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.
I 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.