While there are 6 Heartland Brewery locations in Manhattan, this is the only location with clearly identified, specially prepared gluten free options. (When going to the other locations, please be sure to specify that you must be gluten free and you will be accommodated.)
Heartland Brewery Midtown West is a lively space with energetic music and lots of conversation all around. This would be a great place to bring a large group of boisterous friends (or family members) who love to laugh and have a good time. There is ample seating and of the 4+ times I have visited, I never had to wait.
Customer service means everything. Most Gluten Freers would agree that eating out can bring on bouts of anxiety, which is why having staff who are kind and accommodating is imperative to putting our panicked minds at ease. With its well trained staff, Heartland Brewery Midtown West is one of those fabulous places that would do just that. Staff members have a sincere kindness and interest in ensuring that you have a good experience that does not scream FALSE or TIP ME GOOD OR ELSE! In fact, upon arrival, my friend and I were greeted warmly at the door and later complimented by the Maitre D' who said my friend looked like actor Taye Diggs. (See, I told you they were friendly!) From there, we were immediately seated and provided our menus that had over 20 gluten free options. Shortly thereafter, we were introduced to our waiter who was exceedingly nice and informative. He visited us 5+ times in a 2 hour meal.
(What you REALLY want to know!)
I told the waiter I had to be gluten free and, before I could ask, he gave me a full explanation of how the kitchen takes measures against (the cursed) cross contamination. He also made sure to remind the cooking staff to follow the cross contamination precautions when preparing my sides of French fries and mashes potatoes. (Yes, side of French fries AND mashed potatoes! This girl likes to eat!)
For appetizers, I had the buffalo wings. As a certified wimp when it comes to hot/spicy foods (ask my family), I enjoyed the wings. Bright orange and topped with scallions, the wings were were spicy and medium hot--just enough for a thrill, but not enough to have me fanning my mouth, running for the nearest faucet!
For the main dish, I had a half rack of ribs, mashed potatoes and home fries (pictured above). The home fries were delicious and fresh. Neither greasy nor heavy, but lightly fried and seasoned--a difficult feat for fries. The mash potatoes were rich and well seasoned--enough to taste, but not so overwhelming that you feel guilty scarfing them down.
The ribs were covered in a tangy and sweet sauce that was right up my alley. The meat was soft and happy to come off of the bone. Although, in a war for taste and texture, Outback's gluten free ribs (offered in Manhattan here and here) would slightly edge out Heartland Brewery's for depth of flavor.
Come here! As a GFreer, you will feel welcome and appreciated. I have visited this location over 4 times and have never been disappointed with the service and food. You will also love the ambience as a start or ending to a great night.
It is kind of a bummer to go to a brewery and, well...not have anything brewed. If Heartland Brewery Midtown West introduces gluten free beer, their ratings will go even higher in our book!
Go and let us know what you think here!