Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!

Eating GLUTEN FREE Beef Burgers, Chicken Burgers, Hot Dogs & Fries @Ed’s Diner (Soho; London, Piccadilly; London and Swindon)…

Ed’s Diner is the first major burger chain to be accredited by Coeliac UK with an extensive Gluten Free Menu. Indeed, it offers around 85% of its regular menu so you can get a GLUTEN FREE bun (for burgers and hot dogs) alongside many of their exciting offerings all without GLUTEN. The Accreditation from Coeliac UK gives me some reassurance that Ed’s Diner and other restaurants in question have worked with the Charity and will provide a GLUTEN FREE meal with the right level of care and attention to minimize cross-contamination. I hope other restaurants will follow this lead and we shall see more of this symbol out and about, and by supporting those establishments who have obtained the accreditation, then it will hopefully encourage others to consider working towards it.

This posting pools together a few previous posts as well as adding newly tasted Menu items, giving a comparison to different GLUTEN FREE Beef Burgers and GLUTEN FREE Chicken Burger meals as well as a couple of different GLUTEN FREE Hot Dog meals at Ed’s Diner including at branches in  Soho, LondonPiccadilly, London and Swindon. And also reviews a fundamental question (if you’re at an Ed’s Diner): whether Cheesy Fries are better than Cheese & Bacon Fries?

The GLUTEN FREE Menu is provided separately from the Main Menu, but follows the same categories and key dishes offered on the regular Menu. The Gluten Free Menu reflects the contents of the regular menu and there is no further discussions and clarity points required when ordering: its that simple!  Click here to download Gluten Free Menu

The new GF menu.

So to the food: GLUTEN FREE Beef Burgers & Chicken Burgers:

BIG BUBBA’S BACON N CHEESE BEEF BURGER: London Soho.  The “BIG BUBBA’S BACON N CHEESE: Everything in ‘The Original’ plus sweet-cured bacon and American cheese” and it’s like having a good substantial burger. Interestingly, in the Soho branch it was served in a paper bag, so that you’re able to eat it with your hands, without getting too messy and the tomato, lettuce and sauce all squeeze out when you start eating it.

Big Bubbas GF Burger at Ed's Diner Soho.

Big Bubbas GF Burger at Ed’s Diner Soho.

The GF Bread Bun comes topped with sesame seeds (so if you have an allergy to these: you might ask if they have plain ones!) and a “special sauce” which is different to how they served it in Swindon! It is a little heavy as a bread roll and actually found myself (with my rather larger filling fries smothered in runny cheesy sauce and bacon) leaving half the bread but at least they’re trying. I note they offer “skinny” options (i.e. without the bread roll!) but I think burgers ought to be served in a roll that you can handle!

BIG BUBBA’S BACON N CHEESE BEEF BURGER: Swindon: Located inside the Outlet Village, now one of many mainstream restaurants in the Swindon Complex, this feels like a quite retreat from the Shoppers and the shopping center. I really like the way the “BIG BUBBA’S BACON N CHEESE: Everything in ‘The Original’ plus sweet-cured bacon and American cheese”was presented: opened up without any sauce, and clearly on my special GF burger bun. It was plated up so that I could see it was “special” and maybe because I’m a little fussy: I really liked having the separate tomato and lettuce (as they didn’t make it into my burger!). In comparison to  the Soho branch, when it was delivered to me, they offered special burger sauce, mayonnaise, mustard and /or tomato sauce for the burger and I opted for mayonnaise.

Better Burger presentation at Ed's Diner Swindon

GF Big Bubba Burger at Ed’s Diner Swindon

CHICKEN N BACON BLT BURGER: Piccadilly, London: Located just off Piccadilly Circus and around the corner from Leicester Square in Central London, this is a large diner with plenty of seating: either in a semi-private booth, open tables or surrounding the “bar”. You are met at the door and seated with similar decor to the Soho Diner with lots of juke boxes, chrome details and electric red tabletops. The staff were friendly and offered the Gluten Free Menu upon arrival. For a change, I opted for the Chicken N Bacon BLT Burger, described on the Menu as “An old favourite, served with bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce” (and requested that it came without the T [tomato] which I would have taken out if it had been included) from the GF Menu.

A little strange that it has two sauces on the burger: BBQ sauce on top of the bacon /chicken, with mayonnaise on the top side of the bread bun but given Chicken is a little drier than Beef, it was a compliment to the burger. The GLUTEN FREE bread was the same rolls I have experienced before with sesame seeds on the top and quite a soft light roll. It is a generously sized chicken breast which has been flattened to the size that it spreads outside of the bread roll, which was fine with me.


GF Cheese & Bacon Hot Dog: Soho, London

My GF bunned Hot Dog with American melted Cheese and Bacon.

The hot dog was good although as is typical with Gluten Free bread, it was not a consistent bake with one end being soft and the other being a little harder. The sausage is well seasoned, not too salty (as some of the processed hot dog sausages can be) and of a great size: and of course, it looks just like the regular Hot Dog (just without GLUTEN). The American Cheese was dribbling through the hot dog and onto the plate and is quite messy to eat, and has a slightly vinegary salty taste which makes me wonder what percentage of it is really cheese! The bacon could have done with a few more minutes to make it crunchy and crisp but a great GLUTEN FREE Hot Dog!

GF Pulled BBQ Pork topped Hot Dog: Piccadilly, London.

My Pulled Pork topped GF bunned Hot Dog with Cheese Bacon Chips.

Following on from my experience of the GF bread, I decided against choosing a burger (as I calculated that there would be less bread with a hot dog) and so opted for the Pulled Pork hot dog. This was an indulgent treat as the pulled pork was deliciously salty and rich, topped with further BBQ sauce. On this ocassion, the GLUTEN FREE bread roll hadnt quite been cut through, so the sausage and the pulled port sat atop of the bun but given the additional topping, it was something I had to eat with a knife and fork. It was a great filling Hot Dog and whilst I could have had one further topped with runny cheese sauce, I think that would have been too excessive.

And so to the Fries?

 Of course, you can just choose regular fries but I think Ed’s Diner is famous (in my eyes) for the runny cheesy sauce, so my dilemma is whether to have the Bacon with it or not?

Great Cheesy Fries (All GF!)

So what’s do they taste like: Well, I loved the Cheesy Fries. I was nervous that there was only going to be cheese just on the top, but this melted mush runs into the bowl and there was plenty of cheesy yummyness all through the bowl of chips. It does have a slight vinegary taste rather than a creamy cheesy flavour but isn’t too salty as a wet sauce. A good consistency which doesn’t affect the firmness of the chips, always a delight that goes with a Burger or a Hot Dog.

Cheesey Bacon Fries (GF!)

Cheese & Bacon Fries (All GF!)

And I have also ordered and enjoyed the Cheese & Bacon Fries. These are the same as the Cheesy Fries just with additional Bacon pieces. Now these look like they should be crunchy and hard, but the bacon is quite soft but at least there is plenty of it atop of the cheesy sauce. As above, the Fries keep their shape and crunchiness, even with the additional toppings. And one of the joys of Ed’s Diners fries is the wiping up of the cheese sauce with the final few chips.

So the decision as to which fries to have is probably related more to your preference for the “main course”. I have had various combinations and found that the Cheese & Bacon Fries can cause an overload if you’re having a Big Bubba Burger (with bacon) whereas with a Hot Dog, which I have found to be a slightly less filling than the Burgers, it balances out a good lunch. But there are even more Fries decisions to try: With Chilli and With Gravy (both of which appear on the GLUTEN FREE Menu) so I have to pop back and try them!

Other Burgers reviewed on my blog include Honest Burgers, GBK, Byron Burgers (all in the UK) as well as BareBurger (in the USA).  And for other Accredited Restaurants by Coeliac UK: Click Here. including Carluccios, La Tasca and Pizza Express.

COMING SOON: GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Easter Eggs for 2016/ Travelling GLUTEN FREE @DisneyWorld & @Universal Studios / Travelling GLUTEN FREE on Disney Cruise Line


If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they list out their Accredited restaurants as well as produce a Comprehensive Directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). And at Christmas, they produce a highlights sheet which outlines key products.  This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK

One of the hard-hitting posters from Coeliac UK for Awareness Week.

One of the hard-hitting posters from Coeliac UK for Awareness Week.

One of the hard-hitting posters (featuring Yours Truly) from Coeliac UK launched for Awareness Week, held in 2015 and to be seen again in 2016.

SIGN UP so you do not miss out on future updates to the  as well as new Restaurant Reviews, Product Reviews and (occasional) Recipes. Also check out my posts on GLUTEN FREE Ice Cream, GLUTEN FREE Advent Calendars, GLUTEN FREE Mince Pies,  GLUTEN FREE Easter Eggs and GLUTEN FREE Valentines Treats.


19 comments on “Eating GLUTEN FREE Beef Burgers, Chicken Burgers, Hot Dogs & Fries @Ed’s Diner (Soho; London, Piccadilly; London and Swindon)…

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