I went to visit my sister in Israel in January, and it was a pretty special trip. My sister is 3 years older than me but was just diagnosed with celiac disease in November 2012.
Even though she had just been gluten-free for 3 months, she was so excited to show me all of the gluten-free options that Israel had to offer.
In fact, I took a cab from the airport and got to her apartment at the exact same time as a Pizza Hut delivery guy was bringing us dinner…
Our review of gluten-free fast food options continues this week as we explore Pizza Hut, Qdoba, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Arby’s, Tim Horton’s, Hardee’s and Long John Silver.
Pizza Hut’s Gluten-Free Menu
Pizza Hut recently rolled out their new gluten-free crust in the U.K., Australia and Israel, but there isn’t yet word when similar offerings will be available in the U.S. Similar to Domino’s, Pizza Hut warns diners that while the crusts do not contain gluten, and every effort is made to avoid contamination, it is, after all a pizza restaurant and therefore they make no guarantees. Also many toppings contain gluten. Specialty pizzas that would be safe, barring cross contamination, are Garlic Prawns, Spinach and Feta, Pepperoni, Hot and Spicy, Margherita, Veggie and Antipasto. You’ll still have to wait till it rolls out in the U.S., though!
Qdoba’s Gluten-Free Menu
Qdoba is another fabulous Mexican restaurant with plenty of gluten-free offerings, albeit with the usual risk of cross-contamination. Avoid the taco salad shell, soft flour tortillas, Ancho chile BBQ sauce and dessert brownies. The potatoes, corn taco shells, corn tortilla strips and chips and also the cheese are on the watch list for possibility of cross-contamination, and everything else on the menu is open season! Enjoy flat iron steak, chicken, pork, shredded beef, chorizo and eggs on soft white corn tortillas with flavorful salsas and pico de gallo, grilled fajita vegetables, cilantro lime rice and more – ole!
KFC’s Gluten-Free Menu
All of the chicken breading at Kentucky Fried Chicken contains gluten, as do most of the menu items. Gluten-free items are the Caesar or House side salads without dressing or croutons, corn on the cob, green beans, potato salad, cole slaw, sweet kernel corn, three bean salad, Sargento light string cheese and jalapeno peppers. For dressings, choose from Heinz Buttermilk Ranch, Marzetti Light Italian, Hidden Valley Ranch fat-free and KFC’s own Creamy Parmesan Caesar. While KFC does take the time to publish an Allergens and Sensitivities guide, developing gluten-free options doesn’t seem to be on the menu at this time.
Baskin Robbins Gluten-Free Menu
Baskin Robbins posts the top eight allergens in front of each flavor in their stores, so you can check for gluten when you select your flavor. A complete ingredients list is available on their website for each flavor of ice cream, as well, along with the allergens it contains. Most flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt do not contain gluten, but beware of anything with the words cookie, Oreos, or brownie in the title. As always, skip the cones and cakes, however if you order well enough in advance, many franchises will prepare an all ice-cream cake for a special occasion.
Arby’s Gluten-Free Menu
While all of Arby’s meats and cheeses are gluten-free, except for the crispy chicken fillets and patties which are breaded, they don’t make for much of a meal. A better bet is the chopped farmhouse salad with roast turkey or the side salad. Gluten-free dressings include balsamic vinaigrette, buttermilk ranch, dijon honey mustard, and light Italian. Breakfast items are bacon, sausage patty and scrambled egg patty. Dessert recommendations are chocolate, vanilla or Jamocha shakes, strawberry yogurt dip or apple slices. The homestyle fries and potato cakes are a possibility, but only if the restaurant has a dedicated gluten-free fryer.
Tim Horton’s Gluten-Free Menu
Tim Horton’s does not offer specific gluten-free items, and does not guarantee absence of gluten from cross-contamination. None of their many beverages, hot or cold, contain gluten except for one; the Brownie Iced Cappuccino Supreme. Gluten-free breakfast items are hash browns, seasoned egg patty, seasoned egg white omelet, seasoned scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hickory smoked ham, and processed cheese. Lunch items are French onion soup (broth only), turkey and wild rice soup, chili, creamy sundried tomato soup and yogurt with berries.
Hardee’s Gluten-Free Menu
All of Hardee’s bunless beef patties, turkey burger patty and roast beef offerings are gluten-free; the au jus and mushroom sauces, however, are not. Avoid all of the chicken breast fillets because even the non-breaded ones are glazed in gluten-containing soy sauce. Stick with the chili, coleslaw, scrambled eggs, green beans, grits, country ham, sliced ham, bunless hot dog, mashed potatoes, sausage patty and smoked sausage. As for the fries, check to see if they have a dedicated fryer. Ice cream is good for desert but avoid the cookies and cream and chocolate chip cookie flavors as well as the cones, and the Whirl, which contains barley.
Long John Silver’s Gluten-Free Menu
At Long John Silver’s, safe items for celiacs are the coleslaw, corn cobbette, rice and all of the condiments and sauces. The grilled Pacific salmon, shrimp scampi, vegetable medley, Freshside Grille salmon entrée and shrimp scampi entrée are listed as not containing wheat, but they are prepared using common equipment, so they may contain trace amounts of gluten, according to Long John Silver’s nutrition guide.