We walked into the restaurant. They handed us a menu…. and we could order ANYTHING on the menu! And it wasn’t just a boring-Gluten Free-eat-a-salad-you-weirdo menu…. it was a REAL menu.. with REAL food…. that was DELICIOUS!!!
We were in Alpharetta, GA on our way home from a family trip to Disney & Universal Studios. Disney was great about offering gluten free meals (more on that later though), but theme park food is basically just really expensive fast food… gluten free or not, it gets dull pretty fast. I wanted real food! At a real restaurant… without dancing chipmunks! So I broke out my trusty Find Me Gluten Free app to locate a place for dinner.
I scrolled past the usual places….. “gluten free buns” and “gluten free menu” when I came to a restaurant that had a 5 star rating and 27 reviews. Usually you only get four or five reviews on a place…. 27 reviews and a 5 star rating!? And best of all…. it was a dedicated Gluten Free Restaurant!!! A WHOLE restaurant!
I’ve been gluten free for two years. I am so much happier and healthier than I ever was before and I can’t imagine going back to the awful way I felt before. I’ve figured out how to dine out without too much trouble and the rest of world is starting to catch onto the GF/Celiac issue and make more options available. But I do miss being able to walk into a restaurant and pick up a menu and order anything that I want…. without having to play 20 questions with the server. I hate having being asked if I’m Celiac or if it’s “just a diet.” No! You’ll make me sick, okay?!
Tin Roof Kitchen is a completely gluten free restaurant. According to the manager, Renee (who was super sweet and welcoming), two of the owner’s kid were celiac, so she’d been cooking gluten free for years…. so the whole restaurant understood…. I didn’t have to explain… I didn’t have to ask what was in everything…. I just picked up the menu and ordered… like a regular person!!!
And the food… OMG! This wasn’t “good for gluten free,” this was GOOD food! Brian ordered the Shrimp Mac & Cheese and I had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Gravy. We switched plates halfway through… I really didn’t want to trade… I wanted all of mine and his! Dad ordered the Turkey Meatloaf… he was a sickie this week, so I didn’t try to steal any of his for fear of germs… but it looked really good.
Then there was a dessert menu…. with REAL desserts! I’ve been craving carrot cake lately and when I saw it on the menu I nearly cried (it’s been a long vacation). Carrot cake is one of those desserts that was already on my list of things I didn’t make often since I’m the only one in the family that likes it and it was a bunch of trouble to make so I’d only have it at a restaurant…. and once I went GF…. that was the end of my carrot cake. (Another great thing about a Gluten Free Restaurant? They don’t act like you’re a moron for tearing up over baked goods!) Brian ordered his beloved Chocolate Cake and Mom got a slice of the Almond Roca Cake. Normally Mom, Brian and I would all share one slice of something, but we were so excited by all the delicious choices we went a little wild. Again… theses weren’t “good for being gluten free”…. they were GOOD. If you didn’t know that they were GF, you would never have known. There was none of the grainy texture or odd aftertaste that is so often present in GF foods. The chocolate cake was moist and springy… the toffee layers were pure heaven…. The carrot cake was ever so slightly drier than I expected, but was well-balanced by the frosting. The cake was nice and fluffy and just loaded with walnuts and raisins.
They had a variety of coffees, espresso, wines and GF beers available… Mom and I shared a pot (French press!) of coffee over dessert. NUEVA LLUSTA – Chocolate, black cherry, and vanilla. (OMG!!)
Five stars really isn’t enough… This place was amazing. If it was just a regular restaurant I would have given it five stars for taste and variety, atmosphere and service….. as a Gluten Free restaurant? Can I give it ten stars?! (It’s my blog, I’ll do what I please…..) TEN STARS! I am SO so sad that The Tin Roof Kitchen is in Georgia and I live in Missouri.