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Alamo Celiac Article- Outback Steakhouse, Killeen, TX

August 13, 2007

G’Day Gluten-Free!

Do you have a favorite place? Somewhere that you go all the time, and they know you name, or at least your face? I have found such a place! I have been going to Outback in Killeen for months now because they have a gluten-free menu. I heard about the elusive gluten-free menu on one of the many Celiac message boards out there, and decided to see if the urban myth was true. My first visit was a disaster. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t find any gluten in my food, or get sick after I left, but they were extremely unprepared. The server had no idea what I was talking about. The manager wasn’t sure either. When they figured it out, they didn’t have a menu there, and had to print one off of the internet. It was a fumbling mess. But knowing that the menu clearly stated what seasoning and dressing were gluten-free, and that the menu had been reviewed by the GIG, I wanted to keep going and try all of their gluten-free dishes!

            I kept going, almost weekly, and the servers and managers got to know me and my “strange” requests. This has become the only place that I feel safe eating out on a regular basis! The owner, Bill White, has asked me several questions about gluten, Celiac Disease, and what happens to me if they get gluten in my food. One of the managers, Amanda Cochran, has even sat down with me to ask questions about spices, fryers, alcohol, and how they can better assure me that my food is safe (which has come down to the managers personally making my salads from scratch with all fresh ingredients and fresh dressing that hasn’t been out on the line near the croutons!). I have had several “regular” servers, like Erin, Karac (he said “like Eric”), Amanda-the server, Rikki, Melissa (sometimes she is a server, some times a manager, guess it depends on the night), and those are just to name a few. And Bill and Amanda-the manager, are always helpful and careful with my food. (And there is another Amanda manager, Amanda Mayo, and she is dealing with food intolerances as well, so she is extremely helpful!)

I eat there all the time and I was starting to feel bad for not wring to let other people know about this wonderful Celiac-friendly place! If you ever venture to Killeen, be sure to stop by Outback Steakhouse!! Ask for the manager so they can prepare things for you separate from others’ food! I have had the Hearts of Gold Chicken (prepared the way the gluten-free menu suggests, with out Alfredo sauce), the Drover’s Platter (BBQ Chicken and Ribs, and the BBQ sauce is gluten-free!), Alice Springs Chicken, the Bronzed Chicken with Corn Cakes, the Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie Aussie-Tizer, and lots of steaks with a potato or veggies with out seasoning (says that on the gluten-free menu also). There are also a couple of gluten-free desserts (I love the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under! It is a flourless brownie! Yum!). And there are four gluten-free kids meals if you are the parent of a gluten-free little one! I can’t really speak for all places with a gluten-free menu, but the Outback in Killeen is really working hard to make it safe for us to eat out! I go at least once a week! (Seriously, I ate there last night…..)

Outback Steakhouse

2701 E. Central Texas Expy

Killeen, TX 76543

(254) 699-4164

$50.00 Average for 2 people with big appetites!

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