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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

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

      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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    Wow so much hype around their attitude,... move to Canada Eh! we love sarcasm... or do we? Bhahahaha! Nice

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    Guest glutenfreeJean

    Posted

    Well if they joke about everyone's medical issues, then I guess I might eat there.   Would the joke be taken the same way if they were talking about diabetics who can't eat sugar, or folks with heart disease who can't have salt?   Actually when I first noticed symptoms of Celiac Disease I was told by a dr. that it was all in my head.  So I thought there was nothing I could do until I almost died from Celiac Disease in 1987.  So I personally don't like the joke about seeing a therapist.

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    21 hours ago, Guest SJB said:

     I don’t understand why people find having an autoimmune disease that doesn’t allow your body to have gluten humorous. It’s not a diet fad and I’m not trying to be trendy I’m just trying to eat food that isn’t trying to kill me from the inside out. Celiac disease is isolating, painful, and expensive but it’s never been funny. 

    I agree. We did not choose to be gluten free .our lives are at stake. This is not a fad for us .it will be for the rest of our lives. It is not easy and is very expensive  if someone has cancer do they find that funny?

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    I am fairly sarcastic myself and I would try to be good humored about it but to be honest having an autoimmune disease and having to tell strangers about it pretty much anytime I try to eat out is mortifying for me. I feel embarrassed being “that person” so I probably wouldn’t go there. If the food is safe and amazing then good for those that have thicker skins! It’s just too personal for me. 

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

    I guess it depends on just how they interpret 'gluten free'.  If they see it as a joke, and don't get that it can be a huge issue for some people, then, yes, that's a serious problem.  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.

    Response: I would eat the prepared food if it was not cross-contaminated with gluten. If they purposely poisoned my dish, I'd end up in their bathroom for 4 hours with prolonged explosive diarrhea.  Wonder if the clean-up would be humorous to them?

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    On 7/3/2019 at 9:10 AM, Suzanne strang said:

    I agree. We did not choose to be gluten free .our lives are at stake. This is not a fad for us .it will be for the rest of our lives. It is not easy and is very expensive  if someone has cancer do they find that funny?

    Response: They make fun of Celiac because it is food related.  They actually are fearful of the thought that they themselves might become "food restricted".  Most people understand the 'devastation' brought by the disease & are shielding themselves with humor.

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    Celiac disease responses are variable and confusing outside the community.  I have been told that many non-affected persons "fear" developing the disease. When I am forced to travel, I find places where I can prepare my own food, or visit a grocery that has prepared fresh fruit/vegetable platters.  Eating out is simply not worth the risk.  People will NEVER like you for having celiac as you are a 'risk' that entails protocols that are time consuming. I am of the opinion that the general populace has a great 'fear' of developing celiac disease during their life time.

     

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    If the restaurant wants friendly, delightful guests sitting in their dinner, then don't mock their food choices. I have Celiac and am extremely grateful anytime I can find a decent restaurant that can accommodate me. I would never trust anyone who would make fun of it. I will be in Dublin in September. Guess I know one place to avoid.

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    I request that you remove this article from your site. I believe that what they are doing would qualify as both hate crime and an ADA violation. So, why are you giving them free publicity? 

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    Judging from the comments here not everyone feels the same way that you do Rakdan, but we do appreciate your opinion. It can't be an ADA violation, as they are in Ireland, and I'm not sure they've committed crimes. Did you read the article?

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    On 6/27/2019 at 12:42 PM, Awol cast iron stomach said:

    I would say they are late to the game. Ed Debevic's in Chicago has been insulting customers for decades. Lots of sass and zingers. Although Ed Debevic's they were not specifically attacking gluten free , food intolerant, and food allergy customers. They were politically incorrect to all, I think before politically incorrect became a common term.

    So late to the game White Moose. The free advertising works and it draws certain types of people -sarcastic fun for all. I haven't been to Ed's in decades as we (friends etc found it humorous in our teens and early 20's). You tend to outgrow things .... 

    http://www.eddebevics.com/eds-story/

    The White Moose will find their Niche and customers their unique way.

     

    OMG! Thank you for this. Who could forget about Ed Debevic's? Classic.

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    On 7/5/2019 at 1:51 PM, Rakdan said:

    I request that you remove this article from your site. I believe that what they are doing would qualify as both hate crime and an ADA violation. So, why are you giving them free publicity? 

    Hate crime? A bit strong, don't you think? Whatever one may think about the owner's sense of humor, he does seem pretty sincere in his offer to make gluten-free food for Mary's husband. Sounds like the place could be quite fun for people whose sense of humor includes themselves and their celiac disease.

    On 7/2/2019 at 7:30 AM, Guest PamG said:

    I feel sorry for people who can't take a joke.

    Amen.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams 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 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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