Sorry for the cancellation tonight. One of my kids was home sick and what is a mom to do. So I changed the location of our meeting tonight to online and thought we could go over more information next class. Below is some sights that I found great information on and eating out on the go GF. This is important to many of us who are running from event to event or meeting to meeting and need a quick option for lunch and dinner. I hope this helps! I plan on continuing our discussion on gluten free and dining out next class. Maybe we’ll have a few samples of gluten free dinners as well.
On a list of fast food restaurants, how could we not start with McDonalds? As it turns out, you can get any of their burgers gluten-free if you skip the bun and opt to have it wrapped in lettuce instead. You’ll have to skip the special sauce on their Big Macs.
Other gluten-free items include:
several of their salads
McFlurry with M&M’s
Fruit ’N Yogurt Parfait
While the gluten-free menu items are a great start, the risk of cross contamination is high due to the fast work pace and close proximity with gluten.
Burger King is clear on their site: While there is some food that is gluten-free alone, cross-contamination is likely. If you’re willing to take the (very high) risk, however, you can get a Whopper without the bun, in addition to the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. You can also get their Garden Fresh Salad and some soft-serve ice cream with hot fudge, caramel sauce, or strawberry sauce.
If you have a serious gluten sensitivity or allergy, Burger King probably isn’t the best choice.
Wendy’s is similar to the first two restaurants we’ve covered. You can get a gluten-free burger without the bun, and several of their salads without the chicken and croutons would work as well. The number of gluten-free sides is more impressive than the options at the first two restaurants, however. These include their chili and a wide range of baked potatoes and toppings. Best of all? The Frosty is gluten-free, too.
Wendy’s has more gluten-free options than McDonald’s and Burger King, and information about cross-contamination on their website shows that they are aware of the reality of gluten-free cooking.
Chick-fil-A offers several different gluten-free items on their menu. According to Gluten-Free Living, Chick-fil-A’s Waffle Potato Fries are cooked in separate oil than their breaded chicken. The fries are cooked in canola oil, and their breaded chicken is cooked in peanut oil. Their grilled chicken and grilled chicken nuggets (not the breaded ones) are also gluten-free.
Despite this, Chick-fil-A is not a gluten-free environment, so the risk of cross-contamination is high.
Despite the fact that their full name includes the word “Bread,” Panera has a number of gluten-free options available. Their sandwiches are out, but you can get a number of their soups and salads, without croutons and the side of bread. Good options include:
Fuji Apple Salad
Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken
Baked Potato Soup
Black Bean Soup
a variety of steel cut oatmeals
Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries
Panera even has two gluten-free desserts: a triple chocolate cookie with walnuts and a coconut macaroon.
Panera is one of the most gluten-free friendly options on this list. Just make sure you’re very clear while placing your order that you need your items to be gluten-free.
While you can’t go in for a full-on burrito, you can indulge in a Chipotle burrito bowl or the corn tortillas. Choose your rice, meat, beans, and all the fixings, without the flour tortilla. You can even eat the tortilla chips and salsa and guacamole. The only things off limits are the flour tortillas themselves.
Overall, because you can see the food being made and the assembly-line nature of preparation, Chipotle is one of the more truly gluten-free restaurants on this list.
It’s important to note that a disclaimer on Taco Bell’s site states that they are not a gluten-free environment and can’t guarantee that any of their food will actually be truly free of gluten.
That said, they do offer several items that do not have gluten in themselves, including:
black beans and rice
Pintos N Cheese
If you’re avoiding gluten when possible as a choice, Taco Bell could be an occasional indulgence. But if you have an actual sensitivity or allergy, it’s best to skip it to be safe.
The gluten-free options at Arby’s are extremely limited. Most of their meats — including their Angus steak, corned beef, and brisket — are gluten-free, but only without the buns. The fries themselves are gluten-free, but they’re cooked in the same oil that contains gluten. Your best bet for an item that feels complete is their Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad.
Overall, this is not the most gluten-free fast food option on this list.
Sonic has a decent number of gluten-free offerings. Because their fries and tater tots are cooked in the same oil as breaded products, these won’t work, but their grilled foods are considered to be gluten-free, including:
hamburgers (no buns)
hot dogs (no buns)
Their ice cream may also be gluten-free.
The small kitchen size and the short training associated with fast food restaurants would likely result in high risk for cross-contamination.
Five Guys’ burgers, fries, and hot dogs — and almost all the toppings — are all gluten-free (so long as you skip the bun). The milkshakes themselves are gluten-free, too, aside from a few of the mix-ins. When you go, you just have to avoid the following items:
Oreo cookie pieces
malted milk and cherry milkshake mix-ins
Due to the lower percentage of products that contain gluten, Five Guys may have a slightly lower risk of cross-contamination than other fast food restaurants.
KFC specializes in breaded, fried chicken, so it’s not much of a surprise that their gluten-free options are limited. The only options on the menu here are sides, including their green beans and corn.
Because not even their grilled chicken is gluten-free and the only items available are select sides, this restaurant may be best to skip.
Like KFC, Popeyes doesn’t have a ton of menu options available for gluten-free diets, and everything you can order is a side. However, their gluten-free side options are a little more robust than KFC’s. Options include their Cajun rice, red rice and beans, cole slaw, and corn on the cob.
For a place that focuses on fried breaded chicken, there are some decent options that make it a better alternative to KFC.
Gluten-free guests at Boston Market can order a comparably wide selection of entrees and sides from the chain’s gluten-free list. And, you can have gravy, since it’s also gluten-free.
Gluten-free options include:
Roasted turkey breast
Southwest Sante Fe salad
Check out the Food Allergy Search section on Boston Market’s website, which allows you to list only the gluten-free menu options. Sadly, there are no gluten-free desserts.
Outback Steakhouse, with hundreds of locations throughout the U.S., represents a real go-to fast casual restaurant for the gluten-free crowd, especially while traveling.
Outback features an extensive gluten-free menu, filled with steaks, seafood, salads, sides and an excellent gluten-free dessert, the flourless Chocolate Thunder from Down Under brownie. There’s also a gluten-free kids’ menu, with smaller portions and a gluten-free sundae for dessert.
Gluten-free options at Outback include:
Aussie Cobb salad
Brisbane Caesar salad (no croutons)
Victoria’s filet mignon
Perfectly grilled salmon
Alice Springs chicken
Baby back ribs
Grilled Chicken on the Barbie
Loaded mashed potatoes
Chocolate Thunder from Down Under
Although attention to the problem of cross-contamination can vary from location to location, for the most part Outback’s staff is well-trained. Definitely talk to a manager before ordering, however, since most locations are busy at peak times, which means problems involving cross-contamination can occur.
This was from health line