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rarchy

Safest UK coffee/sandwich and fast food outlets?

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A question for those in the UK... Which (if any) coffee/sandwich shop and fast food outlets do you trust? 

I try to bring my lunch in to work most days, but there are always times i need to grab something, or maybe meeting a friend for a quick bite to eat, and I want to try to pick places where I know there is less chance of cross contamination (if its possible to know these things). I thought Pret would be a good option as they are all about being healthy etc, and have some gluten-free salads, but then I read in this article about them not being great, although it is couple of years old https://gfreebythesea.me/2014/07/21/pret-a-manger-gluten-free-wrap/ 

The kinds of places I would usually go to are Pret, Wasabi/Itsu (no soy sauce obviously), Eat, and occasionally (ahem) McDonalds - I have read elsewhere about their fries being gluten-free and happy to discover the veggie burger is too. I also saw that some places like Costa have a gluten-free wrap but they all seem to contain meat and I am pescatarian.

I know eating out there is always a chance of cross contamination and some would suggest to avoid altogether but for now I am going to assume there will be occasions when I don't have much of a choice, especially as I am adjusting to this new way of eating.

As I work in central London I can get to most chain outlets so any suggestions are welcome :)

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I do not live in England but visit on a regular basis.  I know London well. I have had success at Starbucks and Nero's with their sandwiches, which are pre-made and wrapped in another facility.  Starbucks had a delicious veggie and hummus wrap that was really, really good. The last time I was there was in October of 2014 and had them on a number of occasions and felt great afterwards. I am a pretty sensitive Celiac and have to be very careful.

http://www.beyondbread.co.uk/  I put this link in here because this place looks phenomenal.  I don't know exactly where you work so not sure how close this is to you but you just might want to go there at some point.  I am returning to London on May 22 for a week and my goal is to try everything they make!  ;) 

 

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20 hours ago, rarchy said:

A question for those in the UK... Which (if any) coffee/sandwich shop and fast food outlets do you trust? 
 

I'd love to help out rarchy but I'm experiencing intense waves of nausea at the moment, awful stomach churning, anxiety, sweats, chills, I think I may well pass out if this unpleasant feeling continues. :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But enough about seeing your avatar :P

 

I still go to McDonalds, I have the fries or the Strawberry Sundae or both. I get coffee from all the chains although it's either a soy latte or a black coffee so no dairy any more. I don't think there's much to choose in terms of food as long as the gluten-free stuff is sealed and not open on a shelf alongside the gluteny stuff. Although if I can I try to eat before, less that I don't trust them, more that I find it more relaxing the more control I can exercise over my food intake.

One place I didn't expect to cater quite well for us is wetherspoons, there's one of them in pretty much every place (bar central London probably :P) and they have a surprisingly good gluten-free menu.  

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That is interesting about McDonalds fries, I had no idea...

I don't really ever eat fast food anymore because I haven't found anywhere that is gluten free.  It seems to me a lot of outlets such as Costa are very good at pre-packed sweet things, such as their Bakewell Tarts, but that isn't doing my waistline any good.

Not really fast food but I have found the risotto at Ask and Prezzos completely safe, and Franky & Benny's gluten free menu is great.

I'd get used to carrying some gluten-free cereal bars, nuts and chocolate in your bag if I were you, until you find your way around the gluten-free establishments in London.

I don't know if you are anywhere near a Morrissons but I was in Lincolnshire recently and they seemed to have a lot of great food on the go options on their shelves. 

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20 hours ago, cristiana said:

That is interesting about McDonalds fries, I had no idea

One treat for me these days is sitting in a Micky D's with a coffee, large fries and a strawberry sundae. With all the 'Normal' people :D If only they knew I was in their midst, aghast at their glutenous ways.  :ph34r:

Seriously, it's nice to have at least one fast food option. There's a small chance of contamination there maybe but I've been fine so far. 

 

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On 03/05/2017 at 5:50 PM, Gemini said:

I have had success at Starbucks and Nero's with their sandwiches, which are pre-made and wrapped in another facility.  Starbucks had a delicious veggie and hummus wrap that was really, really good. 

http://www.beyondbread.co.uk/  I put this link in here because this place looks phenomenal.  I don't know exactly where you work so not sure how close this is to you but you just might want to go there at some point.  I am returning to London on May 22 for a week and my goal is to try everything they make!  ;) 

Thanks Gemini, I will have to check out the sandwiches at Starbucks and Neros some time. I thought Costa also did some but haven't spotted them in any of their stores. 

I have heard about Beyond Bread, its in the Coeliac UK accredited list, I definitely will be heading there to try out their cakes and their toasted sandwiches look great too! Let me know what you think of it when you go!

On 03/05/2017 at 7:59 PM, Jmg said:

I'd love to help out rarchy but I'm experiencing intense waves of nausea at the moment, awful stomach churning, anxiety, sweats, chills, I think I may well pass out if this unpleasant feeling continues. :(

But enough about seeing your avatar :P

 

LOL ? I am actually a Chelsea fan, but I still love Jose and believe he will come back some day (after he has finished destroying Man Utd :) )

On 03/05/2017 at 7:59 PM, Jmg said:

I still go to McDonalds, I have the fries or the Strawberry Sundae or both. I get coffee from all the chains although it's either a soy latte or a black coffee so no dairy any more. I don't think there's much to choose in terms of food as long as the gluten-free stuff is sealed and not open on a shelf alongside the gluteny stuff. Although if I can I try to eat before, less that I don't trust them, more that I find it more relaxing the more control I can exercise over my food intake.

One place I didn't expect to cater quite well for us is wetherspoons, there's one of them in pretty much every place (bar central London probably :P) and they have a surprisingly good gluten-free menu.  

Good to know re MaccyDs, I don't go there often but there is one which is open 24hrs near where I live so very occasionally on my way home I may find myself going on small detour....

Thats surprising about Wetherspoons! I assume you haven't had any cross contamination issues? Do you find the staff there helpful and understanding when ordering?

On 03/05/2017 at 8:46 PM, cristiana said:

Not really fast food but I have found the risotto at Ask and Prezzos completely safe, and Franky & Benny's gluten free menu is great.

I'd get used to carrying some gluten-free cereal bars, nuts and chocolate in your bag if I were you, until you find your way around the gluten-free establishments in London.

I don't know if you are anywhere near a Morrissons but I was in Lincolnshire recently and they seemed to have a lot of great food on the go options on their shelves. 

Thanks Cristiana, I haven't eaten out in restaurants much since, but will be trying to stick to the ones which are Coeliac UK accredited as much as possible, which I think all of those are. I shop mostly at Morrisons as its  my nearest "large" supermarket, and they have a good free-from section (although I am trying to stick to less processed foods at home), I'll have a look at the food to go options might be a good idea to stock up on some for those emergencies. 

 

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Will do, rarchy!  I was planning on doing a write up here if the food is good but it certainly looks good on the website.  I want one of those baguettes that keep calling my name........:P

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26 minutes ago, rarchy said:

Thats surprising about Wetherspoons! I assume you haven't had any cross contamination issues? Do you find the staff there helpful and understanding when ordering?

 I haven't done it much, apparently they vary in terms of staff familiarity with the requirements, so it depends on the location how savvy they are. They're really a kind of emergency option for me as there's one pretty much everywhere now.

Cristiana and myself have been swapping finds here: 

 

there's a couple more restaurant chains listed there I think although its mainly supermarket stuff :)

 

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I will check out that other post, good to connect with others in the UK!

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