For me, it was the My Friend Mandy doll. With her silky blond hair and floral prairie dress, she was ready for any adventure I'd created for the two of us. Whether it was a tea party with her much smaller Barbie pals or exploring our backyard, she was to me what an American Girl (or a good knock-off) is to my daughter.
So, I decided to finally make the field trip to the American Girl Place on Michigan Avenue and have lunch with my daughter and the dolls. In preparing for our visit, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they can accommodate diners with various allergies at their American Girl Cafe.
When making my reservation, I informed them that I have both a gluten and dairy allergy and also asked that the chef contact me, to make sure that they could accommodate both with their menu options at the Chicago cafe. The morning of the lunch, I received a personal message from the chef reassuring me that they could accommodate my needs.
Upon being seated at the preciously pink table complete with seats for each girl's doll, I was handed a gluten free menu with modified options from starters through dessert. Their menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs with gluten free bread.
My only complaint was that my appetizer was a fruit and cheese kabob. When I informed the waitress that I had noted on the reservation that I was also allergic to dairy, she sincerely apologized and worked with the chef to confirm what remaining gluten free options could also be made free of dairy.
I was able to relive my youth, serving myself and my daughter's doll some juicy strawberries, a tasty garden salad with chicken and bacon bits, a few bites of pink sorbet and a yummy blueberry muffin.
Tags: American Girl, American Girl Cafe, American Girl Place, around chicagoland, breakfast, brunch, Chicago dining options, dairy free, desserts, dolls, downtown, gladly gluten free, gluten free, gluten free living, gluten free restaurants, things to do