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April 8th, 2010

Applebee's LogoTraveling to visit family over the Easter Holiday we stopped to eat a late lunch at Applebee’s. They did not have a gluten-free menu, but they were very willing to accommodate my dietary needs. I have found that eating a late lunch is the best time to try out a new restaurant, because they aren’t as busy.

Our waiter Josh was awesome and worked with the manager to find out what I could not eat. I was told that the seasoning used in the red mashed potatoes makes them out of the question, as well as the mixed vegetables. Most chicken and steaks are safe, but you need to request for them to clean the grill to avoid cross contamination. Some of the chicken and steak are marinated and must be avoided by those of us sensitive to gluten. French fries are also out of the question because they do not have a dedicated fryer.

What I ended up having to eat was a 7 oz. sirloin with fresh steamed broccoli and a baked potato with butter and sour cream. I couldn’t have the mixed vegetables since they arrive prepackaged with the seasoning, so the staff made me fresh broccoli instead. You could also opt for a side salad without croutons.

Unfortunately my first plate had to be returned because the kitchen staff put the mixed vegetables on it and the juices ran all over potentially contaminating the steak. They were very nice about making me another. I felt horrible having to send it back, but I didn’t want to risk even a small exposure to gluten because I still had 300 miles left to travel in the car.

Applebee’s is not brave enough to guarantee certain items being gluten-free, but it is possible to still eat there. You just have to ask a lot of questions and educate the wait staff. The service at the Applebee’s we went to was great! They were very accommodating and earned a 30% tip from us for going above and beyond our expectations.

Below is the contact information for the Applebee’s we visited:


5561 Westchester Woods Blvd

Hilliard, OH 43026

(614) 527-9670

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  1. April 8th, 2010 at 17:15 | #1

    I have never even tried to eat GF at Applebee’s b/c I have heard that they are so unfriendly regarding GF food. I am glad that you had a good meal there, despite having to send back your 1st plate.

    Coincidentally, that Applebee’s is only about 25 min from where I live. 🙂

  2. April 9th, 2010 at 10:12 | #2

    Thanks Kim for the comment. Most restaurants are probably not very accommodating to gluten sensitives on a Friday night dinner rush, which maybe where the bad experiences are coming from. The staff was extremely friendly at this Applebee’s. And I didn’t get sick from the food which is always good!

  3. Adrianne Drew
    January 27th, 2017 at 23:32 | #3

    I am wondering if you have to tell them to do the brocolli special? I had 6 oz sirloin, fire roasted vegetables and broccoli and I am hurting bad. I assumed I did good but now I am trying to figure out where I went wrong. I did tell my waitress I needed gluten free.

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