March 26, 2013

Choices, Choices, Choices

Back in January I participated in a group lunch consisting of celiacs. I know, seems daunting, but on the celiac chapter FB group, Casey’s had positive reviews and it was the only Casey’s restaurant in the chain to have a gluten-free menu. With January being a bit slow in the restaurant industry, it seemed a perfect time for a big group lunch.

Upon looking at the gf menu we were all so pleased at the variety of gf options. Many items were also on the regular menu and a change of sauce, pasta, etc easily made the item gf. Here the problem of what to eat wasn’t due to the limitations, but to the variety of delicious choices. In the end what did we get? What didn’t we get!! Between everyone we had that menu covered.

Diane Hutchison, one of the managers, introduced herself and gave us some backstory behind their gf menu. When she began dating her husband, a Celiac, she came to realize how difficult it was to eat out. With the help of a knowledgeable celiac chef at Casey’s, the gluten-free menu was born. Contamination issues are taken seriously and the dedicated gf fryer is located away from any sources of contamination. Diane and our server were more than willing to answer questions and were helpful in helping some members decide. Seriously, who ever thought a Celiac would have too many options to choose from?!?

While we sipped on our drinks (gf beer included!) and chatted we were treated to a large basket of sweet potato fries and a plate of loaded nachos. Although we were a group of Celiacs, it doesn’t mean we only talk about Celiac disease and issues. Conversations included restaurants, family, work, recent events, and of course the +5° balmy weather. Once our meals arrived we began eyeing each other’s plates; for next time.

People were pleased with their jambalaya, pad thai, pasta, mahi mahi, and salmon. Many of us were too full for dessert, but a good number couldn’t resist the mini peanut butter brownie sundae. It appeared that we all left, not just full, but very satisfied.


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