American Girl stores are synonymous with dolls and accessories created in perfect miniature, hair salon treatments and excited children trailed by exhausted parents or grandparents. But dining is also part of the experience, and the American Girl Bistro includes a variety of gluten-free options. Pizza, pasta, chicken fingers, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, fries, cake and more are available in gluten-free versions. Restaurant teams work individually with each guest to craft a meal that meets dietary needs. The bistros serve brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.
American Girl bistros can also accommodate allergies to eggs and dairy and offer vegan and vegetarian meals. Joshua Engel, American Girl’s regional manager of restaurants, estimates American Girl bistros serve between 350 and 400 gluten-free meals per week across all 25 locations. More store openings are in the planning stages.
American Girl gets its gluten- and allergen-free products from companies including Gluten Free Nation, Udi’s Gluten Free and Rich’s.“The landscape of gluten-free products is constantly evolving, and we work with our distributors and manufacturers directly to be current on the trends,” says Engel.
When a gluten-free order is requested, a manager comes to the table to go over the guest’s needs before communicating the order directly to the kitchen. The chef, who puts on clean gloves, has been trained to use dedicated utensils, plates and cookware when preparing the meal. Items including French fries and chicken fingers are baked to minimize the risk for cross contact.
Dessert, one of the best items on the menu, is always available for gluten-free
diners, and the bistros don’t just offer ice cream. For example gluten-free lemon
pound cake is available daily at the Alpharetta, Georgia, location.
After the shopping trip in the American Girl store, the bistro serves as an oasis,
offering children and their guests a spot to relax and refuel or celebrate a birthday or other special occasion. Visitors’ dolls get a prominent seat at the table, complete with a mini place setting. The menu, which rotates three to four times a year, offers tea service, starters, main course and desserts served in precious dishes, such as flower pots complete with plastic flowers each doll can hold.
Reservations are highly recommended, and reservation agents will inquire about
food allergies/intolerance while booking. The menu’s disclaimer reminds guests to inform their server if anyone in their party has a food allergy.