Restaurant Review: 900 Wall, Bend Oregon
Gluten-free menu- Was a gluten-free menu available? Yes (although it’s not gluten-free!)
Service-Were they friendly and courteous or did they act like you were a huge inconvenience. Were they willing to learn/hear about your needs OR did they act as though they already knew everything and interrupt/ignore your needs and requests.
Our server was friendly enough and seemed happy to cater to our specific dietary needs and was also happy to get the manager so that I could quiz him on the steps being followed to keep the kitchen gluten-free.
Knowledge- How much did they seem to know about food sensitivities?
Any time you ask your server if the food on the menu is safe for those with food allergies/sensitivities and they respond that “it depends on how sensitive you are”; it is a great indication that they may not know much about food allergies/sensitivities. Unfortunately, this was the case when we visited 900 Wall for the first time. While I do believe that this restaurant is making an effort to draw in the gluten-sensitive population, the staff at this facility just doesn’t appear to know enough about food sensitivities to safely be catering to this population. With this said, an interesting thing about this restaurant is that the manager that I spoke with on this particular visit used to work at another restaurant in town. Upon receiving croutons on my gluten-free salad at this man’s last restaurant, I actually spent a good 30 minutes explaining to him various ways to prevent gluten cross-contamination in the kitchen as well as the dangers of cross-contamination in those with a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease. While I’m certain that this particular manager has the knowledge to make his restaurant safe for gluten-sensitive diners, it seems that he is more concerned with keeping his eatery trendy than safe.
Safety of food-Did your food appear to be gluten-free or did you salad show up with croutons and your main meal a side of wheat bread?
Most items on the gluten-free menu do not appear to be safe for Celiacs or gluten-sensitive individuals. The issue with this restaurant is that while your food may appear to be safe, very little is being done to prevent cross contamination in the kitchen. According the manager, the variety of appealing vegetable dishes offered on the gluten- free menu are actually prepared in/on the same equipment and frying oil as the gluten-containing items. Thus, those tempting crispy potatoes and French fries (which are deep fried in the same oil as the gluten-containing items) offered on the gluten-free menu are certainly unsafe for gluten-intolerant customers and considering this MAJOR source of cross contamination, I wouldn’t be surprised to find many other sources of cross-contamination in this restaurant. However, at this point there is no reason for me to even waste my time inspecting the kitchen or trying to educate a manager who I’ve already tried educating on the subject.
Taste and cost/serving size- Did your meal taste look good and did you feel like you got your money worth?
I was not impressed with the cost or serving sizes of the food served at this restaurant and I definitely felt that for the money being charged, more effort could have been put into ensuring that the foods listed on the gluten-free menu are actually gluten-free. This being an upper scale restaurant, diners should expect to pay more for their meals.
Overall experience- Would you come back again?
While the atmosphere is enjoyable at 900 Wall, I will not be going back to this restaurant any time soon. Our server was friendly enough, and the manger was willing to come over to our table and personally address my concerns, however I just can’t shake my feeling that this restaurant is much more interested in offering a more upscale and trendy environment than really catering to the gluten-free community. When it comes to restaurants like this, it really seems that they are offering a gluten-free menu to simply help their gluten-free consumers feel warm and fuzzy knowing that they are ordering from a gluten-free menu; rather than actually offering truly safe food for the gluten-sensitive population.
Our second experience...
After receiving a gift card to 900 Wall, my wife and I decided to give this establishment a second chance. We selected this restaurant for our anniversary dinner and came here to eat around 5pm on a Thursday afternoon.
The ambiance of 900 Wall is excellent and we selected a table outside to enjoy the relaxing evening atmosphere. As with all restaurant visits, we immediately asked for a gluten-free menu and informed our waiter of my wife's celiac disease and necessity for our meal to be 100% gluten free. The waiter seemed to understand and left us to make our selections for dinner. With options such as Flatiron Steak, Duck Confit, and 900 Wall Burger and French Fries on the menu, the food selections here are truly unique and oftentimes made with local foods (a huge bonus in my book). Unfortunately, while local food options are always nice, I can't guarantee that the options offered at this establishment are actually safe for those hoping for a truly gluten-free meal. According to the chef that we spoke with, this restaurant does not have a designated gluten-free space and prepares all meals in the same area. In addition, this restaurant has only one fryer and fries both gluten-containing and gluten-free items in the same cooking oil resulting in unavoidable cross contamination for many of their "gluten-free" menu items.
After speaking with the chef and giving specific instructions for preparing our meal (i.e. use a separate cutting board, utensils and pans) AND ordering menu items with the least probability of cross contamination (steak prepared in its own pan and a simple salad), my wife and I felt somewhat confident that our meals were free of gluten. Had we not taken the time to speak with the chef prior to ordering our meal, I do not believe that our meal would have actually been 100% gluten free as a result of the many areas for cross contamination in this establishment. I do not recommend this restaurant for those hoping for a truly 100% gluten-free meal.