I have heard about the famous tossed rolls in Branson, MO and I was very excited to visit a place where it was acceptable to throw food around. I visited the Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House with a group of 30. Our choices included fried catfish, a grilled chicken sandwich, a BBQ Beef Sandwich, or chicken fried steak. I so wanted a beef steak since this was a steakhouse, but….the chicken fried steak was quite delicious.
We were also served the Awesome Blossom appetizer, and yes, it is exactly what you think if it provokes an image of the famous appetizer Outback Steakhouse offers.
Perhaps what the restaurant is best known for is the tossed rolls. A staff member came to our tables and entertained with singing while she threw rolls at us. Yes, she threw rolls at us. It was fun catching food in mid air, and I must say, our roll tosser had a wonderful voice. I also had the pleasure of meeting Barney Fife, well, an actor that not only looked like the famed deputy sheriff, but delivered his mannerisms and voice perfectly. Barney Fife is also a roll tosser at Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House. What fun that would have been.
My tablemates all ordered the fried catfish and here is where we ran into problems. One at my table followed a very strict gluten-free diet, and another was a Pescatarian, meaning fish but no land meat.
Unfortunately, the Awesome Blossom is breaded in a gluten batter, but that isn’t where the problem was. We could not get a straight answer from our server on whether the catfish was breaded with gluten and deep fried in the same fryer as other foods such as the Awesome Blossom. This can cause major discomfort and illness to someone who is gluten free.
When the plates were served from the kitchen, we were still awaiting an answer as to whether the catfish was safe for a gluten-free diner and a Pescatarian. As the server dropped the plates at our table, we addressed our concerns and the server became flustered and said “I don’t know I just got here.” But….if the catfish is indeed gluten free, wouldn’t the server know the answer to this question?
A second server came over and abruptly collected the plate from my gluten-free tablemate and curtly murmured something under her breath and stormed away.
The manager eventually was able to confirm that the breading is gluten free and the catfish is cooked in its own fryer, thus not being cross contaminated with either meat or gluten foods. Why the servers didn’t already know this was puzzling to me. To be a restaurant in a tourist town, you have to know that you will have diners that are gluten-free, diabetic, allergic to peanuts, etc. While there are many people on diets for various reasons, it is imperative that a restaurant and its staff knows that there are some diners that have to follow certain diets for their health. A food allergy is nothing to mess with and there is no excuse for the staff to not be properly trained. And there is no excuse for the staff to be so curt.
For more information and to view the full menu, visit the Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House website.
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*Disclaimer: I was invited to dine at Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House as part a media event sponsored by #BloggingBranson and the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center in Branson, Missouri in exchange for coverage. No other compensation was provided and I arranged my own travel to Branson. All opinions are 100% my own.