My daughter is a huge fan of America Girl and fortunately, we live near the one at the Natick Mall. It's a great place to shop and the cafe is a nice treat.
The American Girl store at the Natick Mall has two stories, the Bistro takes up half of the second floor.
Reservations are highly recommended during peak lunch and dinner times. We know from experience that they do close early on New Year's Eve.
American Girl Bistro is Celiac Friendy
The Boston's Children's Hospital Celiac Support Group has held lunch events here several times in the past. That alone should tell you that this place takes gluten free very seriously.
They have delicious gluten free options.
We have eaten here several times in the past couple of years and have never encountered a problem. In fact, my daughter has requested going here for lunch every year for her birthday.
She likes to bring her American Girl doll. They have special seats for the dolls so they can sit at the table. If you forgot yours, or don't have one, you can borrow one for the duration of your meal. (They even get their own place settings)
We usually do a bit of shopping afterward. So it's a fun experience for her.
This year we might be going to xxx as she likes going there.
Tips on Eating in the Bistro
Don't forget to mention that you need to eat gluten free. The servers have been excellent about catering to the needs of Celiac. They will explain all the items on the menu that can be prepared Gluten Fee.
There's a single price per meal for a starter and a Main Course, currently it cost $16.50 for adults. So all the meals are a single price, which makes it easy to just focus on what you want to eat.
There's not a lot of options for the appetizers. My daughter usually gets the Fancy Fruit Fondue option. I recall that the Mediterranean Hummus and the Warm Artichoke-Spinach Dip are other Starters that can be made Gluten Free.
On our last visit, my daughter had the butterfly pasta with butter and oil. She ate most of it, and we brought some home so that she could enjoy as a small snack.
In the past she would have the Butterfly pasta with Alfredo sauce. It's her version of Mac & Cheese since they don't have any gluten-free mac and cheese. She also tried the Bistro Burger with the gluten free bun.
Gluten-free Birthday Cake
If you're celebrating a birthday, call ahead a few days early and they will have a specially prepared gluten-free birthday cake. The Natick American Girl Bistro don't make the cake they get it from Something Sweet Without Wheat a bakery that specializes in Gluten free cakes.
The cake is actually really good.
What's really nice is that if you have a large party they will serve noncelicas guests a regular cake. That way the birthday girl gets more cake to take home.
Overall it's a fun dining experience. If you should encounter an issue with the server, make sure to let the manager know.
One time when we visited, the server didn't appear to know much about Celiac. We were concerned that things wouldn't go well and did ask for a different server.
That was the only time we ever had an issue. That was several meals ago and we still go back for the delicious food and fun shopping experience.