Last weekend Olga and I attended a birthday party at Red Robin, the nationwide American food chain. Now of course, unlike our bakery, Red Robin is in no way a dedicated wheat/gluten/dairy-free facility. But, I cannot help but applaud their effort to cater to the gluten and dairy-free community, or even more impressively, a large array of common food allergens.
Someone mentioned they offer gluten-free options, but I had no idea it was going to as elaborate as it was. When I asked for a gluten-free menu the server brought me a completely separate menu. What was so impressive about this menu was that it had sections for gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and peanut-free. This is a life saver for many (myself included) because people are often left to guess what is dairy or soy-free and are only told what is gluten-free. The menu itself comes in a binder that is updated monthly (The date is clearly printed on the cover).
The server asked what I was allergic to and we worked through their numerous options of gluten and dairy-free items and I settled on one of their signature hamburgers with a gluten-free bun (which was surprisingly amazing), and the server even knew for the hamburger to be dairy-free they would put no seasoning on it.
Red Robin is known for their “endless french fries.” The server was knowledgeable enough to know that my fries needed to be prepared in a separate frier, and let me know my fries would take several minutes longer than the other guests.
Is Red Robin completely gluten-free? No, of course not. Can we guarantee their ingredients truly are gluten-free? Maybe? Do you run the risk of cross contamination? Inevitably. But I could not help but appreciate the attention and effort Red Robin has put into serving the allergen sensitive community. Too often, restaurants think putting a gluten-free option on the menu suffices for being “gluten-free.” Red Robin seems to understand this and be making a diligent effort in catering towards everyone’s needs.