When I created my first post about Dining out Gluten Free in Athens Ohio I forgot some really important restaurants and I got some good comments on some restaurants I’m going to try!
Restaurants I eat at with no issues
How could I forget Salaam?! This is one of my favorite restaurants in Athens Ohio. They have the best flat iron steak you can eat! They are very knowledgeable about gluten and are always willing to check to see which items have gluten or not. They have super fresh food you can tell is carefully prepared for you.
My favorite meal is their flatiron steak with a Turkish pepper rub. It is usually served with a gluten free rice pilaf and grilled veggies! This is one of their regular specials so it’s not always available.
When I can’t get the steak, I do love their Salaam salad with grilled chicken. This salad includes feta cheese, red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, walnuts and a variety of greens. It’s served with their pomegranate vinaigrette. I know a lot of people love this dressing, I’m not much for a sweet person dressing and their toppings on their salad is so good I don’t think it needs it! So be sure to ask if it’s gluten free (I imagine it is) because I have not checked yet!
Larry’s Dawg House
Ok, so this one isn’t very intuitive, and I would recommend it with caution because of the potential for cross contamination (which I have a huge sensitivity to), however it is an option if you are needing a place that the rest of the family wants to go to as well. (Namely the kids and husband!) The staff at Larry’s is super friendly and super accommodating on letting you see ingredient lists. If I stick to my safe list here, I usually have no problems!
Almost all of their dinner items have gluten or have the potential for cross contamination, however they do have grilled chicken which you can get with no bun and they do have Lay’s chips. This combo seems to work well for me with no issues.
On the ice cream end, they have the best ice cream. You do have to be careful of what you get because of gluten or cross contamination. What I can get that I have found to be safe are their ice cream in a cup with Heath topping. I haven’t tried many of the other toppings, but anything normally gluten free should be fine (like M&M’s).
It took me a while to figure out what is not safe there ice cream wise. I was silly enough to think that Arctic Swirls and Milk Shakes were OK until it dawned on me that there could be cross contamination since they use the same mixer for all toppings. Explained why sometimes I had troubles and sometimes not.
I also think the Hot Fudge is ‘iffy’, I have had really bad reactions to peanut clusters (my favorite!). At first I thought it was cross contamination with the peanuts having cookie crumbs in it, but they let me see the ingredients on the Hot Fudge and ‘Natural flavoring’ is in it so that could be from Malt. My reaction was so bad it had to be more than just cross contamination.
One thing I’m super excited about with them is they let me look at all the ingredients of the items they put in their ice cream cake! So I was able to build an ice cream cake for my oldest for his birthday. Their ‘cold fudge’ did not have any suspicious ingredients in it, like the hot fudge did, and they substituted the cookie crumbs with heath bar. It was awesome! I had 2 slices and no problems!
I don’t eat fast food much anymore, but Wendy’s does have a complete list of gluten free items. The thing I really like about Wendy’s is they seem to be honest about what can have cross contamination. For example, I used to get their hamburger no bun, but it always bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why. Apparently they list on their site that it is gluten free but could get cross contaminated in the preparation process. I also can’t eat their Chili without issues too, I imagine since it has their hamburgers in it.
I do get their plain potato if I go there and I may try their grilled chicken which looks to be safe according to their information currently on their website. So I’m actually excited about that when on the road and in a pinch for something to eat.
You can also get gluten free here and just about any Mexican restaurant. I usually get the Fajitas as they usually are safe. Just eat it without the tortillas. Be careful though of chips at Mexican restaurants if they are fried! Usually even if they are cooked in a dedicated frier, they warm them up right before serving you in a common fryer so you can get cross contamination this way!
Places I plan to try
I’ve not tried Zoe’s yet but I hear that they are great when it comes to gluten free cooking and minimal cross contamination. I also hear they have no problems adjusting a recipe if needed to accommodate needing to be gluten free. Thanks Rachael for the tip! I’ll update the website after I try it!
I’ve heard that they provide gluten free pizzas. I haven’t tried them or asked yet about cross contamination possibilities yet. This one might be worth trying though as I’ve heard their pizza’s are pretty good under their new ownership!
Could Work if you are in a pinch
Ok, so while this place is full of gluten, I did find the staff in Athens Ohio extremely helpful when we stopped here (our middle son loves the place). They seemed to understand cross contamination and what has gluten in it. They looked at all the ingredients on any item I asked about. They assured me that they change their oil regularly and they fry the taco’s and nachos first thing in the morning before anything with breading is fried. So I took a risk and got nachos. They even printed out their allergen PDF from the website for me while I ate. To my joy, their nacho cheese sauce was not listed to have wheat in it as I expected it would!
Here I ate simply nacho’s and cheese. While it certainly wasn’t a gourmet meal like Salaam, it was nice to have something relatively safe to eat here. I had barely noticeable issues the next day so it was either safe or just slightly contaminated because of the oil. I’m sure it’s hard to get 100% of the gluten out even if you clean the oil regularly. My reaction was so minor though I’d definitely eat the nachos and cheese again to see if I have a reaction and if in a pinch.
I love avalanche pizza! I have tried their gluten free pizzas several times and they taste great. Unfortunately though I’m super sensitive and their pizzas do bother me. They do state that they are made in a common kitchen and cooked in a common oven and that cross contamination is possible. I think there could be many out there with gluten sensitivities that could tolerate Avalanche, but unfortunately for me, I can’t seem to tolerate it very well. If you have Celiac or a wheat allergy it is likely not safe (and even stated by them not safe). I so wish it were though!
I’ve not tried their Gluten Free pizza yet. Their site states though that it’s not recommended for those with Celiac so I probably won’t try it. It could work for those that are just gluten sensitive though!
I hope this is helpful! Feel free to comment if you have experience eating out Gluten Free in Athens, Ohio! Thanks Rachael for commenting on Part 1 and letting me know of a few places I wasn’t aware of!
Make sure you check out Part 1 of Dining out Gluten Free in Athens Ohio if you missed it and Part 3 of Dining out Gluten Free in Athens Ohio!