While I love making scrambled eggs on a Saturday morning or enjoying David’s GF banana chocolate chip pancakes, sometimes you just want to get out of your PJs and go out to brunch. A mimosa in your own house just doesn’t seem as fun, right? Finding a brunch place that is willing to accommodate gluten-free diners, and also be careful about contamination, is tricky. Usually brunch preparation involves one griddle used to cook all breakfast items. So even if the eggs are technically gluten-free, you want to be extra careful to tell your waiter that the pan, utensils, etc. need to be clean. I’ve been to restaurants for brunch that told me they can’t accommodate me and I’m ok with that. I’d rather a restaurant be honest than pretend that everything’s going to be fine and it’s not. Also, go with your gut (ha!) on whether or not to trust the place. If you feel like your waiter isn’t giving you the proper attention you deserve, just say “no.” You don’t have to order anything, nor should you feel compelled to eat it once it’s served, if something doesn’t seem right about the dish that’s been put in front of you. Yes, it’s totally awkward, but better than getting sick.
On a similar note, it’s always a good idea to bring a ‘back up plan’ with you if you’re going out for brunch. Keep a Lara Bar in your purse or a yogurt & granola, just in case there’s nothing on the menu for you or they can’t promise you a gluten-free meal. It’s never any fun to watch the people around you eat a yummy, greasy, brunch when you’ve got nothing to munch on. When I go out for brunch, even at a place I know will be safe, I’ll bring my own gf muffin to enjoy with my meal. I keep a bunch of muffins in the freezer to pull out for occasions such as a brunch outing. I love baked goods for breakfast and don’t want to envy other people’s plates.
Fortunately, I’ve discovered a few places in Atlanta that have been great brunch spots for me this year. Now when a friend asks if we want to go out to brunch on Sunday, I can confidently say, “Yes, let me suggest a place.” One of those places is the Flying Biscuit. Just hearing the name of this brunch spot made me nervous about going here. The only reason I went to Flying Biscuit was because we were meeting friends of friends and I didn’t want to be picky upon our first meeting. I brought my own food with me, thinking that I would be limited in my food options on that busy Sunday morning. When I mentioned gluten-free to the hostess, she replied, “Oh, I’ll make sure that our server who has celiac will wait on your table.” Wow. That was unexpected news. It’s always a relief to learn that my server knows what celiac is, but it’s a rare blessing when your waiter actually has celiac. Our server was not nearly as excited as I was about her celiac diagnosis, in fact she was pretty unhappy about it. But, she was great about telling me my options and understanding contamination. She told me that they would make sure they used clean utensils and a ‘safe’ part of the griddle.
Not only did I have a knowledgeable waiter and a willing kitchen staff, but there were also a variety of options available to me on the menu. I enjoyed the special, which was an egg scramble with grilled chicken, sautéed vegetables and cheddar cheese. Both the oven-roasted “mood dusted” potatoes and creamy dreamy grits are gluten-free and since I couldn’t have the biscuit, I got both of these sides. I love any type of hash browns so I was thrilled I could have them in addition to my egg scramble. Most of the egg dishes are GF so you do have a variety of brunch options.
I really enjoyed my brunch at Flying Biscuit and liked the atmosphere at their very busy Buckhead location. A word of warning though; be prepared to wait for awhile (like 30 minutes to an hour!) for a table. This place is bumping and crowded, but worth the wait. The Flying Biscuit is a franchise, so I don’t know if the other locations are gluten-free savvy, but it’s worth paying them a visit. My experience here was a perfect reminder of why it’s good for us celiacs to venture out into the dining world and explore our culinary options. We just might be pleasantly surprised!
Stay tuned for more of my favorite Atlanta brunch spots…