A Gluten-Free Red Robin Experience

On this last trip, Buddy (my non-gluten-free-boyfriend) and I stopped at a Red Robin to eat dinner after the GFFAFest in Austin.  We visited one in Dallas, while attending a different Gluten-Free/Allergen Expo, this past October.  The Dallas experience was nice, so we decided to try it again.

Instead of having a separate gluten free or allergen menu like most places, Red Robin has a QR code in the menu that will take you to the interactive one.  You can select the allergen(s) you need to avoid and then the menu will tell you what options you have and what you need to change on the items you order.

QR CodeI found this neat and frustrating at the same time.  I don’t like to have my phone out while eating.  I would rather have a conversation than stare at my phone.  However, this was much faster than navigating through several pages to figure out if I can truly eat something.

Our waitress in Austin was wonderful.  After we let her know that I was gluten free, she assured us that she would flag our meal and that she had a relative that was gluten free and understood the seriousness of it.  She was  patient and understanding as we tried to figure out which appetizers I could eat and why I could not eat the corn chips.  She even went and asked the manger about it, to ensure it was or was not safe for me.  Turns out, the gluten free fryers are only for fries, so we asked for fries instead. They accommodated my  substitution with out any issue. It was so refreshing that she understood the seriousness of me being gluten-free, which was awesome!  Since I find myself feeling like a pain, in the gluten free bun so to speak, when eating out.  I know it is a hassle to deal with food restrictions, but I have no choice.

Our waitress also let us know that since my meal was flagged, that it may not be her bringing out our meal, it would probably be the manger.  To ensure that it was handled correctly.

Our meal came out, my gluten free bun had an extra purple toothpick in it, to signal that it was gluten free.  The manger assured us as well that it was gluten free.  He even checked on dipping sauces for us, so I could try them with my bottomless fries.  Yes, that is correct.  Bottomless gluten free fries.

Now, I could not eat any of the desserts but that is OK, since my stomach was so full from the bottomless sweet potato fries.  Overall, I would recommend Red Robin.  Every visit has been good.  I have not gotten sick from eating here, the service has been wonderful, and the staff and mangment are courteous and understanding.

My only complaint it that there is not one in Central Arkansas where I am located, however on second thought, that might be a good thing due to the bottomless fries.

Kember’s Gluten Free Brownies

Kember's Gluten Free Brownies

 

Kember's Gluten Free Brownies

One of the cool products I recently got to try was Kember’s Gluten Free.  Kember’s was at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin, TX  and I am so glad they were there.  I got the chance to meet Marilyn, owner of Kember’s.  She is super nice, friendly, and knowledgeable about the products she developed.  They have a variety of mixes that include: pizza crust, crepes, pumpkin bread (which is clove free), donuts (which I sampled at the expo), waffles and oh course, brownies.  I recently made the brownies for “Family Dinner Night.”  I thought it would be nice to have a freshly made dessert, and who doesn’t like, or in my case love, freshly made brownies?

 

Directions and Needed ingredients

The mix does not require many additional ingredients to make the brownies, so that was a plus.  I made these at my mom’ s house since we had dinner there.  To be honest the brownies may not have made it to Mom’s if I made them at my house.  So I ran home, grabbed the needed ingredients and baking pan.  Or at least what I thought was the needed pan. You see, it calls for a 9×9 pan, I grabbed a 12×9 by mistake.   More on that later.

So I started by mixing all the wet ingredients together first and then added the mix.  I thought it might be easier that way.  You can omit the egg yolk and reduce the cooking time for a more fudge like brownie, I will try that next time.  The mix is a fine powder, that has a very wonderful smell.  Once you have incorporate the mix to the wet ingredients it makes a pretty thick batter.  I enlisted the help of a spatula to ensure I got all of the brownie goodness out of the bowl.

Now, you are suppose to place the batter into a 9×9 pan, greased.  I had grabbed a 12×9, so my batter made thin brownies.  The edges were chewy, and not as moist as the center ones.  I think it was due to the pan.  They were still very yummy.   My mom said they were very similar to a name brand mix, which is her favorite.  My dad, who usually will not eat anything I make that is gluten-free because he has had a few bad cakes when I was first going GF, came back for seconds.  The non-gfbf thought they were the best ones we have had as well.  I obviously like them, or I would not be writing this.  The only thing I wish I would have done different,  besides grabbing the correct sized pan, is adding nuts to the brownies.  However, these brownies are great with any extras, such as nuts.  Let’s face it, we all know of a mix or two that needs help and we end up adding extras to make them tasty.  Kember’s does not need extras to make them tasty.  Kember’s brownies are delicious!

 

Nutrition Facts and IngredientsThey are Gluten Free, Dairy Free,  and Soy Free.  Along with being non-gmo.  They are manufactured in a facility that uses tree nuts, soy, eggs, and milk.  The nutritional information isn’t too bad considering that these are brownies and gluten free.  You can find them on Kember’s website here.  They also have a list of places you can find their mixes on their website, which includes Amazon and yes they are on prime.  They also have some recipes on the site.  OH, be sure to check them out on social media outlets as well.  On Twitter they are @kembersGF and on Facebook they are Kember’s Gluten Free,  they also have a Pintrest page. I’ll be repinning them shortly as well.

If you get a chance to try one or all of their mixes you shouId!  I know I will be finding the doughnut mix soon (Mmmm….doughnuts!).  That last brownie wasn’t left there for long, it was eaten shortly after I snapped that picture.

I can not wait to share the other Kember’s Gluten Free products as I try them!  I am sure they will be just as tasty as the brownies!

Why You Should Attend an Expo

As some of you know, the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest in Austin, TX was this past weekend. This is second expo I attended as a blogger. I had someone ask me before hand, “Why are going? Don’t you know all about this stuff already?”

I don’t know everthing about being gluten free. I don’t know about all the products that are out there. I just know what I have experienced, learned from other bloggers, and medical professionals. If I did know everything, I would quite difficult to deal with, being a know-it-all of course.

I go to expos for a variety of reasons. One of them is to meet people who are at different stopping points of their gluten free adventure. I remember standing in the local super market reading labels, trying to figure out if the six dollar loaf of bread, that fit on my hand like a tea cup puppy, was going to better than the last one. Looking up products on an app, websites, and multple google seaches to see if I could eat it or not. I felt alone, like I was the only person in that store that needed these products. Luckily I had a good freind from college who was gluten free and helped me find a few good brands. I also had my mom, who was right beside me, looking up ingredients and saying how this stuff was so much more than “normal” food. So meeting people who are gluten free as well and sharing our struggles is reassuring. Especially if you are the only gluten free person at your work, church, or your small town. You don’t feel so alone because you are in a large room with other people who share the same struggles and know how hard it can be having food restrictions.

I also go to try and find out about the products and services that are out there. I would not have found Whole Note, Freedom Foods, or a really cool app that helps you keep track of the foods you have tried and like or not (more on that later). There are really neat box services that you can subscribe to and have gluten free goodies delivered to you monthly. It is a great place to discover things that you might not know about or have in your local area. I usually will go to a store or two before I go home and stock up on the things I know I don’t have in my gluten free shopping area. We all know that we have a group of stores and towns we go to find the beloved goodies.

You also get a chance to meet some of the bloggers and authors that we all read. I remember the first expo I went to with my mom a couple of years back. I got signed copies of cookbooks and CATB’s book, along with some very cute Gluten-Free gear that it seems I am always wearing.

Oh, and a lot of the times you don’t have to ask the question we all ask anytime, anyone offers us food, “is that gluten free?” because usually everything there is GF.

So next time there is an expo near by you should try to go. Here are links to the two expos I have attended and I’ had a blast.

Gluten Free Allergy Fest

Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Expo