Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Manhattan's Grill Gluten free, sort of....

Manhattan's American Bar and Grill says they have a gluten free menu. Well I guess they weren't wrong there, they did have a gluten free menu. The issue we had for the evening was no one told the kitchen staff there was a gluten free menu. Let's hear the loud *Sigh*. Personally I'd say you have to work with the kitchen staff first to find out what really can be prepped and served gluten free safely. That way you as an owner know what you're getting into. That way the cooks know there has to be a separate mayo jar for sandwiches and burgers. Ketchup and mustard should be squeeze bottles not knife contaminating jars. That way there is a piece of mind they've changed their gloves, washed their hands and started to prep the meal safely.

Originally I got excited to see stuffed mushrooms on the extensive gluten free menu. I ordered a side of those along with Nachos. Everyone else got their appetizers and soups and salad, the waitress came over and appologized that the mushrooms contained flour, so they're taking them off my bill that's why they never brought my food. Well at least the cooks knew flour + gluten free = bad.

I had gotten an order of nachos to pick at, which would have been fine, minus the fact they came out ice cold. I was annoyed, disgusted and pretty well ready to leave, if we weren't here for a birthday party we would have left. This was when the manger came over, and explained that no one had met with the chefs on the new menu, and the stuffed mushrooms would have been fine, had they known they were to make them gluten free (Wow - without the menu you wouldn't make that one change to accommodate a customer??), since the owner worked with a dietician to make a super safe menu. I felt the need to tell the manager that menu is only as safe as the knowledge of their kitchen staff. If the staff isn't trained, the menu is meaningless. I don't care if you worked with a dietitian or not. Which really is the truth in the execution of it all.

First plate of Nachos with Cold meat.
Our friend whose birthday it was felt bad, I felt bad that he felt bad. I assured him multiple times it wasn't his fault, he did exactly what I would have done. He contacted the restaurant, talked to the owner who told him there was an entire gluten free menu. Heck they had a 2 page printed menu, not just 2-3 items, who knew I was also going to have to sit down and interrogate the cooks to find out what they know?!?!?!

Our waitress who was rather MIA most of the night kept bugging me why I wasn't eating, and if I wanted to take them home to eat later. Personally a bad meal makes me queasy knowing there is too much of a chance of getting sick. Being all the way in Carol Stream and having to make it all the way back to Pilsen, I couldn't risk being sick along the way, plus it's not worth my long term health. The nibbles I took of my 2nd plate of warm nachos were ok, nothing to write home about. I heard from everyone else that was their opinion as well. Nothing great, but not the worst. I give them 2 dragonflies for horrible execution, and poorly trained staff, and lack luster food presentation over all. I will make sure to eat before going next time our friends want to go and see the band. Wine pricing was high, but I'll splurge if it's the only thing I'm having. 

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