First, I learned that the Albany Pump Station has a gluten free menu. We had been there a few years ago for a Jack and Jill shower and they didn't have a lot of offerings - it looks like they've greatly improved, serving burgers and sandwiches on gluten free bread, pasta dishes, etc. I used to love that place when we were dating and I'm excited that we can go back and try it again!
Also, a friend told me that O'Toole's is gluten free friendly. There are two O'Toole's restaurants, in Albany and Queensbury. The Queensbury location has a gluten free menu including burgers, fries (in a dedicated fryer), wings, tenders, fajitas in corn tortillas, pasta dishes, etc. They also have a few different GF beers and hard ciders (including Angry Orchard and McKenzie's hard cherry, two of our favorites!). The Albany location calls out GF items on their app and dinner menus. My friend told me she thinks they have a dedicated fryer but I haven't confirmed yet, so definitely check if you go! I can see my hubby and I stopping by for an after-work drink and nachos one of these days, though!
The same friend also told me she heard Juicy Burgers has gluten free buns - I have not confirmed yet, but that would be awesome! Anyone know for sure?
Also - when I went to Price Chopper yesterday I found out that Price Chopper is making their own store-brand gluten free mixes now. I saw chocolate chip cookie mix (didn't pick it up because the hubby doesn't like chocolate) but the box said they have knockoffs of all the Betty Crocker mixes. I foresee a yellow cake or pancake mix taste test in our future... :-)
Finally - the last thing I learned - and a mini rant.
I received a coupon for a free, spiral Cook's ham with a $100 purchase from Price Chopper. (Awesome!). I usually buy Hatfield ham steaks, so of course the first thing I did was hit up Google to see if Cook's was gluten free. From their FAQ:
The manufacturing objective for all Cook's branded meat products is that they be gluten-free. The fresh meat Cook's uses as it's primary raw material is naturally free of glutens, however, other ingredients are also necessary in the production of all Cook's hams and other processed meat products. Since these outside ingredients and spices represent a potential source for the introduction of gluten, Cook's specifies that these ingredients must be gluten-free. Despite this, Cook's suppliers are able to alter their spice formulations from time to time, without Cook's prior knowledge, yet still comply with federal USDA labeling requirements. Any change in an individual ingredient or its source, however, creates the possibility of gluten being unwittingly introduced. For this reason, Cook's cannot absolutely guarantee the gluten-free status of all our vendor's supplies and, therefore, cannot guarantee that all Cook's products will be 100% free of gluten.
That starts off pretty good - ham is naturally gluten free, and they specify that their ingredients must be gluten free. They then go into a huge CYA statement about how they can't guarantee, because they don't want to get sued by some litigious celiac. Okay, fair enough - eat at your own risk. I posted a question asking if anyone else has eaten their ham and was told they were labelled gluten free!
... Um, what!?
When I went to Price Chopper yesterday I verified that their spiral hams are, indeed, labelled gluten free. What. The. Heck. Misleading much? I'm sorry, but companies should not have the right to label their products gluten free and then turn around and say, "Maybe." Either you label your product gluten free and stand by it, or else you don't. This behavior by Cook's is shady, and makes me worry about the gluten free status of other food I buy - when I see the "gluten free" label I trust that it is, indeed, safe to eat - I don't think, "Hey, maybe I should double check this to make sure some soulless corporation isn't going to try to pass something off on us." This wouldn't piss me off nearly as much if the website had the CYA statement and there was nothing on the package. I really want to find out who to write to about this, to get one of those statements go go away. Any help here?