General Tips for Eating Out GFCF


Outback Steakhouse in Mechanicsburg (Kathleen) --talk to George (it's a female manger) or the new owner. Just tell them your child has food allergies and needs to be gf/cf...they do have a gf menu. We have only ever had the junior steak, baked potato and steamed broccoli. You MUST call at least an hour ahead so they can get a potato and wrap it in foil and cook it...they roll their potatoes in butter before cooking them so this way the foil prevents any cross contamination. Also make sure you specify that the veggies be steamed without butter or seasoning.

Five Guys Hamburgers (Kathleen) -- I found that Five Guys hamburger restaurant is okay to eat at. The fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil, no preservatives and nothing else is fried in that oil. The hamburgers are 100% beef, nothing added and cooked on a plain grill. The buns are warmed on a separate grill. The girl (whom I had spoken to earlier) making my son's burger even asked me if she should use new gloves if she had touched the buns before touching his burger! They were very accommodating.

McDonalds and Burger King (Kathleen and Joy) -- Fries are ok (make your own decision on McD’s fries), apples dippers without the dip, juice, OJ, and a plain hamburger patty. Ketchup packets are ok too. Some of the salads might be ok, not sure. Check their web sites. Kathleen: We bring our own "cheese" and bun. Joy: We bring GFCF nuggets or a hot dog in a microwavable container and ask the manager to warm them. If you start with a manager (not the person taking orders) they are generally very accommodating. Tip: If you have friends or relatives who visit more often, have them collect the ketchup packets; they’re handy for packed lunches, birthday parties, or other times eating away from home.

Wendy's (Kathleen and Joy) -- Baked potato and Chili (both plain, of course!) are GFCF.

Issac's in Silver Spring Commons (Kathleen) -- Ask for Emily the manager. We just call to let her know we are coming in. We bring a sandwich wrapped in foil that she puts on the grill (we do "cheese" and bacon or pepperoni). The plain chips, applesauce and fruit bowl are ok to go with the meal.

Mikado, Hampden Center
(Joy) – Talk to Andy or Jay, both chefs that speak English well and are helpful – we especially like Andy! The hibachi table is great for both dinner and “a show”. (Extra bonus – you see them clean the cooking surface.) Meal includes soup and salad. Soup is NOT clearly GF, so I bring a dish of chicken broth with a few slices of mushroom and dried chives stirred in (pretty much like their soup). Our son doesn’t eat salad, so I don’t know about dressing options. Bring Wheat-Free Tamari and Earth Balance to substitute for the soy sauce and butter and the chef will cook for your whole family with these items. Provided dips are ginger sauce (contains wheat) and “seafood” sauce (contains milk), so bring your own (ketchup or whatever is a favorite). Also – unless you can find information to clear Vodka (I haven’t checked) avoid the flaming volcano, since it burns on this. Don’t worry there are plenty of other flames for fun!

Hoss’s (Joy) - Call ahead and talk to a manager. Their fish is plain. (Steaks come in a marinade; my son loves salmon, so I haven’t checked into the steak – probably worth calling corporate.) They can cook fries in the oven (or choose a baked potato), but it takes a little longer, so order ahead if you know your timing. Some things on the bar are clearly GFCF (plain peas, for example) and the staff is good about getting items from the back if you see possible contamination. They are also helpful with putting a small dish of ice cream in the freezer until needed. One downside – you’re paying for an adult meal, not a kid’s meal!

Rita’s Italian Ice – A number of there flavors are GFCF. Check the website to confirm.

Symposium, Lancaster (Lavonne) – They can make most any item GFCF. Sometimes they also have GF pasta on hand!

Macaroni Grill (Lavonne) – They have a GF menu and also a milk-free menu.