Saturday, January 2, 2010

GF MENU: Maggiano's

You wouldn't know it from their website, but Maggiano's *Little Italy* is quite gluten-free friendly.

In searching out somewhere to eat a nice Christmas Eve meal in St. Louis with SW's family, someone brought up Maggiano's. I scoffed at them. A national chain of Italian restaurants? Are you kidding me?! Places like that would kill me on sight!

But some basic research pulled together a much different picture. The scuttlebutt was that Maggiano's was very GF friendly. Not only do they stock gluten-free pasta, but they have bread products as well as a gluten-free dessert brownie.

Still I remained unconvinced. So I called the location in St. Louis where we would be eating. Sure enough, it was all true. The woman who answered the phone emphasized that when we made our reservation, we should indicate the gluten allergy. Then the chef would come out and talk to me. Wow! I gave my "approval" to make the reservation.

Christmas eve came and Maggiano's was packed. But the chef still came out and talked to me. Unfortunately, they had run out of GF bread. Never underestimate the volumes of folks with Celiacs! Probably best for me, because I shouldn't have yeast, but I was sad that I didn't get a dinner roll.

What I did get was the chicken pesto pasta. It was wonderful! And the brownie was heavenly. It made it feel like a real meal, like I was somehow vastly different than anyone else ordering at the table. A lovely Xmas gift!

OH! Maggiano's also has gluten-free beer. I avoided the GF beer because of the fermenting process (the yeasties in my body would LOVE it), but I am very happy to say that Maggiano's stocks it. So if you drank beer prior to your diagnosis, Maggiano's has got your back.

It was a great evening. I joined their emailing list and got a $10 off coupon. I guess we'll just have to go back to eat there in the next month. Oh darn. [please note the sarcasm!] You can get a coupon, too, if you join the list; click here.

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