Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gluten Intolerance Group meeting for January

As I've mentioned, I lead the Northbrook chapter of the Gluten Intolerance Group. We meet the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Northbrook Sunset Foods. On January 12 I am hosting CPA Dan Weitzman who will present on tax deductions for gluten free foods! See the blurb below. Also, if it could get better, we will be sampling Rudi's gluten free bread and also some goodies from Katz's Gluten Free. I hope you can join us!

"Tax Tolerance Threshold:
When Can Your Gluten Intolerance Yield Some Tax Savings?"
CPA to speak at GIG Chicago Area meeting.

It will soon be that time of year again...tax time.
I can hear the groans from everyone as they read these words. Having a Gluten Intolerance can be costly, but are there ways to get some money back for these expenses?

On January 12th at 6:30pm, the Northbrook, IL Gluten Intolerance Group will be hosting Dan Weitzman who will be speaking about what can and cannot be deducted when it comes to Gluten Intolerance.

Dan is a CPA and attorney who has an accounting practice in Glenview, IL. He has over 25 years of experience specializing in the taxation of individuals and closely-held businesses. He has taught accounting at the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University and has made presentations to many groups, including Chicago Bar Association, Citibank, Chicago Tribune and the Pennsylvania CPA Society.

When: January 12th, 2011 at 6:30 pm
Where: Sunset Foods, 1127 Church Street in Northbrook
RSVP's to this event are welcome, but not necessary. If you have any additional questions, please contact Laura at glutenfreelci@gmail.com

Gluten Free Caramelized Apple Cake

So I know that I prefer to review restaurants, but this cake really turned out great! I used a recipe that I found in the back of a magazine and just swapped out the flour for a GF blend. I used Meister's flour and also made this with Better Batter flour. (If you use Meister's, be sure to follow their instructions for modifying your baking powder) I'd avoid Bob's Red Mill on this, because I doubt that the cake flavors will mask the bean taste. Because this bakes in a skillet, I was able to transport it easily right in the pan.

Caramelized Apple Cake

1 1/2 cups GF flour blend containing xantham gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat 1/2 cup of the butter in a large bowl for 1 minute or until creamy. Add granulated sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until blended. Reduce speed to low. Gradually blend in flour mixture, then sour cream.
4. Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in an ovenproof 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add brown sugar; stir 2 minutes.
5. Add apple slices to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Spread apples in a single layer. Let cool for 5 minutes.
6. Spoon batter over apples and spread to edge of skillet. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack for 20 minutes. Run knife around edge. Carefully invert onto a plate. If serving this later, leave it in the skillet, heat it briefly on the stovetop before inverting.

Gluten Free Chicagoland Restaurant List

I had only been to the GF Grocery in Westchester twice. It was too far away. And now it is out of business, closed last week. I frequently was on the website, however, because they did have a long restaurant list. I copied it from them and will be adding my own restaurant finds to it as time goes on... so this list will be updating regularly! I have not been to many of these restaurants, so please use caution. Contact the restaurant first to make sure they are still in business and they can still accomodate a gluten free diner. I have excluded 2 suggested restaurants from my list, places where I personally have had a negative experience. Have any suggestions or recommendations?? I am happy to add them, just let me know!

Last updated 3/19/2011
This page is getting a lot of hits! Please leave me your own ideas and suggestions! Are there places to avoid? That may be a good list to start, as well...

Restaurants with multiple locations
Aurelio's Pizza GF Pizza
Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano GF Menu
Big Bowl GF Menu
Bonefish Grill GF Menu
Boston Market GF menu
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. GF menu
Carrabba's Italian Grill GF Menu
Carson's GF Menu
Cheeseburger In Paradise GF menu
Chili's Grill & Bar GF menu
Chipotle Mexican Grill GF burrito bowl
Claim Jumper Restaurant GF menu
Cooper's Hawk Winery GF menu
Deerfields Bakery GF baked goods
Ditka's Restaurants GF friendly
Five Guys Burgers and Fries everything except buns are GF
Flat Top Grill GF friendly
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse GF menu
Jason's deli GF Menu
Francesca's Restaurants GF pasta, AH site has GF menu
Kona Grill GF menu
Las Tablas Columbian Steakhouse GF knowledgeable
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria GF crustless pizza
Maggiano's Little Italy GF Pasta
Marcello's GF Menu
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants GF friendly
The Melting Pot GF Menu
Mon Ami Gabi GF friendly
My Pi Pizza GF pizza & pasta
Olive Garden Italian Restaurant GF Menu
Outback Steakhouse GF Menu
Pei Wei Asian Diner GF Menu
PF Chang's China Bistro GF Menu
Piero's Pizza GF pizza
Pinstripes Bowling GF Menu
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers GF Menu
Roti Mediterranean Grill GF Menu
Stir Crazy GF friendly
Topolobompo & Frontera Grill GF friendly
Pizzeria Uno's GF Menu
Walker Brothers Pancake House GF pancakes
Weber Grill Restaurant GF Menu
Wildfire Restaurants GF Menu

Restaurants in North Suburbs
Bella Via (Highland Park) GF friendly
Bob Chinn's Crabhouse (Wheeling) GF friendly
Breadsmith (Highland Park) fresh GF baked on Wednesdays
City Park Grill (Highland Park) GF Menu
The Claim Company (Northbrook) GF Menu
Di Pescara (Northbrook) GF friendly
Golden Chef Cantonese & Szechwan Restaurant (Wheeling) entire menu available GF
Goode & Fresh Pizza Bakery (Glenview) GF Menu
The Happ Inn (Northfield) GF Menu
Main Street Smoke House (Libertyville) GF Menu
Malibu Pizza & Pasta (Skokie) GF Pizza
Max and Benny's Restaurant (Northbrook) GF Menu
Mitchell's Fish Market (Glenview) GF Menu
Nirvana Wine Bar and Grillerie (Vernon Hills) GF Menu
Rose's Bakery (Evanston) GF Bakery and Cafe
Risotto's Italian Ristorante (Gurnee) GF Menu
Smokin' T's BBQ (Long Grove) GF Menu
Sushi Kushi Toyo (Lake Forest and Vernon Hills) GF soy sauce
Tavern Libertyville Restaurant (Libertyville) GF friendly
Tsukasa of Tokyo (Vernon Hills) GF teriyaki & soy sauce

Restaurants in Northwest Suburbs
AFFRESCO Pizzeria & Lounge (Park Ridge) GF Menu
Barrington Gourmet (Barrington) GF Menu
Divino Gelato (Grayslake) GF Pizza
Gluten-Free Cookie Passion (Mundelein) GF Bakery
Graziano's (Niles) GF Menu
Julio's Latin Cafe (Lake Zurich) GF Menu
Kaiser's Pizza & Pub (Mundelein) GF Pizza
Mambo Italiano Ristorante (Mundelein) GF pasta
Nick's Pizza & Pub (Crystal Lake) GF Pizza
The Pizza Place and More (Crystal Lake) GF Pizza
Sunrise Grill (Des Plaines) (847)298-1600 GF friendly
Sweet Pea Cakes (Barrington) GF cupcakes Friday & Saturday
That Pasta Place (Grayslake) GF Menu

Restaurants in Chicago
Adobo Grill GF Menu
Belly Shack GF Menu
Ben Pao Chinese Restaurant GF Menu
The Balanced Kitchen GF Menu
Cafe Ba Ba Reeba GF friendly
Cassava Bread GF baked goods
The Chicago Diner GF Menu
Fattoush Lebanese Cuisine GF Friendly/GF pita
The Grill on the Alley GF Menu
Harry Caray's Tavern Navy Pier GF Menu
Il Vicinato 773-927-5444 Cermak & Western GF Pasta
Ina's GF Menu
Italian Village Restaurant GF friendly
Petterino's GF Menu
RL Restaurant GF friendly
Riva Crabhouse Navy Pier GF friendly
Roy's Restaurant GF friendly
Sol y Nieve GF Friendly
Swirlz Cupcakes GF cupcakes
Tipsy Cake GF baked goods
Vinci Chicago GF Menu
ZED451 GF Friendly

Restaurants in West Suburbs
Barone's (Glen Ellyn) GF Pizza
Da Luciano (River Grove) GF Menu
Emilio's Tapas (Hillside) GF Friendly
Gaetano's Cafe (Forest Park) GF friendly
Glen Prairie Fine Food (Glen Ellyn) GF Menu
Greco's Fine Italian Restaurant (Willow Springs) GF Pasta
Lucca's Pizzeria and Ristorante (LaGrange) GF pasta & pizza
Maya del Sol (Oak Park) GF friendly
Mykhas's Restaurant (Glen Ellyn) GF friendly
Prasino (La Grange & St. Charles) GF Menu
Prima La Pizza (Hillside) GF pizza & pasta
Q BBQ (La Grange) Gf Friendly
Roberto's Ristorante (Elmhurst) GF friendly
The Bank Restaurant (Wheaton) GF Menu
The Clubhouse (Oak Brook) GF friendly
Trattoria 225 (Oak Park) GF Menu
The White Chocolate Grill (Naperville) GF Menu

Restaurants in South Suburbs
Guardi's Pizza (Tinley Park) GF Pizza
OMG It's Gluten Free Cafe (Frankfort) All GF Cafe
Palermo's Italian Restaurant GF Menu

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gluten Free buffet dinner this Sunday!

I learned about this event just today... I joined the email list for the Free From Market (http://www.freefrommarket.com/) down in Orland Park and this dinner was at the bottom of a long list of gf events around town.

Sun., Sept. 26, 4:00-7:00 pm - Barrington Gourmet (http://www.barringtongourmet.com/) All Gluten Free Buffet, 232 E. Main Street, Barrington 847-304-0708 (Metra train station is right across the street). Cost is $10 at the door with reservation and $13 without, children under 10 are free, cash bar with cider and GF beer. The buffet will be extensive. RSVP either by calling the restaurant at 847-304-0708 or by e-mailing Bruce Zarlengo (brucezarcsa@gmail.com)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day

This is the new gluten free dessert at P.F. Chang's China Bistro! Introduced today in honor of National Celiac Awareness Day. Looks good, eh?? It is a triple chocolate mousse mini dessert-- chocolate ganache, milk chocolate mousse, and flourless chocolate cake. This dessert expands the GF menu to 29 items. Thanks to P.F. Chang's for supporting the GF community, may they serve as inspiration to many, many other restaurants.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3 new GF things I learned today...

Today I was chatting at the playground of my son's preschool when some well meaning and observant moms shared some gf sightings they have had. I'm always so grateful to hear this information. So often I already know what I am told but then, like today, I learn about 3 new options and I am happy to check them out and file them for future use. Here is what I learned:

Mariano's Fresh Market in Arlington Heights (http://www.marianosfreshmarket.com/). It is hard to tell from the minimal website, but this looks like a less expensive Whole Foods. They have a "large selection" of gluten free shelf items and they stock four varieties of frozen whole GF cakes- carrot, chocolate, vanilla, lemon. I don't know about brands or taste, but isn't nice to know that the option is there?

My Pie Pizza in Northbrook (http://www.mypiepizza.com/). It is actually My Pi (like 3.14- the math sign). They are located in downtown Northbrook by the train station. They carry Udi's pizza crusts and will create any of their pizza options with the GF crust. They also have rice pasta to substitute on any menu item. The manager I spoke to understood about cross-contamination and seemed to have steps in place to keep the gluten safely separate.

Breadsmith of Highland Park (http://www.breadsmith.com/locations/highlandpark.html). Every Wednesday they bake gf fresh onsite: bread, 3 kinds of muffins, 2 types of cookies. Yum!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The White Sox are offering some GF eats

Have you heard about this? U.S. Cellular Field is now offering a bunch of gluten free options, including beer for those of you seeking a very complete baseball experience.

Fresh carved sandwiches with multi-grain bread, cookies, hot dogs with gf buns, nachos, tex-mex barbacoa and carnitas, soft-serve ice cream, and some Bard's Tale gf beer.

How wonderful that gf diners are not limited to a bag of peanuts. As GF dining becomes more mainstream I am excited by the possibilities!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Gluten Intolerance Group

I have taken on a leadership role at the Northbrook chapter of the gluten intolerance group. Meetings are held at the Northbrook Sunset Foods on the second Wednesday of the month.
I know there are a lot of different meetings and events-- some called gluten intolerant and some limiting to celiac disease. I found I am most comfortable with this group. Please considering joining me! For more information on the larger organization, check here: http://www.chicagoglutenfree.com/News_and_Events.html

Here is a flyer for next month's meeting:

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Greater Chicago
will be meeting upstairs at the
Northbrook Sunset Foods
on Wednesday, August 11, 6:30-8 p.m.

This month we will have a
gluten free product show & tell.
Please bring a favorite (or least favorite) gluten free item to the meeting.

Please join us if you have any questions or concerns about gluten free living!
We meet the second Wednesday of every month
at Sunset Foods.
Questions?? Email Laura at glutenfreelci@gmail.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big Bowl announces a new GF menu

Not sure how I ended up on their email list, but I received this from the Big Bowl people. They have a restaurant in Lincolnshire on Milwaukee Avenue. If you try out the GF menu, please share your comments with me! Here's a link to the menu page: http://www.bigbowl.com/main/menu

Big Bowl introduces comprehensive gluten-free menuNew offerings give those with food allergies more choices and peace of mind (Chicago, Minneapolis, Reston, VA., July 16, 2010) - Big Bowl has created a new gluten free-menu, replete with appetizers, entrees, dessert and even a wheat-free beer. The gluten-free choices appear on their own menu, eliminating the need to sort through all of the restaurant's choices. While contact with ingredients such as wheat poses no issues like tree nuts, Big Bowl is following the same protocol used for life-threatening food allergies. All ingredients and utensils are kept separate on the line and in storage. A chef signs off on every order and a manager – not the server – brings the gluten-free dish to the diner. "We take this as seriously as our allergy culture," says Big Bowl president Dan McGowan. "Whatever your restaurant or business believes in, it has to be instilled in the culture."

Because of the prominence of soy sauce in Asian cooking, Chinese and Thai cuisine is typically not gluten-free friendly. To create this menu, Executive Chef Marc Bernard scrutinized every product to ensure that wheat or other less obvious ingredients such as the commonly found modified food starch were not present. Tamari and a gluten-free oyster sauce are used instead. "We've taken away the need to cobble a meal together and the monotony of eating the same foods for those who have a gluten intolerance," says Bernard. "There are two dishes that are only on the gluten-free menu for space reasons but they are as equally outstanding as anything on the main menu, and of course, anyone can order them. The gluten-free menu features two appetizers Рvegetable summer roll and Thai chicken lettuce wraps. Entrees include chicken and broccoli, kung pao chicken, orange chicken, Mongolian beef and shrimp with snow peas. All four Big Bowl signature pad thai dishes are featured on the gluten-free menu as well as two desserts Рlemon ginger cr̬me brulee and mochi (ice cream wrapped in sweetened rice confection). The wheat free beer is New Grist, a crisp, refreshing ale made in Milwaukee.

Because of Big Bowl's commitment to the gluten-free menu, it is being introduced one restaurant at a time to ensure a smooth implementation. The gluten free menu is now in place at all the Chicago and suburban locations. It will be rolled out in Reston on July 22 and in the Minneapolis area restaurants on July 27 (Roseville), July 28 (Minnetonka) and July 29 (Edina). For additional information, including new photos and a complete menu, please contact Laura Yee, 773 339-1195 or LauraYee@lymedia.net.

# # #Big Bowl is a pioneering Asian restaurant, distinctive in cuisine, vibrant in design and true in its commitment to earth-friendly practices, and sustainable and seasonal products. Integrity defines Big Bowl, from the authentic Chinese and Thai ingredients that sync traditional flavors with contemporary tastes to supporting small and local businesses. Big Bowl is located at 6 E. Cedar Ave., Chicago, (312) 640-8888; 60 E. Ohio Ave., Chicago, (312) 951-1888; 215 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire, (847) 808-8880; 1950 East Higgins St., Schaumburg, (847) 517-8881; 3669 Galleria, Edina, MN., (952) 928-7888; 1705 Highway 36 W., Roseville, MN., (651) 636-7173; 12649 Wayzata Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN., (952) 797-9888; and 11915 Democracy Drive, Reston, VA., (703) 787-8852.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gltuen Free dining at THE MELTING POT

The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant chain recently introduced a gluten free menu nationwide. Fondue seems like something that can easily be made gluten free... skipping bread dipped into the cheese and pound cake dipped into the chocolate.

My girlfriend and I had dinner at the Buffalo Grove location. I was promptly given a GF menu upon request and the server had been obviously educated about the differences and precautions in serving food gluten free. Although, the GF menu had no prices!! How can a restaurant possible justify giving me a menu without prices!?!?!

While preparing our cheese fondue for us, our server explained the different steps he had taken to keep ours gluten free. After asking if it was OK, he did bring my girlfriend out some bread on a separate plate- and brought her a spoon to drizzle the cheese onto her bread. We next enjoyed the entree fondue and we were able to choose from many cooking styles and there were plenty of gluten free sauces for dipping. Very little modification was needed.

Lastly, we enjoyed some chocolate fondue. We enjoyed all the juicy, fresh fruit and I brought my own brownies with for dipping (YUM!). Our server again brought out extra goodies on a separate plate for my friend along with her own drizzling spoon.

It was a nice dinner-- the Melting Pot is slow eating, quiet, a great place to spend 2 hours chatting with a good friend. The GF menu also included a drink list- since I am not a drinker I don't know much about which alcohols are safe to drink and found some interesting reading. And a very delicious looking chocolate martini is right on the GF menu.

Before you go - check the website and join club fondue-- you will get a free chocolate dessert and some great coupons and offers will be sent to you. That's right- free chocolate!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gluten free dining at P.F. Chang's China Bistro

P.F. Chang's has a newly expanded gluten free menu. We tried it for dinner with the kids. We ate at the Northbrook location, which is on the south side of Lake Cook Road, so not quite in Lake County. The menu was large- 27 items and 1 dessert. The GF menu did contain prices, which I find to be very respectful to the GF diner. I did compare the prices to the regular menu and there was about an $0.50 markup on the GF items. Some of the items are further designated as vegetarian. There was a large range- chicken, beef, and seafood. We ordered GF Mongolian Beef, GF Philip's Better Lemon Chicken, GF Singapore Street Noodles, GF spinach with garlic, and GF chocolate dome dessert.

Upon being seated we immediately identified ourselves as GF diners to our waiter. He had brought us a condiment tray and so he took the soy sauce away, leaving us a tray obviously minus one bottle. It would have been really nice had he brought us a container of gf soy sauce to have tableside.

The food was good. The mongolian beef was caramelized and tender, the noodles were saucy with ample shrimp, and the chicken was very fresh. A warning on the lemon chicken, however-- it was very lemony! And the broccoli served with the dish was either raw or very significantly undercooked.

The chocolate dome dessert is the same item as on the regular menu- it was very dense and rich. How nice to be able to order a dessert when dining out. You can see the GF menu here

Finally, if you are going, register for a Warrior Card (http://www.pfchangs.com/warriorcard/) to get 10% of your bill every time you dine at P.F. Chang's for all of 2010. What a great savings!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gluten free dining at STARVED ROCK LODGE in Utica, IL

I'm venturing far out of Lake County in this one...

We visited Starved Rock State Park last weekend and we stayed at the Lodge located within the state park. I had sent an email through the lodge website asking if there is any GF dining options and I was so happy to hear back from Kimberly, the dining room manager. I can't give you her email because it includes her last name and I don't feel right sharing it, but her phone number is: 815-220-7372.

Kimberly assured me, over the course of about 12 emails, that the dining room at the lodge could definitely accommodate us. She discussed menu options with me, offered to make us gf pancakes for breakfast, and even ordered us some gluten free ice cream. It's funny that she asked me to bring in a new package of pancake mix for the chef to prepare... I showed up with my bag of Pamela's only to discover that Chef Charlie (another wonderfully helpful person) had a bag stashed in his kitchen. Chef Charlie even made us special french fries! The fryer is used for breaded items so was off limits to us-- Chef Charlie sliced us up some fresh potatoes and-- we were eating french fries!

And here's something else demonstrating the need for GF dining options. A woman approached our table during breakfast to ask about ordering gf pancakes. She had noticed us at dinner with our box of Glutino breadsticks... She introduced herself as Maria, said she also has celiac disease, and that she had no idea she could order gf pancakes. She told me about her restaurant in Peoria where she has many gf options. And, in case you are in Peoria, here is a link to find her.(http://www.peoriarestaurants.com/restaurants/?restaurant=marias_in_washington).

I hope that this post helps someone find a wonderful weekend away in Starved Rock. The lodge is old and the rooms very basic, but the hiking is fabulous and there is safe food... How wonderful! It is through sharing and networking that we can uncover all these hidden possibilities... http://www.starvedrocklodge.com/

Friday, May 21, 2010

AVOID gluten free dining at THE SILO, Lake Bluff

So this restaurant has been around a long time. They have a big banner out in front announcing gluten free pizza. We were in Libertyville, so decided to give this a try. My husband had called ahead just to confirm that they did, indeed have gluten free pizza, but other than that I had not done any prior research.

My first clue about problems to come was that our waitress insisted that the GF crust is made in house, she insisted "we make all our own dough". Upon my insistence she did check further and reported that the crusts are bought pre-made. I have a real problem with a restaurant offering to serve the GF community but not educating the staff about what is offered.

When my husband had called earlier he had been told that the potato skins could be made GF. Again, the waitress did not know about such things, but we learned (after insisting she ask) that we could order them with only cheese and they would be baked rather than fried. They were good, the kids enjoyed them.

We ordered 3 pizzas- 2 cheese and 1 mushroom. Once the pizza was served and we started eating I noticed that the mushroom pizza was cut differently than the 2 cheese and a few minutes later I noticed that the mushroom pizza was not in the same disposable tin as the 2 cheese-- can you see where this is going?

The waitress confirmed we had not been served 3 GF pizzas- her comment?? "Oh, they grabbed the wrong one." The manager came over and offered to replace the pizza, not having ANY IDEA about the health ramifications of serving a gluten pizza to GF diners. Then the owner came over, LARRY PIKE, and he brought with him the order ticket. His comment?? "You only ordered 2 of the pizzas gluten free" !?$*&#$(^*(^*$!! He had absolutely no idea the risk associated with this pizza being at our table. Thankfully, we had served my son only the GF pizza, although I was eating the gluten pizza and then touching his pizza to cut it and help him eat, so there was a huge risk of cross-contamination. Larry offered to replace the pizza and then offered to comp our meal. He had no concept of the absoluteness that comes with a gluten free diet. I asked him for his business card and he did not even bring it to me himself- gave it to the waitress to bring over.

I heard from a woman at a local gluten intolerance group that she also had problems there and that she had seen the box the crusts come in and the box noted wheat in the ingredients...

I did further research after our visit and learned that The Silo orders the crusts from The French Meadow Bakery in Minnesota (they are good crusts) and that they arrive frozen in their own tins. I also learned that the sauce used on the gf crusts is kept separate to minimize cross contamination risk, but that toppings are from a communal bin and there is risk.

My HUGE COMPLAINT here is that Larry Pike is trying to gain a share of the gluten free dining dollar without assuming the responsibility that comes with safely feeding us. Advertising gluten free crusts on a big banner posted along a busy street will definitely bring in business. But serving the gluten intolerant community means taking the necessary steps to minimize risk as much as possible and that starts with education -- in this case neither the owner, nor the manager nor our waitress had any education about how to do so. My strong recommendation is not to risk your health -- avoid dining here. (http://www.silopizza.com/)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gluten free Red Robin

I cannot believe that we have not been here sooner! The Red Robin chain has multiple special needs menus- free of dairy, eggs, nuts, and others. And for us, a wheat/gluten allergy menu. We ate twice at the restaurant in Lincolnshire and both times the hostess immediately pulled out the special menus for us. Our servers each time knew how to modify our orders and I did not need to repeat for them the special directions noted on the GF menu.

French fries are a big issue for us- what 2 year old does not like french fries?? Red Robin has a dedicated fryer and the fries themselves are gf. They do have a seasoning that goes after frying that must be avoided. BUT here's the warning- the menu notes that some Red Robin's may use the fryer for non-GF items so you may need to check with your particular location. I brought a bun for my son and he so happy with his cheeseburger and fries. I had my burger "protein style" which means that it was wrapped in some oversized wedges of iceberg and then rolled up in wax paper to make eating it easier. I liked the protein style better that using a Schar's bun and with the paper wrapper it was very easy to eat.

The menu does not include any gf dessert options but I did review the ingredients in the vanilla ice cream and we did opt to order an ice cream sundae (ice cream, syrup, whipped cream).

Also included on the gf menu are a few salads (although you lose a lot of integral ingredients), chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, salmon, various side dishes including french fries. If you sign up online for the frequent diner program they will send you a coupon to use at your first visit.

The only Lake County location is in Lincolnshire although there are a bunch of other sites throughout Chicagoland.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gluten Free at Roti Mediterranean Grill

I love this place! My son and I eat here almost weekly. The food is fresh, the gluten free menu is displayed right on the counter, and the price is right. Roti even has gf pita!

Gluten free options include chicken, steak, or salmon kabobs OR chicken and steak grilled roti. Meals all come with rice which is zesty and has varying amounts of vegetables. Some of the meals include hummus or tomato/cucumber salad. The hummus is not as tangy as I prefer but the salad has always been fresh. Sorry, the felafel is not available to us. Roti has 6 different sauces, all gf. I like them all. They offer gf pita for $2 extra from Rose's Bakery in Evanston (http://www.rosesbakery.com/7-Pitas-Pack-of-6/productinfo/35-001).

The main thing I like at Roti is the steps they take to avoid cross-contaminating the food. The procedure was implemented 2-3 months ago and I find it reassuring. I noticed that with their new procedure they even re-positioned some food items on the line to further prevent cross-contamination. As soon as the diner orders gluten free the staff person washes hands, changes gloves, and follows the order down the line, alerting other staff to not touch that plate. The gf pita are warmed up in the same press as the regular pita but they are all foil wrapped for safety.

Currently Roti has a $5 lunch special - chicken roti, salad, & hummus. Skip the felafel and pita (although you can always pay extra for the gf pita). Locations in Vernon Hills, Northbrook, and Chicago.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Terrific giveaway at glutenfreemom.com

Check out the glutenfreemom.com website and enter to win a 2 piece set of Le Creuset bakeware! Le Creuset distributes heat so well, it is a great product for all kinds of cooking needs.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gluten Free Expo Vendor Fair

This is a cannot miss event. Last year, we attended this vendor fair 2 months after the celiac diagnosis and it was such a wonderful experience. We had opportunity to try and purchase so many great products and we learned so much from all the people that we spoke to. I liked hearing directly from the company owners about how to prepare their product. Best of all, my son could eat anything in the room that he wanted! My best advice is to bring with a large bag to carry all your goodies and lots of cash.

The link below provides a list of vendors and products that will be for sale.


Don’t miss the largest Gluten Free Vendor Fair in the Chicago area.
60+ vendors
Children’s Gluten Free Area with Activities, Education and Treats
Sample and Purchase Gluten Free Products, Books and Services
The Wyndham Hotel, 3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, IL
Open to the public April 17, 2010, from 9am-12pm
Open to the public April 18, 2010, from 11am-3pm
Purchase Tickets at the Door (Cash Only – No Credit Cards for Entry Fee)
Adults $15 Children under 12 are free

Gluten free Cookie Passion in Mundelein

I stumbled upon this fantastic gluten free bakery in Mundelein. By stumbled upon it, I mean that the site popped up on Google numerous times while I was poking around the internet looking for something else.

My kids and I have had the pleasure of trying many of the fresh baked goods and we highly recommend the bakery. We have sampled brownies, cakes, and cupcakes. I have met the owner, Janet Siena, and she is dedicated to her mission of providing really delicious and great tasting baked goods.

And even better? She sells gluten free birthday cakes! She offers 8x8 and 13x9. Cake flavors banana, vanilla spice, chocolate chocolate chip. All with buttercream frosting and sprinkles. Janet is even taking a cake decorating class so that she can improve the birthday cakes.

Her website is below and orders can be mailed or picked up in Mundelein. A great Lake County discovery!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gluten free Uno's at WI Dells

We had dinner last month at the Pizzeria Uno's in the Dells. We knew there is a GF menu and that we could enjoy a safe pizza dinner. I had not seen the GF menu before but on a previous post about gf Dells dining I did get a comment about great customer service so we felt confident in going.

We were initially impressed by the size of the gf menu and that it included dessert items. Although we were puzzled and offended that the menu did not contain any prices. We asked our server about this and she said she would ask but then she did not give us a response. I emailed customer service upon my return home and received the following answer from Barbara Rutman:

Our prices vary slightly from area to area but do follow the prices on our regular menu. If the item is a chicken item and it is also a gluten-free item, then it is the same price.

It does not make sense to me that I should have to negotiate through 2 menus to determine the price of an item I want to order. I wish Uno's would give gluten free diners the respect of a priced menu.

My kids loved the pizza. My husband and I thought it was just OK; maybe that is because we know how good the gluten-pizza is. I had a bowl of black bean soup and it was hearty and warm- just what I was looking for an a cold and snowy night. We are glad to know about this option for future travels. http://www.unos.com/

Gluten Free Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells

Last month we drove up to the Wisconsin Dells for a 4 day vacation. We booked a condominium unit at the Great Wolf Lodge that included a full kitchen. I brought food and cooking utensils to prepare lunch and snacks in the room. Based on my earlier research, we knew that the resort offered gluten free meal options to cover us for breakfast and dinner.

Breakfast is a buffet option only and we were a bit nervous our first morning. The hostess immediately assured us that there was a cook-to-order gf option and indeed the chef came out immediately to talk to us and take our order. We tried the pancakes and the waffles- I'd recommend ordering them with chocolate chips- the mix used has an aftertaste and the chips did a great job disguising it. I suspect that it was tapioca- although the mix itself was not labelled and the chef did not know the specific ingredients nor the brand mix that was used. The chefs were also very willing to cook us fresh eggs and breakfast meats so we didn't have to worry about cross-contamination from the buffet. I really love going out for breakfast and without the gf mix and the cook-to-order option the buffet would be totally off-limits to us, so this was just great! And the kids ate free! And, there was no surcharge for the gf items!

We ate dinner twice at the Loose Moose, the resort's sit-down restaurant. There are 2 gluten free menus containing 9 items total. Portions were large and there was no surcharge for the gf items. Service was lacking- we had problems both nights (dinner the 2nd night was comped by the manager). The problems were service related so I'm not going to get into them here, although poor service does leave me worried about contamination issues with our food and as such it is worth mentioning. Servers had little information about gf menu specifics and the 2nd night they denied that there was a child's gf menu even though we had ordered from it the night before! It was unclear if the fries were gf - I had heard they were from the food & beverage manager but was very doubtful upon seeing them and I did not get any reassuring, definite answer.

The resort orders in pizza crusts from the French Meadow Bakery (http://www.frenchmeadow.com/products/gluten-free/gluten-free-pizza-crust-6-pack) but the pizza they offered to my kids was really lacking. These pizzas are delivered in their own cooking tin and I prefer to have the pizza served in the tin to avoid cross-contamination. This was not done, and the pizza was covered in olive oil, cheese, fresh diced tomatoes. The ring of toppings covered only about the inner 2/3 of the crust- leaving a lot of empty crust that my kids were unable to enjoy. This was frustrating since the crust is quite good and it would have been so easy to produce a decent pizza. We complained and learned that the restaurant had no gf pizza sauce to offer us. The cook in the back made us up some gf tomato sauce by pureeing fresh tomatoes and re-did the pizzas which my kids then happily ate. I enjoyed some very tasty, tender, and meaty ribs both nights. The second night my kids both ordered bowls of gf pasta with butter. The portions were really large and the pasta was cooked thoroughly. I believe it was the Namaste brand rainbow spirals. For dessert there is an ice cream counter serving Edy's brand that my kids just loved.

So, we found overall the service and the food (gluten free and regular) to be mediocre. I was so excited last December when I spoke to John Williams, the food & beverage manager, about the gf options. It is really hard to complain about a resort that offered us gluten free dining, but if there is going to be a gluten free menu, then train the servers well and use the gf ingredients and mixes to make good food! There are so many good pancake/waffle mixes that to use one that has such a strong odor/aftertaste doesn't make sense to me. And to go through the trouble of ordering gf pizza crusts but to then not have gf pizza sauce is really poorly planned.

Our kids loved the waterpark and we intend to return to the Dells next winter. I hope by then that the Great Wolf has developed their gluten free dining into something delicious and diner friendly because we would love to go back! http://www.greatwolf.com/dells/waterpark

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gluten free Hamentaschen

Purim is coming! My kids and I wanted to make hamentaschen to enjoy this wonderful celebration. These 3 sided, jelly filled cookies are a great way to celebrate such a fun holiday. And these were so easy. I followed the same recipe I had from last year, before we were gluten free, and all I changed was to swap out the flour for Better Batter mix instead! (http://www.betterbatter.org/) It was literally a cup-for-cup swap! I suspect that another flour mix would also work although I would avoid a bean flour mix as I doubt there is enough other flavor here to mask the bean-y taste.

These cookies turned out very tender and they held together well.

Gluten Free Hamentaschen

2 cups Better Batter flour
2 sticks margarine (room temperature)
4 TBS sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
filling of choice- traditionally jelly, but consider a chocolate chip/brown sugar mix

Mix together first four ingredients by hand, knead until dough consistency. Divide into 24 balls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Pat each ball flat, place 1 TBS of filling into center and pinch up into a 3 sided cookie. Don't make your 3 points too pointy to avoid burning. Seal your seams very well to keep the filling inside of the cookie during baking. I sprinkled a little sugar over the top of the jelly filled treats. Bake on a parchment lined sheet at 350 for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gluten Free Grocery in Westchester, IL

Yes, it is a bit of a hike from Lake County.. But the GF Grocery is a neat place, larger than the Northbrook gf store, and they have a Stashu's frozen pizza that my kids like.

They have a sampling day coming up next month-

Easter Sampling Event March 6, 2010

Spend some time with us on Saturday, March 6 between 10am – 2pm and sample our items that will be available for special order. Our bakers for this holiday are Apple Bakery and St. Honore Confections.
DF = Dairy free in addition to gluten-free Items available for sample and ordering include:
Angel food cakes - original, chocolate and coconut (DF)
Decorated cupcakes (DF)
Chocolate fudge cupcakes
Decorated sugar cookies (DF)
Pies - Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, and Raspberry (DF)
Mixed berry cobbler (DF)
Coffeecakes - Cinnamon and Pecan Lemon Poundcake (DF)

The website lists a bunch of local restaurants with gf menus so you could stop at the grocery and then pick a nice place for lunch... We went to the spring sampling event and then had lunch at Adobo Grill. www.adobogrill.com

The owners of the grocery store were very knowledgeable and helpful. http://www.gfgrocery.com/

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gluten free dinner at Buffalo Phil's in the Wisconsin Dells

My family and I went up to the Wisconsin Dells last weeks and we had a fabulous waterpark vacation. I intend to post about The Great Wolf Lodge and the Uno's Pizzeria, but tonight I want to share the great GF dinner that we had at Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille.

We had taken the boys to the adjoining Knuckleheads Bowling and Indoor Amusement Park and they spent a long time climbing around inside of a very large jungle gym/ball pit attraction. http://dellsknuckleheads.com/ Just for fun my husband walked into Buffalo Phil's to see it they could accomodate us. The hostess knew about gluten free dining and was very helpful and gave us great recommendations.

So we gathered up the boys and had dinner! Not only were we happy to not have to get back in the car, but the food actually gets delivered by train! And the track is pretty big, there were at least 8 6-top tables along with a bunch of stools right on the track. (For Thomas fans, there was a large plasma showing Thomas DVDs). We ordered the rotisserie chicken along with coleslaw, mashed potatoes, corn, baked beans. We had to skip the corn bread and the waffle fries as they had a gluten containing coating. The chicken was very moist and flavorful and the boys ate a lot. The mashed potatoes, unfortunately, were not too good, there was some flavor to them that we could not place. The coleslaw was fresh, zesty, and crisp- very tasty.

For dessert, our server brought me out the vanilla ice cream ingredient list and she brought me the industrial can of chocolate syrup so I could check the ingredients. These all checked out and we had ice cream sundaes following our rotisserie chicken dinner.

To make this unplanned-train delivered meal even better, we were there for the Wednesday $9.99 special- so with 1 soft drink and 2 desserts our bill was $16. http://www.buffalophilsgrille.com/

This is just the kind of option I am often looking for and I am so glad to be able to share it via my blog.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gluten free dining at Boston Market

It has been difficult to find quick and inexpensive gluten free dining options. While fast-food is not very healthy, it comes in handy with young children. I missed having a quick and easy to find option since we have been living gluten free. It was only after living gluten free for 5 months that I learned about Boston Market's great gluten free options. They even publish an allergen list detailing out 9 different food items (wheat, soy, milk, egg, tree nut, peanut, fish, shellfish, gluten). Although there is a cross-contamination warning:

This list is compiled based on production information provided by Boston Market approved food manufacturers as of the date published. Boston Market does not guarantee that cross-contact with other gluten-containing products or allergens will not occur. We encourage anyone with food sensitivities, allergies, or special dietary needs to check back on a regular basis for up-to-date information.

At Boston Market it is possible to have a fresh and complete gluten free meal. Both the rotisserie chicken and the roasted turkey breast are gf, as is the poultry gravy. And there are so many gf sides: squash, apples, creamed spinach, fruit salad, steamed vegetables, new potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, and sweet corn. There are more sides without gluten than there are with gluten! Obviously the corn muffins are off limits and there are no dessert options...

Strangely (and also VERY inconsiderately) the market chopped salad with and without chicken is gluten free BUT both of the offered salad dressings contain gluten. How have the corporate chefs who are planning these menus not caught this huge error? Can you imagine the disappointment to be able to order a fresh and delicious salad only to learn that there is no dressing for the top? Here's a description of the salad- doesn't it sound great? It has looked fresh and light the last 2 times I have seen it in the refrigerated case.

Market Chopped Salad More fresh veggies than a farmers market! A wondrous collection of crispy crunchy vegetables, mixed green lettuce, and flavors mixed with Craisins®, toasty-roasty sunflower seeds, and crumbled blue cheese. Tossed with our signature champagne vinaigrette. For a little extra, top your salad with your choice of chicken, turkey breast or beef brisket.

I wonder how hard it would be to alter the dressing to make it gluten free OR to have some pre-packaged options kept behind the counter?? I would love to see Boston Market fix this salad dressing oversight and then target some advertising toward the gluten free community. According to their website there are 4 outlets throughout Lake County just waiting for you!

Added 2.15.2010- I emailed Boston Market through the website contact us function to ask about gf salad dressing options and 2 weeks later have not yet received a response.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eating gluten free at Tsukasa of Tokyo in Vernon Hills

My husband and I had wanted to take our boys out to a Japanese Steakhouse for a fun dinner. Following the celiac diagnosis, we assumed that we would be unable to do so. But we had a special event at the preschool and we wanted to go out for a fun celebratory dinner afterward. I googled all different word combinations of gluten-free-Japanese-steakhouse-Illinois and nothing popped up. I decided to call the local Japanese place to ask about gf options and I was absolutely delighted to learn that Tsukasa of Tokyo offers a gf option! Upon arrival, it was noted in the reservation log that we would be eating gluten-free, I really like this attention to detail.

Tsukasa offers wheat free tamari and wheat free teriyaki sauce. GF foods are cooked tableside first, and then the regular food is cooked to avoid any cross-contamination on the cooktop. We've been there twice- on December 6 and again on January 2. Sushi dishes are OK ordered with the wheat free tamari. The ginger sauce and hot mustard sauce both have soy sauce in them so are off limits. Too bad because the ginger sauce is really good. Our chefs were very happy to give us small dishes of the wheat free teriyaki sauce for dipping. The soup and salad are off-limits. We ordered plain salads and I brought my own Japanese steakhouse-style salad dressing. Here is the recipe:

There is no gluten free menu and both times our waitress spoke very little English, so it was very helpful that I had already spoken to the manager. Basically, any of the hibachi or teriyaki dishes are OK to order. The fried rice is OK, also. As you can see in my picture, the teriyaki sauce is in a clearly labeled bottle. The tamari was also clearly labeled.

We are so happy to have this option for a special dinner. Our boys had a great time, they loved the theatrics and the cooking and both boys are the food, as well. However, we did have problems during both visits. During our first visit we were a party of 5 and we all ordered gf. The manager approached us just prior to our food being cooked and he was angry that we were all eating gf as it would delay the orders of the 2 other people at our table. On our reservation it had been noted that there was only 1 gf diner. He moved those people to another table. His irritation was very obvious. During our second visit we were a party of 8 all ordering gluten free and we had our own table. The waitress brought us soup and she insisted that it was gluten free. We did not eat it because of my prior discussion with the manager. But there was clearly a discrepancy and due to the language barrier it was hard to discuss the specific ingredients with the waitress. During a follow-up telephone call the manager confirmed that the soup is not gf.

A Japanese steakhouse is only as good as the chef cooking and we had great fun during both visits. During the second visit, my 4 year old really really wanted to catch a piece of broccoli in his mouth. He began talking to the chef about it as soon as we arrived. After several misses, the chef told my son to tilt his head back and close his eyes. He then handed me a piece of broccoli that I dropped into my son's mouth. What a fabulous trick! My son now has a favorite restaurant and we will definitely be back. http://www.tsukasaoftokyo.com/

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gluten free Wildfire Lincolnshire

My husband and I had a date night on New Years Eve. Just us, no kids. We wanted to go somewhere nice and we had heard that Wildfire handles gluten free dining really well. On the whole we had a great dinner and our server was very helpful.

First off, however, my husband did mention when he made the reservation that I would be dining gluten free and that did not get noted in the reservation log. And our server did not get that information until we declined the loaf of bread that she brought to the table. I've noticed that some restaurants note special diet issues upon reservation and I really like that attention to detail.

The GF menu is extensive- 6 appetizers, 6 salads, pizza, 2 sandwiches (served with a gf bun!), 20 entrees, 6 sides, 3 desserts, 1 beer. Although the GF menu (strangely) does not detail each item. The regular dinner menu offers explanations of each dish that the GF menu does not. I bet this is an oversight- Wildfire really provided a delicious and safe dinner- but shouldn't my menu give me the same information that the regular menu provides?

We had fresh, hot bread at our table! On-site homemade rolls! These are the same rolls offered up as a bun for sandwiches. They taste more like a biscuit. Light and fluffy. There was a back taste of tapioca flour, unfortunately, but that is so hard to avoid. We learned that these rolls used to be purchased from a local bakery but now are made on-site. And the recipe is not given out.

We ordered the oven baked goat cheese appetizer. It was served with a pita-chip like product that is also used for the pizza crust. I love goat cheese and found the pitas to be just perfect for scooping.

I ordered a fillet crusted with straight blue cheese. Unfortunately the steak crusts all contain breadcrumbs so are off limits but my server offered to put plain blue cheese on my fillet and that was a great idea! There was so much blue cheese I could not finish it all. I chose the au gratin potatoes for a side dish and they also were great- creamy and rich.

And the chocolate cake sounded really delicious but neither my husband nor I had saved room. Maybe next time.

The things I liked the best about eating gf at Wildfire: the comprehensive menu that addressed all parts of a normal meal, the warm and fresh bread, our knowledgeable server who took time to answer all our questions about gf eating.

This was a pricey dinner but worth it for a special treat. A great option for a safe gf meal. 5 locations in Illinois with only 1 of those being in Lake County. http://www.wildfirerestaurant.com/lincolnshire

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gluten Free Vacation in the Wisconsin Dells

My husband and I want to take a winter vacation up to a water park resort. I know that Wisconsin is not in Lake County, but we all need to get away at some point! This will be our first water park vacation since the celiac disease diagnosis. I thought it would be easy to look up online which properties can best serve our dietary limits. But I only found one GF reference to a Wisconsin water park resort!! I found no information on resort websites nor on any blogs. So, I spent 5+ hours researching options. And I now want to share what I learned to save everyone some time. I was looking for a hotel/indoor water park property in Wisconsin with a pool suitable for young children. And because my kids like french fries, I asked specifically about their availability. Here's what I learned:

Timber Ridge (Lake Geneva)- no gf menu, very willing to accommodate but only offer naturally gf foods, can serve safe french fries, aware of safe cooking practices.

**UPDATED 2/28/10** Timber Ridge now offers a breakfast, lunch, & dinner GF menu at Smokey's restaurant (http://www.timberridgeresort.com/dining/smokeys-barbque/index.asp)

Blue Harbor (Sheboygan)- no gf menu, very accommodating, offered to cook us items that I bring like pancakes/pasta, no gf ice cream options, can serve french fries.

Chula Vista (WI Dells)- no gf menu, offered to be very accommodating but can only provide oven-cooked items. No fries, no ice cream. At breakfast there is only a buffet with no option for cook-to-order food.

The Wilderness (WI Dells)- no gf menu, very UNaccommodating, told me that they will bend their rules and allow me to bring my own food into their water park and restaurants. I actually think that Jay who returned my call did not work in food & beverage and was probably not the best person to respond to me.

Kalahari (WI Dells)-they have 2 gf menus, aware of safe cooking practices, no french fries, only serve naturally gf food. For example, menu lists BLT sandwich (hold the bread/hold the fries) and a panini (hold the bread/hold the fries)-- can you picture what is left?!?. Only safe starches are mashed/baked potatoes. Possibly an OK option for an older child/adult. http://www.kalahariresorts.com/wi/

Great Wolf Lodge (WI Dells)- they have a gf menu, VERY accommodating, they prepare gf pizza, gf pasta, gf pancakes, gf sandwich wraps, gf brownies/baked goods. John Williams is the food & beverage manager- everything gf they make to order from scratch (including pizza dough) so it takes longer to sanitize cooking area and cook from scratch. Baked gf goodies ARE available in their sweet shop but kept in a separate area. And yes, they have safe french fries. Reportedly there is a website re-design coming soon that will include this wonderful GF information.

So, come February, off we go to the Great Wolf Lodge! I will report back upon our return.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gluten free eats at Walker Brothers Original Pancake House

Walker Brothers is one of my very favorite restaurants. I had regrets that I would be unable to take my son there to eat after his celiac diagnosis. A few weeks back during a GF cooking class I heard a classmate mention the GF pancakes at Walker Brothers! I was surprised and so happy!

I called the Walker Brothers in Lincolnshire to ask about the pancakes and safe cooking practices. It actually took me 3 phone calls to get all the information I was seeking. I learned that each Walker Brothers has an allergy book listing relevant information for various food intolerances.

Each of the restaurants does now offer GF pancakes, prepared to order. Walker Brothers is using a Bob's Red Mill mix that the company has modified to create a flavor profile most similar to the traditional pancakes. 6 pancakes cost $6.95 with an additional cost to add in blueberries, bananas, pecans, and bacon. The kitchen cooks GF in a dedicated area using specific utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Additionally, the kitchen can prepare the GF egg dishes and omelettes using safe cooking practices. For the breakfast meats, the bacon gets cooked as normal but in the GF area. Careful when ordering sausage, however, as normal practice is to coat the sausage in flour prior to cooking. The sausage can be prepared GF when asked, but obviously make sure to be very clear about this.

We've had 2 visits to Walker Brothers and the pancakes are great! They are light and fluffy and obviously fresh. Color-wise they are similar to the traditional pancakes. In a side-by-side comparison I did find that the GF pancakes were actually fluffier. And for my son, he can order a GF smiley-face pancake.

I just don't understand why Walker Brothers does not put up huge signs or advertise the GF options more. The only information in the actual restaurant is a card propped up on each table. I hope that this post will help lead more people to a safe meal at Walker Brothers.

There are multiple locations; 3 in Lake County- Highland Park, Lake Zurich, and Lincolnshire.