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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Olive Garden
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20 posts in this topic

Olive Garden Website

They have it listed that if you are Gluten Intolerant to speak with a manager. Has anyone tried this? The only place I've eaten since my diagnosis is P.F. Changs. I get it in a to go box and use plastic utensils. I am very sensitive and this seems to work very well for me.

I have to travel 40 min though to eat there and we have an Olive Garden in town. I would love it if I had an option for special occassions. I can't have casein either though so that makes it extra tricky.

Thanks.

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hi, I would love to try that too!

we used to go to olive garden evry week before my son was diagnosticated.

I would love to hear if anybody went and what you canask there! ( shame that they not make an easier gluten-free menu!)

Abi

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Olive Garden Website

They have it listed that if you are Gluten Intolerant to speak with a manager.

I have to travel 40 min though to eat there and we have an Olive Garden in town. I would love it if I had an option for special occassions.

Thanks.

I've been on the gluten-free diet for 2 1/2 years, mostly with good success. But yesterday, I ate lunch at an Olive Garden, ordering about the only thing on the menu which appeared to be gluten-free -- the chicken caesar salad. About half-way through my meal, I began to experience mild celiac disease symptoms and have been dealing with them ever since (about 20 hrs later). I am quite suspicious that the caesar salad dressing they used had gluten. The only other thing it could have been was the Sweet and Low that slipped into my iced tea -- be careful, Olive Garden now disguises their sugar packets so that the Sweet & Low, Equal, Splenda and sugar all look alike!!!!!!!!!!!

My experience with Olive Garden is that there is NOTHING on the menu for a celiac disease sufferer. That said, I had dinner at an Olive Garden (we selected it because we were travelling and it was the only restaurant we could find near our stop for the night). They had risotto on the menu -- hurrah!! And I ordered it with no ill-effects!

I wonder what speaking with a manager does? If they have a special gluten-free menu, it would certainly be worth it to speak with the manager, and perhaps do a little advertising to that effect. Usually, when I tell a wait-person that I can't have gluten, it sets off a series of running back-and-forth from our table to the kitchen, several times, thus delaying our ordering. It's also embarrassing if we're eating with others. So I usually end up ordering based on the ingredients mentioned on the menu. A mistake, I know, so I deserve every stomach pain and run to the bathroom that I get!!

We lived in the Chicago area until recently, and so many restaurants there were becoming savvy about celiac disease -- some even offered a special gluten-free menu. Maybe such awareness will trickle down . . . ?

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Okay, I tried it. I consider myself to be very sensitve and I didn't get sick. I had the pork filletino w/ steamed broccolli. I was really freaked out because I can't have casein (dairy) either and that place is practically swimming in heese. It was good. I won't do it all the time. But it was nice to not have to cook for once.

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I've been on the gluten-free diet for 2 1/2 years, mostly with good success. But yesterday, I ate lunch at an Olive Garden, ordering about the only thing on the menu which appeared to be gluten-free -- the chicken caesar salad. About half-way through my meal, I began to experience mild celiac disease symptoms and have been dealing with them ever since (about 20 hrs later). I am quite suspicious that the caesar salad dressing they used had gluten. The only other thing it could have been was the Sweet and Low that slipped into my iced tea -- be careful, Olive Garden now disguises their sugar packets so that the Sweet & Low, Equal, Splenda and sugar all look alike!!!!!!!!!!!

My experience with Olive Garden is that there is NOTHING on the menu for a celiac disease sufferer. That said, I had dinner at an Olive Garden (we selected it because we were travelling and it was the only restaurant we could find near our stop for the night). They had risotto on the menu -- hurrah!! And I ordered it with no ill-effects!

I wonder what speaking with a manager does? If they have a special gluten-free menu, it would certainly be worth it to speak with the manager, and perhaps do a little advertising to that effect. Usually, when I tell a wait-person that I can't have gluten, it sets off a series of running back-and-forth from our table to the kitchen, several times, thus delaying our ordering. It's also embarrassing if we're eating with others. So I usually end up ordering based on the ingredients mentioned on the menu. A mistake, I know, so I deserve every stomach pain and run to the bathroom that I get!

grannynanny, did you ask to see the ingredients of the salad dressing? did you ask if the chicken had a marinade on it? did you tell them you wanted it gluten free and to be careful of cross-contamination? if you ate something and didn't know what was in it, you are almost *asking* to be glutened, I'm sorry to say :(

You cannot base eating out on something that "appears" to be safe. This is WHY you speak to a manager...to have them work with you to find something safe to eat, and have it prepared in a safe way. If you are embarrassed, then excuse yourself and get up and speak to them not in the company of your guests. A simple "I have food allergies and intolerances and have to be careful about what I eat" will suffice if you do not want to discuss it. I think the #1 advice that experienced Celiacs who eat out IS to speak to a manager or an experienced server who will take the time to find safe foods AND make sure that it is prepared in a manner that is safe. You can have the SAME food, prepared at 15 different places, with 15 different ingredients/brand, prepared with 15 different methods...and only some will be gluten free. If you are attempting to be gluten free, you can NOT assume that something is safe. I think that it is GREAT that although they do not have a gluten free menu, they have recognized that they have guests with food issues. They are saying, "TELL US! We will try to work with you!" What more can we ask for, but a little bit of help?!

I have eaten there before, a handful of times. I order something relatively simple (salmon, chicken, etc), and ask for it to be prepared with clean utensils and not to touch anything else. If I want a dressing, I ask to see the ingredients. They do not know that they need to take special precautions unless you tell them.

4tomorrow: I'm happy that you had a good experience! It is nice to have those moments, isn't it?! :) I am extremely sensitive also, so these REALLY are blessings!

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I've been on the gluten-free diet for 2 1/2 years, mostly with good success. But yesterday, I ate lunch at an Olive Garden, ordering about the only thing on the menu which appeared to be gluten-free -- the chicken caesar salad. About half-way through my meal, I began to experience mild celiac disease symptoms and have been dealing with them ever since (about 20 hrs later). I am quite suspicious that the caesar salad dressing they used had gluten. The only other thing it could have been was the Sweet and Low that slipped into my iced tea -- be careful, Olive Garden now disguises their sugar packets so that the Sweet & Low, Equal, Splenda and sugar all look alike!!!!!!!!!!!

My experience with Olive Garden is that there is NOTHING on the menu for a celiac disease sufferer. That said, I had dinner at an Olive Garden (we selected it because we were travelling and it was the only restaurant we could find near our stop for the night). They had risotto on the menu -- hurrah!! And I ordered it with no ill-effects!

I wonder what speaking with a manager does? If they have a special gluten-free menu, it would certainly be worth it to speak with the manager, and perhaps do a little advertising to that effect. Usually, when I tell a wait-person that I can't have gluten, it sets off a series of running back-and-forth from our table to the kitchen, several times, thus delaying our ordering. It's also embarrassing if we're eating with others. So I usually end up ordering based on the ingredients mentioned on the menu. A mistake, I know, so I deserve every stomach pain and run to the bathroom that I get!!

We lived in the Chicago area until recently, and so many restaurants there were becoming savvy about celiac disease -- some even offered a special gluten-free menu. Maybe such awareness will trickle down . . . ?

Grannynanny,

Does Maggiano's have a gluten free menu? I love that resturant. If they do did you try it? I go to Chicago about once or twice a year. In the magazine Living Without they list a few resturants that are gluten free.

They list Adobo Grill, Ben Pao, Bistro 110, Chicago Diner, Frontera Grill , and Weber Grill and Restarant. They didn't like Maggiano's however.

Thanks,

Gail

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Grannynanny,

Does Maggiano's have a gluten free menu? I love that resturant. If they do did you try it? I go to Chicago about once or twice a year. In the magazine Living Without they list a few resturants that are gluten free.

They list Adobo Grill, Ben Pao, Bistro 110, Chicago Diner, Frontera Grill , and Weber Grill and Restarant. They didn't like Maggiano's however.

Thanks,

Gail

I LOVE Maggiano's! They don't have a gluten-free menu, but are set up to deal with food allergies. The chef comes to your table and discusses your order, they use clean utensils, pots and pans, the whole experience is great! They have gluten-free pasta, too. I don't know if all of them have it, but ours also has gluten-free brownies and blondies. I don't know why they don't have a gluten-free menu, maybe so they can accomodate all food allergies and intolerances, not just gluten. The manager of our Maggiano's says they get 6 gluten-free people per night!!! Considering that not many eat alone and the gluten-free person picks the restaurant, I think that is significant. They hosted our celiac support group for dinner, and the meal was wonderful.

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I guess CarlaB knows more about Maggianos than I do. I usually stay away from the Italian restaurants because of all the pasta offerings. But I would add to your list of Chicago restaurants Wildfire, which has a gluten free menu. They have steaks and chops, but a wider variety of other offerings. They have a location a few blocks from N. Michigan St as well as a couple of locations in the suburbs.

Sue

You cannot base eating out on something that "appears" to be safe. This is WHY you speak to a manager...to have them work with you to find something safe to eat, and have it prepared in a safe way. If you are embarrassed, then excuse yourself and get up and speak to them not in the company of your guests. A simple "I have food allergies and intolerances and have to be careful about what I eat" will suffice if you do not want to discuss it. I think the #1 advice that experienced Celiacs who eat out IS to speak to a manager or an experienced server who will take the time to find safe foods AND make sure that it is prepared in a manner that is safe. You can have the SAME food, prepared at 15 different places, with 15 different ingredients/brand, prepared with 15 different methods...and only some will be gluten free. If you are attempting to be gluten free, you can NOT assume that something is safe. I think that it is GREAT that although they do not have a gluten free menu, they have recognized that they have guests with food issues. They are saying, "TELL US! We will try to work with you!" What more can we ask for, but a little bit of help?!

You are absolutely right, happygirl. I stand chastised and will hereby pledge to be more proactive about ordering gluten free.

Sue

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Sue, I hope I didn't come across as harsh, I just want everyone to be as gluten free as possible. Being gluten-lite isn't but so much help. It took me a LONG time to learn how to order...I wouldn't stand up for myself, I was too embarrassed, etc. Finally, I realized that by eating out and not being careful, it was my OWN fault....I might as well have just put gluten knowingly in my mouth :)

Lots of mistakes on my part .... but we all live and learn, and then we SHARE to prevent others from what we have done. I have learned SOOOO much from others on this board. We just want everyone to be gluten free and not sick!

hugs, Laura

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I have eaten there before, a handful of times. I order something relatively simple (salmon, chicken, etc), and ask for it to be prepared with clean utensils and not to touch anything else. If I want a dressing, I ask to see the ingredients. They do not know that they need to take special precautions unless you tell them.

This is what I ususally do. I've eaten at OG before, and felt okay afterward. I went with my mom, and we had the regular italian salad, I just asked for no crutons, except for on a plate for my mom. I also had salmon I think, and it was great. I've also been to Macaroni Grill (similar), and the management there said basically anything grilled there is okay. I just got it served w/ veggies (or a potato if available).

Good luck to you all in your dining experiences :)

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I LOVE Maggiano's! They don't have a gluten-free menu, but are set up to deal with food allergies. The chef comes to your table and discusses your order, they use clean utensils, pots and pans, the whole experience is great! They have gluten-free pasta, too. I don't know if all of them have it, but ours also has gluten-free brownies and blondies. I don't know why they don't have a gluten-free menu, maybe so they can accomodate all food allergies and intolerances, not just gluten. The manager of our Maggiano's says they get 6 gluten-free people per night!!! Considering that not many eat alone and the gluten-free person picks the restaurant, I think that is significant. They hosted our celiac support group for dinner, and the meal was wonderful.

Carla oooo this makes me happy!!! They should diffentely advertise it or put a note about it in the yellow pages ad. How else would you know. I only hope it just not the Maggie's in your area but I'll call ahead.

Thanks

Gail

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Carla oooo this makes me happy!!! They should diffentely advertise it or put a note about it in the yellow pages ad. How else would you know. I only hope it just not the Maggie's in your area but I'll call ahead.

Thanks

Gail

I've eaten at the one here, and the one in Tampa, FL and they both offered to have the chef come to my table, gluten-free pasta, and a safe meal. I think the one in Cincy probably is a little different since the chef's mom has celiac, but I was safe and catered to at both of them.

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My husband loves Maggianos--he's eaten there on business trips. I emailed the one in the Philadelphia area (King of Prussia) and they told me they don't have a gluten-free menu. They never mentioned that they could accomodate me.

I could call, but I would think the answer would be the same.

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My husband loves Maggianos--he's eaten there on business trips. I emailed the one in the Philadelphia area (King of Prussia) and they told me they don't have a gluten-free menu. They never mentioned that they could accomodate me.

I could call, but I would think the answer would be the same.

I would call and talk to the manager. One server I had was so ignorant (and pathetic) that the manager ended up being our waiter for the evening. Now he says hello every time we're in there. Technically, they do NOT have a gluten-free menu ... some people wouldn't even think to go further than answering your question, even though to you and I an explanation seems like it would be the obvious thing to do. You never know, it could have been someone new who answered the phone ... restaurants have a high turnover.

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If you talk to OG or a manager as they suggest they do have a few menu items that are gluten-free or that they can make gluten-free. I've actually seen these items listed but don't remember what they are. No matter where you go it's essential to talk to somebody in charge.

richard

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To Laura: No, you weren't too harsh. I understand your passion and where you are "coming from." And I appreciate your concern. :D

To all: I think eating out is a huge challenge unless we are assured, IN WRITING, that we are in safe hands. Seems to me the only way to know for sure is if the restaurant provides a gluten-free menu. Then we know that the management, the kitchen staff and the wait staff have all been educated about gluten-free foods. Otherwise, speaking to a manager, or a chef, assures us only that that particular person is or is not knowledgeable. Our experiences may be completely different from one Olive Garden to another, or one Maggianos to another, etc. The manager of one restaurant I visited in the Chicago area (not a chain, but a very trendy fine-dining establishment) told me that there was gluten in everything -- rice, potatos (without an "e"), etc. :blink: Obviously, I was "on my own" that night! The challenge continues . . .

Sue

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Sue, I can agree with you about regular restaurants who aren't trained in gluten-free. However, in Maggiano's case they cater to gluten-free, or any other food allergies, but have chosen the route of personal service rather than a gluten-free menu. They do specialize in allergies/intolerances, but chose to not have special menus ... but they do have separate areas of the kitchen, clean pots and pans, etc. If I had only been to one Maggiano's and if I hadn't heard them mentioned on this forum so much (which is how I knew they were safe), I would agree with you .... as it is, I agree with you about the other restaurants who are untrained, but if they're trained, just so long as I'm safe, I don't care if it's a special menu, or a visit from the chef or manager -- in a restaurant who is untrained in gluten-free, a visit from the manager may or may not help.

My son worked in a tea shop last summer. He said that if I had ordered a "safe" salad, I definately would have gotten glutened as they make their sandwiches in the same place since many of the ingredients are the same. In the tea shop, it would have been an issue of not understanding cc on their part. I took that warning and applied it to restaurants that aren't trained in gluten-free, just as you said ... something may seem safe, then we wonder why we got glutened!

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But yesterday, I ate lunch at an Olive Garden, ordering about the only thing on the menu which appeared to be gluten-free -- the chicken caesar salad. About half-way through my meal, I began to experience mild celiac disease symptoms and have been dealing with them ever since (about 20 hrs later). I am quite suspicious that the caesar salad dressing they used had gluten.

I've never eaten at an Olive Garden but it's always been my experience that Caesar Salads are served with croutons. And even if you order it without croutons, if you don't explain why, they might simply pick the croutons off of an existing Caesar and serve it to you. (And they might do that even if you do explain your sensitivity to gluten which is another story altogether!)

I confess that I, too, sometimes go into restaurants and order stuff that "appears" to be gluten-free without consulting with someone on staff but I don't think I'd ever chance that with a Caesar.

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Celia,

I did ask the waiter to make sure that they didn't add croutons to the salad and explained to him that I had a gluten allergy, which meant no bread or pasta. He even asked me a little more about celiac, out of curiosity. So I really don't think that contamination was the issue. I'm just about convinced it was the dressing, or perhaps the marinade used on the chicken. Anyway, I suffered for three straight days but am finally feeling whole again! :D And what a great groups of folks here at celiac.com!

Sue

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I just ate there tonight....it was the best experience I ever had at an OG and I usually get good service...I just posted my rant in coping with....so if you want the details go read it....

but anyway I called a couple days ago to make sure they had a gluten-free menu. They do. basically garden salad w/o croutons, ceasar salad w/o croutons, Pork something, salmon, and T-bone, all with steamed broccoli. When I called the manager had said that they will do anything for me to have a good experience at OG. And I did. It was the best (minus the parts about my gram, but that's in the other thread)

Just for future reference, I'd call and make sure that they know your coming.

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