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A Gluten Free Birthday At American Girl

Posted Aug 24 2008 5:42pm 1 Comment
A 9th Birthday Party

One of our daughter's wishes was to go to the American Girl Place in New York City. She wanted to have a day of shopping, some fun and a special birthday luncheon. I thought this might be little challenging, since the kids and I eat gluten free. However, my husband, who was determined to make sure that our soon be 9 year old had a wonderful day, scoped out the American Girl web site. To our delight, he discovered the Cafe offered a gluten free menu. All we needed to do was to call and make our reservation.

I called the American Girl Place two months ahead of time to make our reservation and they were happy to say they could serve us a gluten free lunch. The one thing we had to wait to talk to the kitchen staff about was whether or not they could do a gluten free birthday cake. She said that the kitchen staff would also take our order for meals at the same time. With that done all we needed to do was wait for the kitchen staff to call.

Two weeks before our reservation, the American Girl Cafe called to verify our reservation and to take our lunch order. We were offered selections for a Warm Welcome (appetizer), First Course, and the Entree. Our kitchen staff representative said they would be ordering a gluten free cake for us to enjoy. My daughter was over joyed, she could have a gluten free American Girl Birthday Lunch.

Our daughter's big day arrived and mid morning we made our way to the train station. A little while later we were riding Metro North Railroad into Grand Central Station. We exited the train and made our way through all the tourists taking pictures of the inside of the Station. Our daughter was instantly struck by all the things that reminded her of the movie Madagascar. Looking around, she said "Did you see the clock Melman stuck his head through?" We made our way through the crowds to the cab stand and then we were off to the American Girl Place.

After a birthday shopping spree in the stores, we headed to the concierge to drop off our coats and shopping bags before going to the Cafe. Where our Birthday Girl was just speechless with all the black, white and pink decorations and the chair at the table for her new doll. Soon, the fun began when our drinks were served and her doll was given her own cup of imaginary tea.

While we were admiring the restaurant, our wonderful server brought fruit kebabs as our appetizer and then a first course of turkey roll-ups with fruit salad and fresh vegetables. While we waited on our entree, we took turns reading the Table Talkers provided by the restaurant to get our luncheon conversation flowing. Soon our entree arrived of grilled chicken, grilled mixed vegetables, sweet potato fries and a fresh salad of baby greens. Once our lunch arrived there was little conversation going on for a while, due to the sweet potato fries. Sweet potato lovers that we are, we had to try out those luscious looking fries sprinkled with large chunks of salt. We were enjoying our lunch so much, we were only brought back to the realization that birthday cake was still to come by the singing of Happy Birthday to girl at a neighboring table.

Within a few minutes my daughter's birthday cake arrived with a around of singing and picture taking. They brought out a gluten free flourless chocolate cake covered in chocolate and decorated in pink ribbons and bows. They served the cake with strawberry sherbet. Since there we had so much cake left over, they wrapped it up for us to go in it's own cute little American Girl bag.

Afterwards, we headed over to Toys 'R Us on Times Square to allow our son and the big brother to do a little shopping of his own. After riding the Ferris Wheel and checking out the Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus Rex, he chose to spend his time checking out the Lego and the Transformers departments.

Our day was done and a wonderful time was had by all of us. Although, we all agreed the best part of the day was the fabulous luncheon party we had at American Girl.
Comments (1)
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I am glad that the New York location worked out for this little girl.  Our experience with the AG tea in Chicago was less than happy.  While everyone else was brought warm cinnamon buns, my daughter was given one fanned out strawberry.  While others enjoyed pastries and scones and tea sandwiches, she was given a deli platter with carrots, cucumbers, cheese and ham slices.  After we asked about it, we were given one slice of rice bread.  I made her a tea sandwich, and wondered why no one in the kitchen could have donned a pair of gloves and done the same.   The only item that she really wanted to eat was the ham.  When we asked for more ham, we were told that we had been given the GF "allotment" and that they would have to check if we could have more.  Moments later, we told we were in luck - two more slices of ham could be provided!  My 6-year old daughter had to sit and watch all the others in our party eat treats while she was given a vegetable deli tray.  Yes, it was healthy, but it is really hard to watch everyone else getting warm sweet rolls while you have a tray full of vegetables.  American Girl Chicago was a HUGE disappointment.
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