Monday, April 27, 2009

Wildfire - more than just meat!

When Wildfire opened up in late 2006 in Atlanta near Perimeter mall, it was quite the event for the gluten free set. Not only did they have a gluten free menu - it did not consist solely of meat and potatoes - yippee! Sure, there is a LOT of great meat that is gluten free...steaks, chops, burgers, a gluten free - even a gluten free bun. But in addition to those items, they have a gluten free Au Gratin potato dish that is not to be believed. Thinly sliced potatoes and cream and's the BEST dish of it's kind in the ATL - no doubt! Maybe you don't eat meat, like a friend of mine who recently met me at Wildfire for lunch. No problem - for dinner order the cedar plank Salmon and for lunch try the Mediterranean Shrimp. Both are excellent choices to be sure. And for dessert, try the gluten free chocolate cake with ice cream. It is actually like 'real' cake, with molten chocolate sauce in the middle....oh so good that even glutenoids will scarf it down.

It's a real treat to be offered gluten free bread in a restaurant and in fact, there are only four places here that I know of, that do it. Well at Wildfire, they'll serve you gluten free bread and butter. The bread is actually a bun from a well known brand that I don't care for anything from - except their 'Homestyle' waffles. But I have friends that love the bread as long as it's salted, brushed with olive oil and toasted.

As most of you know, if something isn't as good as the gluten filled item it's trying to imitate, I'm not going to eat it. So I just skip the bread at Wildfire and order the burger bun-less. On our recent visit for lunch, my friend thought the butter served with the bread made it much better than just eating the bread plain. I agree that the butter tastes exceptional at Wildfire...but it's not good enough to overtake the taste of the bread for me. Bread is full of carbs I don't need, so it's got to be incredible for me to eat it. I'll save room for the great potato dishes Wildfire offers intead....did I mention their killer mashed potatoes?

If you've ever seen the 'regular' menu at Wildfire, you were probably overwhelmed at your choices. You name it and you can order it at Wildfire - unless you're gluten free, of course. As I review all the many choices on the 'regular' menu, I see so many things that could be made gluten free with slight effort and little or insignificant cost increases. And each of the items I envision as being gluten free there, would be able to be served to glutenoids, who'd never be the wiser. Don't get me wrong - restaurants should not go about telling people they are eating gluten free. That knowledge clouds the mind of any self respecting glutenoid. I'm living proof of that fact. There are a few people in my life that will not try gluten free anything unless they don't know it's gluten free going in.

If Wildfire decides to bring out an updated gluten free menu, I hope they'll consider thinking outside the box this time around. They have the ability to be a major player in the gluten free market in Atlanta - if they choose to be. These days, with the economy being what it is, the gluten free diner is looking to be 'wowed' before letting go of their hard earned cash to dine out. Give Wildfire a try if you haven't already. People from Chicago (where the company is based) are always excited to learn that Wildfire has a location here and Midwesterners know their! You can make reservations through Open Table, and note in the comments section, that you need a gluten free menu. Enjoy!

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