Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Watch alters gluten-free menu, and not for the better

A couple of months ago, I was quite pleased by the arrival of the First Watch restaurant chain to the Jacksonville area because it was the first breakfast place I had seen with a gluten-free menu. I've visited often since they opened their first local restaurant in Jacksonville Beach.
But this morning, I discovered they've altered the gluten-free menu, and not for the better.
Instead of listing all the menu items that are gluten-free, First Watch today provided me with a list of allergens. I don't know about the rest of you, but I find it tiresome to look at those allergen lists and try to pick out gluten-free items.
And not only that, but basically everything on the menu was listed as having wheat in it! Now on the previous gluten-free menu, there were a number of omelet options that it said were gluten-free, as long as you left out the english muffin that accompanied the entree.
I have to believe the omelets themselves are gluten-free, and the only reason that wheat was listed as an ingredient was because of the english muffin. I asked the waitress and she wasn't sure, so she asked the cooks and apparently they didn't know either. Since I was already there, I decided to just go ahead and order an omelet, figuring it should still be gluten-free.
But I don't know what I would have thought if I hadn't been to First Watch before and was handed that allergen list. And I don't know if I'm going to rush back there after that.
All I'm saying here is, I found this to be another disappointment in our gluten-free world.

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