Gluten free menu is very limited but looks safe, the pasta was good. I like that they have a separate dedicated gluten free menu except when you order the waiter still asks "soup or salad" and the soups aren't listed in the gluten free menu and you have to remember to ask for no croutons on the salad. Attention to detail from the waiter would be nice but if you follow the menu you will be fine.
My husband and I live in Bend OR and recently visited the local Olive Garden in order to complete a gluten-free review on the facility. My husband, Dr. Jason Kremer, specializes in Celiac Disease and other gastrointestinal/autoimmune disorders and I (a celiac) specialize in providing nutritional guidance for those on a gluten-free diet. Here is our review of Olive Garden, (found on our website: http://www.bendwellnessdoctor.com/index.php?p=284199) Olive Garden - Bend OR Gluten-free menu- Was a gluten-free menu available? Yes. Service -The first time we visited this restaurant our server was very friendly and seemed quite knowledgeable. He seemed happy to cater to our gluten-free, dairy-free needs. With our second visit to Olive Garden (a couple of months later) we had a new server. Again, this server was friendly and happy to cater to our gluten-free/dairy-free needs. Knowledge - The first server seemed to have a great deal of knowledge about food sensitivities and was able to tell us about the processes that the restaurant has in place to keep the food safe. We did have questions about marinades and salad dressing and when he wasn’t positive about the ingredients he checked with the cooks. The second server that we had actually asked us what Celiac Disease was (we were, of course, happy to educate him). He also suggested a sauce to me to go with the gluten-free pasta dish that I had ordered, and then came back a few minutes later to let me know that the sauce he had recommended wasn’t actually gluten-free. When I asked what steps the chefs/cooks take to ensure that gluten doesn’t end up in our meals, the server was quite vague and assured us that they are very careful to make sure that our meals don’t contain gluten, however he wasn’t able to tell us how the chefs/cooks would be keeping our meals gluten-free. Safety of food - With our initial visit, we felt comfortable eating here and the food did appear to be gluten-free. We spoke with the manger after enjoying our meal and she further discussed the ways in which the restaurant works to ensure the safety of the food. On the second visit, I felt a little less comfortable about the safety of the food but was glad that the server double checked the ingredients of the sauce that he recommended to me prior to serving it. I do wonder how many other gluten-free customers he has offered that sauce to in the past as I believe only checked on it after we told him just how serious a gluten sensitivity/celiac disease actually is. Taste and cost/serving size - We were very happy with both the price and the amount of food that we were given. My wife even had to ask for a “to go” box which never happens with her! The second visit was a different story. My wife ordered a chicken breast with a side of veggies and received a very meager portion of each (see picture above). In addition, my serving of pasta and chicken was also quite small, and while we did get our money’s worth with the amount of salad that we both ate, we were both ready to eat again by the time we got home a little while later. Overall experience - The overall experience was definitely better with our first visit than with our second. The service was good with each visit and it does appear that the restaurant has a system in place to ensure meals are gluten-free. However, I wasn’t impressed by the education/knowledge that our second server seemed to have when it comes to gluten and I feel a more thorough staff training/education program would be beneficial. In addition, the number of choices on the g-free menu was quite limited; it would be great to have a few more options available. It was really great to see a gluten-free menu, however it didn’t offer any appetizers or soups or even display prices for that matter. Based on the inconsistency of server education, lack of gluten-free menu prices, and the fact that gluten-free pasta is made-to-order, just like the regular pasta, I still see a large concern for error in meal preparation. I give Olive Garden 3 out of 5 stars.
Visited Bend location and was told that the Gluten Free menu could be cross-contaminated. When I received my dish, they had gluten-based pasta mixed into my GF dish. When I mentioned it to server, he shrugged his shoulders and said we shouldn't eat there in the future if that's an issue.
We've dined here several times with no issues whatsoever. GF menu is pretty limited, but it's good & safe.
I've tried the gluten free pasta with marinara and it was awesome! I was super excited to have great Italian food again... I highly recommend! Ask for the gluten free menu. There are actually quite a few choices!
First experience since diagnosis, gluten free menu was printed on a piece of paper with font that was worn down and barely visible. Options were very limited. First time I went I just ordered the house salad without croutons(supposedly gluten free) and ended up very sick very quickly. Ended up stuck there a second time with some friends so I looked at their new gluten free menu online, I ordered a chicken Caesar salad that was listed as gluten free(without croutons of course) but it came out with no seasonings, toppings, or anything. Just a couple small pieces of chicken and some dry lettuce. Cost me $12-$15 dollars for that. Very disappointed with both of my experiences here, will avoid ever going here again.
I went to The Olive Garden in Winchester, VA and ordered a steak that was made to order. I spoke with the Assistant Manager. I told him I understood why they would have a disclaimer about the gluten free options. I asked him if he could make sure that I had a gluten free meal. His statement was that "he could not go against the disclaimer but that you 'should be alright'". It tasted great. I was violently ill the next day and for subsequent weeks afterwards. I will not be going back to Olive Garden any time soon.
It was awesome to have a nice pasta dish. Rotini Parmesan. Yummy
It seems like Olive Garden is giving up on the Gluten Free crowd. Their choices are dwindling. Last night my husband and I went with friends and were excited to see that they had Omission beer listed on their drink list. We ordered it and waited for our GF menu to be delivered. The waiter brought back our menu and some bad news - even though the beer is printed on their regular menu they no longer carry it. Also, the sloppily printed GF menu (just printed on regular paper which is cut in half - so they can replace it often, I guess) had very little selection. You can now get a GF caesar salad, one type of pasta with marinara or meat sauce or a steak with vegetables. That's it. And the pasta isn't all that good. Then, when they brought our salads out, the chicken was sort of tossed on the side of the plate in a very sloppy manner and it had obviously been overcooked on one side - very chewy. This is the second bad experience we've had recently at an Olive Garden. We'll try to find other places from here on out. At least I didn't get sick, but it's not a great place to go.
2 very good experiences with waiting staff responsive to multiple food allergies. My meal was tasty and excellent, alternatives were suggested by the waiters who checked with the chef on some items to ensure I was not getting into anything that might cause symptoms. Croutons were not put on my salad which happens often in other places despite announcing my sensitivities. Fortunately, I do not have Celiac.
I ordered gluten free pasta primavera. I was surprised to see they improved the gluten free options. It was delicious until I ate a quarter of it and found three pieces of spaghetti in it! Manager apologized and told me that staff is trained in gluten free prep. They are supposed to use separate pots and strainers. Clearly someone messed up and I got sick . They did offer to remake it. Course the nausea had already begun so I said no. Might not happen at all locations but clearly this locations kitchen staff did not understand gluten allergy. After my talk with the manager maybe it will not happen to another but I won't be going back anytime soon.
Anything on the gluten free menu that's cooked on the grill was safe to eat and delicious (I got the salmon with broccoli). Just be careful because although they have gluten free pasta, they don't change the water between gluten free and non-gluten free pasta!!
This is the second time my son and I have gotten sick eating at this restaurant. The first time we assumed it was a fluke and decided to give them another try. What a mistake. We specifically told them we had a gluten allergy and ordered from the gluten free menu options. Half way through eating we each discovered wheat noodles in our gluten free pasta. They had cooked our gluten free noodles in the water they had cooked the wheat noodles in. They offered us a gift card which I declined because I will not set foot in the restaurant a third time. They claim they had procedures in place to cook things separately but obviously they didn't follow those procedures. I would worry about whether they follow other food safety guidelines as well.
I had a good experience with a waitress (Kay or Tay? Can't quite remember) she was extremely helpful! The gluten free menu is limited but at least there is one!
Found regular pasta in my gluten free dish. My son, who is celiac, did ok, but I made him stop eating after a couple bites because of my discovery. He did report a headache for the night.
I ordered the GF Pasta, the waiter asked me if it was an allergy or preference. I told him explicitly that is was a severe allergy with very quick reaction time. He told me he would relay it to the kitchen. When my plate came my GF Pasta was mixed with regular pasta shells. (They only offer 1 type of pasta GF so I know the other types of noodles were not GF). Unfortunately I did not see this until I had eaten part of it. I will not go to Olive Garden anymore. This was too close of a call.
I was highly disappointed in both my service and food. Our waitress did not know there was a difference between "rotini" and "gluten-free rotini," thus resulting in an allergic reaction. I was disappointed with both the number and quality of choices offered for those with a gluten allergy. Very few choices and they were of poor quality.
I gave them 1 start for having a gluten free menu. When we ordered from it, citing allergies, our server rolled her eyes and became very impatient. She served us the regular version of a gluten free menu item, which resulted in a severe reaction. There may be some individuals in the restaurant that are helpful, but it is much more likely you will get a server that doesn't understand or care. Eat gluten free at this Olive Garden with extreme caution. We won't be back.
I just ate here for the first time since I learned I have a gluten allergy. I was half way through eating my food (gluten free rotini with meat sauce) when I found a piece of ziti pasta (that would be the gluten-full type). I would not trust this restaurant. The manager was extremely apologetic and sincerely upset, but I would never trust the cooks. Take caution if you have an allergy.
We went to Olive Garden because they have a gf menu but an order of gf pasta for one of our party of four with celiac came out and tasted good until she discovered a wheat pasta noodle in the dish. Manager and waiter were very apologetic but I would never trust this restaurant agan.
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