Hey All! So I wanted to hop on here real quick and tell you a little about this place called Wild Willy’s. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, you’ll find a menu that offers almost everything to be made gluten free! Now this restaurant is something else. They have always offered gluten free items, as far as I can remember.
Back when I was first diagnosed, Wild Willy’s was the first place I went to since I heard about their gluten free items. I had many great experiences with them! Back then you could place your order, make them aware of your gluten allergy or celiac disease. They would then give you a card that you would place on the table and then choose your own seat, and wait for your food to be brought out to you! I quite enjoyed the way the atmosphere was.
As for the food, I absolutely loved the gluten free hamburgers as well as the fries and fried fish! They currently offer gluten free sugar cookies as well as pre packaged items from the company, Something Sweet Without Wheat. The staff was very accommodating as well, especially when it came to letting them know I have celiac disease!
SO where am I going with this? I believe that maybe a year or so ago the restaurant was put under new management. There have been mixed reviews by many, many people from friends and family, all the way to random strangers. I have been there a few times this current year. The food has recently been hit or miss. This restaurant has changed a few things. While they have added in more entertainment, comedy and country line dancing, they have changed the seating procedures as well. You will now have a full table service experience. I personally am not a huge fan of the new table service. I liked the picking of our own seat and not having to have a waiter or waitress. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for waiters and waitresses when I dine out, but this place was so relaxed that I just enjoyed having it be pick a seat and hang out with your family.
Overall I am pretty happy with the restaurant in terms of location, and gluten free food options! Most of the customer service has been great as well. Table service is now slow that it has changed and I almost feel rushed out when we dine in. I do have one thing though that has been on my mind and bothering me quite a bit.
I know this establishment has been open for many years and has been noted to be one of the premier places to eat gluten free. This sounds great and all the while I have eaten there many times and never been sick, I still had questions for the manager or owners. I recently reached out via email with no response in a few days and decided to reach out via facebook with just a few questions!
Mind you, I have been reaching out to many places in Massachusetts to add to my blog for some wonderful gluten free finds. I was shocked to say the least by the response. I am not sure if it was an owner, manager or just another employee, but felt that if an establishment truly cared for those that have a gluten issue or someone like myself with celiac disease then these questions should of been answered.
Some of the basic questions involved asking how they prep their food and if the staff changes their gloves when preparing a gluten free order. I asked if the same pans are used for both gluten free and gluten containing items. I did ask if there was a risk to cross contamination and politely let them know that even if in a shared prep area there could be a chance. In my mind, I felt that these are basic questions that anyone looking to help people like us would 100% be able to answer.
“We did receive the email. We’ve just been pretty busy lately and haven’t had a chance to reply. However, since we’ve been safely serving the Celiac community for more than a decade, (and some our employees are strict Celiacs), it’s safe to say that we’re well educated on the topic and have a pretty good handle on our processes. Thus, while we’re not opposed to helping out with your blog when we have a bit more time, some of these questions do seem like they’d be more appropriate for a place in its infancy.”
Now this response was not upsetting in the fact they finally responded, and I truly appreciate the fact that they let me know some of their employees are strict celiacs which instills more trust in the establishment. However I was hoping that they could just answer the questions outright so that I may help others that are gluten free and not make my questions seem like they should meant for a newer establishment and not them. My point is here, is that if you have never been to this place and you have questions and have celiac disease, you would want to have clear information and not go in blind. Even this company has been in business for over a decade etc this community can’t risk without knowing answers. Yes ok I will restate I have eaten there without questions and without getting sick so it sort of goes against my points because i did go in there blind, but this is why I am now trying to create a good and safe list!
At that point I simply told them I appreciated their response but that these were standard questions any celiac person would be hard pressed to know the answers to, especially if they have never been. I also explained many people don’t always go by one review. People with allergies or in this case an autoimmune disease like to see the answers in black and white to know when they go they will be safe. And then I just thanked them for their time.
So here is the full scoop, Yes their food is safe as far as I know and only by my opinion and experience of not becoming ill and I will eat there again…ok I will take out and not dine in, but not often as its further from my area of town.
*Please note I am not trying to dumb down or write a negative review for Wild Willy’s. Every review listed will be based solely off my own opinions and experience as well as questions that have been asked to the different establishments if they were able to answer!*
Below is one of my favorite dishes and great one to get especially during Lent if you can’t have meat on Fridays!