Sunday, April 9, 2017

Gluten Free Buford, Georgia

One of my gluten-free (and more) girls and I recently traveled to Buford, Georgia, near the Mall of Georgia. We found two fast food restaurants that have gluten free menus with special procedures for handling gluten free orders and had good experiences. Disclaimer: We are simply customers sharing an experience. Please do your own research, ask your own questions, determine your own comfort level with eating from a gluten free menu in any restaurant, including these two.

Uncle Maddio's Pizza is an assembly line pizza place where diners choose a crust, a sauce, a cheese or cheeses, and pizza toppings. Gluten free pizza crusts are stored separately and we were guided to a separate serving bin for toppings. Maddio's has an assembly line salad, as well. I wish they had a honey mustard dressing or plain olive oil.

 The employee changed his gloves, the process was quite careful. I learned after the fact that the store owner (who also owns a Gainsville store) has celiac disease and has trained the employees well. The process goes like this according to store owner Melissa Welborn
"The staff should direct you to the other pizza line to handle the gluten allergy. That line should be wiped down because we have to use that board sometimes for other food prep. The gluten free pizza line is normally kept covered until it needs to be used. Once the pizza goes in the oven, it is tagged an allergy. The person cutting pizzas is directed to change their gloves, and we have a separate tong set in a black container that is only used for gluten free pizzas. They use those tongs to pull the pizza onto the smaller pizza peel that is only used for gluten free. Then they use a hand roller pizza cutter that is stored with the tongs in the black container to cut the pizza. Nothing they use for a regular pizza should ever touch your gluten free pizza."
Maddio's also has a dairy free cheese substitute.

At every other pizza place we've tried, we have to cross our fingers and hope the staff are being careful. At Maddio's, the process is out in the open. Every step is observable from the assembly line.

My girl gave it two thumbs up! I am experiencing reactions to tomatoes and cheese, so I got a small crust with a garlic olive oil sauce. It wasn't very garlic-y and I probably could have asked for the garlic olive oil on a romaine salad.
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The other restaurant we tried while visiting Buford, Georgia, is Burger 21. This was our second trip to Burger 21, as we ate there at a trip through the area one year ago and had a good experience. This year's experience was a little lacking.

Burger 21 has an extensive gluten free menu complete with a gluten free bun. My complaints: We opted to have a bunless burger and the Burger 21 cashier tried to charge us for the gluten free bun, which is an extra fee. And our "medium well" burgers were bright pink and bloody. I should have sent them back, but I hear horror stories about employees messing with the food of people who send items back. We wound up eating the edges, eating around the pink of the burgers. The manager did stop at the table and I asked him if this is the restaurant's definition of medium well, and he said, "no" and told me I should have sent them back. Oh well.

Here is my burger on a gluten-filled bun (I failed to photograph my daughter's burger).

Fast. Food delivered to the table. Attentive staff. Watch the charges if you order a bun without a burger and check the doneness of your burger when it is delivered to the table.

Happy Travels,


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