Monday, July 2, 2007

Chilis Has Come A Long Way....

A relative newcomer to the world of gluten free dining/menus is Brinker International. They have several chains and they all provide some gluten free support, Chilis is probably the safest of the bunch. I actually started working intensely with the corporate nutritionists at Chilis about a year and a half ago because I used to love their peppercorn burger.They investigated ingredients for me, researched various foods and provided me with a rough idea of what I could eat.As time evolved, I called and emailed them more and they researched more. This evolved into a very limited and rough gluten free menu, that I could email each month to receive updated. I found that as I asked a question, in later revisions that answer became an addition to the menu and so they learned as I learned--frankly, after dealing with so many people unwilling to learn, I can't ask for much more.Now, Chilis has really gotten their act together.Each month they release a new gluten free menu on their website(and often available now in the restaurant), it rarely changes much from the prior month, but nevertheless, if there is an ingredient change or an addition or subtraction due to supplier changes you are sure it will be updated. The menu isn't elaborate, but not bad either. Grilled Burgers, chicken, salmon and you can actually get RICE there, that is very tasty, and ribs that rival Outbacks ribs--of which I'm a big fan of--and they may even surpass them. The staff is hit or miss in terms of understanding Gluten free, I suggest asking for a manager, however, I've been getting less and less "huh?" to my ordering off their gluten free menu than I used to and I'm feeling more comfortable with my order coming out correct than I used to.Overall, a fairly good menu, a fairly good system and while not as safe feeling as other chains, a reasonable feeling of safety from eating there and probably one of the cheapest dining experiences you can expect GF.

PS For those with other allergies, many are also included on the menu.

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