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- By Jennifer Cottrell
- Published 03/7/2014
Allow me to begin by introducing myself, My name is Jennifer and I have been living gluten free for over 4 years now. It was far from being an easy transition however it is not an impossible one, I hope that the knowledge I have gained will benefit those who are new to this lifestyle!
So my story begins with me planning a special dinner to surprise my husband for his birthday. Now as you all know being gluten-free, we have limited resources when it comes to eating out, however, I was bound and determined to find some place new and exciting to dine. I will not mention the name of my chosen destination due to the fact that they had only been open for a month, and my intention is not to destroy their good name, but rather to help keep people like us more engaged when it comes to dining out.
I made all the proper arrangements in advance, and also went a step further in speaking to the manager about their gluten-free menu. He assured me that they take great precaution when preparing gluten-free meals, including the meal being prepared in a separate area from the rest of the food. At this point I am not only confident in their ability to accommodate me, I am relieved!
Later that night my husband and I arrive at the restaurant and are seated within 10 minutes of walking through the door, so far so good right? The waitress arrived at our table to greet us, and proceeded to ask us what we would like to drink. We ordered a few cocktails to start the night out, and when she returned with them I request a gluten-free menu, and as she brought the menu to me I observed that there are more than just five items on it (that do not include the words “without”), so I was ecstatic!
Well here goes nothing, so I continued to order what I considered to be the best meal you can get, which is of course lobster tails accompanied by a salad with some veggies. Here we arem a great atmosphere, wonderful food, and a few cocktails,,,what could be better...right? Wrong, sorry sister your not getting off that easy! I figured that’s what the cook was thinking when he prepared my meal, you guessed it--Houston we have a problem!
There I was eating as if I had never eaten before, and my husband glances over my plate and asks "what 's that," so I replied "not sure it must come with the meal" (it happened to be a veggie mix with a special sauce). Apparently I was less than convincing because two minutes later he called the waitress back to the table to verify what this mystery item was. So again he verified with the waitress "what is this, and is it gluten-free?" and she replied "umm, I'm not sure let me check with the cook."
Now you can imagine my disappointment, as I am not only afraid they are going to take my food away, but my trust as well. She returned to the table only to explain that it is a garnish that comes on all of their plates and it is not gluten-free, so my husband being the caring person that he is replies: "my wife explained to you that everything she ordered must be gluten-free". In an effort to resolve this issue with the least amount of resistance, the waitress then spoke with the manager and returned to the table only to explain: "I just spoke to the manager and he apologizes for the confusion, however he is also gluten-free and he said as long as you did not eat it all you will be ok".
Really, I am being punked? Am I on that show "What Would You Do"? I don't know what kind of shady condition he has, but mine is legit! Needless to say my husband received a free dessert and a box of chocolates (that were not gluten-free)! So, in the end, I guess it's true "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get!"
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