**Susan's note: This post is a little outdated now. The last time we went to Red Robin (early 2014), the ranch dressing recipe has changed and now it is gluten free! :)
Last Friday, we took the kids to Red Robin. We lined up the three "celiacs" on one side of the table: myself, our 13-year-old daughter, and our 17-year-old son. My husband and our 10-year-old were lined up on the other side.
We loved the gluten-free hamburger buns and my Avocado Burger was delicious. We felt so NORMAL! No lettuce wrap...and no fork and knife to eat a hamburger without the bun.
We got our gluten-free French fries and the waitress brought out ranch dressing for us to dip our fries in, which is something that I love. I have a recipe in my cookbook for ranch dressing and we consume some nearly every day. After the first dip, I loved the ranch dressing so much that I started to worry. Could it have wheat? Another dip, and another. Hmm. I started to think about how 99% of the time that I have checked on ranch, it is gluten-free. One more dip. Uneasy feelings. I decided I had better ask the waitress.
She came back and said that she had learned from her manager that gluten is wheat and that she was very sorry but the ranch has wheat!! I don't fault her, since many people are still learning what a gluten-free diet is all about.
About ten minutes after I ate the French fries with ranch dressing, I got a sharp stabbing pain in my upper stomach. Every ten or twenty minutes after that, the pains kept coming and changing position. I went to bed feeling a little miserable. I was awakened at 5:45 a.m. feeling a lot miserable. There was a horizontal line of searing pain across my gut. It felt like it was on fire. I could picture little villi in my small intestine getting flattened. All from about one tablespoon of gluten-laden ranch dressing. We can never be too careful.
Learn from my mistake, but do go ahead and enjoy an awesome gluten-free hamburger from Red Robin.