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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

melrobsings

Olive Garden Times Square

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Hey all I just wanted to warn you about my experience at Olive Garden Time Square. I went to lunch there and had to ask 3 people for the Gluten free menu. (that should have been the first red flag) The manager finally brought it out and said "enjoy your diet". I nicely said "thanks but it's not a diet it's a disease and an allergy". He looked confussed and walked away. I ordered off the menu salad (no crutons) and grilled salmon with steamed vegies. it was GREAT! HOWEVER i got SICK SICK SICK SICK!! Something in there was massivly gluten-ous. I did write them a letter explaining what happened but i just want you all to be aware. I haven't been THAT sick for a long long time and oh lord it was bad. OK have a wonderful gluten-free day! :)

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Thats terrible! so sorry that happened, sounds like a terrible experience. In any event, thanks for the heads up and good for you for taking initiative to write them! I live right near there but have never been there, didnt even know they had a gluten free menu...well, after your experience, that is one place i will NOT be eating!!!

Feel better!

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The manager finally brought it out and said "enjoy your diet". I nicely said "thanks but it's not a diet it's a disease and an allergy". He looked confussed and walked away.

I admit that "enjoy your diet" is a weird thing to say (what's wrong with "enjoy your meal!"?) but technically he's right. We are all "on diets". We're not on diets so we can lose weight and look good in our bathing suits, but because we can't digest gluten properly, we are on the gluten-free diet. People who are diabetic are on no-sugar diets, people who have high blood pressure are on low-sodium diets etc. And it would have been way more messed up if he brought out the menu and said "enjoy your disease and allergy!".

But otherwise? I am so sorry you had to go through that and I hope you feel better soon! I've never liked Olive Garden and when I found out they had a gluten-free menu I was secretly a little bummed because I knew that I'd be obliged to eat there someday. But now your story is just the excuse I need to stay away!

:)

I've said this in other threads but I really think restaurants with gluten-free menus often need to time to work out the kinks. I had a bad meal at Legal Sea Foods once and I went back to the same location a few months later and had a great meal. I believe that the difference was that they've had practice dealing with Celiacs for a few months and had gotten comfortable with the process. I don't blame you at all for not wanting to go back...but I do think it's important that we all support restaurants that are trying to do the right thing by us even if they aren't doing it correctly at first. It would be interesting if one of us went back there in a few months and reported back. We might be pleasantly surprised!

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