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Silver_naki

Small Town Restaurants

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Hello Everyone....

I am new to your Forum, and have read with interest some of your discussions within the past few weeks. I am learning alot, just by coming in & reading comments & such. I was recently diagnosed a few days before the Christmas Holidays, when my Test results came back. Consequently, I had no clue what "gluten" even was! As like all Celiac's & folks with Food intolerances, I had to study my brains out on my Computer, not to mention, do some fast changing in my entire Diet & eating habits---

During the Holidays, was quite a challenge, due to being invited out to several Restaurants, & also receiving Gift Certificates for Dining out, in which had to be used up. This put me in quite a dilemma, due to the fact, my "Gluten-Free" Diet is still so new to me. I tried to be as careful as I could, but still got "glutened" a few times, probably due to my own ignorance, and/OR cross-contamination of Food items served by the Restaurants. Yikes! :o

I live in a very small, rural area in the "WEST" here, thus, Dining Out places are very limited. My experiences haven't been too great with the Restaurant "scenes" here so far, so I could probably use some help with any tips or suggestions anybody might have for me. I found I am basically stuck with Salad Bars, Salads, & baked Potatoes when I go out to Dine, & I've learned to take my own Salad Dressings with me in my Purse--- :lol: This gets kind of embarrassing to say the least, & I still feel so "self-conscience" about much of it.

We do have an "Outback Steak House" in an adjoining bigger Town, but I have never eaten there before, & observed where many of you folks on the Forum Board here have posted in regards to "Outback." If I decide to try "Outback" sometime, does anyone have some good suggestions for me?

Any info, tips, or advice, would be greatly appreciated, because I'm a "newbie" with being Gluten-Free, & it's still a bit over-whelming for me at this time. Again, the biggest problem I am running into, is all of the Small Town Restaurants we have, and believe me, I get many a "raised eye-brow" :huh: when I try to order a meal "safely!" Help!!!!! I'm not sure just how "educated" some of the local Restaurant Staff is or IS NOT? Therefore, I tend to keep my mouth shut, & just order plain Salads & such.... there has to be a better way!

Thanks ahead of time, for any valuable help or info! ~Silver_naki~

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Guest nini

my reccomendation would be to contact your local restaurants during off peak times when they are not busy and try to talk to the owner... explain your situation and ask them if they would be willing to try to accomodate you. If so you can print out safe and unsafe ingredients off of the web and offer to give them copies of it... Most restaurants are willing to try to work with you because they are in the business of customer service and if you present this to them in a way that is not demanding or pushy, they may be more than willing to go out of their way to try to help find safe meals that they can serve you.

regarding Outback, you can go to their website and print out a copy of their gluten free menu and study it carefully... some things you have to substitute when you order and you have to specify no croutons on your salad... carry your copy of the gluten-free menu with you, but you may not need it... when you get there, REQUEST THEIR IN HOUSE COPY of the gluten-free menu... this way it gets their attention that this is something that corporate supports... if you don't feel comfortable with your server's comfort level with the menu, ask to speak to the manager... you can always aks your server how often someone comes in and requests that menu... if it's not a lot you may need to educate them more, the one near me told me that they get someone requesting it on average of 3 times a night... plus the manager told me his mother has Celiac... I feel very comfortable eating at this Outback!

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my reccomendation would be to contact your local restaurants during off peak times when they are not busy and try to talk to the owner... explain your situation and ask them if they would be willing to try to accomodate you. If so you can print out safe and unsafe ingredients off of the web and offer to give them copies of it... Most restaurants are willing to try to work with you because they are in the business of customer service and if you present this to them in a way that is not demanding or pushy, they may be more than willing to go out of their way to try to help find safe meals that they can serve you.

nini:

:rolleyes: Thank You very much for responding to my Post... I appreciate your good advice! I'm still trying to learn how to navigate my way around the Forum board here, so hope I don't make too many mistakes in trying to Post, etc; etc; Each forum & discussion board on the "Net" is different! Let me know if I need to be doing anything different here, OK?

As I think I stated in my first Post, we live in such a small, rural area, that I'm actually not sure just how knowledgable alot of Restaurant & Cafe Staff are... honestly. I had a bad experience just last night at one of our local Restaurant's in Town, & the Waitress looked at me like I was some sort of a "lunatic," plus, I don't think she had a clue as to what I was talking about in regards to "food allergies" & such. I have this "paranoia" about even asking to speak to a Chef, or to even flash a Food card for them to view! giggle!

... Then, there's the problem of sometimes ending up Dining out at "the spur of the moment," because my husband decides he's hungry & needs something to eat!! This happens if we're out of Town somewhere, or during the course of the day, wherever we may be. But... like I say, I am new to being "Gluten-Free," so I have much, much to learn ahead! For sure! { I haven't learned to step out of the "womb" of HOME yet! } :(

Thanks again for your help, & I hope to be able to talk to you again soon! Regards, ~Silver_naki~

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Guest nini

I completely understand... I was terrified of dining out the entire first year after my dx... my first experience was at Outback and it was for my birthday. It was a very pleasant experience.

Eventually you will get over your paranoia and feel comfortable enough with the diet where you can go anywhere and safely communicate and find something that you can eat. Eventually you will get over the embarrasment of carrying your own salad dressings... my boss took our office out for lunch for Christmas to a local BBQ restaurant and I didn't bat an eye when I whipped out my bottle of salad dressing for my salad... so my co workers looked at me a little funny, I didn't care...

What types of restaurants do you have locally? Are there mexican restaurants? Steak houses? Country cooking? Chinese Food? Some you may have better luck with than others, and you may feel more comfortable talking with them over the phone at first, explaining that you are newly diagnosed with Celiac, and that you want to continue to visit their establishment but you need to know that you will be able to eat safely... Explain briefly what Celiac is, explain breifly that you can't have foods that contain wheat, rye, oats or barley, and that it can be hidden in sauces, gravies, seasonings, thickeners and flavorings... There are ways around it. It does get easier... the biggest thing I can tell you is for you to get comfortable with the diet first, then venture out and educate those that don't know what this is...

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I completely understand... I was terrified of dining out the entire first year after my dx... my first experience was at Outback and it was for my birthday. It was a very pleasant experience.

Eventually you will get over your paranoia and feel comfortable enough with the diet where you can go anywhere and safely communicate and find something that you can eat. Eventually you will get over the embarrasment of carrying your own salad dressings... my boss took our office out for lunch for Christmas to a local BBQ restaurant and I didn't bat an eye when I whipped out my bottle of salad dressing for my salad... so my co workers looked at me a little funny, I didn't care...

What types of restaurants do you have locally? Are there mexican restaurants? Steak houses? Country cooking? Chinese Food? Some you may have better luck with than others, and you may feel more comfortable talking with them over the phone at first, explaining that you are newly diagnosed with Celiac, and that you want to continue to visit their establishment but you need to know that you will be able to eat safely... Explain briefly what Celiac is, explain breifly that you can't have foods that contain wheat, rye, oats or barley, and that it can be hidden in sauces, gravies, seasonings, thickeners and flavorings... There are ways around it. It does get easier... the biggest thing I can tell you is for you to get comfortable with the diet first, then venture out and educate those that don't know what this is...

Hello again nini!

Thank you once again for responding! It makes me very happy that I can get on here & have some sort of support... I felt much better after reading your Posts! :D I appreciate you getting back with me. Yes, we have quite a few various Restaurants in our vacinity, lots of Mexican food, lots of Country cooking, {fast Food chains, of course!} and quite a few Chinese places as well. There aren't too many Steak Houses around, and the nearest Seafood place is about 70-miles from us, which is the Red Lobster. Most of what we have around here are the Burger joints, with the drive-thru, such as Burger King, Jack in the Box, Arby's, and the Subways, Dairy Queen, & of course many, many general Pizza places. Most of our small Town Cafe's & Restaurants don't even have Salad Bars!! Even the fancier ones. We do have a JB's Restaurant here, that has a good Salad Bar, but again, one must bring their own dressing.

I have learned so much within the past weeks nini, that it's incredible, mostly how to Bake & Cook for myself, and my husband even likes some of the things I make! (that in itself, is a miracle, because he's a junk-food junkie!) I basically just stay home, but as I stated, over the Holidays, things were quite a different story, with all the "festivities" and such. By this time next year, I should be better equipt with how to deal with my Diet and being in Public and all.

While I have you on the board here with this Post, is Movie House POPCORN safe? I know around here, they "salt" the heck out of it, but I never put any added butter & such on mine, like some folks like. I'm also not sure if the Movie Theatre's use any additives in their salt when they make their Popcorn??? I'm wondering about the Soft drinks they serve from the Fountain too?

Any additional help & comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks nini! ~Silver_naki~ ;)

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I also highly recommend the Triumph Dining cards. They come in different languages for different quisine, and explain what you can't have, what you can have, and what might be dangerous. I find they help me remember the rules for different quisine as well, and every wait person I've shown it to has loved it. I recommend asking them to show it to the kitchen as well though, as sometimes the translation doesn't make it that far. Pick out things you think are safe on the menu, I usually have a first choice, a second and then fall back on a salad if it doesn't go well. Asking them to go over everything on thier menu usually gets you nowhere, it helps if you are prepped with specific items to ask about.

http://www.triumphdining.com/

Also, salad bars aren't that safe, because stuff gets scattered all over the place.

Good luck

Elonwy

PS on the movie popcorn - Pacific theaters is safe, I've talked to thier nutrition rep, everyone else you have to call individually.

Edited by elonwy

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Guest nini

Regal Movie Theater popcorn is safe and so is AMC...

most Mexican Food is naturally gluten free if you stay away from the flour tortillas... if they fry their chips in the same fryer as their chimichangas (Flour tortillas) then they would not be safe, but if they have a separate fryer just for the chips, you can usually enjoy the chips and salsa, nachos, tacos, as long as they don't use gluten containing ingredients in the meat or seasoning... Triumph dining cards are a good idea... Also, I bought the Wheat Free/Gluten Free Guide to Dining Out off of this website... it's excellent to keep in a purse or car for when you are out and about and want to stop and get something to eat at any of the major chain restaurants.

most steakhouses, as long as they don't pre marinate their meats and they are not pre injected with flavorings, you should be able to order a grilled steak or chicken or fish, you can request that they clean the section of the grill first, and/or use a piece of aluminum foil under it... or fry it in a clean pan for you. you should be able to get most vegetable side dishes as long as they are just steamed or boiled and not seasoned (you can use salt and pepper and butter)

good luck and enjoy dining out!

soft drinks IF they are from Coca Cola or Pepsi even in fountain drinks they are supposed to be gluten free. whenever you have doubts check with the particular company. If the person you talk to doesn't know, keep going up the chain of command until you find someone who does know, OR they get sick of you and they decide to find out for you! LOL! (J/K... I hope they wouldn't get sick of you!)

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Hello Elonwy!

Thanks so much for your Post! It was great, & I really like your Photo! :) I had heard that alot of Salad Bars aren't that safe, due to the cross-contamination, & also some of the preservatives they might add into things (?) but it's hard to know just how much preservatives some "do" use, ya know? As I was telling nini in a Post, our Restraurants here are so danged small, & there are very few who even have decent Salad Bars with a variety of veggies & so forth. Actually, it's pathetic, but that's the price one pays for living in such a small area I guess.

If we want to go to a Dining out place that has more variety, we have to go to a larger Town, and then the choices are much better with food items & also with the Dining out experience. I always hated Movie Theatre popcorn, ANYWHERE, due to the fact of the way they load it down with salt & butter... heck, years ago, I use to pop my own at home in an Air-Popper & stuff a big bag of it in my Hobo purse to take to the Movies with me! LOL :D (not a bad idea still!) Most all of our Movie Theatres around here are privately owned & operated too, & have been in business for centuries! (some of them are Land-marks!... one was built back in the early 1900's and they just "restored" it!!!!) Their Popcorn machines are probably "ancient" too! LOL

Thanks for the tip on the triumph Dining cards... and also for the "link." I will check this out, as I have heard of them. I did go into the Internet on one particular Web Site and I got some "freebie" Dining Out cards, but not sure how good those ones really are. I printed them off, AFTER I had my last dining experience the other night. Sooo, I was a "day late & a dollar short" with having the Dining cards to assist me! :blink:

While I'm thinking of it, I generally end up ordering a baked Potato about every time I go out, and thankfully, I love them... but I was in question as to the "butter" or "marj" they serve with these. All of our Restaurants here serve the Baked Potato with the little cups of "whipped" butter/marj. that comes with them, so I'm not sure if this is something that has alot of JUNK in it or not??? I rarely see places that have the little "cubed" butters anymore. Yikes, but maybe I'll start bringing my own butter to dine out with as well! LOL :D

Thanks again Elonwy, I appreciate your input & help! Peace to you, ~Silver_naki~

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Hi again nini!

I'm just so appreciative of your replies & Posts back to me! THANKS!

We do have a vast Spanish population here in our area, thus, many of the Mexican Restaurants & eating places are either Family owned or privately owned. Most are NOT major "chain" Restaurants, I know that much. Thus, it's hard to say exactly how each one might prepare many of their food items. But. I have NOT eaten at any of the Mexican Food places since going gluten-free. (this will be a new experience for me when I do!) Stay-tuned for the next "saga" in my dining out adventure, once I do go to one of the Mexican establishments! LOL :rolleyes:

I learned much off your Post here nini, because I had no idea that some of the Mexican places "might" fry their chips in the same fryers as the chimichangas and such. Also, I wasn't sure about some of the gluten ingredients they might perhaps put into their meats & seasonings. This makes sense though, and with the wide variety of Family owned Mexican Restraunts we have, I'm sure they all make their Spanish Rices differently also. This is something for me to really consider when I go to eat at one of these places.

You brought up a subject that was most interesting, about many Restaurants perhaps "pre-marinating" their meats or "pre-injecting" them with flavorings! WOW! Now, this is something I didn't know, but I had an idea this might be taking place. For an example, we went out to dinner at one of the Restaurants here for New Year's Eve, and I ordered a Rib-Eye (grilled) steak, baked Potato & Salad Bar. Well guess what? I got very sick that night, and I was up all night long (never slept) until 6:00 am in the morning!! I kept "burping" up that Steak I had, and I told my husband, that I just KNEW they had either marinated that thing, or "seasoned" it, because it was very tender & also a very good steak. I could think of nothing else I ate there, that may have made me get a "gluten attack," other than perhaps "cross-contamination" from the Salad Bar or something, but I was also very careful in what I was doing!!!

So now, I am very skeptical about even ordering "grilled" meats at Restaurants! When I read your Post about the marinated & pre-injected meat, it all made sense! The idea of the aluminum foil put under a steak or meat to "grill" it with is a very good idea, but gee, I'm afraid around here, these folks might just kick me out of their Restraunt if I suggested that to the Chef... (and my husband would crawl under the table from embarassment, to say the least!) Golly, I feel like I'm trapped!!!

That's another issue... is the Family Members & the HUSBAND, in regards to Dining out. They get more embarassed about things than I do, and bringing my own Salad dressing was an issue at first, but my husband "got over it" after a few times of doing this recently! LOL :lol:

Thanks for the tip about the Wheat Free/Gluten Free Guide to Dining Out. I've also seen this Advertised and will look into it. It looks as if I will have to go into Restaurants from now on, fully "armored" in order to prevent getting "glutened to death," huh? LOL :P

Your advise on the Soft drinks at the Movie Theatre was a good one too. Thankfully, I do not drink that much soda at all, and have not had even one Soda since I went gluten-free. I generally just drink water. But you know how it is going to a MOVIE, one always has to have a drink of some kind!! Maybe I'll just bring my own bottle of water to the Movie Theatre when I go next time...

Thanks nini again, for all of your help! ~Silver_naki~

"If one is to Live.... One must do so with Living." -The Great Apache Chief, Geronimo

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Hi Silver,

Not sure which "West" you are in but I am assuming the "West" in the US. I am not sure you have these in the US but Swiss Chalet has things that are gluten-free. So far, in the four places I have eaten in since being dx'd I have not been glutened. I have been glutened at work from touching the desk and someone eating a sandwhich at it.

If you are in the US and on the West coast it is not a restaurant but I know they have a trader Joes in San Fran that sells gluten-free foods. Wish we had some up in Western Canada.

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I also do the Hobo purse at the theater thing, and did it well before gluten became an issue, though AMC nachos are gluten free, which was confirmed with me by Frito-Lay, everyone else has "propreitary cheese" which is kind of scary in its own right, not even on a gluten level. Sometimes I go to AMC just to have nachos ( I see a movie too, but pick it based on theater not movie).

As far as family and so forth getting embarassed, they can just deal, though I know that's easy for me to say being over here. My bf was embarrased at first, but now he's an asset, and sometimes pipes up with stuff I may have forgotten. What I did when I first was eating out was I would get up and talk to the wait staff or manager to one side, so it wasn't a "table" issue. I tried to arrive early if we were eating in a group and get my discussion out of the way early so it didn't become a group thing. Now everyone around me knows, and I always order first, often I'll start my order with the drink order so as not to hold everyone else up. You'd be very surprised even in a small town how helpful people can be, especially if you go back when they're been nice. My mom lives in a town so small its technically a village and there are a total of four restaurants and they were awesome to me while I was visiting. I avoid margarine, and only eat real butter. Helps avoid any addatives.

"When in doubt go without" though I'm sure you've heard this before.

<on soapbox>

This is about your health, not other peoples feelings. Once people get over the initial "WHAT?!?" it gets pretty easy to deal with. With me and my family that took about 3 months of adjusting. Don't back down. Without nagging, try to make your husband understand that you need him as an ally in the process of going out an eating. It will take a while to adjust, but make sure you stick up for yourself, because this is the time when every one is adjusting to the new rules, and its harder to make them strict later after having caved in to thier embarrasment than to deal with them being "embarrased" now. What the heck it has to do with them in the first place is beyond me, your health, your deal, they can just hush.

Also, in a restaurant, you are a CUSTOMER, and they are SERVING you. Its an interactive experience. If you walk into a place that has a huge sign on the wall that says no substitutions, its probable that you shouldn't eat there. But any normal restaurant, small or no, should be able to at least discuss options with you, even if the end result is "have the salad."

Will you be able to eat out with this diet : YES

Is it harder to deal with: YES

Are there going to be restaurants you just can't go to anymore: YES

One of my favorite places on the planet was Roscoe's chicken and waffles here in LA. I can never eat there again. If my BF wants to go, he goes without me, doesn't ask me to go, doesn't tease me about it, just goes there when I'm otherwise occupied. No one should make you feel obligated to go anywhere you can't eat.

<off soapbox>

I'm going to stop ranting now. Good luck with all this. It gets easier.

Elonwy

Edited by elonwy

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Guest nini

I've found with Mexican restaurants, the family owned ones are a lot easier to get a gluten free meal at than the chain ones... Most of the family owned ones I go to, make everything from scratch and can tell you exactly what ingredients are in their meat, in their spanish rice, salsa, sauces, etc... as long as they use all fresh ingredients (which any self respecting family owned Mexican Restaurant will do) as long as you can communicate clearly enough with them (no language barriers) you should be ok... When we went on vacation last Spring Break, we went to visit my dad in the town I grew up in... went to my fave. Mex. rest. from when I was a kid and I was SO HAPPY to find that I was able to eat almost everything on their menu! NO WONDER it was my fave place as a kid! They didn't serve much that would have made me sick!

I used to work at an AMC theater, and during that time I practically lived on the nachos and the popcorn... I wasn't dx'ed at the time, but I didn't eat much else other than those two things, when I did try to eat something else (like hotdogs) I got really ill... should've been a clue, huh?

When I was first dx'ed and we tried going out to eat, my husband was totally embarrassed... didn't want me making a big deal... BUT when I told him that I had every right to expect a certain degree of customer service in these places AND was willing to tip for it, that he needed to get over it, eventually it became a non issue... especially once I started having to order this way for my daughter as well... when it was just me it was different... bring the kid into it.. well...

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Guest Viola

Hello, we are very rural as well, 45 minutes to the nearest town, and so we make use of the local village restaurants. I actually find them the easiest as they get to know their clientel very quickly which means that after the first few times it is no longer a hassel. The staff know the routine. I now get to eat many of the meals on the menu with just slight changes. The last time I had a chicken breast smothered in mushrooms and onions covered with three cheeses, baked potato and veggies, salad on the side with Kraft french dressing. And yes, these small places tend to use Kraft dressings :P It didn't take long for the cooks and I to be on first name basis. That's a big help, and in villages you also soon get to know the serving staff. Quite offten they will be a daughter or son of a friend etc, because of the small population everyone knows everyone.

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If I were you I'd think about what local restaurant has the friendliest staff (friendly staff usually means there's a friendly boss), and just call and talk to the manager/owner about it. Ask them if right then is a good time to talk to them, or if you can make an appt to come down to the restaurant or call at a certain time. Restaurants are usually controlled chaos during lunch and dinner service times, but may have slow times in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Most people are really nice and want to help people when they can. If you let them know about celiac and what you can and can't eat, they can probably tell you what on their menu just happens to be gluten free, or tell you how to order certain items so that they are.

In the fancy restaurants in the cities, where the menus sometimes change every day, you can usually call the restaurant the day before or so and they can tell you what you can get that is gluten free. That way, they know you're coming and are prepared for you (foodwise and mentality-wise). The same concept can be used in local, family run restaurants. If you know you're going to a certain restaurant the next day, and you call and let them know your restrictions, you'll be able to take the time to explain things thoroughly, and they'll be able to take the time to do anything special that they need to do for you.

Once they see how grateful you are for their time and efforts the first time, it won't be a big deal the next time.

Nancy

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:) Hi Rusla!

Gee, thanks for the Post here, & it's always good to hear everybody's input! Loved your picture there, & I'm so new to the Forum, that I haven't figured out how to navigate the "controls" yet. (they say a Photo has to be allowed by an Administrator, but I don't know how to go about doing that! Help!) :blink:

You were wondering about what part of the West I live in....? I live "way out West!... like the Old West!" Laugh! :D Actually, I live in the State of IDAHO here, but am originally from Montana. Thus, things are very small & quite "rural" everywhere. Our biggest Cities are hundreds of miles away. We live in Farming & Agriculture Communities, and most of our Towns are Villages, to say the least. Our small town has a population of 338 people!!! I've found Dining Out to be hard... so far anyway, but hoping it will get much better for me.

Rusla, I had not heard of the Swiss Chalet or Trader Joes..... these must be Restaurants? Not living close to a larger Town or even a City, nor have I traveled much, I feel like a real "dumb-bell" here, but it's the way it is out West. Our biggest chain is McDonald's & Burger King, and places like that... no kidding! Pretty sad, so I'm glad we grow a big GARDEN every year!!!

I found your Post to be interesting, knowing you come from Western Canada! Wow! Where I grew up in Montana, we were right over the border from B.C. Canada... I had been up into Canada a few times.

I also noticed in your notes within your Post, you suffer with Migraine headaches. So do I. I've had them severely all my life, and also have many relatives who have them as well. I never contributed these to "food allergies" before, because I just figured it was something I was "stuck" living with for the rest of my life. Once I went "gluten-free" recently, I have noticed a change.... of course, I'm just beginning on my gluten-free diet, so we'll see what happens. I'm sure hoping the headaches will improve for me. ;)

Thanks for your input Rusla, I appreciate that... if you have any more helpful tips or advice, don't hesitate to Post, OK? {I need all the HELP I can get....} Thanks! ~Silver_naki~

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Shirley;

It was so good of you to Post, & to give me some of your feed-back from B.C. Canada there! I'm so glad to know, I'm not a "lone-Joe" living out in the "back woods!" LOL :lol: Actually, I live out on a Ranch, way out of Town, & as I said in an earlier Post, our Town is very, very small. All of our bigger Cities are miles & hours away. I don't venture off the Ranch too often....

Your advise for the smaller Cafe & Restaurant's was most welcome, and gives me something to truly think about. I know things will get better with time. I think the biggest problem, is I don't "Dine Out" that often, I really don't. But there always comes those times, when we all must be "out in Public." Whether this be at a Summer BBQ, picnic, or at an eating establishment.

I was glad you told me what you had for your meal in regards to the Chicken breast smothered with mushrooms & onions! Wow... that sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing! In your Post, you also mentioned about the KRAFT "french dressing." Where I am new to a gluten-free diet, I have read a bit about KRAFT brand Salad dressing... are all of KRAFT'S dressings gluten-free and safe??? And do most Restaurant's serve the Kraft brand? (curious here)

The last Restaurant I went to, served oil & vinegar, and there wasn't even a choice to the Vinegar, they brought out "malt" Vinegar!!!! A real "killer" to say the least, and I'm glad I brought my own dressing that night!!

Thanks much for Posting to me! Hope to hear from you again... ~Silver_naki~

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:wub: Oh elonwy... You're such a "joy" to know! I always really enjoy your Posts, & so very thankful for the good advice, & also the support! THANK-YOU!

First off, I know that you & nini both have Posted several times about the POPCORN I was in question to at Movie Theatres.... Now then, I haven't been out to a Movie since I've been gluten-free, but do plan to go in the near future. Again, "out in Public,"........ and I'm such a "popcorn Freak," that it's not even funny! This is why I had questions about this particular issue. I don't mean to sound like an "idiot-stick" here, but both of you had referred to the Popcorn as either "Regal Movie Theatre Popcorn" or "AMC." What are these??? :unsure:

I'm thinking that they are a certain brand, because elonwy, you had mentioned you had the AMC "nacho's?" I know you are from LA, so things are much different there in California, than they are way out here in the West. (trust me on this one!) I've lived a very sheltered Ranch life, so, you'll have to "clue-me-in," OK? giggle! ;) I felt like real "stupid" (duh.) asking you earlier about the Regal & AMC popcorn, but do need to get Educated here! LOL

Thanks for the great support with the "Family embarassment" issues. Yep... I think everyone that starts out on a gluten-free diet has to face this very thing. If folks don't suffer with any type of "food allergies," then they really have no clue what it is like, so there's where the clincher comes in at. I was also glad you told me about your bf being embarassed at first too, then becoming an "asset" to you--- that's great, & I hope that eventually, my husband gets over the "horrors" of me being gluten-free, and winds up like your bf!! LOL :P What's amazing, is he is almost "liking" all of the gluten-free foods I'm now Cooking & Baking, and is the first one to get into my home-made Rice Flour BREAD when it is still hot & fresh!!! MEN, huh??!!!

Also elonwy, your comments about the issue of "Dining Out," and the conversation turning into a "group thing," was very good..... it tends to get that way, without any of us even realizing it's happening! I never even thought about this, until you mentioned it, so this was very good to know! Thanks for the advise here! Great!

I also wanted to tell you, I switched to "real" Butter too, since going gluten-free. I don't even like to "do" Marjarine now, so that is why I always wonder just what kind of a "concoction" they serve with meals in the Restaurants, when they serve the "butter" with like, baked potato, etc;?? I know it's "whipped," & therefore, not sure what kind of other "junk" or additives they might put in this.... I found that my system also has a tendency to react to alot of "additives" and things besides just the "gluten intolerance." Yep.

I had to laugh :lol: when you said you were on your "Soapbox" with your Post and all to me... Naw elonwy, I didn't feel that way, and really, really appreciated your words of wisdom & advise and mostly the "support!" Honestly. Thanks alot, and hope you will Post again to me soon. I need all the help I can get right now, with just beginning & starting out with the gluten-free diet and all. I have no support-system going right now, other than this Forum board!

Hugs to you!

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Guest nini

AMC and Regal Cinemas are just the names of two of the major Theater Chains... they are found around most of the country...

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:D nini!! I'm so glad you Posted to me again! THANKS!!!

The advise about the "self-respecting Family owned" Mexican Restaurants is a good one... We have many of these in our area locally, and for awhile, there was an issue with some of these Restaurants doing the "unthinkable," and throwing their left-over Spanish Rice back into the kettle from Customer's plates!!! This is no kidding...... thus, I have been skeptical, to eat at any of the Mexican Restaurants around. We also just recently had one of the more popular Chinese Restaurants "close down," due to a mice problem, & the Health Board got involved in that one~ Of course, one must be careful not to get too judgemental with "rumours" and such in a small Community too. It's hard to deal with what is FACT sometimes, & what is not, when a Restaurant is "shut-down."

With the Mexican Restaurants, you brought up the subject of sometimes there may be a "language barrier." This is true. What I need to do, is try out a few of our Mexican Restaurants, & just give it a "whirl" to see how everything will go.

You & elonwy have mentioned the AMC Theatre's several times... you were telling me you use to work at one, and loved eating the nacho's & Popcorn. You'll have to tell me more about the AMC Theatre, OK? It was also interesting that you mentioned always getting so sick on Hot-dogs! Believe this or not, but when I was a kid, I just LOVED "hot-dogs" like everybody else, but I got deathly "ill" on them every time I would eat them--- gee, and I never knew WHY, but now I do!!! LOL :D That reminds me... they say that some type of hot-dogs are gluten-free,... I believe they are the "BAR S" brand, but am not quite sure about this. Of course, I have no clue what brand of Hot-dogs some of the Movie Theatre's use... I'm sure they come in "bulk" and a cheaper brand of a hot-dog? I myself, have never had a hot-dog at a Movie Theatre, so I'm a real idiot with this issue here! LOL :lol:

Thanks for telling me about your personal experience with your husband's embarassment when you first went gluten-free... it's always good to hear other people's personal testimonies & stories and what they go through. Even though it's so unfortunate that your daughter has Celiac, at least you can share being gluten-free in regards to her and all..... I don't have any children, so thankfully, the ole` "genes" don't get passed on down anymore! LOL! :rolleyes: Sooo, there's just myself to worry about, and as I have stated so many times, I'm still LEARNING an awful lot!!! Much, much more to educate myself with as well...

Again nini, thanks for all of your help!!

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:rolleyes: Thanks Nancy for your Post here!

The last time I went out to eat in Public, I had seriously thought about calling ahead to ask some questions and such, but I also felt very self-conscience about doing this too! But since I have been on the Forum here, I am seeing, that some of these "paranoia's" I have aren't ODD at all! I think what is "odd," is our small area here, & if there are Celiac people around, they are still hidden in the "wood-work" somewhere! Laugh! :D I honestly & truly don't think that many of our local Cafe's & Restaurant's are very educated about gluten-free. I could be mistaken, but that is my "take" on it so far~

I think the biggest problem, is I never know for certain just WHEN we will be going out to eat, & some of it is "spur of the moment." But of course, we had a dinner Gift Certificate to use up that we got as a Christmas Gift, & it was our first dining experience at this particular Restaurant we had went to. Thus, I did not know what to expect, & also the Restaurant is "new" too. Being so new to a gluten-free diet, didn't help either!! :blink:

Thank you for you input, and I appreciate your advise!

AMC and Regal Cinemas are just the names of two of the major Theater Chains... they are found around most of the country...

;) Thanks here nini!!!

Gee, I felt so stupid asking about this, but so many things are varied & also different out here where I'm at. Really. What I will do, is check into some of our Movie Theatre's around here, to see if they are perhaps AMC or REGAL Cinema's, (or associated in any way), and that will give me a better idea on the Popcorn & nacho's!!! Thanks again for all of your help!!!! :)

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Guest nini

just trying to help!

I think the issue with the hot dogs was also the bun! But yeah, a lot of cheap hot dogs contain fillers and God knows what!

When I worked at the movie theater, I worked in the box office and the concession for a while, and I was living at my dads house... couldn't really afford to buy a lot of groceries or eat out, so when I found out I got all the popcorn, soda and nachos I wanted for FREE you can bet I ate a lot of those! Sure it wasn't the healthiest diet in the world, but at least now I know why I felt a lot better during that time. (it was naturally gluten free!)

As far as the restaurants and rumors of mice problems and dumping food off of diners plates back into the pot... I suggest checking out the Health Department Report that each restaurant is supposed to display. I believe they are supposed to have it out somewhere where customers can see it. Check to see how recent the date, and what the score... Anything below an 80 and you REALLY don't want to eat there anyway! If you don't see the health dept. report, ask them! (Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this law is nationwide)...

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:P Hey nini!

Thanks for the info on the Health Dept. reports... this is something I wasn't aware of, basically, because I never paid any attention to my DIET or any of the things we should be doing, until I had to go gluten-free!! I never had any reason to check into Health Dept. reports or anything else, previously. Some of the things we hear makes us really wonder! LOL! :huh:

Also, I checked into the AMC & REGAL Theatres for our area, and guess what? NATA~ The closest one affiliated is clear across the State!! (and there's only ONE.) This is why I had no clue as to what you & elonwy were referring too, & also why I had never heard of AMC or Regal. (because they don't exist here... LOL!) I swear, I live on "Planet Krypton" sometimes!!! :D And I have never been to a Movie Theatre "out-of-State" either. Thus, I just learned something new today! Thanks!

The only time I have hot-dogs (and I love them!) is when we are out Camping or on a picnic... sooo, I have to find out which ones do NOT have a bunch of fillers and such in them. I guess I will bypass the hot-dogs at the Movie Theatres.... it's safer that way! While we're on the subject of Movie Theatres, (and where I am still very ignorant to gluten-free...) is it safe to eat cheesy NACHO'S at most all Movie Theatres?? Most of them probably use all of the same basic ingredients, huh??? (wondering.)

Thanks for your input again nini!!!

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You'll have to contact the theater directly, and that usually means corporate office, cause the guys at the theater won't have a fleeping idea what you're talking about. Pacific got back to me, though they're CA only I believe, and their nacho cheese is ok, but I have seen many nacho cheese like blends that have wheat added. Never assume something is safe because another brand is. I've been burned by that one myself.

Hot dogs at theaters tend to be pre-bunned, so they tend to be off limits. I was at a Pacific, who uses Hebrew national, which are safe, and asked the clerk if they had any hot dogs that hadn't touched a bun yet and it was like I was speaking greek to him. Granted he was like 14 or something, but it made his eyes bug out of his head, cause he didn't know what I was talking about.

Oscar Meyer is a Kraft brand and will not hide ingreds, as hot dogs go.

I was back home in Hawaii for Xmas, at Kahalu'u beach park, which has one of those beach food van things. I've called em roach coaches since I moved to Cali but it just doesn't fit there and I don't remember what they use to be called. Anyway, they had hot dogs and I asked them what brand they were, got a blank stare, then I explained my concerns. They hauled this huge bag of hot dogs out of their refriigerator, and let me read the ingredients. There was nothing on thier dangerous, so I had one, sans bun or condiments and it was sooo good.

THe point of that ramble was, usually, once you get the courage up and the person you're talking to gets over the initial eye blink, you'd be amazed how helpful people really want to be, even in the strangest places.

Elonwy

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I live in a very small town, too. 3000 people, and 3 restaurants. The one greek restaurant has turned into crap (seriously, people have gotten sick since the original owner left), so all I can eat in town is white rice in the vietnamese restaurant, and homemade (SOO YUMMY AND HUGE) hamburgers at the Chinese food restaurant.

I definitely try to avoid eating out if I can. Because if not I'm left with salad! :rolleyes:

And seeing how there is only...8 of it in the town (that anyone knows of) with Celiac is not like the restaurants or most people have heard of it :-P

Probably dont help you, but thats ok ;)

~lisa~

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:D oh gawd elonwy..... LAUGH!!!! :D:D:D

I got the biggest "bang" out of your Posting here on the subject of eating out at the Movie Theatre's, & also the beach food Vending Van being "roach-coaches!" Too funny!!! I'm so glad you have a glorious sense of humor, because without a total sense of humor with being gluten-free, I think we'd all just about crawl in a hole & cover up our heads!!!! I love your Posts, & they encourage me greatly~ THANKS!

Geez-Louise, if I was to ask anybody around here if their hot dogs were a "pre-bunned hot dog," I would get way more than the "initial eye blank," it would be more so like the "severe RAISED-EYEBROW syndrome!" Laugh!!! :huh:

Ok now, with regards to the Pacific Theatre's, I also looked into this on the NET, along with the AMC & the Regal chains... as I stated, they DO NOT have these Movie Theatres even remotely around our area. Darn... because they look to be good ones.

Hot dogs were a questionable thing with me, just being gluten-free and all.... basically, because we have our own big Fire-Pit out here on our Ranch, were we sit out at nights in the Summer time, and do the ole` hot dog & Marshmallow "roast" gig.... I looked on a package of S Bar Brand {cheap} hot dogs I have in the Freezer, & it says they have "modified Cornstarch" in them. Is this suppose to be SAFE, or am I to perhaps go with a different brand??? I still have to learn how to read "labels" and all of that for myself yet, so I'm a bit of a dummy with this as well. Then, if I do go out to eat somewhere, such as in the Summer, and get the ole` hot-dog craving, I'd like to know which brands of hot-dogs ARE truly safe? You mentioned Oscar Meyer hot dogs----- is there a specific Oscar Meyer that is safe? I like the TURKEY HOT DOGS the best, because I don't "belch" them as much as beef or chicken hot dogs! giggle!! :P

You have given me so many great tips here elonwy, & also many good belly laughs! Thanks!!! Keep posting, will you? I enjoy the insight---- ;)

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