Gluten Free Greek Dining In & Around Long Beach, CA

I love gyros and I love Greek food but I haven’t had it in years. Not since I found out I had celiac disease around 8 years ago.

Imagine how happy I was when I found that there is a local dining place for Gyros!

It’s right near Whole Foods on PCH which makes it a lovely place to stop and grab a Gyro meal sans the pita bread when I am buying my Whole Foods GF items.

You would not necessarily know that the restaurant that I am referring to is a Greek food place since it is called, Chicken Dijon.

And when you first enter, you might think that all they have is rotisserie chicken since that is all they have posted on their menu board but they do have 3 menu items that contain gyros. Just look for the gyro placards on the counter by the cash register.

They have a gyro meal with fantastic tasing and completely gluten-free Mediterranean fries and steamed veggies. Or you can get their gryo salad with a completely gluten free dressing. Or you can order their gryo sandwich – order without the pita bread, of course.

Again, just be sure to order any of their gyros choices, including the salad, without the pita bread since not every person who takes your orders even knows that pita bread has wheat in it (no kidding…the kid that waited on me was oblivious).

As an added note, I have read that all of the Rotisseie chicken meals are gluten free as are the sides that include the salad, hummus, baba ganoush, backed potatoes and the delicious Mediterranean fries which are fries sprinkled with olive oil and feta cheese (which must be gluten free since I did not have a reaction).

I just haven’t had a chance to try the chicken items to be sure.

Although this Chicken Dijon is not a fancy restaurant, it does have tables outside on the patio which makes for a nice, low-key dining experience.

Chicken Dijon has many locations around southern California. Go to their website at www.chickendijon.com to find the nearest one to you and enjoy!

Is George’s Greek Cafe Gluten Free?

The website urbanspoon.com lists George’s Greek Cafe in Long Beach and Lakewood to be gluten friendly so I gave the Lakewood location a call.

Interestingly, one of the people in management has just been diagnosed with celiac so I was able to get the inside scoop on this popular Greek restaurant.

Basically, the gyros and the salad dressing contain a minuscule amount of gluten as well as most of the meats and salad options since all of these items include their specialty Greek seasoning.

I loved the honesty of the person I talked to who was good enough to be very clear that their Greek seasoning does contain a tiny amount of gluten at less than 1%. For me, that little bit makes a big difference and the only way I can dine at George’s Greek Cafe is to order everything without any seasoning -what’s the fun in that!

For the sensitives like myself, I can order meats from the menu by asking for meats without the seasoning (don’t try this at the downtown location as they are too busy there). I will also not be able to have a salad there since their only salad dressing also contains the seasoning.

For those not so sensitive, just know that the beef and lamb gyros do contain bread crumbs and the chicken gyros do not. Still, all the gyros do have their Greek seasoning so order with that in mind.

One more thing-if you are planning at dining at any one of the 3 locations of George’s Greek Cafe, you can ask for their list of items on the menu that do contain gluten. They will gladly provide you with this list (or so I am told) so that you can eliminate what you cannot eat and perhaps find something that will not give you a gluten reaction.

As for me, I will stick to the one place I know that I can eat the gyros and salad dressing…..see my post about my favorite local Greek food establishement, Chicken Dijon.

GF Restaurant Guide Covers 50 States

Dining out gluten free just keeps getting easier.  Here’s a book you can order online.

  • Over 5,000 delicious gluten free restaurants
  • 80 gluten free lists from chains like P.F. Chang’s, Panera, and Subway
  • Covers all 50 states in an easy-to-use state-by-state directory
  • Cost: $23.95

    Get it at http://www.triumphdining.com/products/gluten-free-restaurant-guide

    Find Gluten Free Foods & Restaurants on Your Cellphone

    Imagine this. You are out about town or you are cruising around a new town or area of town that you don’t know very well…… and suddenly you have to eat!

    You reach for your blackberry, cell phone or any other web-enabled device, dial up this website at http://www.celiacsociety.com/ and go to their PDA/WPA search page to find a GF restuarant that you can actually eat in your town! (No need for an app or iphone!…yeah!)

    This is awesome. It’s enough to make me want to pay the extra for getting internet access on my cellphone!

    The search has a drop down menu of many chain restaurants and the results show which menu items are gluten free and which are not.

    This is so helpful for those chain places that don’t have a clue when they hear the word ‘gluten.’

    Granted, I still won’t eat at many chains for fear of cross contamination but, if in a pinch….this is definetly a great feature.

    Not only can you search restaurants, you can search while shopping at your local grocery stores. You can search according to a food type, like chocolate. The results show you which brands are okay and which are not.

    You can also search by manufacturer using thier drop down list of some brands. This is a not a huge list but it is helpful. I was surprised to see that they have a very incomplete list of  Trader Joe’s GF foods but it is a volunteer website so this can change.

    And the BEST FEATURE is that you can register free for the site. Once registered, each time you search you can add items to your own personal shopping list that you can print and have with you at all times! Very cool.

    Find out more at their search page…. http://www.celiacsociety.com/howtousesearches.asp

    PLease Note: Most of the results are over a year old. You will find the date of the last update just under the search results.

    Gluten Free Burger King….who would have thunk it!

    Hey LB’ers,

    Burger King announces their gluten ‘sensitive’ food list.

    Quoted from the online, Restuarant News magazine:
    “We understand that our guests have individual dietary needs, and as part of our ‘Have It Your Way’ brand promise, Burger King Corp. offers menu items for individuals with gluten sensitivity,” said Cindy Syracuse, senior director of cultural marketing for Burger King Corp. “With our Gluten-Sensitive list, we’re making it easier for our guests to identify these choices.”  Read more here .

    Find the Burger King Gluten Sensitive list at HERE (opens to a new window. Right click to download or just click to open and view)

    Does this mean we can go to any Long Beach Burger King and order a whopper wrapped in lettuce like they do at the fab In N Out burgers?

    Don’t know.

    Does this mean that the foods listed are gluten free?

    No….only for gluten sensitives. Read the small print at the bottom of the page. (Use the enlarge + to be able to ead the fine print).

    It says, “…not intended for people with severe gluten intolerance,” which is me.

    Also, look for the * in the list. These are the fry foods that are all fried in the same oils that are contaminated. Be sure to enlarge so you can tell an * from the registered sign ® .

    But, at least if I get stranded in a section of town (not that LB is all that big) where I can’t find a El Pollo Loco or Chipotle close by and all I see on the horizon is Burger King, I could give it a try.

    But, I would have to be sure they didn’t cook the burger on the same grill as the buns. There is an email address in the Restuarant News magazine (contact Molly Gise at mgise@nrn.com) if anyone cares to contact them further.

    Eat well and be happy!

    Long Beach Gluten Free Outback…Yeah!

    I was delighted to find out that the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain has a gluten free menu. I have personally eaten several times now at the one by the Lakewood Mall and have very good results (ie. not gluten attacks!).

    So thanks to Outback for being there.

    See you there!
    Honor

    El Pollo Loco Has Gluten Free Options

    Well, made it through this last sickness. Just a cold so that was good. One additional medicine that I found was okay and no reaction is Mucinex.

    On the up side, I decided to eat out today. A good place for take out here in Long Beach, CA is EL POLLO LOCO. I order the chicken dinner without any shells and have found that cole slaw and BBQ black beans are safe for me to eat.

    Their caramel flan is a-okay as well.

    These are all over long beach so, go find one and enjoy a gluten free chicken dinner!

    Oh…and their pollo chicken bowl is all good too….

    No Croutons On My Gluten Free Salad, Please!

    As someone who is VERY gluten sensitive, I have had to figure out the many ways cross contamination can occur in a restuarant.

    For example, it’s always a risk of cross contamination even when ordering a simple dinner or tossed salad.

    First, you have be sure to ask for ”no croutons” on your salad and then, you have to be sure to stress that the cook cannot put them on and then just take them off. 

    I have come to learn so say that that the salad needs to be made fresh with “no contamination” and really make a big deal about it.

    I hate to sound paranoid, but one learns to trust no one when ordering in a restaurant.

    Also, I have learned to avoid all salad dressings except vinegar and oil and only then if the vinegar is balsamic. Anything else will not do since distilled vinegar is known to be a wheat based product.

    If the restaurant does not have oil and vinegar (such as Denny’s) then I ask for lemon wedges and dress my salad with lemon juice.

    Another tip is to take your own dressing with you in a small jar ….if you think of it.  Sometimes I forget and have learned the art of improvising when it comes to eating out.

    More tips are coming…stay tuned here at www.GlutenFreeLongBeach.com!

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