• Gluten Free Menu: Wild Willy’s Restaurant Review in Worcester, MA

    by Ellen on April 27, 2009 · 14 comments


    Whether you’re gluten free or not, Wild Willy’s in Worcester, MA gets five stars.

    Wild Willy’s is a great local restaurant that deserves a region-wide fan base. If you’ve been dealing with GF issues and you want to take your family out for dinner to a great burger joint, this is the place to go, even if you have to drive a distance to get there! As far as we know, it’s the only place in the greater New England area that you can get a GF burger (on a GF bun) and GF fries! And it couldn’t be easier to get to. It’s located right at the intersection of I-290 and I-190 in Worcester, MA.

    When my husband and I finished our meal, we both agreed that this place is tops. Everything is made fresh to order. The wait isn’t very long at all. The service is excellent; the prices are more than reasonable. And they have GF pickles! Five for a buck! As for me, if I have a chance to eat French fries, crisp, warm, full of potatoey-goodness, smothered with Heinz ketchup, I’m first in line.

    So, have I piqued your curiosity yet? Let me tell you about Wild Willy’s in Worcester. This restaurant is on the cutting edge of restaurants that know what customers want. There are so many people (Celiac or gluten intolerant) who have requested gluten free menus. And Wild Willy’s in Worcester listened. Not only did they listen, but they really went the extra mile. Take it from me – my husband and I travel quite a lot – I only wish that other restaurants would go to the same lengths that Wild Willy’s did in serving their GF customers.

    In designing their GF menu, they worked with a very experienced Gluten Free consultant, Rick Fask of Good For life foods, LLC. Rick helped them create a GF menu that completely reflects their regular menu and gives GF diners an absolutely authentic GF burger experience from start to finish. The owners of the restaurant, Bob and Jan Stein, as well as the staff, are well-trained, making certain that the GF foods are indeed gluten free. They also fully understand the importance of avoiding cross contamination. All orders are made fresh to order. All GF items are marked GF, prepared and served separately. Let me tell you something folks, this restaurant did their homework in a big way!

    Here’s a quick overview of Wild Willy’s GF menu:

    Char-grilled Burgers and Char-grilled Chicken on a butter/toasted GF Bun
    GF Hand Cut French Fries (dedicated GF fryer)
    Salads with GF salad dressing, plain or with char-grilled chicken
    Half sour pickles
    Frappes (milkshakes), Draft Root Beer, Assorted Soda
    Ice Cream
    GF Redbridge Beer and Wines at the Bar

    Wild Willy’s offers their GF menu Sunday through Wednesday from 5 – 8 PM. They’re located at 317 West Boylston St, Worcester, MA. 01606 Their phone number is 508 459-2088.

    By the way, I didn’t get any financial remuneration for writing this review. I’m just one happy customer. Wild Willy’s, thank you for listening and for giving us gluten free folks a fabulous gluten free dining experience.

    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    Alisa (@godairyfree.org) April 27, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    This sounds like a fantastic restaurant! I want to add your recommendation to my site, do you think they can cater easily to dairy-free too?

    Reply

    I Am Gluten Free April 27, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Alisa,

    Probably to some extent….the GF burger buns have dairy, so they wouldn’t work for you. But the burgers (beef and chicken) are GF, as are the fries and pickles and salad. Not sure about the salad dressing. Obviously, the ice cream wouldn’t work. But this restaurant is so excited about being able to offer their GF menu that in time, if there is enough of a response, I’ll bet they’d be willing to add other items to their menu. I’m going to strongly urge them to add a vegetarian and/or vegan burger. But all in good time! First we just have to get the general GF public to show their support by eating there. And it’s well worth it!!!

    Reply

    Rochelle April 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for letting us know — I e-mailed the company to see if they have a gluten free menu in their other locations too — they said they are watching closely to see how this one works out. So hopefully, if the Worcester location is a success, they will implement the gf menu elsewhere too! Rochelle

    Reply

    Laurie B. April 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    So excited about this news, we made the 45 minute drive to Worcester tonight! We had exactly the fabulous experience you did, my 16 year old and me. A great family place and high quality food. Those gf buns are soft and yummy. wow!

    Reply

    I Am Gluten Free April 29, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Hi Rochelle – let’s cross our fingers!

    Laurie B – I’m delighted that you had such a great experience. Please, please spread the word. Once it goes viral (term for how it spreads on the internet), there’s a much greater chance of success and if that happens, Wild Willy’s will not only continue to have a GF menu in Worcester, but there’s a greater chance that the other restaurants in their chain will follow suit!

    Reply

    Diane-The WHOLE Gang April 29, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Wow, this looks great. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to post on my new blog, Gluten Free Food Critic about your post and link back here. Long drive for me to get there but if I’m ever back there I’ll stop in for sure.

    Reply

    Anonymous May 4, 2009 at 11:22 am

    We went there last night (Sunday) with friends & our GF 6 year old. My spouse & I ate the gluten-free burgers in support & they were soooo good! When asked what his favorite thing was (burger or french fries), the little man pointed to everything!
    Thanks for the tip.
    ~Susan

    Reply

    Allie May 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    YUM… will have to stop there next time I’m heading to Western MA!

    Reply

    GFE--gluten free easily May 4, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, that’s impressive! I now need to go find out where Worcester is in MA (I think northwest). We have a summer motorcycle trip coming up … maybe we can put it on the itinerary!

    Thanks, Ellen!
    Shirley

    Reply

    Sammie May 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Wild Willy’s sounds like a place that me and my guys really need to check out. My husband is from that area, I will have to ask him if he has ever heard of it. Thanks for such a fabulous review of the place.

    Reply

    carla June 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    To whom it may concern;

    I am writing to inform you of our new Gluten free menu. About 4 yrs ago my sister Christine and I opened nebo restaurant at 90 N. Washington St. in Boston’s North End. Nebo is a traditional Italian restaurant offering dishes based on recipes that were passed down from our mother and grandmother. After being open for about a year, two of our closest friends were told they had Celiac disease. We then realized just how many people this disease has affected and the need for an alternative for their dining restrictions. Determined to serve our friends their favorites, we set upon making our menu available in a gluten free form. We are thrilled to say that we have now produced 90% of our menu with the same great taste as our regular menu. We don't think there has been an accomplishment that has brought us more pleasure. If you would like us to forward a copy of our Gluten free menu please send a menu request to [email protected] .

    Reply

    Michele February 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Great post! It is always nice to hear of new places.

    Just to let you know, Burtons Grill has Gluten free buns for their burgers and gluten free french fries. I don't think I've had better burgers and fries even before I was gluten free!

    Reply

    Rochelle March 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I just learned that the Wild Willy's in Needham has the gluten free menu too!

    Reply

    Lisa November 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

    VTHIS IS SO EXCITING TO KNOW WE CAN TAKE OUR 7 YEAR OLD VERYYYY SENSITIVE GRANDDAUGHTER OUT TO EAT.. VERY WORRIED ABOUT GETTING CONTAMINATED..SHE ATE THERE AND SHE WAS OK.. LOOKING FORWARD TO YOU OPENING MORE PLACES,FRAMINGHAM,NATICK OR ANYWHERE.. THANKS SOOOO MUCH P.S. HOW ABOUT A BAKERY?

    Reply

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