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Too hot to cook!

Posted on July 16, 2012

We all heard the news this morning.  Hot, hot, HOT!  With no end in sight to the sweaty and sticky weather, the thought of firing up anything inside makes you want to remember January.  And standing outside in 100 degrees to grill … no thanks.  Time to eat out!

But where?

Many local Chicago restaurant groups have wonderful gluten-free options.  The Lettuce Entertain You group has a wide variety of GF choices clearly marked on their menus.  (Have you tried the rolls at Reel Club … delicious!)  The Francesca restaurants also offer a gluten-free menu, and the kitchen is often knowledgeable about safe preparations.  And, of course, River Grove’s Da Luciano Pizza, Pasta & Catering will make authentic Italian favorites in its dedicated GF kitchen.

Travelling?  There are a number of wonderful apps that are great for guiding the gluten-free no matter where they roam.  Here are some favorites …

Is that Gluten Free? Eating Out (Midlife Crisis Apps, LLC) includes 36 national restaurant chains, guides you through each menu, and allows you to sort by menu item or ingredient.  Its sister app Is That Gluten Free? Is a must for finding gluten-free products at groceries nationwide.

Dish Freely: Gluten Free (Grande Labs) is a free app that allows the GF community to share restaurants and menu items.  Akin to a gluten-free specific Yelp, it allows direct commentary and recommendations to map gluten-free options.

Find Me Gluten Free (JATX Tech, LLC) is a free app that helps you find gluten-free friendly restaurants.  View ratings and reviews, see menus, and call the restaurant directly from the app.

But still be careful.  As gluten-free requests increase, more restaurants try to meet their customers’ needs without realizing that they are not.  Always ask about the frying oil since it can easily be cross-contaminated.  Request that pans have been cleaned properly and that hands are washed and gloves are changed before preparing your food.  Talk to the chef to get his recommendations.

When it’s too hot to cook, there’s no need to get hot and bothered.  With the right tips, apps to guide you, and GF-friendly restaurants, good gluten-free eats can be found.


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