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…
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.
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.
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!
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.