New Red Robin Allergy Friendly Interactive Menu

*The Red Robin information and gift cards have been provided by Red Robin.  I was sent a gift card to Red Robin to try out their new Interactive Allergen Friendly Menu Builder portion of their website.  I jumped at the chance because Red Robin was one of the first restaurants that I let my food allergic son eat out at because the staff and management ALWAYS went out of their way to ensure his safety.  With the creation and launch of this new meal planning feature, making allergen free dining even easier and safer, I wanted to share my experience with you all.  All opinions are mine.Whiskey River BBQ wrap at Red Robin.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredI LOVE Red Robin.  And always have.  From their high octane cocktails that I discovered in college (Sand in Your Shorts was always my go-to but I probably haven’t had that in about 10 years!) to their fries (I’m obsessed with their fries!) and on to my current favorite the Whiskey River BBQ wrap, I could eat at Red Robin daily.  But I don’t.  We really don’t eat out all that much.  I prefer to save money and make dinner at home.  But it wasn’t always like that.  I pretty much unconsciously set out to NOT learn how to cook from my mom growing up.  So when I got married, and even after I had my first child, I was getting some homemade meals on the table but they were NOT nutritious, particularly tasty or frequent.  All of that changed when I found out my son had tons of food allergies at one year old.  He had had continual, severe eczema for 6 months and I was desperate to get to the root of the problem.  I will never forget one Monday night, however, when the phone rang and it was his doctor.  After months of trying crazy harsh creams and steroids, we finally did a blood test to see if it was food allergies.  It was after 5 pm when the call came and she said, “He’s allergic to milk, eggs, soy, peanut, probably shellfish and other tree nuts.  You can give him Rice Milk.  They sell it at Whole Foods.”  And with that, I was left to navigate his food allergies on my own.  We changed pediatricians and I got to work trying to figure out what would be safe to feed him.  I did my research online and in books and by wandering Sprouts and Whole Foods.  I immediately had teach myself to cook and made pretty much all of his food.  I didn’t feel confidant with reading labels to know if I was going to give him something that would harm him.  And I certainly didn’t feel comfortable taking him out to restaurants and having to rely on someone else’s knowledge, or lack thereof, of food allergies to keep him safe.

Red Robin has a new allergen free meal builder to create your perfect, and safe meal.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredI brought all of his food with me wherever we went.  If he did come to a restaurant with us I carefully wiped down the table and made sure he wasn’t sitting by anyone that had one of the food’s he couldn’t have.  But finally, when he was about 4, I decided that if I wanted to give him more of a normal childhood experience in terms of dining out, that I should take the next step of trying to navigate restaurant menus.  One of the first places I went was Red Robin.  I did some research on line and felt that there was at least some conversation about allergies on their site.  I called a manager and inquired about food allergies and decided to try it out.  Even back then they handled food allergies with ease.  And it was a place he could eat where I felt he was safe with fries no less!  So when I got an email asking if I would like to check out the new Red Robin allergy friendly interactive menu builder, I jumped at the chance.  A few Saturdays ago, the family and I headed to Red Robin for lunch.

Dining out with food allergies.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredWhile it is possible to pull up the website on your own phone (and of course from your home computer), the manager at our Red Robin location brought us out an iPad to view the menu builder on.  Of course my son had to try it out first.  I think he really just wanted to see if they had Minecraft on the iPad.  Red Robin trains all team members on how to deal with dietary restrictions and modifications to their menus.  The use special allergy alerts in different type so it is clear on every order.  The alert notifies the kitchen that a special allergen kit is required for the order.  The kit includes tools that are to be used on allergen orders only and are purple to clearly distinguish them from other kitchen tools.  Awesome!

New allergen meal builder app at Red Robin!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredThe menu builder is super easy to use.  It is broken down by food type and is pretty dang comprehensive.  While it is cool that you can utilize this feature at the restaurant, I do love that it is on their site all the time so you can take your time in figuring out what might be safe for your own allergy needs.  Their menu is large and it was awesome to see just how much stuff my son could eat off the full menu.

New allergen free menu builder app at Red Robin.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com  #sponsoredAll you have to do is check the boxes of the food you are allergic to and it takes the menu items where those items would be found, off the menu.  What you are left with are all the safe items you can eat or items, that with few modifications, fit your needs.  We were easily able to look at the kids menu and see what was safe for my son.  And when he wanted ranch dressing, we could check that out too. (While he was first diagnosed with tons of food allergies, we have grown out of several and he is able to eat so many new things, like ranch dressing).  I also checked my meal since I knew that he would be asking for a bite.  There were not any sweets items that he could eat and while that is a bummer, it is not that uncommon.  And totally wouldn’t be a reason for us not to eat at the restaurant.

Allergen free dining out has never been easier at Red Robin!  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredThe little guy got his chicken fingers and he was also very happy.

Allergen free meals are available at Red Robin.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredSo what did my son end up with?  He got pasta with marinara sauce and side salad with ranch dressing.  Not a bad little lunch, am I right?!  And of course he ate my fries.  And had strawberry lemonade.

Gluten free beer is now available at Red Robin!  It is not pictured here. :) // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com #sponsoredAnd my husband was happy too.  He’s a Budweiser fan.  Can you tell?  But do you know what else is really cool about Red Robin’s allergen free menu?  They are now carrying a Gluten Free Beer!  Amen!  It is called Omission Pale Ale and is available at participating Red Robins (call ahead to make sure yours has it!).  I freaking love this!  While I am not gluten free, I think it is the coolest that the restaurant is providing a beer for the adults with special dietary restrictions too.

I’m so grateful that restaurants, and especially Red Robin, realize and embrace that food allergies are a scary part of dining out and have set out to make it that much easier for you to dine happily.

Giveaway is now closed! Congrats to D. Schmidt! I’ll be emailing you!

To celebrate, they are allowing me to give away a $25 to Red Robin to one of my readers.  To enter, please leave a comment telling me how food allergies have affected your family or your favorite item from the Red Robin menu if you don’t have experience with food allergies.  One winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, May 22, 2014.
*I am so proud to support this company and while this is a sponsored post, I hope you can tell this is truly from the heart.  Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to share a little bit about my life with you.  Follow Red Robin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Comments

  1. I do not have any experience with food allergies. I like the Guacamole Bacon Burger

  2. Erica Best says:

    i love the mushroom burger

  3. Carolsue says:

    Luckily, we don’t have any allergies, but I think it’s nice that Red Robin is addressing this issue!
    My favorite item there is there Fish and Chips. They are so good!

  4. Kristen says:

    My favorite is the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Sandwich.

  5. I’m so excited to hear that Red Robin has a new allergy friendly menu builder! Since my son was diagnosed with severe food allergies at 8 months old, we rarely eat out at restaurants for fear of cross contamination. At times, I feel guilty that my 4 year old daughter often misses out on experiences like dining out because it’s not safe for her brother. She is such a wonderful advocate for her baby brother and never complains about the sacrifices we make as a family to keep him safe. I look forward to being able to take the entire family out without having to be stressed or worried that my son will have a reaction.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. Ann Marie Liskey says:

    Unfortunately, Red Robin would not accommodate my son’s allergies as he reacts to cross contact of his allergens. From their website and menu builder I see the disclaimer informing customers with food allergies that “As we cook, prepare, and serve your meal, the listed menu option may come in contact with the allergen you want to avoid. For example, we might cook the listed menu option on the same broiler as a menu item that contains the allergen you want to avoid. Red Robin cannot guarantee that any menu item will be prepared completely free of the allergen in question.”

    • Hi Ann Marie, Thank you so much for commenting. I am sorry that Red Robin is unable to guarantee allergen items can be completely safe. I understand their concern and need for listing that language on the menu. Since our family’s allergies are not as severe as some, we are able to eat there safely. I wish it was different for your family and you could feel safe eating their too. :(

  7. Tory Palenscar says:

    We had a similar experience with finding out that my daughter is allergic to 13 foods! Red Robin is pretty much the only place we ever eat out with her. We don’t even let friends and family cook for her, ever! Red Robin had made. Us comfortable right from the start. Rhett are very knowledgable and accommodating with allergies. My daughter always gets the Mac ‘n cheese with broccoli or mandarin oranges. We also order our fries from the allergy fryer so that she can eat a few safely. I seriously don’t know what we would do without Red Robin, love it!

  8. My 5-year-old daughter is allergic to peanuts, and (outside of Disney World!), Red Robin is our favorite place to take her out to eat. She has begun to take charge of asking waitstaff for the allergy menu. I’m so proud of her for being able to speak out about her dietary needs, especially since she’ll be starting kindergarten soon!

  9. Red Robin is our go to restaurant too! We are allergic to peanut, tree nuts, and sunflower. We have been to probably 7 different Red Robin’s in three different states. I do wish they were a little more universal as not all of them are up to par like the one you mentioned. I’m hopeful in time they all will be. Love this chain and love the awareness they are bringing to food allergies and intolerances!

  10. Desiree says:

    Thank you for sharing! We have not tried Red Robin before with our PA son but we definitely will be trying it now.

  11. My 9-year-old son is PN/ TN allergic (diagnosed when he was 12-months-old). Red Robin is on our very short list of restaurants that we feel safe to go to. Our servers always ‘get it’ when we tell them his allergies….we don’t get that deer-in-headlights look from them….and we don’t get anyone asking, “Um, what is a tree nut?” It’s our special occasion restaurant too. Red Robin is also the restaurant I ate at the night before I went into labor with him. I’ll never forget it. I was already hugely pregnant, ready to deliver at any moment, and we went to Red Robin so I could have a ‘Bleu Cheese Ribbon Burger, fries, and a shake’.

    Btw….my new favorite is the Whiskey River BBQ Burger!

  12. Our son has peamut allergies. We, too, have found Red Robin to be very accommodating in our restrictions. We love Red Robin for their help with the food allergies and their good food!!!

  13. Our family dines at Red Ribin frequently. It is a great option for my peanut/treenut allergic daughter. Can’t wait to try the new allergen menu builder!

  14. Ronda Combs says:

    We all love the fries. My boys love the turkey burger

  15. D Schmidt says:

    My favorite food item from their menu is the chicken ensenada platter.

  16. Shannon says:

    I don’t have food allergies but I do have Gestational Diabetes so having better access to nutritional info would be priceless.

  17. Mami2jcn says:

    We love the Royal Red Robin burger!

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