Craving a smoked brisket and some crispy fries to satisfy that seemingly unstoppable hunger?
Established in 2011, Mission BBQ is a restaurant geared towards celebrating and commemorating our uniformed heroes.
Armed with a love of American BBQ and patriotism, a former business executive for Under Armor set out to create a chain of restaurants honoring quality food at a reasonable price with no frills or pretension.
Featuring authentic in-house BBQ, they offer a “fast casual” dining experience that is geared towards people seeking genuine good cooking in a laid-back, family-friendly environment.
Mission BBQ makes eating gluten-free easy! They offer a primarily gluten-free menu with very few exceptions (avoid the mac & cheese) and are educated on proper handling procedures.
Don’t believe us? Find out how this popular American restaurant chain is taking the necessary steps to ensure safety for their customers, including utilizing a gluten-free specific menu and dedicated kitchen equipment.
All of Mission BBQ’s sauces are gluten-free, with the exception of the Gator Bite BBQ Sauce and Texas Twang BBQ Sauce.
All of their meats are gluten-free, including both “meat market” and sandwich varieties.
Their fresh cut fries are fried in a dedicated fryer that does not come into contact with wheat or gluten containing products.
We’ll list the breakdown of all the gluten-free items indicated on their website, and go over the options one by one.
Under the above allergen info sheet, they do exclaim:
“While we make every effort to identify ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction for those with food allergies, there is always a risk of contamination.
There is also a possibility that suppliers could change the formulation or substitute them at any time, without notice. We cannot guarantee the absence of allergens.”
This warning is listed on their menu as well. Mission BBQ also has a separate page for a gluten-free menu, which lists the following options for patrons.
The following ingredients/menu items are listed as gluten-free:
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*All sides come in serving sizes of: serving [small], pint [medium], or quart [large].”
*Available during Fall – Winter season
Brisket Burger, Pork Ribeye, Beef Ribs, Salmon, Seasoned and Seared Ribeye, Smoked Pastrami, Smoked Prime Rib, Smoked Steak
*All Salads come with either ranch or Italian dressing.
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Without question, the main concern among those with Celiac Disease (or any severe allergy/intolerance) when eating at a restaurant is the risk of cross-contamination.
This becomes increasingly more concerning when you deal with sandwiches, burgers, or pizza.
While a BBQ joint may seem a little less intimidating (there’s no gluten in meat), you still need to approach every restaurant with the same degree of caution.
Often, ‘gluten-free’ will never ensure any kind of safety protocol with respect to using different or “dedicated” fryers and ovens. In the case of Mission BBQ, they thankfully use a fully dedicated fryer for their fries, but this is often not the case.
This means that you will likely experience cross contamination if you order fries at a restaurant where they use the same fryer for breaded onion rings.
Regardless of the style of restaurant, it is absolutely vital you speak with restaurant staff (server, front end) and kitchen crew to ensure you advocate for your dietary needs.
If they cannot accommodate you or seem ignorant of gluten-free protocols, you need to look elsewhere to satisfy your food craving.
Most restaurants, like Mission BBQ, are now aware of Celiac Disease and the mounting evidence showing gluten allergies are serious.
Simply ordering a ‘gluten-free’ dish like salad isn’t enough to ensure you don’t wind up with a cross contaminated meal.
As we mention in the menu item section of our article, you will always need to keep an eye out for sauces, marinades, seasonings and secret ingredients that may have gluten lurking in them.
Thankfully, Mission BBQ seems knowledgeable enough to pinpoint which BBQ sauces have wheat derived ingredients (soy sauce that has used wheat) to indicate this on the gluten-free menu.
This might not be the case at other, local restaurants.
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Most online customer feedback towards Mission BBQ with respect to gluten-free is positive.
The negative reviews tend to skew towards experiences at certain restaurants where the staff “forgot” to leave cornbread off of the plate.
Unfortunately, one other review does read: “good food, but was gluten bombed.”
They describe their experience as negative, with the restaurant staff stating it was “their fault” they did not inform them of the gluten allergy they had, even though they still ordered gluten-free items off the dedicated menu.
While this should have never happened to this customer, it does reinforce how important it is to make it clear to staff that you have a serious allergy prior to ordering.
However, the vast majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
One patron proclaims that they never knew Mission BBQ had a dedicated fryer, dedicated GF menu, and actually knew what Celiac Disease meant.
Most of the comments across Yelp, Find Me Gluten Free, and other review sites praise the quality of the food itself.
Reviews point out GMs (General Managers) at specific locations being accommodating and helpful, along with the staff all being prepared to adhere to strict rules when handling gluten-free meals/products.
Staff were aware of the risks of cross contamination.
Some further examples of reviews from patrons across the United States:
“Took the family here for dinner tonight and it was incredibly good! The staff took my son’s gluten allergy very seriously and were super accommodating. I highly recommend.”
“Love Mission BBQ, so many good options for people with Celiac. They accidentally put cornbread on my plate, and were more than happy to completely remake my entire meal.
They also gave me some extra fires to make up for the mistake! Overall great experience.”
“Great service and great offerings. Lots of communication between the cooks and preparation area in terms of safety. A really solid go-to for quick, safe BBQ and fries.”
Mission BBQ is a fairly secure and safe option for those with gluten allergies and intolerances, although those with Celiac may want to give extra care and precaution when ordering.
Despite this, for those looking for alternate BBQ joints – there is an alternative with an even more comprehensive gluten-free menu!
With an equal amount of positive reviews and patron feedback, Smokey Bones is a BBQ joint with 66 locations across the United States.
It does appear that some patrons had the same issue with a particular Smokey Bones location that people had with Mission BBQ – non gluten-free bread being on the plate of a gluten-free dish.
The restaurant, like Mission BBQ, did offer to completely remake the entire dish in this instance. Generally, they are extremely understanding of Celiac and gluten, and offer a pretty wide range of menu options specified as gluten-free.
One major difference is that they do utilize the same fryers for fries + tortilla chips as for gluten containing ingredients. They warn of the risk of cross contamination with this menu item, despite it being listed on the gluten-free menu.
Otherwise, they offer a range of sides: baked potatoes, broccoli, mashed potatoes (served without gravy), house-made creamy coleslaw, loaded potatoes, Brunswick stews, green salads (served without croutons), and lettuce bun sandwiches.
Main courses include a range of burgers in a lettuce bun, slow-smoked BBQ (ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey breast), and grilled sirloin or ribeye steak.
Located in MA, The Barn Pub & Grill has a dedicated gluten-free menu which specifies their protocols for cross contamination – including utilizing a dedicated fryer.
The owners have “15 years experience” in addressing gluten allergies and intolerances, and respect how serious it can be.
Heavily praised on sites like Find Me Gluten Free, this pub and grill offers a wide range of options that many gluten-free patrons typically can’t risk due to cross contamination.
Their fried haddock sandwich, for example, is breaded with cornmeal instead of wheat flour. They also use a dedicated fryer for them, along with Udi’s gluten-free buns.
They offer plenty of grilled and fried options, with sandwiches having Udi’s gluten-free buns that are handled, stored and baked separately from wheat products.
They offer chicken wings breaded in rice flour, GF nachos (dedicated fryer), GF chicken fingers, GF fried shrimp, and plenty of sides, salads and deserts – all of which are safe.
Given their exceptional level of care and thought, The Barn Pub & Grill is a great choice for those residing in MA (Amesbury) or simply passing through.
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