Try McCormack’s new allergen-free menu and celebrate Fourth Friday this Friday!
Freburary’s friends and family fourth Friday, one of Richmond’s best LGBTQ meet ups, is going to be extra special – the location for this week’s event is McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill off Parham and they now offer a Special Allergen Free Menu.
Mac McCormack of McCormack’s Whisky Grill and Chris Adler of Lamb of God, got together to help create the menu for those who have trouble dining out in our town, already known for its amazing restaurant scene.
In Richmond, with our existing and evolving vegan, vegetarian and clean eating crowd, many restaurants are catering to these needs. Most restaurants offer gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options.
McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill just opened in November in the former Texas de Brazil space in Regency Square. It is owned by the same owner of McCormack’s Whisky Grill on Robinson and co-owned by Chris Adler, drummer of Lamb of God. They recently launched a special allergen-free menu.
The menu was inspired by Adler’s wife whom has severe food allergies.
What is so unique about this operation is the use of two kitchens one kitchen is used specifically for the allergen-free menu.
The menu is offered daily but the second kitchen for those concerned with cross-contamination is used on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The second kitchen is used for banquets on the weekends and on Mondays it is completely sterilized down so that Tuesday nothing touches the kitchen outside of the allergen-free menu.
“The capability to not have cross-contamination is kind of difficult to handle in a standard kitchen for a restaurant. There is only one and you never know if a piece of peanut dust or something has floated over,” said owner Mac McCormack. “We don’t allow any of that stuff in the kitchen on those days. That’s something most restaurants can’t do.”
McCormack and Adler collaborated on the menu based around various food allergies and she helped with recipe ideas. They loosely based it around the standard menu. It offers gluten-free, nut-free, shellfish-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options.
For people with food allergies, it can be much more difficult to dine out for the fear of cross-contamination as well as a lack of options catering to their needs. This system of having a separate kitchen and being compatible to an array of food allergies is specifically so that people can have a nice dining out experience without having to worry.
“A lot of the people we have seen coming so far are parents who have children with food allergies,” said McCormack. “So the parents are excited because they don’t have to worry about their kids eating something that could potentially hurt them.”
There is also the gourmet flare that they would not normally get at home because they can’t go often with their kids.
The menu has only been offered for a couple weeks now so the system should run smoother as time goes on.
So far, for the few weeks the menu has been available, about 3 or 4 people have come in on those nights specifically for the allergen-free menu. McCormack says they have all been ecstatic to be able to eat out.
They offer up Mac and Cheese and it can be served a few different ways. They have gluten-free pasta and dairy-free cheese those that have a gluten-intolerance can get it served with real cheese if they desire and vice-versa.
“We have one girl who has come every week that loves mac and cheese and she also has a histamine allergy which is something I didn’t even know existed until I started this,” said McCormack. “She comes because she can’t really eat mac and cheese anywhere but she definitely wants the real cheese and there’s other people coming who are allergic to dairy and gluten too.”
Histamine is found in a lot of foods and different foods can cause the body to release histamine and cause complications to those allergic to it.
“It’s just exciting to be able to offer it we’re never going to stop offering it we are just going to keep it on those two days. The kitchen that we use for our allergy free menu [if we did it daily] that means we wouldn’t be able to do banquets anymore,” said McCormack. “So it would actually cost us money if we did it on weekends. We chose the Tuesday and Wednesday because typically people aren’t trying to rent out banquet rooms on those days.”
Since there is not a huge population of people that have food allergies there won’t necessarily be a big crowd every night but it is an opportunity for those people to be able to come out on these special nights.
A sample dish:
Roasted Cauliflower (yogurt, cumin, curry, salt, paprika) mint, cilantro, coconut milk, potatoes, and peas $18
McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill is located at 1406 N. Parham Rd. in Regency Square. They are opened daily and offer Brunch on the weekends.
For their specials, regular menu, event, and for more info on their special allergen-free menu, check out their Facebook.
Join the Fourth Friday event at McCormack’s Big Whisky Grill, 1420 North Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23229, this Friday, and RSVP to the event here.
Family & Friends, Happy Holidays! I hope you can join me for our final Fourth Friday of 2016. For this month’s cruise we will be heading to a GREAT Irish Pub!! I am sure it will be a blast with great drinks and wonderful people!! This is a Port of Call I am sure you [...]December 20, 2016
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