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cgilsing

Outback Steakhouse

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I posted elsewhere about my Outback experience but it belongs here. We never went to our local OB pre Celiac dx. since we don't care for chain places in general. Now that I'm gluten-free we decided to try OB since it has the gluten-free menu. We were going a few weeks ago for dinner but we had a hectic day and the weather was yucky so I wanted just to get our food to go. They will bring the food out to your car but I told the order taker my husband had to come in and check my food (no croutons, potato not cut open etc.). Well he went in and had to wait for just about five minutes so the girl asked him is he minded telling her what exactly gluten was. She explained that they had been trained about how important the gluten free meals were prepared and served very carefully but the management didn't actually tell them what gluten was. My hubby explained Celiac and gluten intolerenace in no nonsense terms and she thanked him. I just found it incredibly odd that this happened...how hard could it be for the training to include the following - gluten is in wheat, rye and barley....that means no bread, flour, soy sauce, croutons etc.? I meant to e-mail Outback corporate but I forgot so I'll do so now.


Dx'd with anemia - March 2005

Positive blood tests - Sept. 2005

Positive biopsy - Jan. 2006

Gluten free since 1-23-06

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Congrats, so far!! That's awesome! Good luck on the assessment test - not fun!! That's just the beginning. You have to learn the menu and the drink menu and be tested on that too before you can waitress. (And then again every 6 months.) The outback I work at is insanely busy! (Just a mile or so away from the world's busiest outback - and there are more than 700 Outbacks world-wide!!) It's exhausting work - but is a great company to work for. (Of course - each restaurant has it's own proprietor and managers...so I suppose the experience would be different for each one.) My boss just recently learned I have Celiac (I had no idea Outback was big on Gluten-free stuff until after I got the job)...and was pretty surprised. (Probably because I haven't, until just this friday, ever ordered from the Gluten-free menu.)

What part of Communications did you get your BA in? I was majoring in Advertising/PR - but unfortunately only finished two years - so didn't graduate (yet...?). My sweet Mallory decided to come into our lives - and that's been more fulfilling to me than finishing... but someday I hope to get my BA. Outback has so many opportunities for "advancement" if you apply yourself. They have what they call "headwait"....and that's the server who checks all the other servers out at the end of the night (handles the money and the credit card slips, and the totals, etc.). In my Outback they don't Ask anyone to take on these positions - you're supposed to ask them. And then they have "Keys" who kind take on the roll of a manager every once and awhile and they walk around the restaurant and deal with the customers. So - if you're not just interested in being a waitress - just be patient! :)

Anyway - Congrats again and good luck!

MallysMama,

Thanks! The test actually wasn't bad at all. I've been speaking with the proprietor, and he's super nice. Hopefully the managers, etc. will be also.

I have my BA in Rhetoric & Communications. I've worked in PR, but I really like the publishing industry, specifically magazines. So I'm going to grad school to get my masters degree in Publication Management, and I do some work for a magazine (actually, I've been with them off and on as school allows for almost 4 years). I'd like to one day be a magazine publisher. I also really enjoy the marketing courses I've been taking lately.

Well anyway, thanks again for your encouragement!

- Lauren

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Guest spruette

I used to love Outback. Unfortunately the last few times I have gone to ours, I was very sadly glutened and it was such a shame because the manager had promised she would keep an eye out for my meal personally. And it was a massive gluten attack the last time. All I had was the gluten free chicken on the barbie with baked potato. We made a stink the second time it happened - no refund - no nothing. We won't be returning to that one.

But it used to be our favorite restaurant. We went there weekly for a while. But now we stay away. :(

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I may be getting repetious but I sincerely believe gluten is not always to blame. Most celiacs and thousands of non-celiacs have food intolerance issues they do not recognize. If a person is celiac the first thought when disaster strikes is Gluten. I may well be but it could be dozens of other things given the amount of unknowns - ie - cooking oils, spray for the grill, even cleaning products.

I got deathly sick a year or so ago after eating in a restaurant. It certainly was not gluten. It was pure and simple food poisoning. How could I be sure. My daughter also go very, very sick.

You may have struck an Outback site that is an exception.

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Guest spruette

Hi!

Oh sorry bout that. I should have clarified. Mine was 100% gluten attack. I bloated as usual - was sick to my stomach, and was irritable and it lasted for about three days. Unfortunately with hearing so many others being glutened - I am so afraid that this may be more common then not.

But as far as gluten, there was absolutely no doubt about it. There is no mistaking the symptoms with this one because it was identical to the times I have been glutened and known there was wheat involved.

I wish it wasn't however. Believe me, because I really loved Outback before those two episodes.

Usually when I am sick from something being too fatty or something else is wrong the symptoms are very different from a gluten attack. Gluten attacks are all too familiar with the same feelings - just the difference in severity on some levels.

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Lauren,

That sounds very interseting - Mag. Publications! That would be a lot of fun if I was more creative than I am... I guess I had wanted to go more into the talking/managing part of communications and not so much the creative part of it (that I'm sure helping with a magazine requires). I'm glad to hear your test went pretty well. I was depending a lot on getting this job - so I was so nervous when taking all the stupid tests! Thank goodness I passed them! (My job helped us buy this house...while my hubby has been in training in the Hwy. Patrol.) Have fun collecting all sorts of pins!! I went today to visit my family (2 hours away) and went to the Outback in their city and asked for their store's pin to add to my collection. :)

I'm sorry to hear that some of you have had bad experiences with Outback. I hope you understand that it's not the company's fault - but the individual cooks at the specific restaurant you ate at (if you were, for sure, "glutened"). I know that at the Outback I work at we are so busy sometimes...that even if a manager said they'd watch out for my food....there's always the chance that something will come up and they won't be able to hold to that promise. The server is responsible to make sure the cooks understand that there is an allergy and to highlight specific instructions on the ticket for your food. So, there could be many reasons why your food was not kept away from other's with gluten. Next time you go - try asking for your chicken/steak/pork, etc to be wrapped in foil and cooked so that it doesn't even touch the grill. I've had people ask for that before and it wasn't a problem for the cooks to do. If you are extremely sensitive to any amount of gluten...it could have easily been from anything! The cooks, from what I've seen, wear gloves over their hands... and use tongs... so if either of these touched a regular food item and then touched your's... that's how it could be transfered. And if that's the case - then no restaurant is truly safe to eat at. Learning how serious some reactions to gluten can be has helped me realize that I need to pass on to my restaurant just how serious of a matter it can be and to be more careful. Even though I'm only a server and have only been working for Outback for 6 months - I suppose I'm pretty fiercly loyal to this company and all they stand for. I hope that you are able to find another Outback that takes your allergy seriously so you are able to eat there again! I think I'd go through withdrawls if I didn't get to eat there again! :)


Diagnosed by biopsy with Celiac at age 1 in 1984.

No other health problems.

Hubby - no health problems.

Mallory (2 year old daughter) - no known health problems at this time.

Hannah (born 04/02/07) - no problems yet!

Family - no one diagnosed with Celiac - ever - to our knowledge. (Lucky me!)

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I just try to be totally realistic about restaurants. They use wheat/gluten items in SO many foods, it's just second nature. Also we can't expect them to know all the little things gluten might hide in...they just aren't thinking along those lines. All they know is "did I add flour to this or that" and things like that. I believe they are thinking more along really obvious wheat presence, rather than the lurking wheat we never think about (well....WE think about it, but they don't!).

So even though they might try to be gluten free in the food prep, it's probably extremely hard to do in that environment of cooking quickly for huge groups of people.

And I'll have to add that we used to eat out quite a lot, and sometimes my husband seemed to get sick just as much as I did from restaurant meals. Often we never could figure out what it was, and there were times where he was sick and I wasn't. Of course, I am now harboring a secret suspicion that my husband could possibly have some sort of gluten and/or casein sensitivities too...and being of Irish heritage, it's a possibility. One of these days I'll get him tested too!


CAROLE

-------------

Enterolab 1/2006

IgA & tTg Positive

DQ2-0201 (celiac) and DQ1-0604 (gluten)

Casein IgA positive

Mom has 2 celiac genes

Both kids have a celiac gene.

Lots of celiac disease in my family, both sides.

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I am finding it hard to trust in any restaurants right now. For my birthday, we decided to go to a restaurant that we have been to before, but havent been to in a couple of years. I called this individual restaurant around 1pm in the afternoon, they arent even open at this time. A nice man answered the phone. I stated that we would be coming there on the 16th and could a gluten free dinner be arranged for me. The response I got is "whats gluten?" Ho hum.... This restaurant is a small seafood/steak place at the Jersey shore. I figured that maybe there I could get some peace.

Also, I am headed to NYC for my aunts 60th birthday. A special dinner is being arranged for her at Federicos. My cousin called to find out if they had gluten free dishes or if something could be arranged, again "whats gluten?"

I just feel soo defeated. I am heading to the Outback now for my birthday. At least they know gluten exists.

Tinkerbell


Stephanie

Gluten free since October 05

son born severly premature due to

celiac

"True love stories never end" Richard Bach

"Did you ever stop thinking and forget to start again?" AA Milne

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you" AA Milne

Swimming Instructor #2 and Town Crier of Rachelville

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Tinkerbell--I hope you have a nice, gluten-free experience at Outback--and Happy Birthday :)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Thanks jersey.. I did have a great experience at the Outback. I had the ribs and they were great. I just substitued a baked potato for the veggies and chips. When it came time for dessert, I asked my server if there was a gluten free dessert. He said honestly he wasnt sure. He then went to find out. He came back to my table and told us the Chocolate Brownie dessert was gluten free. I have to be honest and tell you I wasnt so sure about this information. I ordered one and was having second thoughts about it. Even most people at my table said they wouldnt eat it. Just sounded too strange. When the waiter came back he had my dessert in hand and said he had spoken to the manager about the dessert. He too found it odd a brownie being gluten free, but he was assured it was. He then told me it was a flourless brownie they used. I ate the dessert and had no ill affects at all. My experience was great as usual at our Outback. I am glad I have a restaurant in my area that I can trust when I go out.

Tinkerbell


Stephanie

Gluten free since October 05

son born severly premature due to

celiac

"True love stories never end" Richard Bach

"Did you ever stop thinking and forget to start again?" AA Milne

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you" AA Milne

Swimming Instructor #2 and Town Crier of Rachelville

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We have only eaten out once recently, and it was at Outback. We had a great experience!

I've noticed a direct correlation in our family with how often we get sick and when we have eaten at a restaurant or eaten prepared food. I first figured this out last year, when I started cooking from scratch much more often, and figured that I could make most of the stuff we were ordering out (gotta give Rachael Ray credit for that one, but she's also the one who inspired me to make lotsa pasta, which may have triggered my gluten problem).

Since I didn't have a problem with gluten last year and therefore was not gluten-free, I can't blame restaurant glutening for our illnesses. I think it was simply high germs/poor restaurant hygiene. The busboy goes to the bathroom, doesn't wash his hands, scratches his nose, and then unloads the dishwasher; the waitress sneezes politely into her hand and then brings you silverware, drinks and straws. Patrons sneeze all over the menus. It's a germfest out there!

I've also wondered how many of the stomach viruses that go around are actually some kind of food poisoning or else viruses that started out as some kind of food-borne thing. When I stopped eating at family potluck birthday parties and picnics, suddenly I didn't "catch" the stomach viruses that everybody else at the party came down with over the next week or two. Hmmmm.....kinda makes me wonder.....

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Yay for another good Outback experience!

I think that more often than it being a case of "germs" or uncleanliness, people get sick after going out to eat because the food is generally richer than what we eat at home. Why does it taste so good- because most restaurants use more butter, etc. that we might not use when cooking for ourselves. Just my thought on the subject. :)

-Lauren

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Well, I got a job at Outback haha. I go for the test tomorrow to see exactly what they want me to do, but the man who interviewed me said that I would be an "asset" to them as a person who has celiac disease, and I was impressed that he was aware that they have a gluten-free menu. So I go for the personality test/assessment tomorrow... I'll let you know how it goes! But regardless, he said that they would have SOME position for me (though I have a BA in Communications and have lots of work experience even in the service industry, believe it or not, I've never waitressed!)

As far as the temptations... I'm a vegetarian, but the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under is my fave and it's gluten-free so no worries!

- Lauren

Congrats on the Job. Is the chocolate thunder also casein free? I think it has icecream on it but if you just order the brownie seperately then is it casein free? Geez I hope so.


Dx'd with Ulcerative Colitis March 05

New GI doctor not convinced I have UC but maybe Microscopic Colitis

Dx'd With gluten and casien sensativity through Enterolab

Gluten score was 40 and casein score was 16.

Ready to feel better through a gluten-free/CF diet!

GO TERPS

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Congrats on the Job. Is the chocolate thunder also casein free? I think it has icecream on it but if you just order the brownie seperately then is it casein free? Geez I hope so.

Oh boy, you're testing my (limited) product knowledge! I actually haven't started the job yet (building is still under construction, it opens in the beginning of April). BUT, from what I know of flourless chocolate cakes though, its really just chocolate, eggs, sugar, and butter (mass quantities of all). So if you can have butter, I would THINK you would be fine. I'll check for sure once I start, but I'm sure your server would be able to answer the question too.

I'm sure it would be yummy, even without the icecream! :P

- Lauren

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Congrats on the Job. Is the chocolate thunder also casein free? I think it has icecream on it but if you just order the brownie seperately then is it casein free? Geez I hope so.

Terps - I work there tomorrow....I'll try to remember to ask someone for you.

Lauren - That's so cool you got the job at a new Outback. That's how I started too. Our's opened on August 28th, 2005. It's a great way to start there...because everyone (even if they've worked at an Outback before) is new! And the first nights - friends and family nights - are really fun! Are you guys going to be open for lunch or just dinner? We started out with just being open at 4... but since November we're now open at 11 a.m. I don't make as much money during lunch...but it's still pretty busy!


Diagnosed by biopsy with Celiac at age 1 in 1984.

No other health problems.

Hubby - no health problems.

Mallory (2 year old daughter) - no known health problems at this time.

Hannah (born 04/02/07) - no problems yet!

Family - no one diagnosed with Celiac - ever - to our knowledge. (Lucky me!)

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