Jump to content
  • Sign Up
at1992

Tips for Eating at Restaurants?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I am newly (and finally) diagnosed with NCGS. After being gluten free for a couple of months, I pushed my luck and ate some frozen vegetables that were "processed in a facility that processes wheat"... lo and behold I was sick for two weeks from eating those vegetables over the course of a couple days. (My symptoms are typically delayed by about 5 days, so it was too late to do anything by the time I became symptomatic).

Since then I've obviously been avoiding anything with an allergen warning about being processed in facilities with wheat. The hardest part has been going out to eat though... Now I have to start thinking about how they cook the food at restaurants - Do they cook the food on the same surface as wheat? Do they use the same frier? Do they put bread on the plate? Etc, etc. 

So my question for you veterans is how you go about talking to your waiter/waitress at restaurants? What are the key questions to ask? Obviously, most people don't understand the severity of sensitivity regarding celiac/NCGS, so how do you communicate that to them well? What are some tips for going out to eat when you know there will likely not be safe options? Also, how do you tackle this socially when going out to eat with a lot of people? I suppose it will get easier over time to be the "odd one out," with all the food problems. 

Thanks for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, at1992 said:

I am newly (and finally) diagnosed with NCGS. After being gluten free for a couple of months, I pushed my luck and ate some frozen vegetables that were "processed in a facility that processes wheat"... lo and behold I was sick for two weeks from eating those vegetables over the course of a couple days. (My symptoms are typically delayed by about 5 days, so it was too late to do anything by the time I became symptomatic).

Since then I've obviously been avoiding anything with an allergen warning about being processed in facilities with wheat. The hardest part has been going out to eat though... Now I have to start thinking about how they cook the food at restaurants - Do they cook the food on the same surface as wheat? Do they use the same frier? Do they put bread on the plate? Etc, etc. 

So my question for you veterans is how you go about talking to your waiter/waitress at restaurants? What are the key questions to ask? Obviously, most people don't understand the severity of sensitivity regarding celiac/NCGS, so how do you communicate that to them well? What are some tips for going out to eat when you know there will likely not be safe options? Also, how do you tackle this socially when going out to eat with a lot of people? I suppose it will get easier over time to be the "odd one out," with all the food problems. 

Thanks for the help!

Depends....most the time I call ahead and bring my own food to a meet up at a restaurant....safer. Few dedicated gluten-free restaurants out there and some that have dedicated cook areas for gluten-free. Many places off gluten-free options but will make you sick as they are catering to the "Fad" dieters not the medically required. Examples of this are do not trust papa johns, pizza hut, dominoes with the so called gluten-free pizza -_- Same prep areas, same sauce containers, ladles, slicers, ingredient bins etc.

Each place is different and ran by different managers, call ahead, ask questions, see if htey have dedicated fryers, prep surfaces, colanders, pots, etc. See how comfortable they seem and confident about it. Look up on Find Me Gluten Free App and see if the place was reviewed well. I might suggest getting a gluten tester like Nima, and some GlidenX to take as a JUST in case back up to lessen symptoms. Try to go early before rush hour when they can deal with your meal carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I wouldn't assume you need to avoid all foods that say "made in a facility...";  some do have that level of sensitivity.  As for me, I try to glean whether we're likely to have cross contamination (biscuit factory vs. veggie processing plant).  Your reaction may have been from something else, or from a specific vegetable in the mix.

As for restaurants, I'm lucky in that I live in a highly gluten-aware city and many places have gluten free options noted on the menu.  75% of the time, the server's cousin, best friend, uncle has Celiac.  But even when they do, I take certain precautions:

- I never eat gluten free pizza in a regular pizzeria.  I will eat it at certain italian restaurants after grilling the waitstaff and possibly chefs on the level of separation.  That said, at this point, I have a few restaurants I trust for this.  Similarly, I don't eat gluten-free muffins or cookies that aren't separately pre-packaged.

- I always ask if gluten free pasta is made in separate water and I don't really like marinara sauce anyway, so I just get olive oil, garlic and parmesan as my sauce, And I request that my gluten free omelette is made in a separate pan (vs. the grill) with butter instead of oil or spray. Fries need to be made in a dedicated gluten free fryer.

- I never eat grilled anything, assuming grills are shared.

- I always ask about soy sauce in dressings or marinades -- lots of people don't realize that there's wheat in regular soy sauce and will say something is gluten-free because it doesn't have flour.

- I always emphasize that I'm doing this for medical reasons, and when they bring back the plate, i ask again if it's gluten free (which sometimes pisses them off, but oh well)

- I only eat at salad bars if everything on it is gluten free, and I watch how the staff at those salad prep places work -- usually they use the same gloved hand to scoop out gluten and gluten free ingredients, so I avoid those.

- Find me Gluten Free app is a great resource when travelling.  

- As far as socially, if I don't see anything safe to eat, I just get wine ;-)  I've learned it's about the companionship and the conversation, not about the food.  And don't get defensive about why you're not eating what they think is safe.  You haven't done anything wrong by having NCGS, and you can deflect their meddling with a "thanks for your input", and a smile, and then just do what's best for you anyway.

Good luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - not all food with a warning label "made in facility...etc" are bad.  It could be the veggie itself.  Some people can't tolerate night shade, for instance.  Also, was it a pure veggie or were there other ingredients.  When you add sauces/spices and such is where you can run into trouble.

When eating out I usually look for a place that have a gluten free menu or a higher end restaurant  that has a chef as opposed to a cook.  Big difference.  A chef once spoke with me and explained the difference.  A cook just  prepares the food.  A chef looks at a food "allergy" as a challenge to make the meal perfect. 

Also, I use the words "food allergy".  We all know celiac is not an allergy but the food industry understands when you say "this is a food allergy and I can't take chances". 

Give yourself a chance to heal.  You mentioned that you are newly diagnosed.  In the "new" stage sometimes anything and everything will bother you.  Your body needs time to heal and adjust.  And not just weeks, but more like months. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Forum Discussions

    @anasss Nobody in this thread has called anyone "ignorant," so please don't say that if it did not happen. Also, the use of all capitals is, in forums and other places on the Internet, generally considered yelling and impolite, and there ...
    Bshake, Look up the "baking soda test" ...it is a nice home test to see if your daughter could have low stomach that is triggering the ulcers or creating the perfect conditions for ulcers to develop....mastic gum as has been mentioned...
    Perhaps you should start another thread in say the Leaky gut and food intolerance area? I am myself have Celiac and UC, and when I started eating meats again recently I found I felt better on Grass Fed Longhorn from a local farmer and other...
×
×
  • Create New...