Word spreads rather swiftly through the food allergy community when a restaurant goes above and beyond to accommodate the needs of a customer with special dietary restrictions. Burton’s Grill is one of those establishments whose name has been circulating around the food allergy community for some time now and with positive reviews. When I noticed that we were fairly close to a large percentage of their restaurants, I made it a priority, while living in the Northeast, to find a way to experience this eatery and hopefully allow my son to enjoy another meal without fear.
As many of you know (or likely gathered from above), our youngest has very severe food allergies. His particular life-threatening condition has us avoiding eggs, peanuts and tree nuts like the plague and cross contamination is something we have to take into consideration with every meal outside of our own kitchen. When I find a great place that goes out of its way to make our visit a success and uneventful (such as Fathom’s in New Bedford, MA), I like to make sure I write about it so others know.
Since Burton’s Grill opened in 2005, it has developed a reputation over the years for catering to those with dietary difficulties. On its own website, it boasts that it has a goal to “‘Delight every Guest one at a time.” I wanted the opportunity to add my own opinion to the mix ~ hoping to increase its popularity should it live up to its reputation.
So, it was decided that the family would celebrate two of our March birthdays (both our youngest and my birthday are four days apart) by embarking upon a little adventure that would have us enjoying an early lunch at Burton’s Grill!
We casually drove out to Hingham, Massachusetts, arriving just before the restaurant opened, on an early Sunday morning in the beginning of March. The weather was FREEZING and was not exactly conducive to exploring the shops around it, which was sad because there are some great stores in that retail cove. From Crate and Barrel to Yankee Candle to REI, it looks like a great place to spend the day (or do some retail damage!) We did briefly duck into the Barnes and Noble just down the row from the restaurant to kill time (and my oldest to buy a book on Hamilton – yeah, a bit obsessed), but we made our way over to Burton’s as soon as we thought we could get in.
We were greeted and situated quickly, as the doors had just been unlocked and the lunch rush was not even within sight. Unfortunately, they placed us very close to the entry way, so we felt the cold air every time someone entered the restaurant – which happened more and more often as the lunch crowds filtered in. Nonetheless, the table was comfortable for our family of five and the ambiance was pleasantly relaxing.
We had already mentioned the food allergies to the hostess, so it was noted that we needed a server who was patient, understanding and accommodating. Enter Jessica! Jessica greeted us, listened to our regular spiel of what we were looking for when it came to our son’s meal, made some mental notes and then took our drink order. She took our questions back to the kitchen and prepared our drinks. It wasn’t too long after that the manager, Ruby, approached our table with a huge smile on her face to greet us. She introduced herself and then took the time to kindly explain why Burton’s Grill has the reputation it has. I thought this was a very nice touch.
Ruby shared that she had been executive chef for years and just recently started out on the floor as a manager. She then went on to tell us more about the restaurant itself, as well as its owner’s hope and goal. She mentioned that the owner of Burton’s Grill actually has celiac disease and that this invoked a natural sensitivity towards others with food-related concerns. In light of the owner’s own health, a menu that took into consideration this particular condition and others was designed and, in time, became more accommodating to those with other food allergies (paleo and gluten-free options are available).
“With our legendary scratch kitchen, we are able to customize our menu offerings to meet your dietary needs or wants.” (taken from website)
We learned quite a bit within those few minutes! For instance, no peanuts are served in the facility, though Ruby was quick to mention that they do house almonds and hazelnuts (something we simply just avoided during our meals that day). They actually utilize four separate fryers in the back so that breaded foods that may contain eggs do not cross contaminate with items such as french fries, which is obviously a favorite of littles (including our own).
Ruby went on to explain that meals prepared with special care are served on a different shaped platter ~ square ones as opposed to round ~ so that there is no question which dish belongs to the individual with the special order. They are also served separately and delivered by either the server or the manager in order to avoid confusion or cross contamination.
This is huge with us as we have had some servers at other restaurants over the years bring out our son’s dish in the same arms as a meal that may have an egg-allergen containing food on it (such as a chef salad or something with mayonnaise). When that occurs, that meal immediately goes back to the kitchen and is prepared over again in order to avoid harm to my son and embarrassment to the restaurant (I mean, who wants to have a child go anaphylactic in their dining area, right?).
Before long, Burton’s was filled and our meals were being served. Our son’s special order came out first and the rest followed. The meals were hot and the food looked fresh and appealing.
Our two older sons split their dishes to expand their horizons, each giving the other a half of the sandwich they had ordered. Our middle son and my hubby had ordered the Short Ribs Grilled Cheese sandwich (braised certified angus beef short rib, pickled onions, maple sriracha, Vermont cheddar, griddled ciabatta, red wine jus, fresh cut french fries), which they both loved! The oldest had ordered the Reuben (certified angus corned beef, local sauerkraut, imported Swiss, Russian dressing, griddled marble rye, fresh cut french fries) and I had the lunch portion of the crab cakes, which included super lump blue crab, vegetable cole slaw, fresh cut french fries and a mustard sauce.
As a special little birthday bonus, I upgraded my fries to garlic parmesan fries (yum!) and exchanged my cole slaw for a veggie (never been a cole slaw fan, but perhaps a bit skimpy on the broccoli portion). Bigger bonus?? I had a very happy 11 year old when we found out that the specialty fries were a safe option for him, as well. Scoring big, Burton’s!
Speaking of our youngest, the children’s menu comes with a choice of protein and then four sides (one side could be a cheese option – such as American if one were to choose the hamburger). He actually ordered a steak plate with cucumbers, broccoli and the specialty fries. He very much enjoyed his meal and was able to clean his plate without incident. Success! (the picture of his meal is above)
Now, as mentioned above, my birthday was one of the two we were celebrating, so I did choose to have a special drink. I blindly chose a classic mojito (Bacardi silver, fresh lime, mint, cane syrup) and did not like it. I’m more of a fruity drink person (if and when I actually drink) and this did not satisfy that craving at all. It was more for those who prefer an herb flavor to their drink as this was simply very heavy on the mint leaf. Hubby helped me finish it by taking a few sips because it just didn’t appeal. My bad – I didn’t ask for suggestions.
All in all, the meal was quite satisfying and everyone enjoyed their meal selections. Service was impeccable ~ minus being placed near the entrance with the cold air giving us a shiver every few minutes.
Quick FYI for those in the military ~ Burton’s Grill (or at least the one in Hingham) offers a discount for those in the military, so be sure to ask if you happen to be serving in the US Armed Forces at the time or carry a retired ID. They also have a loyalty program, so if you enjoy yourself and plan to frequent the establishment ~ be sure to ask about this! We just don’t think we will be over in that area often enough, so we passed this time.
I love finding new places that are food allergy accommodating. It accentuates the experience when the service itself is delivered with kindness, compassion, understanding and a smile. Jessica and Ruby were extremely cordial and very welcoming. They made our stay warm, enjoyable and, most of all, a success when it came to eating out with a family member dealing with food allergies.
Would we ever go again? If in the area, absolutely! My boys loved their menu options. So – this is a place I would highly recommend to any of my food allergy friends who may be in the vicinity of a Burton’s Grill.
Until next time ~ T
For more on Burton’s Grill:
- For more menu options, click here. Take note, each location has its own menu as there may be something more specific to that area.
- For restaurant locations in MA, VA, SC, NC, NH, CT and soon in MD and FL, click here.
Read more of my restaurant reviews!