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Nashville Sports Bar Has Gluten-Free Options

3 Comments 23 November 2012

Nashville Sports Bar Has Gluten-Free Options

Has this ever happened to you? Big game on tv, sports bar selected, you show up ready to cheer on your team, and there’s nothing you can eat. Well, you can usually find a dry bed of lettuce and a glass of water, but what’s the fun in that? You sit there half-heartedly cheering, starving, and longing for the days when you could order pizza, wings, and a pint of beer without a care in the world. That was all before you found out that you couldn’t eat gluten. Sports bars are one of the hardest places to eat gluten free. That’s why Sam’s Sports Grill in Nashville caught my attention.

Imagine my excitement when I found this gluten-free menu online and saw that it wasn’t just a list of salads! Sam’s Sports Grill has a gluten-free menu with appetizers, pizzas, burgers, chicken, and salads that are all made without gluten-containing ingredients.

Located in Hillsboro Village in the heart Titan’s country and blocks from Vandy, Sam’s is a popular place to hang out with friends and watch a game.

How many times have you been to a sports bar only to find that the only drink option is beer?

Sam’s serves Angry Orchard gluten-free cider.  My absolute favorite cider to date.

Sam’s has four different starters that are gluten free.  Baby Back Ribs, two different kinds of Nachos, and Spicy Chorizo Queso Dip will start your game off with a bang. We ordered the Nachos Grande with certified gluten-free tortilla chips piled high with chili, melted queso, tomatoes, onions, fresh jalapenos, and sour cream. I can’t tell you the last time I indulged in such decadence!

But the real reason I was there was to sample the gluten-free pizza.  Yes, gluten-free pizza at a sport’s bar!

Sam’s makes gluten-free pizza with French Meadow Bakery gluten-free crust. The crust comes in an aluminum tin to avoid cross contamination. I appreciated that Sam’s served the pizza in the tin so I knew that the pizza hadn’t been on any other surface that might contain gluten.

That did mean that the pizza was less than crisp, but this a small price to pay for delicious pizza and safe serving procedures.

On a Sunday afternoon, the bar was a buzz with football fans, but the waitstaff was very attentive and willing to answer questions about the gluten-free menu.

They did make one thing extremely clear. Their gluten-free menu is a menu of items without gluten ingredients. They state “In general, if you are highly allergic to gluten, we only offer a gluten-free menu as a healthy option.”

That statement almost prevented me from eating at Sam’s. Their gluten-free menu items are made in the same kitchen where flour abounds from sandwiches, burger buns, and pizza. I was very hesitant to risk getting sick just to review a restaurant for this blog. But then I realized that so many restaurants with gluten-free menus are in the exact same position. They want to provide gluten-free options, but they do not have the space to dedicate to gluten-free preparation. The difference is that Sam’s was honest with me. And they left the decision up to me.

Sam’s says that they make sure that when preparing gluten-free menu items the preparation surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. Their kitchen managers have all taken safe serve classes, and in weekly meetings they stress the importance with their staff about properly handling gluten-free orders.

Does that make you feel more comfortable? Or less? I decided that I was willing to take the risk, and thankfully I did not get sick. The food was delicious, I had a great time, and I’m glad to say that there’s one more place where Nashville can go to enjoy gluten-free food.

But it’s also a reminder that eating out gluten-free is the sole responsibility of the diner. You have the choice of whether or not to eat at a restaurant. Your health is your own responsibility. For more information about dining out gluten free, check out my series in 10 Days of Gluten Free created by Linda of The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried Sam’s gluten-free menu?
  • Have you found a sports bar that offers gluten-free menu items?
  • How do you feel about ordering off a gluten-free menu in a non-gluten-free kitchen?
  • What questions do you ask before ordering off a gluten-free menu?
***(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Sam’s Sports Grill. I did receive a complimentary meal to review. I do not give positive reviews just because a meal was free but will always give my honest opinion.)
Sam’s Sports Grill
1803 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 383-3601

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. I think we take that risk every time we eat at a restaurant that also serves food with gluten. I also find it unnerving when they express their hesitation but I think it shows they’re paying attention. I tend to ask to speak with the manager before ordering in a new restaurant and it often seems to make a difference.

  2. That’s an outstanding gluten free menu for a sports bar. Wow, how encouraging that things are starting to change.


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  1. EO Nashville Members in the News: Nashville Post Tech 25, Andy Bailey, Charles Robert Bone, Phyllis Shelton, John Kepley, David Waddell, James Fields, Dan Hogan and Sam Sanchez « EO Nashville - 30. Nov, 2012

    [...] recently featured in the Gluten-Free Cat for its new gluten-free menu. You can read the full story here. Like this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, friend, fitness fanatic, foodie, high raw vegan, child of the King, and Mama Cat. 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. And now I have another challenge ahead...I'm moving to New York City! I look forward to Living Raw Vegan in the City and sharing my experience with you.

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