I keep seeing people searching for gluten free places to eat in Springfield, Missouri and landing here. Since you’re here already, I figured I’d start a list of places to eat at, to avoid, etc.
Notes: The last time I was here (Nov 2007), the waitress was snotty and unhelpful. They didn’t have a GF menu online or in store then and I don’t think they really gave a rip. After going over my speel about how I can’t have bread and all of that jazz, the waitress brought my steak out with a giant piece of bread on top of it. I sent it back, but I think the bread was just removed and brought back out to me. I was sick for a week afterwards. BAD PEOPLE, BAD!
Address: 1338 E. Battlefield (in Fremont Shopping Center)
Notes: No need to call ahead, just tell them you need a GF menu when you get there. These are laminated single legal sized sheets. Many of the servers are familiar with Celiac Disease, since I eat there regularly.
Notes: Don’t eat here if you can avoid it. It is a sad experience. The only GF things in the entire restaurant are the smoked turkey and the green beans. The BBQ sauce is NOT SAFE. It is a dry and sad eating experience.
Notes: Print out the GF menu and bring it with you. The servers seem to be familiar with the phrase ‘gluten-free’, but still could use some help.
Cuisine: Tex Mex?
Notes: I went to Chipotle today, man it was excellent! Great, fresh flavors and really good attentive staff. I ordered the Chicken Burrito in a Bowl, a side of Guacamole and a bag of Chips and it was less than $9. We managed to feed two people well on this.
Notes: Language barrier makes “no gluten” tricky, but I have never been sick there and almost everything starts out in a corn shell. Enter at your own risk. Food is really good and authentic Mexican food in particular is generally GF.
Gem of India
Notes: Also not sure about official GF status, but Indian food is largely GF in nature. Avoid breads and anything fried as they do not use a dedicated fryer. I have had no problems, other than indigestion.
Notes: Despite what appears to be a very good grasp of the English language, I have been glutened here every single time I’ve been in. When I have special ordered, they will substitute things I didn’t ask for (the biggest problem here is that they marianade in soy sauce). They are not a safe option, as they are too unpredictable and just don’t get it.
Hong Kong Garden
Cuisine: Chinese Buffet
Notes: A reader posted that this was a safe place to go if you had the Mongolian BBQ steamed only. I ate at this place yesterday and I am sick as a dog today. The way the Mongolian BBQ works is this: the dude has a steamer basket inside a pan filled with what I assume is water and maybe some spices (it was yellowish, so I’m not sure). He dunks everyone’s food in it for a couple minutes, presumably to parboil it. Then he tosses it out on the grill. The man way in front of me had a bunch of noodles on his plate… so when it got to my steamed veggies, I had a bunch of noodle liquid on mine. I got glutened at the Hong Kong Garden; I spent half an hour in their bathroom (and it was kinda gross). I feel like I am going to die now.
Notes: You’d be best to avoid this place. They even put pancake batter in the omlettes.
Notes: No printed GF menu is availible, but the managers are pretty good at figuring out what you can and can’t have. There is a waitress there named Cassie who is exceptional (her sister has sun allergies). Steer clear of the beef, but the chicken, pork and seafood are ok without seasoning. Sauces vary. Dressings are ok per Logan’s corporate chef. I usually have the pork chops (order them without the apples, as they are not GF) or the Kickin’ Chicken Salad. Mon-Thurs is 2 meals for $13.99.
Cuisine: American/Italian Fusion
Notes: There is one thing on the menu you can special order and be safe with. It’s a chicken dish, but you have to order without any sauce (and by sauce, they mean little bits of cut up tomato with seasoning) and the only side that is ok is asparagus. I ordered this, as suggested by my waitress (in consultation with the manager) on my only outing to this place, and they got it wrong.
New China Buffet
Cuisine: Generic Asian?
Notes: Don’t eat here, you will regret it. I couldn’t identify one thing on the bar that was GF and took a chance with the more innocent looking sushi… was sick for a week.
Notes: They have a real life gluten free menu in the store. I’ve seen it personally and can confirm it! Here’s the online version. http://www.outback.com/foodandmenus/pdf/glutenfree.pdf Your mileage may vary, but my experience there was really good.
Notes: I haven’t been here, but I emailed them for an allergy list. Here it is: allergen-wheat_gluten-menu-valid-until-080108. Appears to be fairly disappointing.
Cuisine: American / BBQ
Notes: Ate here with my Dad on his birthday, it was great. They have an allergen PDF at this site: HERE!
Notes: There is a language barrier here, plus they will randomly substitute for whatever you want left out. I ordered a Philly Roll with no crab and got a Philly Roll with fish eggs marianaded in soy sauce. NOT SAFE!
Steak and Shake
Notes: While the menu says all this stuff (to follow) is gluten-free, you should be very careful about cross-contamination. The shakes I am especially afraid of because they make them all (including malts) on the same machines. They are open 24 hours, though, so that might be helpful to someone. http://steaknshake.com/nutritional_info/GlutenFreeFoodList.pdf
Notes: There are several items on the menu that are ok. Avoid the ground beef because there’s wheat in them there seasonings. Please read these pages: http://www.yum.com/nutrition/allergen/allergen_tb_fresco.asp, http://www.yum.com/nutrition/documents/tb_ingredient_statement.pdf, http://www.yum.com/nutrition/allergen/allergen_tb.asp.
Notes: Rumor has it that the Spinach dip and Corn chips are okee dokee, but I have emailed the corporate types to see if that’s really true. Only time will tell.
Notes: Thai House has recently (as of 11/1/2008) changed hands. The new people are much easier to understand and communicate with. YAY! We’ve been able to confirm that the imperial rolls are GF, as is the Tom Ka Khi soup and the Pumpkin Curry. The pumpkin curry is my all time favorite. DO NOT EAT THE SOUP THAT IS IN THE BIG VAT!!! It definately has gluten, I asked. The clear salad dressing is ok, though, it’s mostly sugar and vinegar and, of course, the salad veggies.
Notes: There is nothing GF in the entire store. The one time I’ve eaten there since Dx, the manager made me something special.
Suprisingly enough, I just learned that Wendy’s has a GF menu. Having given them up for dead, I never bothered to look and see if they had one. But, they do. Yay! Here’s the link: http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/us/gluten_free_list.pdf
Notes: There are several dishes on the menu that are GF, mainly salads minus bready things and breakfast items. Ask the server, they’ve been pretty good to deal with. I usually get breakfast and about half the time they will bring me fruit instead of pancakes as a side.
* Note, this page is incomplete and will continue to be updated until I get bored of it. Please send me your GF restaurant information for Springfield, Missouri and I will add it to the list (and I’ll eat there, too!). *