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:

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

# # #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.


  1. We at Big Bowl get the sense that gluten free options are often the exception not the rule and therefore went the extra mile to find ingredients and create dishes for diners who are gluten intolerant. The team at the Lincolnshire Big Bowl is pretty awesome so if your son wants something on the gluten-free menu that's not on the kids menu,
    please ask your server.

  2. I can attest to how good it is. I was there a couple of weeks ago and not only was the food great but the waiter was fully educated and got me the GF menu right away. I'd go back in a minute.

  3. 7/27/10

    Hi Laura,

    My husband and I had lunch at the Big Bowl restaurant in Lincolnshire today and it was wonderful! We shared the gluten-free Thai lettuce wraps which were light and fresh tasting. Our server brought a special sauce with it. She said that the sauce that is usually served with it is not gluten-free. I ordered a stir fry with a kung pao sauce and let the chef pick an assortment of vegetables to go in it. My husband ordered a spicy pad thai off the regular menu. My dish was excellent and my husband raved about his choice. The manager came to the table to let me know that the chef put on a pair of fresh gloves and used a new, clean wok when he cooked my order. She also brought a sample of the gf summer vegetable roll for us to try. The staff was very attentive to all our needs. I'm glad we went there early. All the tables were filled by the time we left. We will definitely be going back for many visits. I'm glad I checked your website and found the article on this restaurant.


Please leave me a message letting me know you were here. If you have a great suggestion for GF dining let me know that, also.