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July 2010

Gluten Free Restaurant Menus: A Discussion With Denise Baron of Burton's Grill

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Denise Baron, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Burton's Grill, about their restaurant's popular gluten-free menu. Denise is also a co-founder of the restaurant, which opened its first location about 5 1/2 years ago. Burton's Grill currently has SIX locations: Boston, MA; Hingham, MA; North Andover, MA, Peabody, MA; South Windsor, CT; and Virginia Beach, VA. Denise is extremely knowledgeable about Burton's gluten-free menu, since she was instrumental in introducing it while in her former role as Executive Chef 4 1/2 years ago. It was after learning that Burton's President/CEO Kevin Harron had Celiac Disease that she proposed making their own menu more accommodating to people avoiding gluten. She wanted to make sure people with Celiac could "order off the menu and not feel singled out." Because Burton's Grill is a "from scratch" kitchen, knowing exactly what ingredients are in their menu items -- and how to tailor them to be gluten-free -- was much easier. In fact, Denise reported that much of the menu was already gluten-free. Two big adjustments she needed to make were switching to LaChoy soy sauce for any dishes requiring soy sauce, since this brand is... Read more →

Melting Pot's new gluten-free menu makes this restaurant even more special

I've always loved Melting Pot fondue restaurants...I remember going to one almost 20 years ago. It's such a fun and unique experience...having a long, relaxing meal with friends or family while enjoying both the savory as well as sweet fondue courses: cheese fondue, main course, and the never-to-be-forgotten chocolate fondue. Unfortunately, my visits to Melting Pot were few and far between -- never often enough. That may be changing now, as Melting Pot's new gluten-free menu makes it one more place our family can safely dine with our son who has Celiac Disease. I had the opportunity to try out the new gluten-free menu last week during a dinner with the DC Celiacs group. Unfortunately, the 7:30 dinner was too close to my 7-year-old's bedtime, so I didn't bring him along. But I was happy to volunteer for the hardship duty of testing out the menu to make sure it was "good enough" for him to enjoy another time! They have a gluten-free menu, but frankly, there isn't much on the "regular" menu Celiacs can't have. For the first course -- the cheese fondue -- Melting Pot substitutes cornstarch for flour and Redbridge beer for "regular" beer in their gluten-free... Read more →

Fuddrucker's is a fine restaurant for gluten-free requests

Our 7-year old son Ryan, who has Celiac, was invited to a Birthday party to be held at the Fuddrucker's restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia last weekend. It was a "Lego-building" party (a 7-year-old boy's dream!) to be followed by an early dinner. 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 burgers are 100% beef, the buns aren't toasted on the grill, and they have a dedicated fryer for the gluten-free fries (but he recommended ordering them without the seasoning that they sprinkle on after they cook the fries). I... Read more →

Wildfire restaurant in Tysons Corner, VA is hosting a Chesapeake Bay 4-course wine dinner, featuring John Shields, host of PBS Coastal Cooking. The event is on Tuesday, July 27, and I've been told they can accommodate gluten-free diners at this event...and we all know how well they typically serve the gluten-free community with their wonderful and extensive gluten-free menu! For more details about the event or to make a reservation, click through to the invitation ( ) or call 703-442-9110. Read more →

Dining Gluten-Free at Disney World: A "Magical" Experience

I recently wrote an extensive article about our family's trip to Disney World in the Fall of 2009. It is currently published on the Special Food Groups website. I cover everything you need to know for a successful gluten-free vacation to Disney World and all its theme parks -- when to go, the best places to stay, and dining options both in and outside the Disney parks. I even include contact numbers to call to get lists of gluten-free items available in each of the Disney theme parks. Be sure to also visit our Travel Resources page for much of this information, including a special discount we've arranged for lodging if you choose to stay outside the Disney property. Read more →

Glory Days Grill Is The Latest Restaurant to Unveil a Gluten Free Menu

It always brings a smile to my face when I learn of another restaurant chain with multiple locations that has invested the time, resources, and energy to develop a gluten-free menu. My smile gets even wider when I see that it's more than just a bland list of "stripped down" offerings like grilled chicken and steak. Glory Days Grill, the newest addition to GlutenFreeTravelSite's Gluten Free Restaurant Menus page, is definitely a restaurant worth checking out if you live in Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia and are following a gluten-free diet. Glory Days Grill is the quintessential sports bar, fun for all ages. But unlike many sports-themed American grill restaurants, you can enjoy many of their signature house-specialties because they are all GLUTEN FREE! Yes, that means you can order their chicken wings and BBQ ribs -- in addition to a wide array of other great options from their gluten-free menu like steaks, burgers, 10-spice chicken, seafood, and salads. They even have plenty of gluten-free sides and a gluten-free hot fudge sundae if you still have room for dessert! Glory Days Grill is notorious not only for their great food and fun atmosphere -- but for supporting their local schools,... Read more →

July's Featured Review is now posted on GlutenFreeTravelSite's Featured Review page. Our winning reviewer for this month shared his experience at Seasons and Regions Seafood Grill in Portland, Oregon, where he had, "one of the most delicious gluten-free dinners he's ever had at a restaurant." Read the details here... Read more →