gluten free pad thai with vegetables at Big Bowl, Chicago–
notice the red rim???? It’s an allergy plate!
Another food allergy parent said the other day and I agree “having a child with anaphylactic food allergies is a little bit like playing Russian roulette.” She said this after I explained how I have been able to control every morsel of food that the gluten free boy eats. Then I was corrected—when we go out for meals we are at the mercy of the server, restaurant manager and chef. If a link in the chain breaks—we are headed to the emergency room.
We made the decision early on that the gluten free boy should lead a completely normal life. We eat at select restaurants, stay at certain hotels and yes, he carries 2 Epi-pens and Benedryl. We interrogate the server, manager sometimes even the chef. When he sneezes once, I panic. This is our normal.
The Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group has been a blessing for our family– I am sure for other food allergic people as well. Most of our “go to” safe restaurants are part of this group. This does not mean we let our guard down—each time the same questions are asked. The drill is always the same—it has to be.
A few years ago we had a few small mishaps at Big Bowl—this was due to an uninformed (and kind of bitchy server) and their allergy protocol wasn’t quite in place YET. Currently both the managers and servers at Big Bowl GET IT. They have a dedicated gluten free menu and the allergy food is served on a plate with a small red ring around the outside to distinguish from the regular food. The gluten free items are divine and plentiful—the gluten free boy wishes there were even more items to choose from (think Lilli and Loo in NYC!) Below see a statement from the Big Bowl website– as long as they keep doing things right-I will love these guys!
Recently, we started receiving more requests for gluten-free items. We had a few items that could be gluten free upon request. Beginning in July, Big Bowl rolls out a new menu with a fresh look at gluten free appetizers, entrees, and desserts. This is no easy task, but we take our guests seriously. It’s a small menu but delivers big flavor from our most popular categories. Look for wok tossed orange chicken, kung pao chicken, shrimp and snow peas, and chicken with broccoli just to name a few.
To ensure your meal is cooked to your needs, let your server know and we do the rest. Your food will be cooked away from other foods, in its own wok, with its own wok spoon, and delivered by the manager on duty. We consider your needs as seriously as you do.
gluten free Kung Pao chicken
hmmmm…not sure what this was but it was gluten free!–thats ginger-not noodles;)
summer vegetable rolls with amazing dipping sauce!