Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sprecher Restaurant Gluten Free Wisconsin

Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub Wisconsin Dells. I've seen their location in Milwaukee every time we drive that way, but we've never stopped, but a local gluten free friend said this was a place we had to try. So we did. We liked it so much we stopped here twice while traveling to and from Minnesota. You'll notice one thing in common with both meals. I had to have the Hash browns! 

I've had their root beer, and was hoping they'd have their gluten free beers available here, they did not, but that was fine, I took over driving the rest of the way shortly after stopping here. Since it was the off season when we stopped here it was dead. That was awesome cause the waiter was able to give us his full attention. I'm sure during peak season this place is packed! Off season it was also one of the few places even open! 

You'll notice one thing in common with both meals. I had to have the Hash browns! There were a decent amount of options to choose from, some came with alterations from the original menu so it was important to pay attention to those too. Each time the staff was friendly and helpful. Food over all was good, and my non-GF family members highly recommend going and checking it out, even if you can have gluten.

We debated our options coming back and figured this was a safe bet, since we liked the food and service was good we went back. Their bottled pops come in a variety of fun flavors and were all gluten free also. The menu points out the risks very easily and the options are plentiful, so they get 5 Dragonflies in my book! I would try another location of theirs when up in Wisconsin. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Rafters Restaurant, Gluten Free in Lena

We decided to go for a random drive out to Dubuque, IA for the day. Funny part, we never made it over the Mississippi, we found more stuff to do in Western Illinois than we expected. Our first stop was in Lena. Garmina, our Garmen loves taking us on the most interesting adventures. We've driven this way several times, and never passed this place before. It looked like a cute barn, next to a brewery we'd never heard of. My fiance asked if this place happen to be on Find Me Gluten Free. I was able to get enough of a signal to find out that YES they were. We found a place to turn around and went back.

What a great little place, The Rafters. The beer in the brewery was not gluten free, but they had several gluten free cider options and quite the gluten free menu! They did caveat that some sides weren't available until dinner, and we were there about noon. But were able to make an exception to have veggies ready for my lunch. I went with the "Spin-art Chicken, which essentially was a grilled chicken with spinach artichoke dip on top. It was very tasty and really enjoyable. My meal came with a side salad, the menu offered a wedge salad with homemade blue cheese. So of course I asked for blue cheese with my salad. Very nice touch, not too potent but tasty. My fiance went with a bourbon bacon burger, and was very pleased. He got a lot of food and was pleasantly full when we left.

We were going to stop and eat in Galena, but this was better over all, none of the places in Galena are amazing, this was pretty close to it. One review on Find Me Gluten Free stated, this the best place you're going to find in this area. I agree. Great food, our waitress was super chatty and told us about how they moved the barn we were eating to it's current location 15 or so years back from up the hill, using logs to roll it down. She took a lot of pride in all the things to do in the area, and kept telling us more reasons to come visit more often. I would totally come back here when we're heading west this away again. Next time we might find less interesting things and actually make our way to Dubuque! 4 dragonflies here, for great service, food, options and a nice stop in the middle of no where!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Papa John's Joins the Jerk Trend

Papa John's can you hear me rolling my eyes?? Please explain to me why you feel the need to join Domino’s and Pizza Hut and appease the millennial generation? I have a better idea, offer a pizza that may appease the millennial generation but is safe for those who have to avoid gluten, you know what, it will bring you more money in the long run, cause we like to eat carry out pizza too! We love an option to pick up a pizza on the way home from running errands or a busy day. We love the option of safe food for our families so we don't have to miss out. God forbid we have a child who is also Celiac, I guarantee you they don't want to sit here with us eating salad while everyone else eats pizza, or else we'd have just ordered a bunch of salads for dinner to begin with!! Plus some of those millennial's are the ones rolling their eyes cause they too have Celiac Disease and can't eat your trendy pizza.  
Blurb from today's news from The Street.

I would say hey having more options can't hurt, I mean those trendy want to eat gluten free for the heck of it people have brought more products to market. But more and more it comes to light, those products are not safe for those of us with Celiac. That's what boggles my mind. So you found a way to make a more expensive pizza from ingredients not including wheat, rye and barley, but you let them become completely contaminated. Why Bother!!! 

Is my money not good enough from you? Is my business as a loyal customer unworthy? I mean I kind of want to know what is wrong with me? But yet to seek the attention and money of the millennial using mom and dad's credit card to buy pizza? At what point do we point out I'm one of those Millennial age customers who will not be buying your pizza.

It makes me even more annoyed cause it blurs the line to the people around us. Yes it's gluten free, but I STILL CANNOT EAT IT. So while you advertise that it's gluten free, its hard for other people to understand it's not safe, so while they thing they're doing good, ordering someone like me a pizza, it's going to go untouched, cause I can't risk being sick for days because the "gluten free" pizza is only partially gluten free. What I don't get is you join the ranks of the fad places, while other places like California Pizza Kitchen rocks at making sure you're meal is safe, and they score 5 stars in my book every time we eat there. Every time, that means more than once, that's when we want pizza, it's a safe option, that's money YOU could be pocketing if you made a safe option. But seeking approval of a group that eat kind of gluten free is more your thing. So don't acknowledge the 1% of the population you could gain as regular customer on top of those millennial if you just took the time to make this a safe option for them. But maybe you're "rolling in the dough" and don't need more business, if that's the case, kuddo's, just don't call this new crust gluten free. Go for something more accurate like "Begging for Attention Millennial crust"

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jimmy's Charhouse Elk Grove Village, Gluten Free

Jimmy’s Charhouse has 3 locations around Chicagoland, in the suburbs. We happen to live near one of their locations in Elk Grove Village. I had reached out to them via email, on their website to ask if they did gluten free. But got no response. I was pretty annoyed. Why have a contact us button on your site if you don’t respond to people who contact you???? But that aside, a friend was there and said he saw gluten free options on the menu. So we thought we’d give it a go. I mean when the weather is nice I could walk here! 

From my understanding they have new owners who recently took over. The inside is very nicely decorated, very fancy. The crowd was an older crowd. I did feel a bit young on a Sunday Evening there. 

They had a nice little gluten free listing, which had appetizers that could be modified to be gluten free, and menu listing for a variety of items including steak, chicken, and ribs. I went with a steak which the server right away said “oh gluten free, you’ll need the baked potato” Side dish listings were not on the gluten free menu. But our server was educated.

My dad said he wanted the ribs but didn’t want the mess. The server offered to cut them, by bone, so they were easier to eat! He said they were wonderful tasting. My steak was good, the only issue was my potato was a bit under-cooked, but the steak was good.

I wanted to give them 4 dragonflies, they have a nice bar area to hang out at. They had a handful of appetizer items and a variety of dishes to choose from. The staff is friendly and courteous so it was a very pleasant meal. Also if you’re there for a birthday the dessert is Ice cream!

One thing that was a turn off upon going there for lunch, which is when they're busiest, how slow the service was.  My burger arrived with french fries on the plate, Upon telling the manager that it was ordered gluten free, he apologized and brought out a new burger with a potato on the side, not french fries. That made me realize they're better for dinner cause it's less busy, but mistakes happen and I ended up taking my meal to go, because it took so long to come out a 2nd time. So overall it's 3 dragonflies for them. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

rQ Barbecue

Another win for Find Me Gluten Free. We found rQ Barbecue while in Joliet for a NASCAR event. rQ is technically in Shorewood, but that's right next to Joliet. We weren't sure at first, though it had several stand out reviews. We got there a bit later, and kept our fingers crossed they would be open.

Lucky for us they are open to 10pm, every day, so showing up at 9:25 was perfectly OK. I was staring at the menu board and saw the words Gluten Free and got excited. The girl taking the orders was excited to tell me all about how they use Turano bread and wraps. So I had to try it out. All their sauces are gluten free, and their meats. Several side dish options including the cheesy corn. So I was set. I got a buffalo Chicken Wrap.

They were great and warmed the wrap in foil so that it didn't get contaminated on the grill. They also gave me the options of toppings and additional sauces to add that were GF. Over all the food was good and it was great it was a quick stop place that did gluten free and it wasn't that expensive either. I give them 4 dragonflies for their selection, options and staff knowledge on gluten free.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dickey's BBQ Up and Coming

Dickey’s – a Chain of BBQ places expanding to more and more areas with over 500 stores in the US. I’d never heard of them, but saw they could do gluten free so we thought we’d check them out while up near Kenosha. If you go online you’ll find their allergen listing showing what is safe, including all meats and sauces, and which sides are safe, pending availability of items. Over all their meats are smoked on site and are super tender, their sauce is WOW! It packs a kick, even their sweet sauce will wake you up. 

Their layout is similar to Real Urban BBQ where you go through a line to order your items, they’re placed on a simple metal tray and then you take that to your seat after paying. It’s nice because you can make sure things like the complementary rolls are not placed on your tray!

I like the variety of options that they have for their food items, and so many that that are gluten free. They don't have a regular gluten free listing, but they have an allergen listing on their website you can reference when ordering. They don't have any gluten free breads, but nothing will stop you from bringing your own bread and ordering items as a plate. The meats come without sauce, so you can choose which way you want your meat. They have an option for a family style plate where you can choose items to share with others. Or you can do your own plate if everyone can't agree on a set of meat or sides. 

Each item is in it's own container so as they dish them out they are limited to only the spoon in their own container. 

They get 4 Dragonflies. I do hope they keep expanding into more markets, their food is tasty, but make sure you're good with some spicy food, because their sauce and sausage has a major kick to it. They don't have any bread options, and you do have to remember to tell them to NOT put the bread on your plate, but otherwise they are great for cross contamination. I look forward to going back.