Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flat Top Grill Gluten Free menu....

The moral to the end of this review is Stand you ground for what you know!

Flat Top grill is an Asian Stir Fry grill with really no menu options, other than appetizers and dessert. The rest of the menu is a do it yourself stir fry. Over the past 3 years of dining there gluten free their menu has improved to offer more gluten free options. They have rice (Brown and white) for the base, veggies of all types, sauces and meat. Simple enough right? The main thing to keep in mind is their meat is marinated! WHAT?! It doesn't look it, but it is. The main thing I've learned is to Make sure you ask your server for the un-marinated meat in the back. They say pork, chicken and shrimp are gluten free safe, it's not marinated in gluten sauces, but I've learned still ask for the meat from the back! The beef is marinated in soy sauce so that's a major no no. They have 4-6 sauces now that are gluten free, and if you again ask nicely they will bring you more from that back if you are worried they got contaminated by another sauce. 

What's great is when you fill your bowl and take it up to the wok, you can put an allergy stick in the bowl so they know to make sure your food is cooked in a separate wok away from all the others! 

I have several friends who adore going to Flat Top, and really you can make almost anyone happy with dinner there, they have a variety of veggies, meat, and sauces, you can make a bunch of combinations of meals by just making small changes to your meal. 

I've had some hit or miss meals there based on how well the staff listens to you. The main thing is if they tell you the meat on the line is safe, ask for a manager. I've gotten Horribly ill eating there when the staff kept trying to convince me that the pork was gluten free they no longer put gluten containing sauces in the marinated meat. Maybe it was, and the fact that it came out pink is what caused me to get ill, but either way I was so sick the next 3 days, I was furious with myself. 

I spoke with the manager the next day, walked thru my meal ordering process, and the manager agreed, that I was correct, and that he would talk to the staff about allergy practices again. But to always make sure I insist on the un-marinated meat from the back. 

Fast forward a couple months and I'm faced with dinner at Flat Top. I said sure, I as always had their allergen menu loaded on my phone for quick reference (they don't always have a copy on hand in the store. I had one store write it all out for me on a napkin.) I asked our server for the un-marinated meat from the back. He obliged and reminded me to put the allergen stick in my food, so it's cooked separate. The gluten free sauces are in the back row of the sauces so there is less chance someone dripped sauce from another ladle into it. You can also ask for all veggies and sauces come from the back.

They even have gluten free low sodium Tamari sauce for you to add to your meal! Win Win. Now with anything there are risks with dinning out, especially when you have a buffet serve yourself style meal.Over all I like them, I will only give a 3 for training of their staff and the potential for contamination due to the buffet style of the veggies and sauces.

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