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Holy Molybdenum Batman. Eating Out gluten-free Is Hard
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36 posts in this topic

Rene83, I re Well, I live in Mississippi. Now, I love it here and would not want to live anywhere else, but if the end of the world comes, come on down. It will take several years to get here.

hahaha - yup, same here in tennessee  :D  it was severe culture shock as i grew up in nj (30 min from nyc) and to learn that NOT EVEN AEROSMITH WILL PLAY THE ARENA IN KNOXVILLE - it's pretty bad lolz  who the hell knows what the fashion is in the rest of the world......   :o

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I have never heard of gluten in popcorn.  Or stuff put on popcorn.  They may have told you this.  They may not have understood.  I get that a lot.

 

One  thing at a Mexican place that is almost always safe is beans.  If they have whole pinto beans, they should be safe unless they are in some way cross contaminated.  I suppose it is possible but not likely that there could be gluten in refried beans but I've never heard of it.  Rice is probably safe and most likely the corn tortillas would be.  I can't speak for all Mexican restaurants but the one we normally dine at is very good with food allergies and they have plenty of safe food.  We know of another that also has lots of safe food.  They also do salads and plain meats.

 

I do know that gluten lurks in a lot of restaurant foods because they often buy prepared stuff and prepared stuff can contain gluten.  Like soups and sauces.

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I have never heard of gluten in popcorn.  Or stuff put on popcorn.  They may have told you this.  They may not have understood.  I get that a lot.

 

One  thing at a Mexican place that is almost always safe is beans.  If they have whole pinto beans, they should be safe unless they are in some way cross contaminated.  I suppose it is possible but not likely that there could be gluten in refried beans but I've never heard of it.  Rice is probably safe and most likely the corn tortillas would be.  I can't speak for all Mexican restaurants but the one we normally dine at is very good with food allergies and they have plenty of safe food.  We know of another that also has lots of safe food.  They also do salads and plain meats.

 

I do know that gluten lurks in a lot of restaurant foods because they often buy prepared stuff and prepared stuff can contain gluten.  Like soups and sauces.

I have come across a lot of that too where they look at you with a thousand yard stare when I say "gluten", so then I escalate it. 

 

I think I speak for all of us here (if not them please don't crucify me) but when in the hell are these restaurants going to start doing stuff right? There are sooooooo many things that should NOT have gluten yet they do in restaurants purely to save money. Celiac/GI etc is not a rare thing now..... 

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lolz - rene, you said it in your topic title - EATING OUT IS HARD!!!!  and it is.  you'll get used to what you need to look out for.  the guy who makes your popcorn might have made a hot-dog on a wheat roll right before he served your popcorn, or have gotten crumbs where they shouldn't be - 'normal' people <haha and i use that term loosely) don't think of breadcrumbs as being unsanitary, unclean, or unusual.  so what, i got a breadcrumb on your popcorn, it's not gonna kill you.  nope it won't - but it'll make you sick and people don't understand that.  same thing for flour (in sauces, etc) my very good friend made me some stuffed grape leaves when i was first diagnosed - what's in them?  grape leaves, rice, garlic, etc, etc, every ingredient i could eat safely.  i opened up the container and there was some sauce on them so i called her.  what's in the sauce?  lemon, chicken broth, garlic.... ummmmmm.....  i said:  any flour?  oh yeah, she says, BUT IT'S ONLY A LITTLE BIT SO YOU SHOULD BE OK 

 

smh!!!   :blink:

 

you'll get used to keeping yourself safe.  at first it seems like a mine field but it gets better.  you'll know where you can eat safely and where you can't - i had to re-tune my "bells and whistles"  lolz 

 

 

lolz - rene, you said it in your topic title - EATING OUT IS HARD!!!!  and it is.  you'll get used to what you need to look out for.  the guy who makes your popcorn might have made a hot-dog on a wheat roll right before he served your popcorn, or have gotten crumbs where they shouldn't be - 'normal' people <haha and i use that term loosely) don't think of breadcrumbs as being unsanitary, unclean, or unusual.  so what, i got a breadcrumb on your popcorn, it's not gonna kill you.  nope it won't - but it'll make you sick and people don't understand that.  same thing for flour (in sauces, etc) my very good friend made me some stuffed grape leaves when i was first diagnosed - what's in them?  grape leaves, rice, garlic, etc, etc, every ingredient i could eat safely.  i opened up the container and there was some sauce on them so i called her.  what's in the sauce?  lemon, chicken broth, garlic.... ummmmmm.....  i said:  any flour?  oh yeah, she says, BUT IT'S ONLY A LITTLE BIT SO YOU SHOULD BE OK 

 

smh!!!   :blink:

 

you'll get used to keeping yourself safe.  at first it seems like a mine field but it gets better.  you'll know where you can eat safely and where you can't - i had to re-tune my "bells and whistles"  lolz 

Yeah. I am also deathly allergic to shellfish and mushroom and when I tell people that they think I will just sneeze or itch so I am almost rude until they understand undoubtedly that it will KILL me lol.

 

It is so much easier and safer to eat at home. Now if only life would allow me to be home more to accomplish this feat. Oy vey. lol

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I don't want to be discouraging in any way, nor want to feed current misunderstandings or misinterpretations of he said/she said, however I will agree that after my experiences eating in is the safest and no one will care about your health as much as you do. 

 

Although Canada is know for high standards of what is or is not gluten free, it is still very considerable that many restaurants are not on the same board.  Many offer a checklist which shows which dishes do or do not contain common allergens, gluten-free now included, and as nice as it would be to rely on that, there is the * followed by a statement which covers there asses if you get sick.  Completely understandable, so easily you can get cross-contaminated in a busy location such as a restaurant.  But then there the complete idiocracy which follows. 

 

Example: sweet potatoe fries are listed as gluten free.  Hooray.  You ask the waitress if they are fresh cut or packaged.  Wonderful, fresh cut, nothing added.  But then you find out they are deep fried with all the other foods, onion rings, chicken nuggets.  There is no separate deep-frier and they offer no alternative to cooking them.  So if you hadn't dug deeper you would've gotten sick.  So technically, if a restaurant offers no other way prepare a food, which in it's preparation is inevitably contaminated, is it really gluten-free? 

 

Rene, I agree that you have to look into anything.  If they were adding flour into completely perfect rice, I would not be surprised.  Flour is cheap, that's why it's found in everything.  It's a drying and thickening agent, it helps prevent things from sticking together, and did I mention it is cheap.  Money talks and bullsh*t walks and yes, you will have to get used to it.  And if you want to complain, I definitely think you should be open to do so on a website that is full of so many compassionate people who all struggle with this problem.  It's not that easy when not everyone is as honest as they should be.  Not many people understand how serious this is. 

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Restaurants are not required to cater to anyone with a food allergy and with everyone being so sue happy these days, it's a miracle that we have so many who strive to create good gluten-free food.  It really depends on where you live and what kind of restaurant you go to.  Rule of thumb for any Celiac is the higher end of a restaurant that you go to, the less likely you will ever be glutened from any source.  I do not dine out that much at all so have the extra money to go to a more expensive restaurant when I do treat myself. Chefs at these places are real chefs...not a line cook with no schooling on what is in the food. They tend to use all fresh, whole food and make everything on premises and don't rely on boxed or canned anything, which is where problems usually start.  There is one Mexican restaurant near me with a gluten free menu and, considering they are all Mexicans working there who probably never heard of Celiac before, do a fantastic job of it.  They were GIG trained and I have never, ever been glutened there.  I was impressed because I doubt you'll find any restaurant in Mexico with a bona fide gluten-free menu. So, it is very possible to eat Mexican food and not get sick.

 

The other issue regarding fryers is pretty basic.  No fryer is dedicated unless specifically stated on their menu. Usually when you find a totally dedicated fryer it's because there are Celiacs in the family and they do it to provide family members and the general public with safe food.  Only a Celiac would know the importance of a dedicated fryer. If you are new to this or even if you aren't, you should never expect anything fried to be gluten free unless the restaurant REALLY caters to Celiacs.  I know some places will say their fries are gluten free when they really aren't but I doubt these people have had proper training and why would you expect Joe Public without Celiac to know this?  They don't understand cc so that has to be remembered.

 

I think people need to be more grateful for the ones who strive to cater to us well because, quite frankly, they don't have to. It's really up to you, as a Celiac, to learn the diet well so you'll know how to interpret a menu and eat safely.  The rest of the world is not going to cater to us to such an extent and the ones that do, I am eternally grateful for.  Besides, it's not a good idea to eat out a lot.  You eat more fat and calories in a restaurant meal and just look at the state of things with people going out to eat all the time and eating all that rich food.  The world is overweight so eating out should be a treat and not a normal thing you do twice a week. I live in a super educated about gluten-free part of the country and I have many choices but still do not dine out all that often because it is not 100% guaranteed, like everything else in life, but it can be done successfully once you understand the pitfalls and how to ask about the menu. It is a true learning process, though.

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Restaurants are not required to cater to anyone with a food allergy and with everyone being so sue happy these days, it's a miracle that we have so many who strive to create good gluten-free food.  It really depends on where you live and what kind of restaurant you go to.  Rule of thumb for any Celiac is the higher end of a restaurant that you go to, the less likely you will ever be glutened from any source.  I do not dine out that much at all so have the extra money to go to a more expensive restaurant when I do treat myself. Chefs at these places are real chefs...not a line cook with no schooling on what is in the food. They tend to use all fresh, whole food and make everything on premises and don't rely on boxed or canned anything, which is where problems usually start.  There is one Mexican restaurant near me with a gluten free menu and, considering they are all Mexicans working there who probably never heard of Celiac before, do a fantastic job of it.  They were GIG trained and I have never, ever been glutened there.  I was impressed because I doubt you'll find any restaurant in Mexico with a bona fide gluten-free menu. So, it is very possible to eat Mexican food and not get sick.

 

The other issue regarding fryers is pretty basic.  No fryer is dedicated unless specifically stated on their menu. Usually when you find a totally dedicated fryer it's because there are Celiacs in the family and they do it to provide family members and the general public with safe food.  Only a Celiac would know the importance of a dedicated fryer. If you are new to this or even if you aren't, you should never expect anything fried to be gluten free unless the restaurant REALLY caters to Celiacs.  I know some places will say their fries are gluten free when they really aren't but I doubt these people have had proper training and why would you expect Joe Public without Celiac to know this?  They don't understand cc so that has to be remembered.

 

I think people need to be more grateful for the ones who strive to cater to us well because, quite frankly, they don't have to. It's really up to you, as a Celiac, to learn the diet well so you'll know how to interpret a menu and eat safely.  The rest of the world is not going to cater to us to such an extent and the ones that do, I am eternally grateful for.  Besides, it's not a good idea to eat out a lot.  You eat more fat and calories in a restaurant meal and just look at the state of things with people going out to eat all the time and eating all that rich food.  The world is overweight so eating out should be a treat and not a normal thing you do twice a week. I live in a super educated about gluten-free part of the country and I have many choices but still do not dine out all that often because it is not 100% guaranteed, like everything else in life, but it can be done successfully once you understand the pitfalls and how to ask about the menu. It is a true learning process, though.

true dat, gem - i especially agree with the part about higher end restaurants - many of these chefs have special training and are certified to safely cook for people with various allergies.

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true dat, gem - i especially agree with the part about higher end restaurants - many of these chefs have special training and are certified to safely cook for people with various allergies.

not just a celiac would know the importance of a dedicated fryer :) With my shellfish allergy I definitely know that importance. 

While you do bring up a good point, restaurants would not be open without customers and IMHO it is in their best interests to keep customers happy and help cater to special needs diets. I definitely love eating at higher end restaurants for the exact reasons stated, although it is pricey!!

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 I definitely love eating at higher end restaurants for the exact reasons stated, although it is pricey!!

it is a treat to find somewhere safe, yummy and delicious.  when i do, i am justified in spending $$ because most of the time i'm sitting in the corner eating my cardboard bread by myself  (KIDDING!!  lolz i just couldn't resist!)   :P

 

anyways, yeah, rene you got the double whammy with the shellfish - i have a friend <i know, right?! lolz)  who is allergic to shellfish - i always forget because he can eat *fish* - just not SHELLfish.  gotta be careful!

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I love peanuts. When I pick up a can of roasted peanuts and the ingredients list "wheat flour" I want to scream. Why add it? So they won't stick together. OK. I'll gladly pry them apart.

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I love peanuts. When I pick up a can of roasted peanuts and the ingredients list "wheat flour" I want to scream. Why add it? So they won't stick together. OK. I'll gladly pry them apart.

I have never seen any peanuts sticking together. So why? Plus, wheat flour isn't really good for that. It gets sticky when moist.

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