GF Friendly Restaurants

Gluten-Free Bread at Mad Donna’s

8 Comments 18 June 2011

Gluten-Free Bread at Mad Donna’s

Mad Donna’s has been on my list of restaurants to try for a while now, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to head out to East Nashville to give it a try.  I’d heard that Mad Donna’s used gluten-free bread from Aunt April’s Bakery, so I was really excited to check it out.

I was glad we tried Mad Donna’s late on a weeknight, because the place wasn’t busy, and I could ask the waiter as many questions as I needed.  When I called, I learned that they don’t have a gluten-free menu, but they assured me that they could make almost anything on the regular menu gluten-free.  But when we arrived, I found out that my options were far more limited than I was lead to believe.  Yes, I was disappointed, but I knew that I’d be satisfied with anything that they could make safely with April’s bread.

We ordered the chips and salsa as an appetizer.  I was a little apprehensive as the chips are made in-house, and they do not have a dedicated fryer.  Apparently, I was living on the edge that night.  I did try them, but I did not get sick.

I was impressed with the garden salad that I ordered.  Most side salads on a bar restaurant menu consist of limp lettuce and shredded carrots.  But this salad actually had vegetables, specifically green peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and drizzled with their cilantro-lime vinaigrette it was incredible.

It’s always a special treat to be able to order a sandwich when you are gluten intolerant, and I was not going to pass up a chance to enjoy April’s bread.  So I ordered the Turkey Melt complete with applewood bacon, artichoke dip, and swiss cheese.

Wow!  April’s gluten-free bread can stand alone, but the combination of the decadent sandwich fillings was so delicious – not so low in fat, but delicious nonetheless!

The Husband ordered the B.A.S. Burger (bacon, avocado, and swiss) on gluten-free bread so I could try it.  Even though he’s not gluten intolerant, he loves April’s bread.  (And I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a burger topped with avocado and cheese).  He also got the sweet potato fries, which were just as good as they look in the picture below.  Again, the fries are not made in a dedicated fryer, but I didn’t seem to have any trouble.

There are certain restaurants like Wild Cow, FiddleCakes, and A Matter of Taste whose extensive gluten-free offerings are worth making the trip for.  I’m glad I tried Mad Donna’s, because I really did enjoy my meal, but I’m not sure I will head to East Nashville just to eat there again.  There isn’t enough variety for this gluten-free diner.  However, I give them props for having gluten-free bread, and AMAZING homemade gluten-free bread at that, and really good food.  If you find yourself in the area, pop in for a burger or sandwich and let me know what you think.

Question:  Are you able to eat fries or chips that aren’t cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer?

Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Linda Scherrer says:

    Great review, Heather! I’ve not heard of April’s bread, but it looks delicious. Though not gluten-intolerant, I have to watch my wheat intake and particularly my yeast intake.
    To answer your question, I don’t eat anything fried unless they have a fryer dedicated only to shellfish and fish. If anything gets fried in fishy-oil, I’m off to the hospital. I’m as big an interrogator at restaurants as you! :-)

  2. Those sandwiches look great! I’ve learned to skip anything made in a non-dedicated fryer. In the early days, I’d eat such items, but over time I’ve gotten more sensitive and I’ve learned that those items will give me a reaction, even if it’s delayed. I about want to jump for joy when I’m told there’s a dedicated fryer! We have a local seafood restaurant that uses dedicated fryers for everything because the taste is better. That works wonderfully for those of us with food intolerances. I’ve been able to eat homemade potato chips and fried green tomatoes there (they use egg and cornmeal for batter) and have been in heaven!


    • Heather says:

      It’s a rare occasion that I eat fried anything. I’ve just been surprised lately that I’ve taken some chances with cross contamination possibilities in a shared frier and haven’t felt the effects. How delightful that you’ve found a restaurant with a dedicated fryer though.

      Do you know, I’ve never tried Fried Green Tomatoes?

      • Same here on fried stuff, Heather. Just be cautious. While most of us report becoming more sensitive over time, others (like Linda at Gluten-Free Homemaker) report that they have become less sensitive and aren’t immediately certain when they’ve been glutened. I hadn’t had fried green tomatoes until about 2 years ago because I’m not a big raw tomato fan, but OMG, they are absolutely delicious. Try some gluten-free ones! :-)

  3. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for your blog! As a newly gluten-free eater, I’ve been trying to find places to eat out where I can get more than a burger without a bun! I tried A Matter of Taste for lunch yesterday and it was fantastic! I even came home with a loaf of their GF bread. Tonight, we were going to a show in East Nashville so thought I’d try the sandwiches at Mad Donna’s since they look so good in your pictures. Our server wasn’t very knowledgeable about GF (typical) but didn’t seem overly eager to help out, either. I asked if the soup of the day was GF and she said she’d check – then came back to take our order and didn’t say anything about the soup! So, I asked again and she said, “oh, it’s not”. So, I just ordered a sandwich on the GF bread and side salad. The salad was great (though it came out with croutons the first time!) but while I was enjoying it the manager came out to tell me that they were out of GF bread:( So, I ended up with a burger without a bun after all. It was comped, so that was nice of them, and my husband and brother enjoyed their food. However, I won’t be in a big hurry to go back. We’re going to try the Pfunky Griddle tomorrow! Thanks again for your blog!!

    • Heather says:

      Oh, Jeanne, that’s horrible!! I’ve had similar experiences at even my favorite restaurants. If the waitstaff isn’t educated it can be a wild ride. And I’m so sorry they were out of gf bread! So frustrating, especially when you do the research ahead of time and look forward to a normal meal!

      It all gets easier. Good luck in your new diet, and let me know if you ever have questions. So glad you stopped by GFC!

    • Heather says:

      Oh, and you will LOVE Pfunky Griddle! We just returned last month, and they have even added dedicated gluten-free griddles now. I feel so comfortable eating there!

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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