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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gluten-Free Diners Need a Sense of Humor at Luxury Dublin Restaurant

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Dublin's White Moose Café will happily make you a gluten-free meal, but you'd better bring a sense of humor, because they might also mock you mercilessly.


    Caption: Warning sign at Dublin's White Moose Café. Image: Flickr

    Celiac.com 06/27/2019 - A luxury hotel in Dublin has gleefully and publicly responded to a negative customer e-mail that criticized its cafe's snarky humor about gluten-free eaters.  The White Moose Café menu says that it will do whatever it can to accommodate those with an allergy to gluten, but encourages those with gluten intolerances to seek the help of “a good psychotherapist down the road.”

    The hotel took a similar stance on vegans, telling diners that “vegans will not be shot dead at point blank range if they have the decency to give us 24 hours notice of their arrival."

    A customer named Mary sent an email condemning the hotel's “derisive comments” about gluten-free diners. “You appear to be a bunch of buffoons with a very juvenile sense of humor,” she wrote, adding that her husband has celiac disease and therefore cannot eat gluten.

    Responding to Mary’s email in a Facebook post, Stenson wrote: “We’re absolutely delighted that you won’t be visiting us, as people who complain about light-hearted, satirical wording they read online that the vast majority of people find funny, will probably whinge and moan in person too.”

    Stenson thanked Mary for “sparing our staff of a negative, whining customer”, adding that his employees will be “happier as a result, and happier staff will provide better service to the customers who actually matter.”

    Why all the bravado? Cafe owner, Paul Stenson says that the cafe "use the outrage of the public to gain publicity for the café, without spending a cent," the owner said. "Our social media presence filters out miserable people from people who don’t take life too seriously, meaning the 35 seats in our café are occupied by pleasant people who don’t whinge and moan incessantly."

    Stenson closed by adding that Mary’s celiac husband is welcome to eat at the hotel, and that he [Stenson] would happily prepare gluten-free food for him.  “But if you were ‘appalled’ by the wording on the website,” he adds, “you’d have a f***ing heart attack if you ever came in”.

    The White Moose Café first gained fame in January 2018 for declaring a "ban" on social media influencers after a 22-year-old YouTuber asked for a free five-night stay at the hotel.

    What do you think about the cafe's angle? Spot on? Over the top? Share your thoughts below.

    Read more at the Independent.co.uk

    Edited by Jefferson Adams


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    On 7/2/2019 at 4:36 PM, Lenbh said:

    On the other hand, if I can go there, have a bit of fun with it, and still get truly celiac-safe food (so, despite the humor, they take it seriously), then why not?  I guess some people don't get the humor, but as long as the cafe does right, I'm OK with it.

    Why not?  Because, whether or not they take it seriously, they spread the notion that celiac disease (etc.) is NOT to be taken seriously.  I've eaten at Ed Debevic's (someone mentioned that place as somewhere you'd expect generic insults to be hurled at you).  Fun place when you're 18.  I don't need to go somewhere that makes fun of me for wanting something gluten-free, and I don't want to worry that my son will die of anaphylactic shock if they cannot take his nut allergy seriously (and as someone has already pointed out, you don't know if you can really trust them!)  I'm reminded of the restaurant owner in Colorado who purposely served gluten-laden food to people asking for gluten-free food, because he couldn't take food allergies and intolerances seriously.  Do we want that attuitude to spread?

    (Note: I have hardly a serious bone in my body.  Yes, I can take a joke, even at my own expense.  No, this is not funny.)

    (Sorry... I just realized that I am not logged in, and I don't want to lose what I just typed in order to log in, so it's up to the moderators...)

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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