Wildfire Chicago: Gluten Free Review (hint.. go here!)

While we were in Chicago for the Celiac Awareness Tour, we decided to stay an extra night and spend some time in the city. After a little research on a few different apps and websites – both Yelp and FindMeGlutenFree recommended Wildfire for dinner.

I’m notorious for making reservations before we go anywhere because I am so impatient and hate waiting in a crowded little area for a table. So I frequently use Opentable.com to secure a seat before leaving the house. The only times available were 5:15pm or 9:30pm. We decided on 5pm because we hadn’t really eaten lunch due to being at the convention.

When we got there, I asked for the gluten free menu. Everyone was very accommodating – Check out this gluten free menu!!

Wildfire gluten Free Menu
Wildfire gluten Free Menu

Are you kidding me? Was I dreaming? I hit the gluten free Chicago jack  pot. Since we were there and they had this great menu – we were definitely going to try some stuff.

One of the things I miss is being able to order an appetizer occasionally. All of them are usually fried but I really enjoy having a snack before my meal comes.

We decided to try the baked goat cheese. OMG – it came with gluten free pita chips that were to die for.

img_4100
Wilefire baked cheese and gluten free pita chips
img_4102
All Gone!

After looking at the menu – we both decided on a nice juicy cheeseburger on a gluten free bun. How often do I get this? Never so I certainly was going to go for it! Aaron even decided on a gluten free burger with me! They were delicious. The bun tasted great. The burger was delicious with no gluten filled fillers – cooked to perfection!

Wildfire Gluten Free Burger
Wildfire Gluten Free Burger

Then we shared sides of a sweet potato and a twice baked potato. Totally fantastic as well. Enough for 3 people each!

Wildfire double baked potato
Wildfire double baked potato
Wildfire Sweet Potato
Wildfire Sweet Potato

The entire time we were dining – our waitress continued to come back and make sure everything was ok. If I had a question about something, she checked with the chef or the manager and came back to tell me what she found out. I’ve never felt so safe dining out! There needs to be way more gluten free menu restaurants like Wildfire!!

During the meal I enjoyed some wine and they even brought out a gluten free (hot and fresh) bun to eat while Aaron had his regular bread!

I give Wildfire Chicago – 2 HUGE gluten free thumbs up and highly recommend it for someone gluten free looking to eat a delicious meal in Chicago!!

His and Hers bread. lol
His and Hers bread. lol
My 4 new friends.
My 4 new friends.

 

 

Gluten Free Review: Red Robin – Yummy Yum Yum

Red Robin Gluten Free Bun
Red Robin Gluten Free Bun

Today my husband and I ran the 2012 Hell Run at Buckeye Lake in Ohio to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. Our in-laws even came out to watch the event and they grabbed some great pictures. We were starved after the event and decided to head back towards our house. I saw on Find Me Gluten Free that Red Robin had gluten free menu and after some internet searching found that they even have a gluten free bun!

This trip was not healthy by any means but I figured we just did this 5k right with obstacles so I decided to indulge in a gluten free cheeseburger. After all, I have to try it for all of you right?

This was a GREAT cheeseburger. Not only did they give me the gluten free bun but they cooked the french fries completely separate so they wouldn’t be contaminated with the other fried gluteny stuff. This was so exciting! I don’t think I’ve had french fries in months. The bun was fluffy and big, the burger was juicy and it hit the spot perfect. My husband even got a gluten free bun and shared my fries, which he enjoyed as well!

Best part is not feeling sick or bloated after my meal. 2 meals in a row – out in public – without getting sick! WooHoo

Highly recommended! They were very sensitive to my celiac disease and gluten free needs.

*Although I do smell like a stinky, greasy, oniony burger – even after showing and playing in the mud*

Red Robin Gluten Free Burger
Red Robin Gluten Free Burger

 

 

 

Gluten Free Review: Maggiano’s Little Italy (awesome)

maggianos
Today I found a hidden gem of the gluten free foodie world. My best friend and blogger – Sara Wyen of Words To Run By went with me to the Celiac Awareness Tour in Cincinnati, Ohio today. We were excited to see all the fun, new gluten free goodies with all the vendors. Another blog post coming soon on that…

img_3717

While we were there, Maggiano’s Little Italy chef Karl Lenz was there speaking and doing a gluten free demo. Well, I knew exactly where the Maggiano’s Kenwood was located and we zipped on over there for lunch. I am so glad we did.

Upon entering the restaurant, I asked for the gluten free menu. They explained rather than having a gluten free menu, the Assistant Manager would come out and explain the gluten free options and ensure my meal was allergy safe.
Matthew Powell, the Assistant General Manager came over to the table after our waiter quickly brought us drinks and very thoroughly explained how 90% of their menu items can be made into gluten free dishes. He walked me through the menu and made sure I was clear on food preparation, ingredients and options for celiac disease.

This was the most gluten friendly and celiac aware place I’ve been to yet.

90% of their menu items could be made gluten free – surely it wasn’t so. This place isn’t on any of the safe lists or gluten free places to eat. Oh boy, did they knock my socks off.

I decided to try their corn pasta.

It. Was. Amazing.

Gluten Free Corn Poasta Maggiano's
Gluten Free Corn Poasta Maggiano’s

Sara and I ended up sharing a meal because it was really big. You know what the best part was? They have several menu items that you can get a to go item FREE if you order from the list. Yup – I got 2 meals for the price of one. 1 being a gluten free specialty menu item – without paying extra. Our entire lunch with the meal, Cesar salad for Sara and 2 iced teas was $24.

img_37201

Can you tell we didn’t like it? Just kidding.

Matthew even came out after the meal and ensured everything was ok and up to my gluten free liking! Of course I explained.
The chef that was doing the demo at the Celiac Awareness Tour, Karl Lenz – was back before we finished lunch and he even came out to welcome us and explain their cooking methods and showed me their pastas!

Maggiano's Corn Pasta
Maggiano’s Corn Pasta

I felt completely safe eating here, had no stomach ailments after my meal and will certainly make this a go to spot when we are in Cincinnati. The manager, chef and waiter all made me feel comfortable and took care of me the way a restaurant should with people suffering from food allergies. We already have a big enough burden of having this food allergy, we shouldn’t have to feel like one while eating out.

Rebecca

Maggiano’s Little Italy Cincinnati

Kenwood Mall

7875 Montgomery Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45236

513.794.0670

Eating Gluten Free in Hilton Head South Carolina – Traveling with Celiac

Gluten free in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!

How do you travel with celiac disease? I found it’s not very easy, so I obviously was leery on our first trip to Hilton Head for a week. Fortunately, our hotel had a kitchen in our suite as we own a timeshare with Marriott Vacation Club but even so I didn’t want to be stuck eating in the hotel the entire trip. Eating gluten free in Hilton Head was much easier than I thought it would be!

I decided to chronicle our trip to help you if you ever decide to head over to Hilton Head! This will be a great guide for those of you looking for safe places to eat, or wondering if a place you wanted to go is a good pick. 7 days worth of dinners and lunches there is bound to be something for everyone on this list.

Marriott Grand Ocean – 

51 South Forest Beach Drive · Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928

Dolphin Grille – located outside of the pool in the middle of the resort – this little place to eat is full of fried foods. If you want French fries and fried anything, this is the place to go. They also offered smoothies and salads but from the look around me – no one was enjoying the healthier items. Since fried foods have been off my list for sometime now, just the smell of the grease makes my stomach uneasy. I stuck with a grilled Mahi Mahi salad. It didn’t make me sick but it didn’t make me feel good either. It made me worried about cross contamination and I didn’t feel safe eating here.  This was the first and last time we ate at this grille. It’s a shame because it was the only restaurant on the property.

Marketplace – For being a huge billion dollar corporate company, you would think that the Marriott Company would be more sensitive to allergies and food needs. But nope, they failed at this yet again. The Marketplace is a little grocery type store to find essentials and they have some snacks at their pizza place. Again, nothing gluten free or lactose free, well unless you wanted candy or chips. There was no air conditioning in this little space so I’m sure any fresh fruit would rot quickly. If you want soda, macaroni and cheese, brownie mix, chips or pizza – this it the place for you. I left very disappointed that I couldn’t even grab a snack at the hotel. My suggestion for Marriott is to consult with some allergy awareness groups to come up with some perfect allergen free picks for their store. I’m sure something gluten free would be atrociously expensive, since a drink was $3 but people will pay a premium if they can’t find anything else nearby.

Wise Guys Steaks and Wine Bar– 1513 Main Street  Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

First place we went to after gluten free Hilton Head Internet search. They have “gluten” spelled wrong on their website, which might contribute to not being able to find them on the Internet? It’s a shame because this was the absolute best gluten free meal I’ve ever had. The Caesar salad with grits croutons knocked my socks off and the steak was so tender and delicious. I salivated all week for another meal there. The skillet potatoes were delicious as well. Because I now have the lactose allergy, I couldn’t indulge in desert but my husband had a molten lava cake that he said was fabulous. Lots of wine selections. Very modern décor and feel inside. My husband didn’t like the mirrors all over the walls but I thought they were cool. This dinner hot spot is not a place for kids. Pretty good wine menu also for all us legal drinking age adults!

Check them out on Find Me Gluten Free

Check out their Gluten Free Menu Online

The Crazy Crab – 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head, South Carolina

The waitress had no idea what I was talking about when I told her I had a gluten allergy. I should have known better from the menu with entire entire thing filled with fried foods. I didn’t feel comfortable eating anything there due to possible cross contamination in the kitchen and lack of knowledge from our waitress. I ended up ordering the crab legs and corn on the cob. Well the corn on the cob was completely watered down; I think I had 2 bites. The crab legs were lack luster and didn’t fit the name of the restaurant. They left little to be desired and I was not impressed. This place is in the Harbor area and it is one of the touristy places on the island. I couldn’t recommend this place for gluten free folks. and for that matter, I wouldn’t even recommend it for people without food allergies.

Truffles Café – 71 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

After finding this place on the Gluten Free Find me app, I had high hopes since people posted about their gluten free items being so good. They did offer gluten free pasta and breads but I just wasn’t in the mood. I’m finding that the gluten free pastas/breads leave me hungry and wanting more food. I decided to try a filet again. I was a bit disappointed in this one. The steak was fine but very bland, along with the garlic mashed potatoes. The spinach with it was really good not soggy and had good flavor. It almost seemed like they were afraid to flavor my food for fear it would have gluten. My husband had the mango salmon and said it was the best meal he had on the island. I guess it might just depend on what you order. They were the only place that offered a gluten free desert and it was delicious. Hot, gooey and delicious. A little mini lava cake without the lava and ice cream on the side. I felt this meal was more expensive than the others and for no real reason. Oh and I did have a “peartini that hit he spot! There were pros and cons about the meal. Have you eating here? Please let me know!

Check out their other review on Find Me Gluten Free

One Hot Mama’s – 7A Greenwood Drive  Hilton Head Isle, SC 29928

Monday night football – we had to go somewhere that had the game on! Typically sports bars are the last place you want to go if you have celiac. Tons of fried foods! I will say this place had several good options. I ended up with the beef brisket salad. Ahhmazing. The beef brisket was so tender and the meat was flavored nicely. No fatty pieces on the meet and the salad lettuce was fresh. They also said their wings were gluten free, which means they must cook them in a separate fryer than the regular fried foods. Highly recommended for a cheap bite to eat in Hilton Head! Aaron had tacos and really enjoyed them as well.

Did you eat here? Leave a review on Find Me Gluten Free

Black Marlin – Located dockside at  Palmetto Bay Marina 86 Helmsman Way, Suite 103
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Best crab legs I’ve ever had by far. They were big, juicy and had lots of meat. I could tell they weren’t soaked in water or over boiled. Cooked perfectly. I was starving and inhaled them. I just wanted more and more of them. Aaron said I had a ravenous look in my eyes and at one point was double fisting crab legs and green beans. It was a sight to be seen. The green beans were crispy and tasted great. Nothing special about the baked potato, it’s really hard to screw them up. Aaron had some fried shrimp tacos and raved about them. For desert, he had a molten chocolate lava cake and I watched him eat it.

Did you eat here? Leave a review on Find Me Gluten Free!

 

Skull Creek Boathouse – 397 Squire Pope Road,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

The last stop on our trip. We stopped here on the way home for lunch. I couldn’t decide what I wanted and we had a $50 voucher from taking the timeshare tour so we ordered a bunch of different things. We started with chips, guacamole and salsa. In hindsight, I didn’t ask if they cook the chips themselves or if the guacamole was gluten free. I ended up sick before we left the restaurant. Not their fault, mine… Seriously not a smart move before a 12 hour car ride back to Ohio. I didn’t ask. The sushi roll was very good – smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. Then Aaron and I shared crab legs again. He ordered the snickers cake for desert, and once again… I watched him eat it.

Did you eat here? Share it!! Find Me Gluten Free

HAHA Ok – We found this little guy on the beach but we didn’t have him for lunch….
Overall, I found several gluten free options in Hilton Head and didn’t have many problems going to different places. I will say we focused on the SERG restaurant group because they all had gluten free offerings and educated staff, a heart warming thing for all of us with Celiac. Not only do they have a ton of places to eat on the island, they all have different events and themes.

Do you have a hot spot in Hilton Head for gluten free options? Do you live on Hilton Head Island and have Celiac? I want to hear from you – email me at prettylittleceliac@gmail.com and tell me the best places to go so next time I can be sure to check them out…..

Be happy, Be Healthy-

Rebecca

The Pretty Little Celiac

Comments

  1. Delia Raine says:

    HI,
    I am off the Savannha and Hilton Head May 17 and I will be using your reviews to find some places to eat. We will cook alot too at our time share as I always find that safest. I have been celiac since Dec 2011 and travelling is alway hard. I starve or get sick with out careful research and good resturant education.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Delia

     

    • Rebecca says:

      We had a great experience on Hilton Head Island – I found a lot of places to get gluten-free food. I can’t wait to go back there this fall.

       

  2. Alison A. says:

    Hi! I am going on vacation in about 2 weeks to Hilton Head with a day trip to Savannah, and weekend in Charleston. This will be my first vacation since I found out about my Celiac this past Christmas. I am oh so worried but very excited I found your page. I am still getting use to it and can’t wait to try some of these places out.
    Alison :D

     

  3. Jen P. says:

    I’ve been going to Hilton head for 25 years but only have known I had celiac for about 3 years. Thanks for this posting! I’d like to try a few of these (and avoid others!). I’ve found that Old Oyster Factory has been very accommodating although I can’t remember if they have a gluten free menu. Also, One Hot Mama’s is the best for celiacs!! Loved it there! Mellow mushroom has gluten free pizza and I think they have gluten free beer too! Also, lots and lots of other beer on tap! Fresh Market (I think that’s what it’s called) has lots of gluten free snacks or things to pick up for your house/room! I’m going there this Saturday, so if I find more great places, I’ll report back!!