What does it mean by going Gluten Free

A whopping 21 percent of Americans are currently making an active attempt to eat gluten-free, according to a Gallup poll published July 23, 2015.

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in most grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.

A gluten-free diet is mostly used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.

Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. However you'll find that there are many foods that can be easily made Gluten Free. Many consumer products are now being made strickly Gluten Free.

Celiac Disease

Did you know about 1% of the U.S. population has celiac disease, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The current population of the United States is 318.9 million, this means that 3.1 million people have Celiac Disease.

Common signs of having Celiac Disease is abdominal pain and/or cramps, bloating, decreased appetite, poor weight gain and poor growth. Ask your doctor for a blood test to check for the presence of Celiac Disease.

Eating Out and Cross Contamination

Celiac users have to watch for cross contamination when eating out. It's not enough that a restaurant offers Gluten Free food. The food needs to be prepaired in a way so that there is no cross contamination. For example, resturants shouldn't be toasting Gluten Free bagels in the same toaster as regular bagels.

When looking for a resturant, make sure that it's Celiac friendly and not just Glueten-Free. With Gluten Free eating on the rise, some resturants haven't really focus on making sure that there's no cross contamination.

The resturant reviews on this page is focus finding the best Celiac friendly resturants. Keep in mind that every resturant experience is unique, and all the reviews on this page are based on multiple visits, which gives more of a snapshot on what most people will encounter in a resturant.

Tavern in the Square in NorthboroughRated: 95%

We tried the Tavern in the Square in Northborough last weekend and were not only impressed with their Gluten-free options, we were very satisfied with how the food tasted. They didn't have a Gluten-free menu, instead their regular menu illustrated which menu options could be made Gluten-free. Their hamburger rolls were really good and the fried fish, made with crush potato chips was excellent.

The good thing about this place is they actually had some Gluten-free options on their children's menu. This made ordering a bit easier for our 4 year old.

We highly recommend this place. Where else can you get a Gluten-free Fish and Chips with a Gluten-free free beer? We liked it so much that we actually ate here twice within a week period.

Tavern in the Square Northborough is located in the heart of Central Mass in Northborough, just minutes off I-495 and approximately 25 minutes from Framingham. They feature the largest bar with 50 draught beers from both local breweries and breweries around the world. They have two separate dining rooms which can accomodate parties of up to 50 people.

They have addition locations in Allston, Burlington, Central Square, North Station, Porter Square, Salem and South Station.

Five Napkin - Boston, MARated: 95%

105 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
5napkinburger.com

On September 12, 2015 we visited Five Napkin at the Prudental Shopping Center. They are located downstairs from Barnes and Noble, pretty hard to find from inside the Prudential Shopping Mall.

When we arrived we told the hostess that we wanted the Gluten-Free menu. She told us that they didn't have a Gluten Free menu, and that the existing menu highlighted items that could be made gluten free. She took us to our seat.

We were then greeted by a server that told us that he has Celiac and that he would be able to help us out with our order. Imagine that! Perfect service! He went over the menu items and told us which ones could be made Celiac safe! He told us that the french fries were safe as they are cooked in a separate fryer.

We all order hamburgers, with my daughter ordering one without a roll, and the rolls were really good. They were lightly toasted and you wouldn't have known that they were Gluten-Free. My daughter's hamburger was very tasty and she enjoyed the lettuce covering. We cut the hamburger in pieces and she enjoyed them and the sweet potato french fries.

We were very satisfied with the quality of services and food at Five Napkin and will certainly go back again.

Filed on September 12, 2015

Smash Burger - Natick, MARated: 95%

1298 Worcester St
Natick, MA
smashburger.com

Last Night Juliana and I visited Smash Burger. This used to be one of Juliana's favorite resturants, but after she was diagnosed with Celiac we avoided goint to this resturant. However, we heard that they now have gluten free options, so we had to check it out!

Before ordering I asked the cashier about the French Fries, I knew that Smash Burger has gluten Free rolls as their menu even pointed out that it was available. The Cashier told me that the french fries are gluten Free and they are cooked in a separate frier from other foods that may contain gluten. No chance of cross contamination while the food is cooking!

I order a children's cheeseburger for Juliana, and didn't mention that it should be made gluten Free, which I assume that they would do since I told them that she has Celiac. Before the order came, I looked at the receipt and notice that it didn't indicate that it should be on a gluten Free roll.

I got up and told the people in the kitchen that it should be a gluten Free order. One of the table servers were about to put the food on the table, when they took it back and cooked another burger for her. They told me they don't cook the bun because they didn't have a separate toaster. We waited a few minutes and the food came to our table nice and hot.

Juliana really enjoyed her cheeseburger and French Fries. She felt excited that she could eat at her favorite resturant again. She ate most of her food, and we took some home with us for another time.

We certainly would recomend going Smash Burger in Natick, they were very friendly and the food was excellent!

Filed on September 16, 2015

Joe's American Bar & GrillRated: 10%

This is our second visit to the American Grill in Framingham Shoppers World. We ate here a few months ago and was impressed enough with their food and service to come back. We recalled that they had a good variety of menu options.

When we first visited we remembered that they had a Gluten-free menu, this time they didn't. The waitress told us that just about everything on Joe's American Bar & Grill can be made Gluten-free. The waitress didn't seem all that educated about having Celiac and had to talk to the manager before completing our order. In fact, we all ordered Gluten-Free entries, but they still served us regular bread while we waited for our food to be cooked.

We ordered a couple of sandwiches off their menu and asked it to be made Gluten-free. The bread was stale and had no taste. I suspect that it in the freezer for a long time and they just warm it up when someone orders it.

My daughter ordered the Mac and Cheese and she didn't like it at all. She is a little picky about some of her foods, and usually will eat a lot her dinner. Not on this night, she said that it didn't taste right.

So we won't be going back to Joe's American Bar & Grill anytime soon. We didn't like the service and the food wasn't that great.

If your looking for a Celiac friendly place to eat near Framingham's Shopper's World. You should visit Uno's Pizzera. It's located on the other side of Route 9, near Bed Bath and Beyond.