Archive for category Let’s Eat Out

GF Pizza at Uno Chicago Grill!

Whoo Hoo!  Our voices have been heard!!  I know many of us provided feedback to Uno Chicago Grill in the hopes of a gluten free pizza being offered on their menu.  Our wait is over!!! It has been announced that Uno Chicago Grill will be adding gluten free pizza to their menus NATIONWIDE!  I have contacted their public relations team for more information on the time line, what states/locations will be next, etc.  Will keep you posted, but wanted to share this fantabulous news!!

Update from Elliott Subervi of Utopia Communications, Inc.

Thanks for reaching out.  As of January 13th all Uno locations nationally are carrying the GF Pizza, (all but the original locations in Chicago…Pizzeria Uno & Pizzeria Due will not be carrying the GF Pizzas).  A word to the wise, it is always better to call the location you are headed to prior, since we are seeing a sell-out of the GF Pizzas in some locations very quickly.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNO CHICAGO GRILL® ROLLS OUT GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA NATIONALLY
Positive Consumer Response Prompts Earlier Introduction

Boston, MA (January 13, 2009) – Following a highly successful market test, Uno Chicago Grill® will offer its new, gluten-free pizza nationally. Uno® is the first national casual dining chain to offer a gluten-free pizza and received very positive feedback from guests who suffer from celiac disease, which affects approximately one percent of the population .

In fact, word-of-mouth reaction from the gluten-free community during the northeastern market test prompted the company to advance the timetable for a national roll-out.

“Food allergies are a very serious, sometimes life-threatening, issue for many Americans,” notes Uno CEO Frank Guidara. “Pizza is our signature product, and we wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza so all of our guests could enjoy it when dining at Uno.”

“Consumer reaction was so positive, and the chatter so strong on gluten-free blogs and websites, that our restaurants began receiving requests to carry the new pizza,” noted Richard Hendrie, senior vice president, marketing, Uno Chicago Grill. “Because the demand was so strong, we decided to pull out all the stops to get the gluten-free pizza into our 200 plus locations as quickly as possible.”

Recently lauded as America’s Healthiest Chain Restaurant , Uno has added gluten-free cheese and pepperoni pizzas to what is already one of the most extensive gluten-free menus available for a casual dining chain. This is good news to the estimated three million Americans diagnosed with celiac disease, as well as an additional seven million Americans who have a wheat intolerance or allergy and rely on gluten-free foods. While awareness of celiac disease is rising, an estimated 97 percent of those who have it remain undiagnosed .

Guidara explained that it took over a year of research and development to find just the right recipe for a brand that is known for its iconic pizza. “While we want to meet the needs of guests with allergies, we never forget that we are about great taste and choice, and that means developing new dishes that are healthful without sacrificing great flavor.”

The company that was the first to develop deep-dish pizza in 1943 is still full of innovation. Uno Chicago Grill works closely with its Nutrition Advisory Board, which meets quarterly to discuss trends and solutions to improve the quality and nutritional value of its menu. The board includes world-class physicians with expertise in coronary disease, weight management, and other food/health related issues. Guidara oversees the Advisory Board and brings his expertise as a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable.

The gluten-free pizza was originally tested at Uno Chicago Grill locations in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts (excluding Worcester and Springfield/Holyoke).

According to the Gluten Intolerance Group, surveys show that about 15 to 25 percent of consumers report looking for gluten-free products, far more than need to.

Uno boasts a number of healthy firsts, including being the first national restaurant chain to eliminate artificial trans-fats and to increase menu and nutritional transparency via nutrition information centers located in their restaurants. The company’s gluten-free menu has 20 items ranging from entrées, salads, sides and desserts. For guest convenience and safety, Uno clearly labels menu items with ingredients that are linked to the most common food allergies, such as fish/shellfish, soy, tree nuts/peanuts, egg, milk and wheat/gluten. Diners can also preview the menu and nutritional information online via the company’s website at www.unos.com.

The company has invested more than $2 million in nutritional advancements since 2005 and, according to Guidara, will continue its commitment to providing delicious, fresh and healthful menu options for its guests.

About Uno Chicago Grill:
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service units located in 29 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotel restaurants and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products. For more information, visit www.unos.com.

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Happy as a Horse’s Hiney!

I realize that as I begin this post, some of you may be scratching your head with puzzlement at the title. Bear with me, I’ll explain…

P.F. Changs is one of my favorite gluten-free dining experiences. For those of you who have visited a P.F. Changs Restaurant, you are familiar with the two large, ornate stone horses outside of every restaurant entrance. However, if you visit the Changs in Atlantic City, New Jersey, you will get to see the horses up close and very personal. Inside the Tropicana Casino resides the Atlantic City P.F. Changs. The place is always packed with quite a diverse crowd, from trendy 20-somethings to the blue haired grannies taking a nickel slots breather. No reservation? You can spend your two hour wait in the small bar and table area until seated. A window was thoughtfully placed on either side of the entrance so you may gaze out at the passerby. The gazing will occur with somewhat of an, ahem, obstructed view. I’m not sure if it was a design snafu or a contractor’s joke, but those two large, ornate stone horses are positioned directly outside each window. As a result, one who chooses to sit in the bar area while waiting for their table will be privy to a wondrous view of a gigantic stone horse’s rear end. Maybe it’s me (I can have an odd sense of humor at times), but this just cracks me up.

But, I digress. This past Sunday, I dined with two of my gluten-eating girlfriends at a P.F. Changs in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. What is so fabulous about this restaurant chain? Across the country, all P.F. Changs staff; from host to server to cook, are educated in food intolerances. Upon entering the restaurant, request a special gluten-free menu. You will receive nary an odd look or verbal inquisition on, “What the heck is gluten?”. Prior to taking your table’s order, your server will ask whether any diners have dietary restrictions. This is where you will speak up and declare your gluten emancipation, start waving your arms (or other extremities) wildly, or, if subtlety is your tactic, slyly point to your gluten free menu. Note – there will be soy sauce available on the table. Do not use It! Be sure to request the gluten-free soy sauce from your server. The gluten-free menu is quite extensive and offers a nice selection. Heed my advice and leave room for The Dome Dessert. Ah, The Dome, a beauteous creation of flourless chocolate decadence. It looks small, but it is mighty. Nestled along The Dome is a combination of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries to help to make this dish somewhat healthy (not really, but we can pretend).

At the end of your delicious meal, crack open your cookie and read your compelling fortune from within, but let someone else eat it (the cookie, that is).

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Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Baker’s Man

Our weekends have been filled with picnics, birthday parties, and other random social events. On Sunday, I was schlepping my six year old to yet another party. Knowing there would be absolutely nothing I could eat at this celebration (well, if I was desperate, there’s always the party napkin!), I quickly downed a gluten free Think Thin bar en route. As it came time for the food portion, I tried not to drool over the mouthwatering greasy, cheesy pizza. Oh pizza, old friend, I miss you so :( After declining the pizza, then came the cake. Did I mention that the family hosting the party are bakers? This cake was a beautiful gluten filled dream. Again, I declined a slice. As the party was winding down, I almost jokingly asked the birthday girl’s father if they would ever consider offering gluten free baked goods at their business. I braced myself for the usual resounding “No”. However, his response caught me so off guard because he matter of factly said, “We have a large variety of gluten free foods.” Better yet, the bakery containing those gluten free delights was right down the street from the party. This amazing man ran down to his bakery (Di Bartolo Bakery in Collingswood, New Jersey) and brought me back a bag filled with a half dozen vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and a mini cheesecake. (Insert angels singing here.) When we arrived home, I was like a kid on Christmas, opening my package with anticipation. Without delay, I unceremoniously shoved two cupcakes (well, one at a time) in my mouth. Hey, I haven’t had a cupcake in three years, so a little unladylike-ness was totally justified. The cupcakes were delicious – not crumbly in texture or dry. I plan on having the cheesecake tonight after dinner. So, before all the cupcakes and cheesecake are happily in my belly, I took a picture to share with you.

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