Original ChopShop Co. Raises Gluten-Free Questions

beet-goat-cheese-salad-ChopShop.jpg
Judy Nichols
The beet salad at the Original ChopShop Co. in Tempe might be gluten free.

You'd think a place billed as "healthy," a place that serves quinoa as a side dish, would be a gluten-friendly place.

At the Original ChopShop Co. in Tempe, you'd be right -- and you'd be wrong.

See also: Spinato's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Passes Expert Inspection

I went there for lunch the other day, with some friends from work, and standing in line to order at the counter, I was pretty excited about the menu options, because it looked like there were several things I could eat.

But I wasn't really sure, because nothing was marked gluten-free on the menu. It did say that gluten-free wraps were available as a substitute for the whole-grain variety. It didn't mention any gluten-free bread. But I was most interested in the beet salad.

It has greens, arugula, roasted beets, sour apple, goat cheese, cashews and golden raisins, and is served with a red-wine vinaigrette. It looked safe based on the menu, but anyone with a gluten allergy knows you can't go by that.

So when I got to the register, I asked the man taking my order if the salad was gluten free. He hemmed and hawed a little, mumbled something about mayonnaise, which wasn't listed anywhere in the ingredients, then said it "probably" was OK.

Location Info

Original ChopShop Co.

222 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
exit2lef
exit2lef

The phrase "gluten-friendly" suggest the opposite of the way in which it's used here. "Gluten-friendly" suggests friendliness toward gluten, perhaps a menu full of wheat and rye. That's something this blogger is looking to avoid. "Celiac-friendly" might be a better choice of words. It emphasizes the population that must avoid gluten due to a definitive diagnosis by a doctor.

eatshit
eatshit

your parents failed. don't blame it on chop shop.

eatshit
eatshit

your parents failed. don't blame it on chop shop.

Alicia Geier
Alicia Geier

Nowhere on their website do they call themselves a gluten free restaurant. If Yelp states that than that's an issue with Yelp. Heck its Yelp. I believe less than half of their info.

Alicia Geier
Alicia Geier

Exactly. I'm lactose intolerant & have to deal with issues but since its my issue, its my responsibility as well.

Melissa Schiffman Fink
Melissa Schiffman Fink

Gluten free doesn't = healthy. There are plenty of gluten-free foods that aren't healthy.

Molly Fuzat
Molly Fuzat

I usually assume that unless it's designated it's not glute-free/vegetarian/vegan/organic, etc. They note gluten-free wrap options etc as outlined in the article, but I think it is getting a little nit picky to ask them to specifically designate non-GF items also. (Not to mention Yelp misclassifies things all the time.)

kelseydake
kelseydake

You know, all of these commenters would be right except for the fact that Chop Shop has promised to educate their employees. I have a similar disease and way more allergies than just gluten. I wrote on Chop Shop's yelp page after a less than savory experience from a place that advertises itself as "healthy" the owner responded to my review saying they were trying their hardest to educate their staff on the menu and ingredients. 

You can read my original review here, as well as see the owner's response.

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/original-chopshop-co-scottsdale-2#hrid:3-YjPa_iKWBUvKk8_wquww

Rose Sky
Rose Sky

The restaurant does have responsibility, though. If you search Yelp for gluten free restaurants in Tempe, the ChopShop will come up. I've been there on a few occasions and wondered the same thing myself. The wrap says gluten free, okay what about their other items? If you're now attracting people with gluten-intolerance, you're going out of the way to accommodate them, and if that's the case, the staff as well as the menu need to also reflect that.

opinionatedbutright
opinionatedbutright

Intolerances and allergies can be life threatening. Wait staff and all staff should know what's in food. No, we don't expect restaurants to "cater" to our needs but sometimes we have to know what's in the food we're eating. Maybe having an ingredient list at the register would help. It's not the same as someone asking for dressing on the side because he's on a diet. It can be a life or death issue at  the worst or mean a day of discomfort at the least.

forkvsfood
forkvsfood

This article is ridiculous. I'm sorry that you have a terrible illness, but it's not the responsibility of every restaurant to cater to the minority when they don't list their dishes as Gluten Free. And THEN you chastise that person for going into the kitchen to check for you when they weren't sure? What do you expect them to do? So frustrating.

Joshua Schlag
Joshua Schlag

You'd think... But if they don't make it a point to put it on their menu - online and in person - don't expect it. I'm sensitive to celiac's needs as I have friends who go through that, but they always make it a point to look up a place in advance and contact them before standing at the register if there are questions. It sucks, I know, but it's your responsibility - not the restaurant's.

ExcuseMe
ExcuseMe

Is this really an article about your complaint about a place that doesn't claim to be gluten free?  WTH? 

jliven23
jliven23

I'm very sorry about your severe illness and hope they find a cure soon. I'm ready to do my part for Gluten-Walk....60 miles over three days to bring awareness to this silent killer. Ugh.

amy.silverman
amy.silverman

@kelseydake thank you for your thoughtful response and for putting your name to it. frankly, the "eat shit" types are embarrassing themselves (so i guess it makes sense you are too chicken to put your name to your comments). no matter which way you lean on it, if you are considerate and have something to add to the conversation -- and i see that here -- we are delighted to have you commenting. otherwise, let's see... how can i put this politely? no one cares. and you're not as clever as you think.  that said, the debate over a restaurant's responsibility when it comes to allergens and other issues is a fascinating one and a problem not easily solved but definitely worth discussing. so thanks kelsey, and others. 

exit2lef
exit2lef

@amy.silverman I would gladly post comments under my actual name, but the current NT commenting system doesn't make that easy. During the transition from Disqus to whatever system is used now, my profile here became associated with my Twitter handle, and I can't find anywhere in the setting to adjust how my name is displayed on New Times blogs. The trolls will always hide behind pseudonyms, but the current platform doesn't make it easy for those willing to be transparent about their identities.

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