Most of our glupid moments come from eating out. Our latest glupid moment happened at a new restaurant in town called Zaxby’s. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it originated in the south and has been working it’s way over to the west. People love this place.
I first heard of Zaxby’s from my husband who fell in looooove with it while serving a church mission over in South Carolina. When he found out we were getting one in Utah, he was stoked. He happily shared some of the menu items with me that Zaxby’s offered. When I heard it consisted mainly of fries, wings, and sandwiches, I thought for sure I would not be able to eat there.
My husband was so pumped, he actually started doing some research for me and found that Zaxbys did have an allergy friendly menu. We pulled it up and after my initial look, it appeared that I could have their wings and I was so excited. Man oh man do I LOVE wings.
This is a screen shot of the allergen guide they had on line at the time we went. It has since changed. It seemed a little confusing and it was not very thorough. The current menu actually goes into amazing detail- wish we had it back then! If you click on this link, it will take there. Someone must have put a whole ton of work into the new one because it’s one of the best allergen menus I’ve ever seen. We need more establishments to follow their lead! Way to go Zaxby’s!!
So we went on up to order and I got the Sweet and Spicy chicken wings and fries. The lady at the counter seemed to know to put gluten free on her little register and that was that! She yelled it out to the cooks who also appeared to know what that meant. The wings were amazing. I just died, they were so good! I brought Bri in later that week and, of course, like she always does, she triple & quadruple checked the menu and noticed that the specific sauce I had been ordering was actually NOT gluten free. Sigh. The menu had been a little confusing initially for me, trying to correlate the online gluten free menu with the actual restaurant menu, and I think I felt rushed when I checked on the sauce the first time I ordered it. Plus, the staff knew I was ordering gluten free and didn’t bat an eye when I requested that sauce. It was a huge bummer to find that out cause it was so good. Luckily I didn’t seem to have much of a reaction, I just noticed I had been a little extra tired. After that, we made sure to get the sauces that were specifically on the GF menu.
We went several times throughout the course of a couple weeks (once we have a fetish for a restaurant and can actually eat there we seriously just keep going and going). Well, one night Zaxby’s was ALL Bri wanted. So my mom, Bri, and my sister Ivy, all went there for dinner. She decided to check the website, via her phone, one more time and saw that it mentioned to make sure and check the franchise nearest your location to verify their gluten free options…translation: Apparently not all locations use dedicated fryers. Yup. You guessed it. Our location is one of those. Hence, everything is fried in the SAME fryer. MAJOR cross contamination. Harm and inflammation into our delicate gluten free bodies. I don’t know how we missed this. And yet, our franchise still represented themselves as having gluten free options.
So Bri asked to speak with a manager. The manager came and spoke only to the cashier, not addressing Bri directly, and then he left. When the cashier still could not answer the questions, the manager was called back and then spoke to Bri. (All the while, people were waiting in line behind her). Bottom line: The manager said that although they have sauces and items on their menu that are made without gluten, they do not have a dedicated fryer. Really?
Sometimes we don’t handle situations like these the best. Sometimes we end up letting others order their food while we sit quietly and hold in our tears until the car ride home. (Ahem…Bri) I on the other hand, was devastated to hear about it and couldn’t talk about it until I had time to process. Luckily Bri and I have each other as support when we are ready to be sad together.
I feel, because of how careful we are and how long we have been doing this, things like this shouldn’t happen. But they can still happen even to the most careful and seasoned GF veteran. We have to stay so vigilant. Honestly, the part I hate most is actually tasting the flipping good food and not being able to enjoy it ever again. It’s just something I wish we could have avoided all together.
So to Zaxby’s, my long lost lover, I will forever miss the taste of your wings, cooked to perfection in your wing sauce of fabulousness, but fried in…the evilest of them all: gluten.