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jaimi alderson

Dining Out

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Hello!!!! I was diagnosed last week with celiac disease & I am trying quickly to get my questions to all of you wonderful selfless helpers while my kids are still asleep. So this is my question. Can I go to any restaurant & just order a steak with just salt, a baked potato & a glass of wine and tell them to make sure it does not ever touch anything with wheat in it or do I have to skip restaurants that do not have a gluten-free menu? Our city may only have 2 of those: Outback & some mediterranean place where I would not like the food anyway! I just need to know if it is possible to eat at a normal restaurant. Thank you so much!!!!!!!


Jaimi Alderson

Medford, Oregon

randomjaimi@charter.net

Mother of daughter Davis (4) & son Hannigan (1)

Positive Blood Test 3-15-06

Positive Biopsy 3-29-06

Gluten-free since 3-15-06

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you would have to talk to the chef because theymight marinate or flour the steak in soy sauce or wheat flour. The best bet is download some of the restaruant cards from www.glutenfreerestaruants.org (if that is wrong, i don't know how to spell restaruants...) and give it to the waiter, who will take it back to the chef, and then he can tell you what will be safe for you to eat, that way you will not get sick from whatever you get, but if you leave it to the waiter to tell the chef, he might just as well forget...


Molly

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Definitely give them a call or talk to the manager or chef. Many restaurants unfortunately do not and will not do anything special or different for us. I have encountered ones that will not use clean separate bowls or clean the grill. Some do things to the potato or keep them with buns.


Rusla

Asthma-1969

wheat/ dairy allergies, lactose/casein intolerance-1980

Multiple food, environmental allergies

allergic to all antibiotics except sulpha

Rheumitoid arthritis,Migraine headaches,TMJ- 1975

fibromyalgia-1995

egg allergy-1997

msg allergy,gall bladder surgery-1972

Skin Biopsy positive DH-Dec.1 2005, confirmed celiac disease

gluten-free totally since Nov. 28, 2005

Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism- 2005

Pernicious Anemia 1999 (still anemic on and off.)

Osteoporosis Aug. 2006

Creative people need maids.

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Mollie is right. What she's referring to are the Triumph dining cards. They are well worth the money, come super laminated and I keep my set in my purse so I have them with me at all times. And she's right about beef. I was out with family and I thought beef tips would be safe. Had my card and to make a long story short, the tips came premarinated so the chef could not vouch for their gluten-free status. Went with chicken. And the cards tell the chef that the grill must be cleaned before preparing our foods too. Which may or may not happen. At another restaraunt, I ordered a breakfast, omelet I believe, used the card to alert the kitchen regarding cross contamination; pancakes and french toast were also prepared on the same griddle, I got sick even though I was assured of the cooking surface being cleaned for me. Ah well. It's a gamble every time I go out, I think.

Annette


gluten-free since Oct 1996

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Definitely give them a call or talk to the manager or chef. Many restaurants unfortunately do not and will not do anything special or different for us. I have encountered ones that will not use clean separate bowls or clean the grill. Some do things to the potato or keep them with buns.

Having worked as a chef there is no way they can clean the grill or salamander while the restaurant is open and running. You may want to try asking them to do your food in a seperate saute pan, that can usually be accomadated pretty easily.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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Having worked as a chef there is no way they can clean the grill or salamander while the restaurant is open and running. You may want to try asking them to do your food in a seperate saute pan, that can usually be accomadated pretty easily.

What I should have said is that some will not leave a specific part of the grill clean. You are correct the salamander cannot be cleaned when the restaurant is open. Some places absolutely will not adjust anything. Others are willing to help. Worst places are restaurants or food courts in malls.


Rusla

Asthma-1969

wheat/ dairy allergies, lactose/casein intolerance-1980

Multiple food, environmental allergies

allergic to all antibiotics except sulpha

Rheumitoid arthritis,Migraine headaches,TMJ- 1975

fibromyalgia-1995

egg allergy-1997

msg allergy,gall bladder surgery-1972

Skin Biopsy positive DH-Dec.1 2005, confirmed celiac disease

gluten-free totally since Nov. 28, 2005

Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism- 2005

Pernicious Anemia 1999 (still anemic on and off.)

Osteoporosis Aug. 2006

Creative people need maids.

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You can venture to a restaurant without a gluten-free menu...but as was said here, talk to the manager...explain Celiac or tell them you have serious food allergies and that all pans and utensils need to be clean etc. Meat, steamed veggies, baked potato are a good way to go. You could also pick up some dining cards if you want some help explaining the situation, especially in loud restaurants. Triumph and Living Without both make good dining cards. You could always make your own as well. PS--When I go to a restaurant with a gluten-free menu I still confirm using clean pans etc with the staff just to make sure we're on the same page....


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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I eat at a variety of resturaunts - like everyone has said, call the manager, ask, and see if they are willing to work with you. Most corporate offices will try to cover their a#* and cannot guarantee but the managers know what is going on... Some I avoid after they say they can help because I still have problems but most are great. Locally, my Chili's, Outback, Margaritaville (which I haven't actually tried yet because they are so busy), Texas Roadhouse, plus some local independents.

I have one place and I just order "The Kate" and it is wonderful - everyone at my office is now addicted to "The Kate" it is always a little different depending on what he has on hand but it is always amazing.

I avoid going during their busy times...every time I try, I pay the price. I only go during their off times and we have a nice relaxing meal and I never get sick.


-Kate

gluten-free since July 2004

Other Intolerances:

Strawberries and Banannas (2007)

Nitrates (April 2006)

Yeast (which includes all vinegar so no condiments) (Oct. 2004)

Peanuts (Nov. 2004)

Soy (Oct. 2004)

Almonds (Sept. 2004)

Corn (Sept. 2004)

Lactose/Casein (1999)

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jaimi - welcome and I agree with everything that was posted thus far. For me, eating out and travel are both huge parts of my life so I had no choice but to learn how to do each as safely as possible. I have every dining out guide I could find I do not leave home without the Triumph dining cards. Also, as many times I must dine wtih clients where no gluten free menu is availalbe, the nicer places all have true chefs and they are more than willing to accomodate you. Since I like salads for lunch it's easy for me. I still use the cards but I take my own gluten-free crackers and dressing. This way, I don't have to chance the dressing if it's not oil/vinegar as I'm not about to eat salad without dressing. Also, as I live in a major city and incounter traffic problems/delays at times, I keep a food bag in my car. I haven't had to use it yet but I like knowing it's there. My bag includes dressing packets, crackers, energy bars and pretzels).

To be honest I thought of cancelling a vacation upon my dx of Celiac but apparently the US is way behind most countries except for France regarding dining out safely gluten free so I'm still going. Guess eventaully we'll catch up with the rest of the civilized world. For now, you have to really take time and think/plan for everything you want to eat outside your home. So far the only times I was glutened was by myself at home with grits and some crackers both of which were cross contaminated. Live and learn as they say.

Good luck to you and you will find all the help you need on this board. Keep in mind that many people with Celiac prefer not to eat out at all but this should not stop you as long as you understand the importance of making sure you do everything in your power to eat out safely. If you feel funny about talking to the manager or chef you should probably refrain from eating out since the chances of a restaurant that doesn't know about your needs making you sick is probably 99.9%.


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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Guest cassidy

In the beginning I tried eating out as usual. I would talk to the waiter and/or chef and try to stress how important it is that I do not get sick. I got sick almost every time. I was glutening myself often and getting very frustrated. I work in a rural area and my job requires me to have lunch with my customers 3-4 times a week. Since it is a rural area I don't have the choice of eating in nice restaurants where I think I would be more comfortable. Applebee's and Chili's is about as nice as it gets in these areas. When I would call ahead no one knew what gluten was and several restaurants (Applebee's) said they couldn't accomodate me.

6 weeks ago I decided to stop eating with my customers. I sit there and watch them eat and then eat something safe in my car. Since I have started doing this, I haven't been glutened once. I've had 6 weeks of feeling great and I'm really starting to improve.

My advice would be give it a few months until you are feeling much better before you start eating out. It was very discouraging to keep getting sick; it really affected my attitude because I didn't feel well and I was trying so hard.

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cassidy makes a very good point. I waited a month before going out to eat. I eat out maybe six times a month now including dining out once a week with hubby and a couple of client lunches. I probably ate out twice as much before my dx. The only thing I really had to give up in terms of eating out was that we'd get either pizza or chinese take out once a week before and now we don't. We make our own chebe crust pizza and I attempt making chinese type dishes with my gluten free soy sauce.


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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I agree that waiting a while might be a good decision. That way your body can have some time to heal! When you do decide to try going to restaurants again, I would call their corporate offices first and talk to a customer service rep. I usually do this, and have had much better results from them, than from your individual waiter/waitress. They can guide you on what SHOULD be gluten-free on the menu. When you get to the restaurant make sure the manager/server knows about it too though. That way maybe they can help eliminate some CC issues with your food in the kitchen. Inevitably though (at least with my experience) eating out is always a risk. I do everything I can to protect myself, but sometimes it still happens :rolleyes:

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