I’ve always turned up my nose at the Rainforest Cafe. Eating mediocre food among timed thunderstorms, bellowing elephants and mechanized apes beating their chests, all with the smell of chlorine wafting from the waterfall? I’d take my eats elsewhere.
However, I am now a big fan, albeit in limited doses.
That’s because Rainforest Cafe is super-accommodating for a gluten-free diet, making it a great destination for gluten-free kids.
Although Rainforest Cafe doesn’t have a specific GF menu, a manager comes to your table to discuss the gluten-free or allergy-free options. While they do not stock specifically gluten-free foods (so no GF pasta or GF pizza), they will make every effort to modify their menu items to make them safe for diners. They’ll even cook special orders not on the menu.
Last night, since our kitchen cabinets were still wet with paint, we headed to the Rainforest Cafe in the dreaded tacky tourist zone in downtown Chicago. Wednesdays are family nights — meals from the kids menu are $1.99 with purchase of an accompanying adult entrée.
Initially, I planned to order the quarter rotisserie chicken for the 5-year-old, thinking it would be gluten-free. But the manager was unsure of the spices used, so they grilled a chicken breast for her instead. I thought it was bland, but the 5-year-old ate it up.
Their fries are made in a dedicated fryer (one that’s not used for breaded items like onion rings or chicken tenders, which would be unsafe for celiacs). Unless you’re a gluten-free kid, you don’t know the joy of finding fries that are gluten-free.
A specially prepared gluten-free entrée, with fries, for $1.99. That’s something to bellow about.