Monday, September 15, 2008

WORD OF CAUTION - Lucky 32 in Cary

I have received some emails about Lucky 32 in Cary offering a Gluten Free menu option. I had been to the location in Raleigh a few years ago before it closed and always liked the food so I decided to do a little digging.

The following is a warning about what I found out about Lucky 32's menu as well as information given to me by their Executive Chef, Jay Pierce.

If you have been to this restaurant in the past, you may have noticed something interesting about their menu. See the following webpage for yourself. Beside some of the menu choices are little GF logos. Somebody like myself automatically assumed that meant Gluten Free, right? WRONG. If you look down at the fine print you will see the following.
GF - Say "Guilt Free" and we'll modify the receipe to reduce sodium and fat. For other special dietary needs, please inform your server.

YIKES - as you can see from this, GF is not Gluten Free at Lucky 32. Once I saw this I contacted Jay to inquire further. I would hate for any people trying to order Gluten Free to be misled. Jay's prompt response is below...
From: Jay Pierce
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 10:13 PM
Subject: RE: Gluten Free Question
To: GlutenFree Raleigh

Thank you so much for your email. We do train our staff to offer gluten-free options on menus, because we do have recipes on hand for everything that is made in house, and most things are. We will not call anything gluten free that contains wheat, soy sauce or mustard, which I learned from a celiac-centric web site causes problems for some folks but not all.
As for our GF designation, I will definitely run your suggestion up the ladder. I do know that the symbol you are referring to is a registered trademark that we have been using for quite a few years to designate items lower in sodium and fat.

Once again, thanks for your observations, and feel free to asks questions about menu items of our good folks there in Cary when dining in, or email me when planning a trip there; I’d love to help out.

Jay Pierce
Executive Chef
Lucky 32
1421 Westover Terrace
Greensboro, NC 27408
p: 336-370-0707
f: 336-574-0037

So there you have it. As I always recommend, proceed with caution at ANY restaurant, even the ones that have GF all over their menu.


Anonymous said...

I just returned from a less-than-desirable lunch experience at Lucky 32. I do not eat gluten, and my colleague cannot eat dairy, so we make for an interesting pair of customers. Nevertheless, we explained our needs to the server and he just didn't get it. I had to stop my server and define "gluten free" after he kept correcting me, insisting that I must mean "guilt free" ... And honestly, it really seemed like he didn't want to take the time to bother.

We asked him if he could check with the chef. When he returned, he informed us that there were no gluten free options, but that the "star pasta" should be edible. I declined for obvious reasons ;) So I gambled and ordered the grilled salmon salad, hold the dressing and crackers. Wouldn't you know ... the plate comes out with dressing and crackers. Argh!

Unless you have no other options, I would not recommend Lucky 32 if you are gluten intolerant. I used to love this place before going GP, as they support local farmers and produce a changing seasonal menu w/locally-sourced ingredients. It's really unfortunate, too, as their food was generally yummy.

And my colleague? She was reassured that her pasta had no cheese in it. When she poked about it and inquired again with our server, he checked in the kitchen. One chef said yes, one chef said no. Good grief, Charlie Brown. Better luck elsewhere...

Zach said...

Anonymous, Please email Jay Pierce with your feedback. He will respond and get the issue corrected! -Zach

The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

I am wondering if it's just my eyes, but I am unable to read the blue font on black in this post.

Thanks for the wonderful service that you provide for all of us gluten-free in Raleigh!

Zach said...

sorry about the blue.... the blog used to have a different background and there are some older posts still with the blue.

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