Eating Out Question
Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:55 PM
I have an eating out question. I'm taking a trip to visit family and will spend a lot of meals eating out with friends. I have been looking for restaurants with gluten free menus. How much do I need to say to the restaurant with a gluten free menu. Do I need to check with the manager, or only talk to the waiter. Or should I be doing something else? Thanks.
Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:59 PM
Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:24 AM
Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:57 AM
A great way to check is to ask if something you know isn't safe would be safe. The waitperson should either know or go find out for you and come back and say "no" but then offer something else on the menu or a compromise. I haven't actually tested this because, for the most part, it's pretty apparent when someone knows their stuff and when they don't.
Good signs: your food comes out separately and is described to you before it's set down, the waitperson takes notes, the manager comes to see you and double-check that all is well.
Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:56 AM
I would talk to the manager. I have ordered off gluten free menus only to be given a plate with some gluteny thing on it. The one waitress said she'd just scrape it off! You have to be your own advocate. Good luck!
This has happened to me several times. Even after the manager has come by the table. Sometimes the chef even comes and talks to me, and that's when I feel the most assured. I try to just find something on the menu that isn't prepared with gluten in the first place (if that is possible) like fish, meat and a salad and then just stress, no bread, no croutons etc.
I have to say 60 percent of the time it still comes out with bread (or cheese which I don't do). I think if this is not on your radar you just have no idea how careful you need to be or how many things have gluten. Friday night my husband and I were out and I was asking the waitress if a meal had gluten and she was like "no I don't think so...you should be fine." Really assuring, not.
I think it was okay because I felt fine yesterday, but she's young and doesn't know nor does she care.
I keep hoping as I get further into this it'll get easier to eat out. I mostly eat at home.
Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:04 AM
Posted 19 December 2010 - 09:15 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies. They are really helpful. I will be eating out a lot with friends while i am on a trip so I want to make sure I take the right steps to stay healthy.
I find that it's easiest to eat at either fast food restaurants (because they just have to change gloves and make you food without a bun) or really nice restaurants. Some family-owned places that specialize in cuisines naturally lower in gluten are good, like Lebanese or Thai food, for example, but I think those are spottier. The really swanky places charge an arm and a leg but take great care of you, and the fast food places are cheap and horrible for you but relatively safe if you order the right things.
Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:03 AM
Also, if a restaurant doesn't have a gluten-free menu, you're usually safe with a plain chicken breast or a steak and potato. Mashed potatoes, though, can be dangerous--oddly enough, many restaurants use flour in their mashed potatoes, and if you order mashers without gravy, many times they will automatically pour gravy on them, and then you have to send the whole meal back to the kitchen. I've found that eating at Tahoe Joe's or Outback Steakhouse is usually a safe experience.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:11 AM
I'd second the suggestion to order something "naturally" gluten free. But then do stress the fact that you can't eat wheat, flour (some people don't realise white flour is wheat :/), croutons etc.
I usually also say no sauces/spices on my steak, no salad dressing on the salad. I'd rather have it plain than have them add some wheaty sauce to my awesome food thanks very much!
I've had a salad that had no wheat mentioned in the menu, come served on slices of toast!
So yes, always make sure the waiter understands what you mean when you say no wheat
July 2010 - Blood and biopsy -ve, went gluten free after testing which completely relieved symptoms
July 2011 - 1 year gluten free, food intolerances (Chicken, eggs, olives, goat milk) gone!
2012 - Soy no longer a problem
Posted 20 December 2010 - 07:18 AM
I once had a person (teenager) who was working at a supermarket not know that flour (general baking flour) was made from wheat. I was surprised. I hope to have more knowledgeable restaurant staff.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 07:20 AM
Posted 20 December 2010 - 08:18 AM
My latest "you've got to be kidding me" moment is when I discovered that IHOP puts pancake batter in their omelettes. I've had the BEST experience at Outback - the manager came out and double-checked it. Of course I was embarrassed to death, but I didn't get sick.
Have fun on your trip!
Posted 20 December 2010 - 09:23 AM
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