Thursday, February 17, 2011

American Girl Boutique & Bistro Experience

This past weekend, Abigail, a friend, her friend's mom and I took a road trip to Alpharetta, Georgia to the American Girl Boutique & Bistro in celebration of Abigail's 8th birthday. What a great experience!

We had lunch reservations at the Bistro. Just a hint, you need to make them weeks if not months in advance. The online reservation system asks about food allergies so I was able to indicate that there was a nut and wheat concern.  Abigail's friend has Celiac disease and cannot eat anything with gluten.  As an extra precaution, the friend's mom also called the Bistro in Alpharetta directly and spoke with the chef.  She felt comfortable that there were going to be options on the menu that our daughters could eat.

After all of us, including the dolls, were seated... late (which is my only negative comment), the chef came out to talk with us personally. He went over the menu to let us know what items were peanut/tree nut free and gluten free. The bakery they use for most of their bread products also produces other products with peanuts. That eliminated several Starters and Main Course sandwiches. No problem there because Abigail had already decided she wanted the Macaroni with Lots of Cheese with a fresh fruit skewer on the side for her entree. She did want the Warm Pretzel Bites with honey mustard dipping sauce for her Starter, but the pretzels were from Pillsbury and had a warning label for cross-contamination. Instead, she got the Cheesy Cheddar Fondue with the gluten-free bread (which was surprisingly very good).  The gluten-free bread came from a different bakery and was peanut/tree nut safe.  Both girls ended up with the fondue. There were other options, i.e, the Very Veggie Platter, the Salad Skewers, the Fresh Fruit with Yogurt Dipping Sauce, etc., but they were deemed too healthy and not near as fun as fondue.

Abigail's friend was able to get the Perfect Picnic Time entree which is a mini hamburger and hot dog.  The chef subbed the buns with gluten-free bread and the curly fries with the fruit cup and yogurt dipping sauce.  For the adult Starters, we got the Fresh Fruit with Yogurt & Mini Muffins and the Warm Artichoke-Spinach Dip and shared it.  We were also going to share a sandwich and a salad for our main course. We managed to eat the Turkey and Provolone Panini, but were way too full to touch the Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing.  If you're wondering why we ordered so much food in the first place, the price for lunch is $14.50 per person and includes the Starter and Main Course.

Because it was Abigail's birthday, we also had to have a special dessert.  All of the cookie and cake desserts used ingredients from Pillsbury and were not peanut/tree nut safe.  There was one chocolate cake that was gluten free, but I chose to order each girl a Celebration Milkshake with birthday cake flavored ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top.  I was not expecting them to bring Abigail's out with a candle, but they did.  The waitresses also all gathered around and sang "Happy Birthday" to her which was really nice.  Abigail was more than a little embarrassed by the special attention.  I was pleased that they did so without me asking.  FYI, you can order a special birthday package meal that includes a tiara, certificate and special white "signature" cake and ice cream, but the cake is neither peanut/tree nut or gluten free so I didn't pay the extra.  I think that lunch runs $28.00 a child and $18.00 an adult.

We shopped, we ate and the dolls even got their hair done and ears pierced in the salon.  When we finished at the American Girl Boutique, we checked into our hotel, and the girls spent the evening swimming in the indoor pool.  What a fabulous adventure.  We've made memories to last a lifetime.


Allergy Mum said...

Happy Happy Birthday. It sounds like a wonderful day for everyone. I LOVE it when the chef comes out and talks with you.
Allergy Mum -

Anonymous said...

So good to know. I want to take my daughter there but was unsure about the food allergies!

Mom with a Mission said...

Thanks you two for leaving a comment. It was a great day, and I love it when restaurants and food manufacturers take the extra step to address food allergy concerns.