Last night my husband took me out on a date! We used to make this a very regular occurrence (once a week, most weeks), but since we started eating Paleo-style, we’ve been eating at home alot more. We have gone out a few times, but we usually just make ourselves a special “date night” at home. There are a few reasons for this:
1. I am certain of the ingredients when I cook them myself… and nothing ruins date-night like “the trots,” cramping/bloating, or feeling disgusting in general.
2. I feel that my food is actually MORE delicious than the food we might find in a restaurant, and my husband agrees.
3. We can’t always find good meal options when we eat out (I get annoyed trying to ask for substitutions… “leave that off,” “can you substitute ___?” “is there any gluten in ____?”). There is nothing wrong with being picky about your order, it just gets on my nerves sometimes. I guess it’s a personal problem! Also, very often the best/safest options on the menu are salads. And sometimes I am just not okay with paying more than $12 for a bowl of lettuce.
Well, Dustin’s precious Aunt Donna and Uncle Wayne gave us a fantastic gift card to Bonefish Grill for Christmas! We had been there once before (a LONG time ago), and we loved it, so we were very excited about our gift card!
In the meantime, I saw Diane Sanfilippo (of Balanced Bites) post on Facebook that she was meeting some friends at Bonefish Grill, and that they had a gluten-free menu. I looked it up right away, and I was so excited to see an actual MENU of gluten-free options! Obviously, not all of them were 100% Paleo-friendly, but we were just thrilled to have more than two choices on a real restaurant menu. Check it out here.
I ordered Lily’s Chicken. I’m sure it had some added sugar, a little butter, and a few preservatives, but we knew that we would splurge a little (it was a REAL date night, after all!). It was absolutely delicious. The chicken was moist and tender, the goat cheese was a dream, the seasonal vegetables I ordered as a side were very lightly-seasoned (just as I like them), and they even served SPAGHETTI SQUASH as the seasonal vegetable (I had already eaten my squash when I remembered to take a picture, so I snagged what was left of Dustin’s to add to my plate… unfortunately, he wanted it back). I have never seen spaghetti squash at a restaurant before!
Dustin ordered the same dish (we both love goat cheese), but he asked for french fries as his side (I did not condone this decision, by the way, but I’m not his mother, and he can order what he wants).
Not only was the food delicious, but the staff seemed super-concerned about our preferences. Since we had asked for gluten-free menus, the server double-checked to be sure that we would like to skip out on the pre-dinner bread. We appreciated that! Also, the server was very concerned when Dustin ordered french fries, since they are fried in the same oil as some other gluten-containing items. Dustin assured him that it would be okay, and that it was more of a preference than an allergy. A few minutes later, the server came back and said that the chef just wanted to confirm that he knew there may be some gluten-contamination, and that he was okay with that. He told us that they use different bowls, spoons, cutting boards, etc., for their gluten-free customers to avoid contamination. WOW! Most of them time the folks at restaurants just “don’t get it.” But these guys are serious about providing gluten-free food for the customers who want it. We thanked them profusely, and then enjoyed our food.
So yeah… if you’ve got a Bonefish Grill in your area (click here for locations), you should totally check it out! The one in Winston-Salem, NC is particularly great!
Three cheers for a fantastic dining out experience!
If you know of other restaurants with gluten-free menus, please comment on this post!