For those of us who have Celiac Disease, eating out can really be a hassle. From menu, to servers, to chefs, there are so many things to consider.
Recently, an Aubree's Pizzeria and Grill opened up near us. Aubree's is a Michigan restaurant chain with locations in Howell, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Marquette, Northville and South Lyon. It's basically a nice sports bar, akin to Applebee's. I originally went to their Northville location a year or so ago. But recently someone from the Tri-County Celiac Support Group told me they had been "glutened" after eating at Detroit area location.
While I had talked to staff over the phone at the new Grand Blanc location previously, my husband and I decided to go there in person and attempt to eat there. We chose to go to an early dinner, about 5:15 pm, so that we would be going during a slower period and hopefully we would be able to talk to a manager or chef.
And I''m SO glad that we went! We had such a great dinner and wonderful service.
We had near perfect timing. I informed the hostess and our server about my gluten free needs. The server seemed a bit unsure, and sent the manager directly to our table, even without me asking. Ryan, the manager, was the most helpful manager I think I've ever talked to! He was thorough with what they could safely do, and even went as far as suggesting a less spicy topping to the pasta dish I was ordering, the Pasta Gone Bayou.
Their menu items are marked with a green "GF" logo if they are "gluten free friendly." Be warned, this does not necessarily mean they are free from cross-contact with other gluten containing foods. It was only through the resourcefulness of Ryan that we learned that their regular brussel sprout side, labeled GF, was actually deep fried with their chicken. The same is true of all their GF fried items, such as their fries. Ryan personally made sure that our brussel sprouts were sauteed and even made sure the bacon was on the side, as my husband has an intolerance to pork.
This location offers gluten free pasta that is to be cooked in clean fresh water, gluten free buns that are toasted in their own specific pan through the pizza oven, and gluten free pizza crusts. The crusts are baked on clean oven pans, and gluten free pizzas being prepped are done so on a specific plastic cutting board, and the staff is told they must change their gloves. **Caution- There IS free floating flour in the facility as they make their regular pizza crusts from scratch and do not have dedicated topping containers. In my opinion, this is the strongest possibility for cross-contact. There is a an upcharge for the gluten free pizza crust ($2) and the bun ($1.15), but it is marked on the menu. I did not appear to get charged extra for my gluten free pasta, and there is no upcharge marked on the menu.
They also have a flourless chocolate cake that is prepared off site, so they simply take a piece out of the fridge/freezer and onto a clean plate when you order it. They serve RedBridge beer and Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Added bonus- they serve Faygo in glass bottles!
They have many sides that are marked with their green GF icon, but again, beware of fried items as they are made in a shared fryer. They have mashed caulifower and roasted red skin potatoes as a healthy side option as well.
I'm so appreciative that our server Jeremy sent the manager our way when he wasn't sure of something, just to make sure that we were safe. I feel comfortable going back again, and possibly even inviting our Celiac support group. They have a great large room to accommodate groups. I was told the best time to go is when they are slowest, between 2-4 pm. The head kitchen manager is there during that time and he can pay specific attention to what you are ordering.
All in all, I give it a 4 out of 5, simply because the menu doesn't state that the brussel sprouts are fried, and does not specify that their gf fried items are made in a shared fryer.