Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gluten Free Dairy Free Middle Tennessee

We took a trip down South last week (if you're wondering why my blog was in "lite" mode last week, well, that's why, we were traveling). I was hoping for a Biaggi's or a Cheeseburger in Paradise like we found in Evansville, Indiana, last summer when we took a trip to Holiday World, but we were out of luck.

We did, however, find a huge selection of restaurant options for a family with a child with food intolerances.

If you're considering a vacation and are looking for a GF and GFCF friendly area, Nashville and Middle Tennessee seem to be very friendly.

Here's a list of restaurants that I checked out ahead of time that you also may want to check out if you're traveling through the state of Tennessee. Disclaimer: I am not an expert on GFCF in Tennessee; restaurants policies and ingredients can change without notice; DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and do not rely on anything I have posted here ; Be sure to call and confirm each location for your list of allergens and to confirm that each business still serves GFCF versions:

Nucci's Italian Ice and Gelato serves a couple of flavors of GFCF gelato and a bigger number of Italian Ice flavors. The dark chocolate gelato remided me of eating rich brownie batter, only ice cold, and is GFCFSF. Amazing! ;) Nucci's Vanilla Italian Ice was created with the idea of snow cream in mind, and that's exactly what it reminded me of.

I called McDougals and the grilled chicken fingers with smoky barbecue sauce are gluten free and dairy free!

Five Guys Burgers and Fries - they have a "no bun" option and don't even blink when you order a burger with no bun. Love it! We have Five Guys here but have never eaten at one until our trip. Hint: use online ordering during lunch time. (My thanks to the anon commenter to this post pointed out the fact that Five Guys serves peanuts inside the store and they fry their french fries in peanut oil.)

Otters has grilled chicken and their french fries are fried separately - it looks like an option.

Chick-fil-a - We don't have Chick-fil-a's where we live now. We did not get to try one while we were traveling. I hear that Cfa is a great place for GFCFers. (My thanks to the anon commenter to this post pointed out the fact that Chick-fil-a uses peanut oil.)

Jason's Deli uses Udi's bread, a larger size loaf that we get in a grocery store. We ate there several times during our trip. They serve the biggest baked potatoes I have ever seen.

Shane's Rib Shack - has a big GF menu. The store we visited is a corner store in a strip mall, not what we expected. I thought it would be a sit-down restaurant where wait staff comes to your table to take your order; instead, you order at a counter at the front door and then sit down and wait for your food. The food was good; the service was okay (after a two-minute discussion about corn-on-the-cob, the staff failed to place corn-on-the-cob on our order as requested, and then made us pay for it when we missed it at the table, telling us it wasn't on our receipt when it was their mistake).

Matteos Pizza - made an expensive little GF pizza minus cheese that my girl inhaled.

Mellow Mushroom - we never made it there. Maybe next time. Here's a review from another blogger.

PF Changs has a large gluten free menu; I thought soy would be a problem here. It is, but soy is not the biggest problem: the biggest problem with this restaurant is that their meats are marinated in milk, so a large portion of the menu is a no-no for a child on a GFCFSF diet. I spoke to the manager of a restaurant near where we'd be staying, and he talked me through a few options, told me to ask for him when we arrived and he'd make sure my girl's food was safe of allergens. We didn't make it to that particular restaurant on this trip, but I was impressed with my experience with the manager on the phone and will consider PF Changs in the future.

I'll continue to add to this post as I learn more. Here are some other resources:

Gluten Free Nashville has more suggestions here.

Gluten Free Cat blogs about Nashville GF finds here.

Tennessean article about GF area choices here.


Anonymous said...

Just a heads up to anyone who may want to know - if you have peanut allergies you want to steer clear of Chickfila & Five Guys & Fries as they use peanut oil and Five Guys also serves peanuts. I'm not sure about the other restaurants listed, but just wanted to let you or your readers know about these 2.

singingmommy said...

If you ever come back to Nashville, I'd highly recommend "Fiddlecakes". It's a great little cafe that serves lots of GF and other allergy friendly foods. My daughter is allergic to milk, eggs and chocolate and she feels like a princess at this place. (They even sell silly bands and allergy friendly desserts! What child wouldn't love it?) Here's a pdf of their menu:

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