you the chance to win gift cards to some of our favorite spots. I remember 9 years ago when our 22 month old son Ryan was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Back then, most people hadn't heard of Celiac Disease. We certainly hadn't. And Ryan was the first patient our pediatrician had diagnosed with the disease (and he has a huge practice with thousands of patients). After the diagnosis, the initial panic about what we would feed our son quickly dissipated as I buried myself in research both online and offline. But as well all know, it's relatively easy maintain a high degree of control in one's own kitchen. It can be an entirely different story when dining out (at least it certainly was in 2005!). If it took me a couple weeks to get up to speed on the intricacies of what Ryan could and couldn't eat, the hidden sources of gluten,... Read more →


In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, this is our third of many giveaways. We're having a drawing for a $25 gift card to Burtons Grill, and in the coming weeks, we'll have similar gift card giveaways for more GF-freindly restaurants. Be sure to check back -- or better yet, enter your email in the box on the right to "Subscribe" to our blog feed and get emails when we publish a new post. Now, let me share Burtons exciting gluten free menu additions for the month of May and how you can enter our Giveaway... Burtons Grill is one of the places our family makes a point of visiting when we visit family in the Boston area. With ten locations on the East Coast (5 in Massachusetts, 1 in Connecticut, 1 in New Hampshire, 2 in Virginia, and 1 in South Carolina), chances are, there's one near you or in a place you travel. This "casual upscale" restaurant chain offers one of the more extensive Gluten Free Menus (both for lunch and dinner). This month, in honor of Celiac Awareness Month, Food and Beverage Manager Dan Greenough has modified some options that aren't typically available for gluten sensitive guests, without... Read more →


In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, this is our second of many giveaways. We're having a drawing for a $25 gift card to California Pizza Kitchen, and in the coming weeks, we'll have similar gift card giveaways for more GF-freindly restaurants. Be sure to check back -- or better yet, enter your email in the box on the right to "Subscribe" to our blog feed and get emails when we publish a new post. Now, for the low-down on CPK's gluten free pizzas and details of how you can enter our Giveaway... Back in October, I had the pleasure of visiting California Pizza Kitchen's test kitchen in Redondo Beach, California, just as they were getting ready to roll out their new gluten free pizzas nationwide. The four gluten free pizzas -- Margherita, Pepperoni, The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (CPK was the original creator of this one!), and Mushroom/Pepperoni/Sausage -- were all equally delicious. I'm not even typically a fan of BBQ Chicken Pizza (don't know why...I just prefer BBQ in other forms), but I loved their version of the pizza. Aside from being gluten free, here are some of the ingredients that make their pizzas so special: THE ORIGINAL BBQ... Read more →


Are you fortunate enough to live in or travel to Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, or the Rochester area of New York? If so, you're in for a treat, because Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano has added a handful of new gluten free items to their already extensive Gluten Free Menu. I have to admit that Biaggi's is one of our family's favorite gluten-free friendly chains. But unfortunately, there are none located in the mid-Atlantic area, so we've only had the priviledge of dining at Biaggi's when traveling (once to the Maple Grove location outside Minneapolis, MN and the other time to the former Salt Lake City, UT location, which is now closed). Their range of pasta preparations that are available gluten free -- along with homemade gluten free pizza, a huge range of meat and seafood entrees, and plenty of appetizing starters and salads -- makes gluten free folks feel included in the best their restaurants have to offer. You will NEVER feel like you're missing out or that you're "settling" for a meal that is less than outstanding. Favorites from our visits include the many varieties of GF pizzas, Pasta Di Mare, Grilled Chicken Parmesan, and... Read more →


Without a doubt, Wildfire restaurant has one of the best Gluten Free Menus around. We're fortunate to have one of their 7 locations not too far from our home, so we've visited there several times. Each experience has been better than the last. We want YOU to be able to experience Wildfire for yourself...that's why we're giving away two $25 Gift Cards, one to each of two lucky winners (details at the end of this post). The options on Wildfire's extensive Gluten Free Menu are almost overwhelming: homemade thin-crust gluten free pizza, gluten free pastas, steaks, chops, chicken, ribs, fish, shellfish, sandwiches, and burgers. They even bake their own rolls for the burgers and sandwiches. There are no fewer than 7 appetizers on the Gluten Free Menu -- something for every taste or mood (although our family typically goes right for the salads and entrees!). Some favorites in our family from our visits to Wildfire have included the Fresh Mozzarella Pizza, Shrimp and (gluten free) Penne, Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad, Wildfire Chopped Salad, New York Strip Steak (steaks can be served "plain," or with any of three gluten free options: garlic crust, bernaise sauce, and peppercorn sauce), Macadamia... Read more →


It seems pizza restaurants all over are hopping on the gluten free bandwagon and offering gluten free pizza...but if you're Celiac or gluten sensitive, it's important to ask the right questions before blindly devouring any "gluten free" pizza. After all, we've all heard the stories about cross contamination rendering supposedly "gluten free" pizzas unsafe for consumption -- except for those folks following a gluten free diet by choice. Pizza Pie Cafe is one place you can feel safe. If you live in Idaho or Utah, you have 11 Pizza Pie Cafe locations to choose from (and they'll be opening another one -- in West Jordan, UT -- in mid-February). Apparently, further expansion is planned as well. They follow safe practices to avoid cross contamination, including keeping the gluten free pizza crust in its own separate pan during preparation and cooking, using separate sauce and a separate ladle, changing gloves, and using a separate pizza cutter. Pizza Pie Cafe offers a gluten free version of its All You Can Eat pizza, pasta, and salad bar. And they will make ANY gluten free pizza (whichever combination of toppings you like), upon request. Even though there's a $2 upcharge for gluten free, it's... Read more →