Top Gluten-Free Picks at 12 National Restaurant Chains Slideshow
October 22, 2012
Broussard and her family first discovered this gluten-free gem on a ski trip to Utah. Biaggi’s location in Salt Lake City is just one of more than 20 locations scattered in mid-sized cities around the U.S.
"It’s hard to pick just a few favorites from Biaggi’s extensive gluten-free menu because everything is so good," said Broussard. But notable mentions include pasta di mare (seafood in a spicy tomato vegetable sauce), Biaggi’s many varieties of gluten-free pizza, chicken Pietro, and potato-Parmesan crusted tilapia.
Since the CEO of this chain has celiac disease, Broussard trusts their commitment to providing safe meals for gluten-free guests at their locations primarily in the Northeast and a few in Virginia and North Carolina. She swears their gluten-free fried calamari is the best fried calamari she’s had anywhere (gluten-free or not!). Other notable dishes include the baked stuffed zucchini appetizer, burgers and fish sandwiches on gluten-free buns, chicken and wild mushroom pasta, and various risottos.
Glory Days Grill
One of Broussard’s favorite regional chains to dine at is Glory Days Grill, which has many locations in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, where she and her family reside. Her husband and kids love the barbecue ribs and french fries, which are cooked in a dedicated fryer. Their famous wings, offered with a choice of five different sauces, are also gluten-free. Karen usually orders the grilled salmon, served with a house-made mustard rémoulade sauce.
P.F. Chang's was one of the first restaurant chains to embrace the gluten-free community with an extensive gluten-free menu (and safe kitchen practices), and Broussard and her family still count this among their favorite spots for reliable gluten-free Asian fare. Top picks include P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, Singapore street noodles, Mongolian beef, and the very popular Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken (which was briefly taken off the menu, only to be reintroduced after a "revolt" within the GF community!).
Yelp / Jay B
Picazzo’s, a small chain in Arizona, was another restaurant quick to serve the gluten-free community with its "amazing" gluten-free pizzas and pastas and a menu that incorporates local, organic, all-natural, and preservative-free ingredients. Most of the menu is gluten-free, and recommended items include the Naples margherita pizza (for traditional tastes) and either the fig-gorgonzola, pancetta and caramelized onion, or the tarragon chicken pizza (for more adventurous tastes). Picazzo’s’ organic quinoa gluten-free pasta dishes are endless and all equally creative.
Rockfish Seafood Grill
A chain with 10 locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Rockfish Seafood Grill puts a unique spin on seafood. Broussard claims she could make a meal out of all the great starters here! She suggests trying the Mexican shrimp martini, tuna nachos, or roasted jalapeño cream soup to start, followed by the sea bass or colossal sea scallops — both of which are offered grilled or blackened, with a choice of five gluten-free sauces.
"This may not be a restaurant chain you’re familiar with, since they only have 11 locations — and they’re scattered over six states," notes Broussard. "But you’d be missing out if you didn’t seek out one of their locations and their gluten-free menu full of classic American favorites." Try their aged steaks for which they are known, maple-cured pork chop, or the decadent shrimp and grits. Save room for the crème brûlée or the GF Cookie Plate at Village Tavern locations in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Broussard and her family recently celebrated a family event in one of Wildfire’s private party rooms — and have dined at Wildfire’s Virginia location on numerous occasions (other locations include five locations in Illinois and one in Minnesota). She loves the roasted beet and goat cheese salad, pizza (which she and her family often share as an appetizer), shrimp and penne pasta, and numerous steaks. For dessert? The flourless chocolate cake, of course!
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Broussard reports that BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse has a fun and welcoming casual dining atmosphere and says it’s nice to find a "brewhouse" that, in addition to having plenty of choices for gluten-free diners, has two gluten-free hard ciders and RedBridge beer! Located in 13 states throughout the U.S., BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse specializes in thin-crust pizzas that are gluten-free and delicious. Other recommendations include entrée salads, stuffed baked potatoes, and the not-to-be-missed chocolate chip Pizookie dessert that’s now available in a gluten-free version.
Broussard and her family dine here quite often, and with locations in 29 states, a Bonefish restaurant is relatively easy to find. Broussard and her family enjoy the Saucy Shrimp appetizer, grilled mahimahi with mango salsa, the unique and popular Lilys chicken, and filet mignon. She says the flourless and gluten-free macadamia nut brownie is not to be missed.
Ted’s Montana Grill
Even when dining in one of their locations in the Eastern U.S., Broussard likes the way this unique restaurant makes diners feel like they have been transported to the Wild West. Not because of the vibe which is actually quite sophisticated but because of Teds Montana Grills hearty food and offerings like bison. You cant go wrong with any of the bison burgers and steaks or traditional beef steaks. Other top picks include the iceberg wedge salad, salt and pepper trout, and homemade shakes and ice cream floats.
Uno Chicago Grill
Broussard has been impressed with Uno Chicago Grills commitment to the gluten-free community and the many choices on its broad menu, making it a good standby for a casual, family-friendly meal. Broussard and her family frequently order the three gluten-free pizzas (cheese, pepperoni, and veggie) and share them all. Other favorites include the classic Cobb salad and the grilled shrimp and sirloin combo.
"Kids also love their fancy, non-alcoholic drinks, including the Chocolate Monkey and wildberry mango smoothie," said Broussard.