Gluten sensitivities and Celiac disease are becoming increasingly common, so it’s understandable that many restaurant-goers may be wondering: Is Friday’s sauce gluten free? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide quick answers to common questions about Friday’s sauce and gluten, and dive deeper into ingredients, preparation methods, and how to navigate gluten-free dining at Friday’s restaurants.
Is Friday’s sauce gluten free? Many Friday’s sauces are gluten free, but some thickening agents and flour-based sauces do contain gluten. It’s best to check with your server.
What Friday’s sauces typically contain gluten? Creamy sauces like alfredo, beurre blanc, New Orleans and lobster sauce often contain wheat flour. Friday’s Jack Daniel’s sauce also contains wheat flour.
What are some gluten-free Friday’s sauces? Fridays.com lists these gluten-free sauces: Sweet Chili, Buffalo, Barbecue, Bleu Cheese Dressing, Honey Mustard, Oil & Vinegar, Caesar, Friday’s Famous Sauce, Chipotle Mayo and Guacamole.
How is cross-contamination avoided? Servers use designated fryers and prep areas for gluten-free items. But cross-contamination is still possible in the kitchen.
Gluten-Containing Ingredients in Friday’s Sauces
Many of Friday’s sauces are thickened using wheat flour, which contains the gluten protein. Here are some common Friday’s sauces known to contain gluten:
- Alfredo sauce
- Beurre blanc sauce
- New Orleans sauce
- Lobster sauce
- Jack Daniel’s sauce
These creamy sauces rely on a roux – a mixture of fat and flour – to thicken and add richness. The roux is typically made with all-purpose wheat flour. Friday’s Jack Daniel’s sauce also lists wheat flour as an ingredient.
Other Potential Sources of Gluten
Beyond thickening agents, gluten can make its way into sauces via other ingredients:
- Soy sauce – Many soy sauces contain wheat.
- Teriyaki sauce – Can contain soy sauce or other glutenous thickening agents.
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) – HVP is often derived from wheat and can be found in “natural flavors.”
- Malt vinegar – Vinegars derived from barley can contain gluten.
So while a sauce may not contain an obvious thickener like flour, there are other ways gluten can end up in the ingredients.
What Friday’s Sauces Are Gluten Free?
If you’re looking for guaranteed gluten-free sauce options at Friday’s, refer to their online nutrition information. As of November 2023, Fridays.com lists these gluten-free sauces:
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Fridays Famous Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Bleu Cheese Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Oil & Vinegar Dressing
- Caesar Dressing
- Chipotle Mayo
Fridays notes that while these sauces are gluten-free, cross-contamination is possible in the kitchen. Your safest bet is to verify with your server that normal preparation procedures were followed.
How Friday’s Avoids Cross-Contamination
According to Fridays.com:
At Friday’s, we do not have separate equipment, prep areas or fryers for gluten-free preparations. We follow procedures to avoid cross-contact with other foods, but we cannot guarantee that any menu item will be completely free of allergens. Our kitchen and utensils are shared space, so traces of wheat and other allergens, including shellfish and nuts, are possible in our gluten-free preparations.
To limit cross-contamination as much as possible, Friday’s staff:
- Use separate fryers to cook gluten-free fries, chips and other items.
- Prepare gluten-free dishes in designated areas of the kitchen when possible.
- Use sanitized cookware and prep surfaces.
- Change gloves frequently when handling gluten-free orders.
However, with shared cooking equipment and prep areas, contamination can still occur. Your safest choice is to verify gluten-free preparation with your server.
How to Order Gluten-Free at Friday’s
If you’re dining at Friday’s with a gluten allergy or intolerance, here are some tips to stay safe:
Check the Menu Carefully
Fridays marks certified gluten-free menu items with a GF icon. Be sure to stick to these options, as other items likely contain gluten in sauces, coatings or batter.
Ask About Ingredients
Even menu items marked as gluten-free may not be safe for highly-sensitive Celiacs, due to cross-contamination. Ask your server about how each menu item is prepared. Inquire about shared equipment, utensils and prep areas.
Specify “Gluten-Free Preparation”
Order your meal by saying “I need this gluten-free.” Don’t be afraid to clearly state your needs. This will prompt kitchen staff to take extra precautions.
Avoid High-Risk Items
Fried menu items tend to pose a higher cross-contamination risk. Opt for grilled proteins and fresh sides when possible.
Watch Out for Sauces & Dressings
Many people assume plain meats and veggies are safe, but then unknowingly add unsafe sauces on top. Be extra careful with sauces and always double check ingredients.
Consider packing a spare gluten-free meal or snacks in case you have concerns about your main order. Having a backup plan helps take the stress out of dining out.
The Bottom Line
At Fridays, it’s best to assume that no sauce is 100% gluten-free unless verified by your server. Many menu items rely on wheat-thickened sauces like alfredo and Jack Daniel’s sauce. But Fridays does offer some gluten-free dressing options like barbecue, honey mustard and Caesar.
While kitchens take steps to avoid cross-contamination of gluten-free orders, it remains a risk due to shared equipment. Your safest choice is to carefully vet menu items, customize orders and confirm “gluten-free preparation” with your server.
With some advance planning and open communication, you can enjoy safe gluten-free dining at Friday’s restaurants.