Monday, October 17, 2011

Eating Gluten-Free at Red Robin

Corn Maze

Fall is here and I had made up my mind that this would be the year for me to do my first corn maze. People from around here scoffed at me.

 "You've never done a corn maze?!!!"




They don't have them at every turn out west. Around here, yes. Out there, no.

But we are here now, and our time has come.

It also helped that I got an email that NASA has coordinated with seven farms around the country to make space-themed corn mazes. The Hubble maze is up in NY, six or more hours for us. Bummer. It's not likely we'll be able to get there.

But the closest maze was only about 2 hours from us. That's better. We can manage that.

We headed out, but had traffic most of the way, so it took us closer to two and a half hours. But the weather was perfect!

Belvedere Plantation was great! There were lots of activities for a variety of ages.

There were tube slides, little zip lines, compressed air pumpkin cannons, petting zoo, pig races, rope swings, pedal tractors, and pony rides. Here's the enormous, inflated "pillow". It's like a bounce house, but without the walls. And bigger. Much bigger.

Farm inspired decorations, including gunny sack scarecrows were scattered throughout. It was nice to see the extra effort.

They also had quite a few flower beds planted throughout the area, which hosted lots of butterflies and bees. The added color was a pleasant surprise.

And, of course, a corn maze. That is the reason we came.

The kids kept talking like they were going to split up and go through on their own.

Right away, we had to choose a path. Easy, medium, or hard. And one look around us convinced me that we were not going to split up.

So, we grabbed our flag and I chose medium for all of us.

Immediately, I was struck by the strangest corn I've ever seen...

Of course this isn't corn. It's sorghum.

Nice to meet you, sorghum. I use you in my gluten-free baking quite frequently.

I had no idea how sorghum grew. Now I do.

This is the maze from a platform in our path. You'd think this would give you a view to help you see which way to go. Can you see a path anywhere in there?

The platforms didn't help. It took us about forty minutes to go through the medium difficulty path of the maze. The kids loved it and wanted to go again.

My husband wasn't feeling well, so we gave the kids a cell phone and let them go back in, provided that they stayed together.

They were thrilled and disappeared. We went to find some shade while we waited. Then we went back to meet them after about forty-five minutes. And just as we were about to call them, I spotted them. They were back. And they loved it!

The concessions were a bit pricey, and as you might expect, no outside food is allowed inside. You are allowed re-entry, so leaving the food in the car to eat in the parking lot is an option. In spite of the prices, the selection offered was varied and even included salads. But we had already eaten, so we just got some drinks.

The entire planation was clean and tidy and well maintained. It felt like a farm, but I didn't have to dodge any cow pies. Which means that it didn't smell much like a farm, but that's a good thing. The kids got one whiff of it near the petting zoo, and they had to announce their displeasure. And the human bathroom facilities were clean and plentiful.

By late afternoon, my husband was feeling worse. We asked the kids how much more they wanted to do and started to make our way out. We had a great day, but it was time to go.

We wanted to find a place to eat on the way home. We had seen signs for a couple of places that we might be interested in, but they were too close to the plantation and we wanted to find something closer to home.

We ended up driving back to our local area and decided on Red Robin.

Gluten-Free at Red Robin

Eating out is always a challenge. You never know what kind of service you will get. You never know if you can have confidence that your concerns will be addressed.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon
I have eaten at this Red Robin before, so I knew what to expect. They don't have a gluten-free menu, but they keep a binder with all of the allergy information. The gluten-free information is listed under "wheat".

After placing my order for this avocado salad, the server told us that one in five tables orders something gluten free.

One in five! I had no idea it was that frequent! Hurray! No wonder they know how to take care of my needs at Red Robin.

I forgot to take a picture before I dug in. I was hungry! But here's what was left of my gluten-free avocado salad.

It's great to find a place that you can eat gluten-free with confidence. Thanks, Red Robin!

And my husband who wasn't feeling well?

The next day we found out that he had strep throat. Poor guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome your thoughtful comments.