Gluten-Free in Branson, MO

    We spent the recent Holiday in Branson, MO. The last couple of years have taught us a great deal about getting me through a trip without becoming disabled by illness. These are the essential steps that we take – it’s all about planning ahead.
1) Bring safe food from home – traveling by car we bring a cooler.
2) Research restaurant menus on the internet along the planned trip route.
3) Choose accommodations that feature a refrigerator and microwave in the room.
4) Research and stop at major grocery stores along the way –
Wal-Mart Superstores dependably take care of the rural and remote areas.
5) Pack medications to alleviate symptoms just in case.
    We did all of the above and it worked out well. Only one restaurant was a bit tense about my refusing a salad that I had ordered with no croutons. The same salad was refused again after having the croutons scraped off and I explained that appearance was not the issue. Fortunately someone in the kitchen realized what was up and prepared me a lovely salad that was served with grace and apologies.
    There were two stellar restaurants during our stay. One is The Pasta House Co., a chain based in St. Louis with very few locations outside of Missouri. Not only is all of their food wonderful but they have gluten free pasta available – we had dinner there twice! Their house salad is so very good and they generously post the recipe on their web site, The Pasta House Co. Special Salad
    A more local restaurant, in adjacent Hollister, is at The Keeter Center in Dobyns Dining Room. The facility is part of the work/study program that is the cornerstone of the college’s programs and philosophy. There I enjoyed a delightful house salad with pear honey dressing topped with grilled chicken and a side of sweet potato fries. We toured the fruitcake and jelly kitchen and purchased some apple butter. There were fruitcake tasting samples which I regretfully passed up. A batch of fruitcakes had just come out of the oven and the whole building smelled of spice. We also toured the basket making and weaving facility. The students seem quite accustomed to tourists wandering through their campus and asking questions.
    We also made a planned stop at a Braum’s soda fountain, grill, and grocery store which features Don’s favorite ice cream of all time, their version of Cookies and Cream. Every now and then I wonder about how many grilled chicken salads I have eaten and how many other gluten sensitive folks default to that very same selection.
    That was the exciting culinary part of the trip. The ragweed was in full bloom and part of the time I consoled myself by making up a song about it to the tune of ‘Home on the Range’ on the return trip.



  1. My sister is Gluten-Free and we are always looking for good restaurants to eat out with her family and I live in Branson so if you are ever back in town, I recommend trying Cantina Laredo at the Branson Landing, Lonestar Steak House, Olive Garden (cliche but still have a good gf menu), and Chili’s. We don’t have the Pasta House anymore. 😦

  2. gfedge said

    Thank you for breaking the sad news before we return. I gave up on Olive Garden locally after reacting to plain salad and unsweetened tea. Lonestar Steak sounds like an option though. And you are so gracious to share your recommendations 🙂

  3. Murf said

    There’s a great health food store in Branson that carries alot of gluten-free foods and vitamins. I found them last ime I was there. It’s Nature’s Sunshine Health Foods They seem to know quite a bit about the gluten free life style and were very helpful.

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