Gluten Free on the Go: Long John Silver's (LJS)
LJS = Full of Bread
When I think of Long John Silver's, the first thing that comes to mind (other than a pirate) is crispy, golden batter. Fish, chicken, shrimp--I didn't really care what was inside the batter as long as it had that delicious coating on top. And the bed of crispy fried bread bits underneath. Mmmm ...
After that I think of the fries, which always tasted different and usually tasted like whatever breaded protein product they were fried with.
The next thing that comes to mind is hush puppies. Which are basically fried bread.
It doesn't look good as far as gluten free eating, does it?
But Long John Silver's has a few surprises up their sleeve ...
Yes, You Can Make a Meal!
Long John Silver's doesn't have a very complicated menu. There are no breakfast items and the dessert selection is pretty limited. So the allergen chart is pretty short and easy to follow. It also has separate columns for wheat, gluten, and even MSG if that's something that bothers you (even if it has nothing to do with gluten other than letters).
For entrees, you can choose grilled salmon or shrimp scampi.
The sides you can have include the cole slaw, corn (with or without butter oil), vegetables and rice. The french fries, of course, do not contain wheat themselves, but are always fried with everything else, like I mentioned before. This is, after all, a shop where most of the items on the menu are fried.
The dessert selection is already limited at LJS, but you can have a frozen lemonade if you like. Naturally, the pies are off limits.
As for the sauces, worry not! Everything except the malt vinegar is safe! So you can have all the tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, ketchup, Asian, Baja, or garlic butter sauce you want! Louisiana hot sauce? Of course! Just not the malt vinegar.
And that's it. The menu isn't that large anyway, and 90% of it is fried, so it's nice that there's at least a couple of options for gluten free diners.
There are worse places you could end up.
My only concern would be that in an environment that's chock full of fried things, cross contamination might be an issue. Make your cashier aware of your concerns if you're not positive.
You can find the PDF of the allergens here: http://www.ljsilvers.com/images/pdfs/LJS_Allergens_Grid.pdf