Reviewed by Louise Totton
We were recently lucky enough to be invited along to review TGI Fridays in the intu Trafford Centre, Manchester. My boyfriend and I decided to go along for a child-free lunch whilst the kids were at school for a mid-week treat. I am unable to eat anything containing gluten, and had heard good things about TGI’s gluten free offering, so was really excited to be able to try it for myself. We arrived on a Friday lunchtime to find the restaurant was pretty quiet, and we were shown to our table straight away.
The restaurant looks great – it is trendy, cool and American. The theming starts from the moment you walk in, and past the shiny chrome motorbike, through to the road signs and guitars. The red and white TGI stripes are everywhere and it makes for a cosy, yet cool, ambience.
We were handed our menus, and at this point, I asked for a gluten free menu. The menu was immediately brought over, and I was informed by our server that whilst he would be back to take my boyfriend’s order, a manager would have to take mine as it was a gluten free meal. Whilst the allergen friendly menus can never be as plentiful as the standard menu, I have to say that it is impressive. There is a choice of several steaks, chicken dishes, hot sandwiches, ribs, and of course, handcrafted burgers. I decided to have the BBQ Pulled Pork burger, which is served in a gluten free bun with fries, and my partner opted for a plain Classic American burger and fries. We also decided to have a banana milkshake each.
When we were ready to order, the waiter came over and took his order and the manager came over immediately afterwards for my order. He was fantastic, and took the time to talk me through the gluten free menu, the kitchen processes and how my order would be supervised throughout the preparation by a senior member of staff. I was reassured that the chef would change aprons, that there was a separate preparation area and that the fries were genuinely gluten free as the chip fryer was not used for breaded products. He also went straight over to oversee the preparation of my milkshake.
Our food arrived – again, mine was brought over by the manager. I asked for ketchup and was brought a brand new bottle that still had the seal intact. Again, fantastic service and it really proved the genuine understanding that TGIs have of dietary requirements. The burgers looked great, with generous helpings of fries. They were cooked to perfection and were juicy and very flavourful. The pulled pork on mine was absolutely delicious and made for a fantastic change from a plain burger. Gluten free bread can be a little lacking but this one was good. My boyfriend, on the other hand, prefers his burgers plain, so really enjoyed his Classic American. He ordered it without the salad and coleslaw, and his order came exactly as he requested. TGI’s fries are my favourite ‘eating out’ chips, bar none. They are perfectly seasoned, skin-on and crispy.
We both finished our plates, but were a little too full to manage pudding. The milkshakes had possibly filled us up a little too much, and lunch does tend to be a lighter meal than dinner anyway. The deserts did look great though, and next time, I will make sure I leave space for one.
Our bill came to under £30 for two burgers with fries and two milkshakes, which I think is great value. We will absolutely be back, and it’s great to have found a place where I can eat safely and with confidence, whilst not having my choices heavily restricted.
For more information, to view menus or make a booking visit www.tgifridays.co.uk.
TGI Fridays, The Great Hall, intu Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA | 0344 6920311