Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gluten-Free Gluttons: Cheeseburger in Paradise

Letting yourself get too hungry is no good for anyone. But when you have celiac, falling prey to a bad decision because hunger is clouding your judgement can result in days of feeling poopy. Literally and figuratively.

 So when I was starving-starving-starving Friday night after work, and Luke suggested we try out the gluten-free menu at Cheeseburger in Paradise, I agreed, but with hesitation. Usually, before checking out a restaurant, I have to scour the interwebs for reviews, search the discussion forums for other celiacs' experiences, and read the menu to the point that I could recite it by heart. But that wasn't the case Friday. We were both incredibly hungry, and if we wanted to get a table, a decision had to be made ASAP. So we went. I tried once before to go to Cheeseburger in Paradise, a few years ago on a Saturday night. With a big group. Without a reservation. Needless to say, I did not haz cheezburger that time.

We got seated right away, and our server was fantastic - she assured me that there was a special part of the kitchen, with separate utensils and everything, for gluten-free orders. "We take it very seriously," she said. "They almost have us in Hazmat suits." They do mention on the menu that they worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group to develop a menu, and had recently started serving gluten-free buns for burgers and sandwiches. Could have been the staff, could have been the menu, could have been the excellent mango iced tea, but I started feeling better about my meal. And as soon as she set the plate down, I dug in. And it was glorious. Since I have been experiencing a French fry phobia since diagnosis (dedicated fryer? what's in the seasoning? too many variables!?!), I was a little nervous about the fries, but craving them in a mad way for about two weeks now. My gluten-free fries (designated fryer! Yes!) were perfect. The cheddar bacon burger wasn't too shabby, either.

Luke ordered off the regular menu (ribs) and he said his food was spot-on, too. It was really nice to find a place that wasn't super-expensive and had regular people food, and the location we went to is pretty centrally located in terms of family and friends in the area, so it is a great place to meet for dinner or a weekend lunch. I would definitely go back again, if only for the fries alone!

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