Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gwinnett Braves Stadium medical pass available

OK - this post is not timely, but I didn't get the information until the baseball season was pretty much over for the year.  If you're a fan of the Gwinnett Braves minor league team and have food allergies, you may get a medical pass in order to take your own food into the ballpark.  In the past, I've had popcorn, that Minute Maid frozen lemon dessert and a hot dog with an inedible gluten-free bun at the Gwinnett stadium.  When I eventually decided to order a burger without a bun, I was informed that the burger itself contained gluten.  Whaaaaa?????

It's extremely difficult for us to get to the games over there now, but we went once earlier this year.  As usual, I packed safe snacks in a bag (with very well concealed zipper compartments) as I'd previously been told no outside food was allowed.  This info was shared with me by the park's Aramark manager (who is no longer there) who knew I had celiac.  And it's still listed on the website's AtoZ page (see food under "F").  I'm not sure if the medical pass option is a new rule or what, but if you call guest services, you can find out how to obtain one.

Also, in previous years, I was able to get a Redbridge beer at the only on site restaurant Cool Ray field.  If the ball park is convenient for you to get to, you can save a TON of money and spend much less time stuck in traffic than when going to an Atlanta Braves game.

Main Phone Number


Monday, September 15, 2014

Fresh 2 Order has gluten-free soup

The gluten-free menu at Fresh 2 Order is pretty good considering they have no specialty items like bread, cupcakes, etc.  The pork with apricot chutney with mashed sweet potatoes meal is excellent as is the club salad with grilled chicken added.  For the last few years, I kept asking the corporate office if they were going to offer gluten-free soups and the answer was usually "we're looking into it".  However, no gluten-free soups were available during my visits (I even asked about gluten-free options when it was way too hot for soup) so I finally gave up inquiring about it.

Skip to a few weeks ago when I thought to check the company's menu online and I still didn't see any soup listed on the gluten-free menu.  After inquiring at the corporate office yet again, I was told they have a gluten-free soup and it launched back in the spring!  I realized that due to moving twice last year, I had not been to Fresh 2 Order except for once in February (even though I'm 90% closer to a location now than I was before) in over a year.  Hence, I had no idea that indeed, gluten-free lentil soup was introduced.

It's unclear why the soup is only on the "soups" website page and the gluten-free menu wasn't updated online (or in the store we go to) to list it.  Soup is one of the hardest things to find when dining out so most people would not think to check the soup listings after not seeing soup listed on the gluten-free menu. In any case, the lentil soup is vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free (at the time of this posting).  While it might be too hot in the ATL to order hot soup right now, it will be nice to have a tasty option when the weather turns cooler next month.


Friday, September 12, 2014

My Friend's Place rolls out gluten-free bread (sort of)

For over seven years I checked in with the owners of My Friend's Place re: the chance they might start offering gluten-free bread.  The location nearest us was owned by some people that were not too happy when I went into to order the egg and chicken salads to-go back in 2007.  They apparently thought it was a pain to get new containers of the food and use clean scoops in order to ensure the salads remained gluten-free.  I wasn't that bummed when that location went out of business since I eventually stopped going there due their lame attitude.

Fast forward to a couple of months back when I checked the MFP website and saw a huge gluten-free bread notice and a photo of Udi's bread in the home page.  It said something like 'now offering gluten-free sandwiches' - how exciting!  There was only one problem.  As I started dialing location after location of MFP, I quickly learned that very few of them actually had gluten-free bread.  Worse than that, several people I spoke to seemed more than annoyed by the question about the new gluten-free bread.  One manager went so far as to say 'we don't get any requests for gluten-free sandwiches so it's not cost effective for us to have it'.  The problem with that comment is that his location is DIRECTLY across the street from a Jason's Deli that I regularly meet gluten-free friends for lunch at.  But of course, he could be right.  Maybe everyone knows to go to Jason's for fab gluten-free sandwiches (and chicken fingers, baked potatoes and ice cream!) and bypasses My Friend's Place.

It took some time, but I finally found out that the company is rolling out gluten-free service to ALL locations eventually.  But it's going to take some time as they have to train everyone on proper gluten-free service before they can safely offer gluten-free options.  And the company is definitely interested in doing it right which I very much appreciate.  As of now, the only location I'm aware of that has gluten-free sandwiches is the Norcross location.  The one in Augusta might as well, but be sure to check in advance at your location before assuming you can get gluten-free sandwiches there.  And if you want to move the gluten-free service process along, be sure to request gluten-free bread at your location by sending the company's corporate office an email (click here).  The phone number is also on the page.

It didn't occur to me to take a screen grab of the MFP website to prove they did have the gluten-free bread announcement and it's now gone.  But it was there and hopefully, it will be there again soon!