So the other day, my dad was sworn in to be a Utah attorney. (Cool Experience to see by the way). My mom calls me the day before, "Oh yeah, honey, we're goin out to lunch before hand. We were going to try the Restaurant at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. That okay?" So I hesitate, because it wasn't on the list of safe restaurants that the Celiac/Gluten Intolerance Support Group for SLC put out. So my mom and I once again get into a discussion about how strict I am being. (She thinks I am being too strict. But since I got sick from instant potatoes that were processed on equipment that processes wheat products... I am not inclined to be any less strict.) She says, well can't you order a salad? How about a piece of chicken? Yadda Yadda Yadda. To which I give my usual reply of, "It depends on the environment it is prepared in." I've tried to explain to her about cross contamination a number of times, but I don't think she quite gets it.
Well anyway, while I am work sitting at the reception desk I look up the restaurant and discover they have a gluten free menu. I don't look too closely at it, but I did notice that it said chips are fried in same oil as breaded products. So I call my mom, "They have a gluten free menu there."
Once I get off work, I look at the menu closer. (Fortunately I wrote down the restaurant's number.) I looked and saw that there were a ton of fried foods, and if the chips were fried in the same oil what's to say that these weren't? And then I noted the dressings they had. I questioned that. And all of their sauces... So I called them and asked all my questions, and up distraught. It seemed like they didn't really understand what Gluten FREE meant. It was more of a gluten light menu. Besides the fact that about 50% of the menu was seafood of some sort.
So I call my mom, and say "The Gluten Free Menu isn't really a gluten free menu. So I think I'll just eat before we go and come for the company." She wouldn't have that.
"Would you rather go to Mazza?" (Mazza is a lebanese restaurant that I told her had a good gluten-free menu)
"I'd feel safer."
"Frank*, is Mazza all right with you for lunch?" My mom says to my father who sits near her. He must have nodded or spoke his approval quietly. "Okay Mazza it is then."
So when I get home, (the previous conversations were in the car) I look up Mazza's number and call them. They reassured me that I could safely eat there, though they couldn't guarantee all their items were perfectly safe, but they did have quite a few I could definitely safely eat. To me, it seemed like the Employees were well informed about gluten free items.
Well next morning, I wake up, and head to work. (Just as a note for clarification I work in the same office as my dad.) I do a morning interoffice mail run, and my dad's secretary stops me. "How does Sage's cafe sound." I told her it was definitely a recommended place by the gluten free society of SLC. And then she explained to me that my father had her look up places I could eat at. I thought it was funny. (I love my parents, they are awesome.) But I couldn't fathom why he asked his secretary to look up places when we decided the night before we'd go to Mazza. So I told her that, and she was like, "Okay, let's look at that one." So she looks at it, chats it up a little while longer, then I continue on my way to finish the mail run.
So a few hours later, I meet up with my dad and his secretary, and then we drive to meet my mom and my husband at the restaurant. (And yes, apparently the consensus remained on Mazza) We eat there, and I talk to the waitress because there were so many choices of food. She smiles and reads over the menu with me and points out the safest items, and told me that the sandwiches and Entrees are not as good as the starters. She recommended a sampler platter and a few specific dishes for said platter. So of course, I took her advice. IT WAS YUMMY! And the waitress was completely right. And helpful too. She always made sure I was well taken care of. It was definitely a wonderful experience.