Gluten Free, Good Experience At Longhorn Steakhouse Phoenix
My New Favorite Gluten Free Steakhouse | Juli La Porte | July 18, 2013 |
I was on the move today. Needing a gluten free place to stop and login to my mobile office, when I saw Longhorn Steakhouse. I hadn't eaten in a Longhorn before, but I new from research and my website that they offered a gluten free menu. So, I decided to stop.
When I saw that their gluten free menu actually said, gluten sensitive, I have to admit, I had a few reservations. I was pleasantly surprised at what a great experience it turned out to be. I asked for a gluten free menu and the hostess or servant assistant didn't even bat an eye. I sat down and immediately asked for wi-fi. Bummer no such luck. My server came over immediately took my drink order and proceeded to offer their allergen process and gluten free procedures when an order is placed. She was very knowledgeable. Longhorn's policy is to note the order and tell the kitchen of the specific food allergy. Although, there isn't a separate prep area, all the gluten free utensils, mixing bowls, and ingredients are kept separate from their glutinous counterparts. That made me smile. When somebody offers up that kind of information, I immediately feel comfortable that the front of the house and the back of the house are on the same page.
New food allergy fact: Each Longhorn location has certified food allergy trainers. Who knew? When new employees are hired, they must attend classes created by Darden Restaurants, an in house allergy training program. The kitchen goes through more extensive training, including a Perfect Food Guide, that provides a quick reference to food allergens, ingredients, etc. Christina, who I happened to luck into as my server today, is one of the food allergy trainers at the Paradise Valley location. "When the food is delivered, it arrives in separate bags and the gluten ingredients and gluten free or food allergen related ingredients are stored separately," said Christina. She also noted that each employee receives a Perfect Food Guide.
Not too long after placing my order, the managing partner (head manager) at this location, Jason Trenkler, stopped by to check on everything and let me know that he is always informed when a food allergy order comes into the kitchen. Jason went above and beyond to make sure my experience was exceptional. I'm of the opinion that any business is only as good as the people who work there and it starts at the top. Well, I can tell you, it doesn't get better than this and I can see why with a managing partner like Jason.
If you get a chance to stop into a Longhorn Steakhouse, do it! My food was excellent and the service superb! Remember that restaurants vary from location to location and humans actually work there. We aren't perfect. Make sure that you review the individual locations allergy procedures to make sure they are adhering to Darden policies. Speak to a manager and advise them of any concerns you may have. Review the restaurant for others on this site and tell them that CanIEatHere.com sent you!