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Gluten-free French Fries

gluten free french fries epik burger

OK, I think I am obsessed with where to find gluten-free french fries.  Sometimes I get sick of eating the same things when dining out.  One can only have so many salads, baked potatoes or plain grilled meat.  I like to eat healthy, but there comes a time where everyone needs to splurge.  (NOTE: Splurge does not mean cheat on the gluten-free diet.  I NEVER eat gluten on purpose.  In almost every instance there is something else I can find that satisfies whatever craving I am having). French fries are my favorite splurge.  You would think since potatoes and oil are gluten-free this would be easy.  But for those of us with celiac disease, we need to make sure that the oil does not come in contact with anything breaded.  This includes: crab cakes, onion rings*, chicken fingers, fried fish, fried chicken, or anything else dipped in flour then thrown in hot oil.

So, because I am a little obsessed, I have discovered where I can get fries that are fried in a dedicated gluten-free fryer and completely gluten-free.

Chick- fil- a– they only fry french fries in their oil.  I probably have their fries the most and have never had a problem.  I like to get them with their grilled chicken nuggets and a diet coke.  They probably think I am really weird 🙂

*Epik Burger- I love their fries. They are one of the best gluten-free places to get a burger in Jacksonville. In addition to gluten-free fries they have gluten free: buns, dessert, beer and onion rings. Yum!

Five Guys– I have had great experiences here.  One time they cleaned the entire kitchen when I ordered a burger no bun.  They have dedicated fryers for their fries.  Sometimes they are a little too salty, I need to remember to ask them for not too much salt.  These locations are harder to find so I don’t eat here too much.

McDonalds– This is my go-to fry place when I have cravings on Sundays, when Chick-Fil-A is closed.

Outback Steakhouse Jax Beach– they have a dedicated gluten free fryer.  I have not tried them yet, but I can’t wait!  I called  around to other locations in Jacksonville and this seems to be the only Outback with a dedicated gluten-free fryer.

Ovinte– this new wine bar has the best truffle fries.  They top them with grated parmesan.  They are crispy and small.  So good.  I like to throw in a little bocce ball and a glass of sauvignon blanc too while I am there.

Time Out Sports Grill on Beach Boulevard– While I have not had french fries here, my friend Mark Basch, Gluten Free Glutton, claims they have a dedicated fryer for gluten-free fries and wings.

Did I miss a place? Where do you go to get gluten-free french fries?

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Who Have Celiac Disease Eat Gluten

I am truly blessed with great friends.  Because I love to socialize and eat out my menu limitations have caused me to enjoy eating out less frequently.  One of my great friends at work knows I can only eat Crazy Sushi or Tommy’s Pizza for lunch.  She is great, she will split a Tommy’s Pizza with me and truly enjoy it.  My mom and I try to eat lunch on a regular basis and she has been great at trying to accomodate me.  So far we have tried Jason’s Deli on Southside (I ordered the salad bar both times and had a reaction each time maybe I will try their baked potato next), Woody’s at US-1 and Baymeadows (had a reaction there from turkey, pork, sweet potato and turnip greens) and Chick-Fil-A at JTB (Chick Fil A was great, they specially grilled my chicken for my salad, however, I put the raspberry vinagrette on it and realized later it had gluten in it, it was totally my fault).  I am still learning I guess- I think the hardest thing is memorizing every single gluten containing ingredient.  The other night I made dinner for my brother and sister in law and 2 other couples and I made it entirely gluten free.  I had not one complaint, and hardly any leftovers!  I was nervous that people would complain or just stay quiet so they didn’t offend me, but everyone raved about how fresh everything tasted and even asked for some of the recipes.  I made a mexican meal, fish and chicken tacos with Sazon flavoring for the fish and Publix Taco Seasoning for the Chicken; publix brand black beans and corn on the cob.  I made fresh salsa, had fresh avocado and made a cilantro/yogurt sauce for the fish.  We used corn tortillas both soft and hard.  Everyone was happy including myself. 

I have found that my friends and family are actually doing research. On numerous occasions my boyfriend will ask me “are you sure you can eat that” most of the time I have thoroughly checked the ingredients but it is nice to know that he is thinking about my well being (and probably trying to avoid the moodiness I have when I have ingested gluten).  My mom will do research before cooking me a meal, she even takes into account cross contamination and cleans all pots and pans thoroughly before cooking.  At my girl’s annual Christmas Party, which was only weeks after my diagnosis, a friend of mine did research on gluten free foods and actually brought a gluten free dish.  She was so sympathetic, while doing research she realized all the things I could not have and I think felt a little sorry for me.  She later hosted a “Japan Night” at her house with Plum Wine (gluten free), Sake (gluten free), gluten free sushi and Tamari (gluten/wheat free soy sauce).  It was such a nice night.

I am strill struggling to avoid gluten in my diet, but I am not giving up.  Unfortunately the harsh reality is that eating out is not going to be as big a part of my life as it used to be.  I am going to be forced to be a better cook!

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