GF Friendly Restaurants, Healthy Living

First Watch: Gluten and Allergen-Friendly Restaurant

7 Comments 08 October 2012

First Watch: Gluten and Allergen-Friendly Restaurant

There’s a new restaurant in town called First Watch. The Husband heard the buzz that they were gluten friendly, so we had to check it out for brunch on Sunday.  First Watch is a breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot that serves pancakes, omelets, salads, and sandwiches.  At first I thought that it would be a typical greasy diner that offered gluten-free substitutions like Udi’s bread. Not so. All menu items are freshly made to order, and they don’t have microwaves, heat lamps, or deep fryers.

This is not a greasy food joint.  There are plenty of healthy food options.

So how was the gluten-free experience? It was fantastic! When I asked if they had a gluten-free menu, our waitress, Janette, said that she’d bring it right away. She also explained that she had Celiac and that she would be happy to help me if I had questions about the menu.

The gluten-free menu was extensive. They do not have gluten-free breads, muffins, or pancakes. That would be ideal. But they do allow you bring in your own bread. You could order one of their sandwiches without the bread and make your own sandwich at the table.  It’s nice to have permission to do what I typically do under the table!

Janette was also aware enough to explain that since the printing of the menu, they have learned that some of the salad dressings are not truly gluten-free. While the ingredients are gluten free, some of the products have cross-contamination issues at the factory, so she said that she would help me steer clear of those. What a great waitress! (They are in the process of updating their gluten-free menu.)

On the back of the gluten-free menu, there is also a chart that lists common allergens in their menu items, which is very helpful for those who have multiple food allergies.

And if those two resources aren’t enough to help you navigate safely through the menu, the bottom of the gluten-free menu has a list of items to avoid if you’re gluten-free and the reasons why.

Now that’s attention to detail.

I ordered the Tri-Athlete.  I couldn’t resist the name. Even though I’ve only done one triathlon, I’m still a triathlete, right? But I was also looking for something really healthy. This egg-white omelet was listed under the The Healthier Side, and served without the English Muffin made it gluten free.

After I ordered The Tri-Athlete gluten free, Janette asked me a question that I’ve never heard before in a restaurant.  “Do you have an allergy or are you gluten free by choice?” What a great question! This is a restaurant that takes allergies seriously.

The omelet was delicious.  And our waitress put me at such ease that I had absolutely no concerns about the safety of my meal. In fact, she explained that the staff would change their gloves before preparing my meal.

Served with a side of fruit, this egg white and veggie omelet was the healthy brunch that I was looking for.

We had a lovely, stress-free experience. The food was really good. And the service was top notch.

And just when I thought the experience couldn’t get any better, we got the bill.  The total was extremely reasonable (where else can you get a healthy brunch for two for $20?) but the top of our slip looked like this.

Not only did the waitress write “Gluten Allergy” at the top, but she wrote it in a red pen and then circled my order in red.  Just one more safety precaution.

The Brentwood location is reported to be the first of three to five additional locations to open in the Nashville area. I look forward to having more First Watch locations. Gluten-free or not, this is just good food.

The Gluten-Free Cat gives First Watch two paws up!

210 Franklin Road
Brentwood, TN 37027

Readers, dish!

  • Have you ever eaten at First Watch?
  • What are your favorite gluten-free brunch places?
  • What do you order when eating brunch gluten free?

Your Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. I’m glad you checked it out. I’ve been wondering but hadn’t gotten there yet. Thanks!

  2. Debi says:

    I love First Watch! We have a few in town and I was thrilled the first time I went and learned they had a gf menu. I was also thrilled that they were able to make the daily special for me gf. When Andrea and her son came through town on their way to NC, I took them there for breakfast before they were on their way. It was a thrill to be in there and to be able to tell the server “We’re all gluten-free and dairy-free.” LOL

    Chaz doesn’t like it as much as I do, but it reminds me of a place in Louisville called Wild Eggs. We LOVED going to that place. I never tried to go after going gf before we moved. Everything there was fresh and from scratch. Even the OJ was fresh squeezed. 😀

    • Heather says:

      I didn’t realize that it was a chain until after I went. Isn’t it great to have a go to place to take your gf friends? We have great dinner and lunch options, but our breakfast options plummeted when our local gf bakeries shut down this year. :(

  3. Peggy says:

    Oh Heather, I’m so glad to read this. We have this restaurant where I live and I had assumed they would be awful because it is a breakfast place. But I guess I was wrong. Thanks for checking it out.

  4. Janice says:

    Just went here today after researching for my niece who also has celiac. They no longer offer the gluten free menu and our server was clueless as to what no wheat meant. He offered her French toast because it was made of sourdough bread. Ugh! Very disappointed.

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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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