Hello everyone! Last weekend Ryan and I visited the Goochland Drive-In Theatre to see “Finding Dory” (which was a great movie, by the way). Before going, I noticed that the theatre’s Facebook page said that they have strict no outside food policy…This worried me as someone with celiac who always brings safe food for me to consume. Especially since this theatre is about 40 minutes away and we wanted to arrive by 6pm to get a good spot! However, their Facebook page also advertised that they have gluten free options–with the most expensive being only $6.00. And I am not just talking about chips or candy–but real filling meals. But are they safe for celiac? I messaged the theatre explaining that I have celiac and that cross contamination is a concern. See our conversation below.
Me: Hi! I’m planning to visit your theatre in a week or so and I noticed you have gluten free options. I have celiac disease so I require a gluten free diet..so I was incredibly happy to see this. Can you tell me what gluten free options you have? Do you prepare it on a separate surface to prevent cross contamination (ex. Grilling burgers on separate surface than buns, changing gloves, clean utensils, etc)? I’m very sensitive so I wanted to check. Thanks in advance!
Them (within 15 minutes!): Please check out our website under “Snack Bar” for the full menu All gluten-free items are prepared separately from other items Have a great time!!! See you next week!
This was incredibly exciting for me! My biggest concern was cross contamination but was happy to see that they prepared the gluten free in a separate area–phew! I checked out their menu online and was pleased to see both meat and vegetarian options.
Copied from their snack bar:
Gluten-Free Menu (as of July 2016)
Popcorn – $1.85 / $3.95
Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Gluten-Free Bun – $6.00
Southwestern Veggie Burger on Gluten-Free Bun – $6.00
Gluten-Free Brownie – $2.50
Baked Chips – $1.30
In addition to this menu, there were many candy brands that were gluten free including Skittles so I opted for something sweet to finish off the meal. I ended up ordering the southwestern veggie burger on a gluten-free bun. I immediately alerted the staff that I have celiac disease and they took care of me. I watched as they changed their gloves and walk to a different area. I noticed that the gluten free buns were pre packaged and kept individually sealed until ordered–which further prevents cross contamination. This was the same case as the gluten-free brownie that was not made in house–which is probably a good thing to prevent cross contamination. The ketchup and mustard here is clearly marked gluten free–just be careful touching the containers since people eating gluten would have touched them too. I used a napkin and washed my hands before eating to be safe.
The staff was honest and knowledgable. When I asked if the Ice slushies were gluten free, instead of saying “well they should be, right?” They informed me that they were unable to confirm the status of the syrup and would therefore, at this current time, say that they were not gluten free to be safe. They offered to let me read the ingredients even though the food line was very long. This is so rare as often I feel like I am a hinderance but this group made me feel welcomed and took celiac disease seriously.
The food was good, bearing in mind that this is drive in theatre and not a 5 star restaurant. Ryan tried their gluten free chicken sandwich and was happy. The bun was incredible for both of ours though! Again, I was happy to see both vegetarian and meat options. Apparently their gluten free menu is quite popular! I am assuming they will further expand their gluten free options over time.
As for the theatre itself, 100% worth the money! Typically there is a double feature (we only stayed for the first because we weren’t interested in the second and had to drive home). There was a juggler/comedian before the show started, providing even more entertainment. There is a playground for kids (12 and under..so I couldn’t play on it! Sadness!). There is also free corn hole and volleyball. The theatre is a fantastic opportunity for family bonding, friend hang out, or romantic date night. Amazing experience from the safe gluten free food to the entertainment. We will definitely be returning. Thank you, Goochland Drive-In, for taking celiac disease so seriously and letting me “fit in” and enjoy a “normal” drive-in experience!! 🙂
Address: 4344 Old Fredericksburg Rd, Hadensville, VA 23067
Have you visited Goochland Drive In or any other drive in since going gluten free? What is your experience?