Thursday, September 10, 2009

Restaurant Review: The Loop Pizza Grill

Just in case you didn't already know. The Loop Pizza Grill in Cary has a gluten free menu. There are risks involved, in that their grill is used for a variety of items, and although they clean it, they can't guarantee against cross contamination.

When I read the disclaimer about the grill on the top of the menu I was a little disheartened, but talking with the manager eased my mind a bit. Although they cook many items on their grill, it is mainly used for meats, and he commits to cleaning the area your meat would be cooked on before preparing it. I also gained a little confidence when he mentioned he had brought an outside expert in to educate him on the problems of cross-contamination, and the gluten free diet. He paid someone to come in to his kitchen, educate him and help him with their menu and gluten free options. To me that is pretty impressive.

The Loop Pizza Grill
Web site:

2 Cary Locations
Kildaire Plaza Shopping Center - 1207 Kildaire Farm Road - Cary, NC
Phone: 919-657-0330

West Park Place - 2734 NC Hwy 55 - Cary, NC
Phone: 919-387-8002

Restaurant Review: Lucky 32

A few weeks ago I was gifted a meal at Lucky 32 with 19 of my friends. I know, CRAZY! That doesn't really happen does it? Well it did. And usually meals like this bring out all sorts of stress, and anxiety about my meal, and how I might feel the next couple of days. But, it was lunch with friends, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. And I am glad I didn't.

I arrived to find they were prepared for me. They already had printed out their gluten free menu and had them on the table ready to go. The rest of my crew of course opted for the regular menu, but I was pleasantly surprised by the options listed. There were several!

Since the meal was free, and well, I could get whatever I wanted, I made it a multiple course meal. I started with salad, and was a bit disappointed when my salad came with an unwrapped cracker on top. I stressed the harmful affects of that cracker resting with my salad, and they quickly whisked it away, and several minutes later came back with a new one apologizing profusely. I then had some incredible tomato soup, that was again, gluten free, and without any crackers. When my main dish arrived, I was full, but had to try a few bites and I can say, the Jambalya was out of this world! It was even better reheated the next day. I should mention that the cornbread they serve on the table, was also gluten free, and was, well, heavenly. It has been a long time since I enjoyed bread with my friends before the meal arrived. I felt almost normal!

The only downfall, which is common, was that there wasn't a dessert option. Well, that and the cracker incident, but hey, they did have a table for 20, and well, I know it isn't an excuse, but they had 3 servers working with us. The poor guy didn't stand a chance. And they fixed the problem without complaint.

I have eaten at Lucky 32 since then, a few times, without incident during the meal or in the days following. I highly recommend it if you want something that isn't a chain and is a little different.

Check out a previous post with their GF menu.

Lucky 32
Web site:
7307 Tryon Road, Cary, NC
Between US 1/64 and Kildaire Farm

Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Monday 11:15 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11:15 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Phone: 919-233-1632

Restaurant Review: Maggiano's Little Italy

I know I know, Maggiano's is NOT in Cary, but it is so close, and well, I figured the Cary readers needed to know about this one.

A few weeks ago I was craving pasta, but not just any pasta. I was craving the pasta that comes from someone else's kitchen, that leaves you feeling so full you can't even find room for ice-cream kind of pasta. So, I tried out Maggiano's to see just how gluten free friendly they were.

And I was so incredibly impressed! I sat down, asked my waiter about the gluten free pasta. I started to quiz him and he stopped me mid-sentence. He then informed me, that in order to make sure all of my needs were met, they actually have the chef come out to talk to me. That way my waiter wouldn't mess it up.

About 5 minutes later, the waiter comes out with a special note-pad. It's yellow, says Gluten-Free meal on top in bold letters, and has space to write down what I want to eat. I was floored. The chef introduced himself, informed me that he personally would prepared my meal, and then asked what I wanted. And this is where I got the biggest surprise of my visit. Long ago I stopped looking at the menu when it was handed to me. I would go into a restaurant and glance at it, find something that sounded good and then hope I could modify it only to be sorely disappointed. I explained this to the chef, and he said, well then, lets create you a meal, what were you thinking of when you came in? Seriously folks, he made up my pasta dish. And it was DELISH, and gluten free!

And here is another kicker. They didn't charge me an exorbitant amount. I later found a dish that was similar to the one I had created, and the price was comparable.

So, it's not in Cary, but really, for some of us in Cary, Southpointe mall isn't too far away. It's worth a shot.

I have been in contact with Daniel's Italian restaurant. I hope to have some news on them soon.

Maggiano's Little Italy
Web site:
Durham location (only location in the Triangle)
8030 Renaissance Parkway,, Suite 890, Durham, NC, 27713
Sun 12pm - 10pm
Mon - Thur 11am - 10pm
Fri - Sat 11am - 11pm
Phone: 919-572-0070