Gluten-Free Dining: Duffy’s Sports Grill

If you live in southern Florida, are gluten free and enjoy eating in sports bars, you are in luck: Duffy’s now has a gluten-free menu. If none of the above apply to you, well, then hopefully you’ll enjoy the story anyhow.

So yeah, Duffy’s has a new gluten-free menu. And a local Duffy’s was showing the UFC 103 telecast on Saturday, so we decided to give them a try. Normally on UFC night we hit another local sports bar. But that establishment hasn’t jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon yet, which means I have no food options when we go. And sometime during a three hour sporting event, I’m going to get hungry. So I gathered my courage and we went to Duffy’s. Just so you know, I didn’t get sick.

Duffy’s has a one-page menu of gluten-free offerings. Not a great selection, but not the worst I’ve seen, either. For an MMA-filled Saturday night, a burger (sans bun) was fine. But a few more bar-food offerings, like french fries or nachos, would have been nice. I’m just saying…

To make the outing more exciting than it already was, we were there at the worst possible time for any gluten-free diner: when the place was packed. Not just packed, but wall to wall people. There wasn’t going to be any quiet conference with the server, manager or kitchen staff on this trip. It was strictly give the order to the waitress, cross fingers, and hope for the best.

When my order of a burger (sans bun) arrived, it was avec bun. Hey, wait a minute! Again, no chance to calmly consult with anyone on staff, and explain the error of their ways. So I quickly and politely (I think) told the guy who dropped my plate in front of me that sorry, this order is wrong, I can’t eat this because of “allergies”. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s not an allergy, but it was not the proper time to explain allergies vs. intolerances. Trust me.) I tried to rapidly yet clearly explain to him that my order was supposed to be gluten-free, that means without a bun, and I can’t eat this burger because it touched the bun. All the while, my mind was racing, wondering if the kitchen would simply remove the bun and send the gluten-tainted burger back to me. And then the lightbulb went off above my head. In a fit of inspiration, I grabbed the ketchup bottle, and painted a stripe across my burger.

Try giving that one back to me!

Not that I suspect the kitchen would try to deliberately harm me, but they were obviously busy. If you could have seen how many people were packed into that bar, you would understand. And I didn’t know how thorough their knowledge of gluten-free was. But the ketchup ensured that burger would not be making a return trip. And if I were doing it again, I would have painted the plate, too. Because that was my worry when my (newly cooked) replacement burger arrived – what if they used the same plate? But I didn’t end up sick, so obviously they didn’t recycle the plate. Good job, Duffy’s!

So the verdict on Duffy’s: we will probably go there again. Not as our preferred UFC venue, though. Sorry, but any place that switches off the UFC right before the main event just to show a stinking boxing match is not where I want to hang on a Saturday night. But food-wise, they are definitely an option. A Saturday afternoon, running errands, “hey I’m really hungry, what do you say we stop in at Duffy’s and grab something to eat” option.

I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to have a few of those options again.

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I've been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you're gluten-free, it's even better!
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2 Responses to Gluten-Free Dining: Duffy’s Sports Grill

  1. Erin says:

    Hi there!
    We went to the Duffy's in Plantation on Monday for Happy Hour not knowing they had a gluten free menu OR showed the UFC fights! Now that we know both (and have an MVP card;) we will be going back! Thanks for the review.

  2. Li loves David says:

    Erin,

    Don't you love little surprises like that? Glad you had a good experience at Duffy's, too!

    Thanks for the comment,

    Li

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