Miscellanous News: Subway and Burgerville Go Gluten Free Friendly

SUBWAY Gluten Free

We heard about it first on our Facebook group page. SUBWAY has been in the gluten-free news for a couple of months by starting to provide gluten free bread (and brownies?) at their restaurants. We have yet to try the sandwiches, but have heard good things about them. They are also going to great lengths to educate their employees about gluten free issues and to prevent cross-contamination. For these things, I can only be grateful. Here’s a press release they sent us recently:

Gluten-Free goes mainstream: Oregon Subway Restaurants are first casual sandwich shop to offer gluten-free menu items

For the estimated 16 million Americans with gluten sensitivity, eating out can pose a real challenge. Now Oregonians can kick off the New Year with new choices, when SUBWAY restaurants across the state begin offering gluten-free sandwich options and gluten-free brownies as regular menu items after a successful test in Portland and Bend this summer.

Oregon is one of a handful of states to offer these alternatives, based on its reputation for mainstreaming food trends that might be niche alternatives elsewhere. When Subway’s Oregon stores had the highest average number of gluten free rolls sold during the test, it was clear that gluten-free foods are popular locally.

Gluten’s ubiquity can present a challenge for many families and work groups as they try to coalesce around a restaurant choice.

SUBWAY’s wheat-free sandwich rolls and brownies are produced in a gluten-free facility and are individually packaged. SUBWAY sandwich artists are trained to prevent cross-contamination during the sandwich-making process. For example, one employee will prepare a gluten-free sandwich order from start to finish. Other techniques include single-use knives and eliminating contact between traditional sandwich rolls and other ingredients including meat, cheese and vegetables.

Burgerville gluten free bun


Speaking of fast food, Burgerville, Portland’s much-loved burger chain, has come out with gluten-free buns that they are testing at two restaurants locally (25th & SE Powell in Portland and Fisher’s Landing in Vancouver). We went to one of the restaurants to check it out ourselves. As you can see from the photo above, the bun is delivered in a wrapper to help prevent cross-contamination. We were also handed a questionnaire to fill out.

After having heard so much about Burgerville from people we know, we were unprepared for how unappetizing their burgers were. The patties were overcooked. We both felt like the bun, which is produced by Udi’s in Colorado, did not compare well to the buns you can get from Jensen’s. The buns were dry, crumbly, and generally unappetizing. Of course, since the buns were being served in a package, there was no way to toast them, so I guess that would be expected.

On the plus side, the staff was extremely friendly, and the food came out fast. On the minus side, the restaurant was freezing cold. Did we mention that the burger patties weren’t very good? If you want to try them out yourself, Burgerville will be testing these buns until January 12, so you still have a few days left to try them.


  1. says

    As I also noted on the Facebook page, Subway’s gluten-free sandwiches are tasty and the staff do a great job to prevent cross contamination. In addition, they have gluten-free chips (e.g. Baked Lays) and pre-packaged gluten-free brownies.

  2. Kelly says

    Tried the Subway one. Didn’t have time to eat in the rest. Glad I didn’t ! I would have been embarrassed! The bread is extremely crumbly! It went everywhere! So bad that even though I had it wrapped I still couldn’t put it down to answer a phone call! I doubt I will eat this ever again.

    They should use the gluten free bread from Great Harvest bread. It’s great tasting & holds together!

  3. Sidney says

    I have had the Subway one. If I get it toasted at the beginning and after meat and cheese are put on, ten it does not crumble. I did have one place tell me that they would not serve them at night because it takes too long to try to be gluten free. I was not really pleased with that. I liked being able to have the option to eat there again.

    On Burgerville, the burgers are not the main attraction. It is the sauce. It is too bad that they could not toast the bun. Probably would have tasted better. All I used to ever have there were the small burgers. Never bothered with the lettuce and such. Sometimes I will take some bread with me and order just the burger. It is yummy!

  4. Katie L. says

    The spread at Burgerville is the key. I had a burger there last weekend and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a bummer that it can’t be toasted though. However, I’m just happy I can eat there again.

    I like having Subway as an option again. The one I go to (Mall 205 area) does a great job with how they prepare the sandwich. I didn’t find the bun at either Subway or Burgerville to be any drier than most other gf buns out there.

    Also, don’t know if you’ve posted this or not, but Red Robin now has Udi’s buns and they have a dedicated fried for French fries.

  5. Dave P says

    I sampled the gf bun at Burgerville; 25th & Powell. I had the same reaction as the publised review by GFPDX. One of my main complaints is that Burgerville STRONGLY publishes using local…?? Udi’s in NOT local. They are manufactured in Colorado! I too have enjoyed Jensen’s gf buns that are made right here in PDX. I have eaten them at a number of locations. They are also sold at New Seasons…I feel Burgerville would do better if they trained staff to actually handle GF products rather than just hand you a bun in a wrapper..

  6. Judy says

    For GF vegans/vegetarians our there…..Burgerville’s two veggie patties are gluten free. They’re made by Chez Gourmet, a local outfit.

    Finding GF vegan patties is tough – most have dairy or vital wheat gluten. Both Burgerville patties are vegan.

    If you do eggs….the basil aioli sandwich is fabulous. If this test catches on, I won’t have to do it with a lettuce wrap :o)

  7. han says

    Just so it’s clear, Burgerville originated in VANCOUVER, WA. Portland is lucky to have any Burgervilles!
    Yeah I said it

  8. Tamara says

    I just paid and extra dollar to have Burgerville’s gluten-free bun on their turkey club sandwich. I was a fan of the turkey club before, but the gluten-free bun was horrible. It had a funky texture, and the bad taste overrode anything tasty in the sandwich. I was excited to see that they were now offering gluten-free bread, but was incredibly disappointed with the product. For a dollar a bun, I’m sure they could do better!

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