Monday, January 30, 2012

Eating Gluten-Free at Knott's Berry Farm

Amusement Parks May Not Be Amusing

And that's putting it lightly.

I don't know which is worse, trying to find safe, gluten-free food in an airport or amusement park.

Maybe it depends on the airport and the park?

Either way, some homework is in order for either.

Anytime I know I'm going to go somewhere where I will have to find food, I try to research the place ahead of time. Amusement parks are no different.

Scour the web site. Ask others who have gone before you. Search the web.

This is just what I did before we went to Knott's between Christmas and New Years. The extra effort paid off.

Gluten-Free in Knott's Berry Farm

The extra effort was useful, since I got ideas about which places were more likely to be able to serve me safely. But research alone isn't always enough. You have to ask questions.

My research had indicated that the Ghost Town Grill was likely to be a good place for us to eat lunch. I steered my family to it and I was well taken care of by our server.

I ordered a salad and then specified what I could not have. I asked the skeptical-looking waitress if she could check to see if the salad dressing had any flour or gluten in it.

She raised her eyebrows and cocked her head. Not a good sign.

But she came through for me. She checked and assured me that the dressing only had soy in it. I'm fine with soy.

And it turned out to be a great salad!

Later, for dinner, we ended eating at the Fireman's Brigade Barbecue. This is an order-at-this-window-pick-up-food-at-that-window-eat-at-outdoor-picnic-tables place. I could see how they were grilling the already-basked-in-barbecue-sauce chicken. I saw that each baked potato was already individually wrapped in foil.

I thought I could eat safely here, but I was uncertain of the barbecue sauce. I don't think many barbecue sauces are thickened with flour, but they certainly could be.

I had a choice to make.  I could ask the less-than-reliable-or-knowledgable-looking people behind the windows about the ingredients in the barbecue sauce. I didn't have much faith that they would know or could even find out. That's a little scary, in and of itself.

So, I chose to risk it. The barbecue sauce was already on the chicken. We could get more on the side. But I wouldn't go so far as to risk adding more of an unknown substance to my dinner.

We were given a half of a chicken, so it wasn't to hard to have my husband eat the outside with the sauce, and I ate the inside meat without the sauce. I chose to avoid all the extra barbecue sauce. And the baked potato was fine. No questionable sauces or cooking methods there.

So, I never did find out if the barbecue sauce had any gluten in it or not.  In any case, I did not get sick.

Not getting sick is always nice. It meant that I could continue to have fun and take pictures.

You didn't think I could pass up capturing a sunset like this, did you?! That is the track of the Pony Express roller coaster in the picture. I really like this roller coaster, but it was far too short!

Aren't they all?

I didn't think we would stay until closing, but it turned out that we did. We had a great time, of course, but the best part was that I didn't get sick!

It would help to have ingredients of their foods listed somewhere, even if only online. That would be an enormous help. There is certainly room for improvement in the area of knowledge dissemination, but I managed fine.

Thanks, Knott's!


  1. I've had a terrible time finding out of there are any GF restaurants at Knotts. There's no way to contact them ahead of time to find out and no one replied to my question on Facebook. I think I'll stick to the potato or leave the park for lunch and dinner. Thank you!

  2. Disney World in Florida, WOW!!!! Every restaurant there would send the chef out to talk to you and the chef took your order and the chef delivers it to you. Every restaurant had GF bread, every restaurant went out of their way to make sure your meals where fun and safe!! And most my meals were under $10.

    Dennis Shell
    Seattle WA


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