I am always on the look for new gluten-free places to try, particularly when I am traveling. On a recent trip to Virginia I came across Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. Now, those of you that know me, know that chains are not really my thing but I have had some great experiences at regional chains (of which Firebirds is one) so thought I would give them a go. Their unique wood-fired cooking method was what initially piqued my interest and it actually turned out to be more than just a gimmick – but more on that later.
I was actually pleasantly surprised. They offer a separate gluten-sensitive menu and staff had a good grasp on catering to those with special dietary restrictions. After my usual round of initial questioning, I felt comfortable with the answers I had received and looked forward to my meal.
I decided upon the wood-fired filet mignon and chose a side portion of their BLT Salad and a loaded baked potato as my sides. The meat was perfectly cooked to medium as requested and actually had a really unique flavor from being cooked over the wood fire. It made for the perfect sear on the outside but remained super moist and tender within. The salad was a mix of fresh greens with thick applewood smoked bacon with tomatoes dressed in a roasted garlic ranch dressing.
Now I did not have a starter because I had spied a gluten-free dessert that I had to save room for and it was definitely the right choice. The white chocolate mousse with grilled peaches, blueberries and toasted pecan crumble was absolutely decadent and extremely rich so I ended up sharing half of it. It was nice that the gluten-free dessert option was a bit outside of the box versus what has become the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cakes.