Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Join eNewsletter


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):



Join eNewsletter

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

tabasco32

Try Not Eating Out

Recommended Posts

hi everyone

I was a waitress at a steakhouse before and let me tell you, if you don't get glutened by eating out you were or are very, very lucky. First when it's busy and the cooks are pumping out the food for lots of guest then watch out. They don't wash there hands real well. There is always flour flying around in the kitchen by the grills. I'm sure that the commercial dishwashing soap isn't gluten free. They touch battered shrimp and onions and such after cooking it in oil then throw your steak or chicken on the grill. The servers like myself before I got sick to interstitial cystitis and gi problems would through croutons on salad and touch bread. Then sometimes help the expo who also touches gluten and then you baked potatoe and steak and makes it look all pretty. there is a big problem with salads even with no croutons. The expo makes salads he or she touches the croutons then the tomatoes and lettuce. Next make your salad and probably with bread crumbs still on the hands. I mean to be one hundred percent safe or you are not that picky then it is up to you. But if you have been glutened before and didn't know why well then this is why. the safest food to have at a steakhouse is probably a baked potatoe that wasn't cut into. No soups either especially if they have flour baste soups like clam chowder. there are always crackers and bread crumbs falling in them. and they are so close together on the line. No butter and sour cream on potatoe either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):


This all is sooooo gross, I didn't even want to pin it. Yuck :blink: Dining in tonight!


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is why I only eat at restaurants that have a gluten-free menu. Both at Cheeseburger in Paradise and at PF Changs, they've told me that when you order gluten-free, they are extra careful ... they use clean pots, pans and utensils. Once I even saw that PF Changs used the part of the kitchen that was closed to cook my food.

I would never order a salad at a place not trained in serving gluten-free food. My son worked in a tea shop and told me that the salads would appear to be gluten-free on the menu, but that they were prepared at the same station as the sandwiches.

I have had excellent experiences in restaurants while travelling ... I told them I had a wheat allergy (for simplicity's sake) ... the manager came to my table, then went back to the kitchen, then came back and told me that he wasn't comfortable with me ordering certain items, so they adjusted what they made for me. This was at a time when they weren't busy ... at busy hours, I'd only eat at a restaurant with a gluten-free menu.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tabasco:

I worked in a chain (applebee's) during college and the cross contamination issues there were much like you described! Plus, they didn't have any sort of allergy training. Its pretty scary for a Celiac/allergic person!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went to a steakhouse here for my nephew's birthday. I already knew the pickings were slim for me since I'd gone there as a vegetarian. But now with the food allergies, it was even worse. We were told the only safe foods were a hamburger patty, plain salad and plain baked potato. This was supposed to be one of the better places to eat and yet this is all they could come up for us. Why no steak? Because they are drowned in butter and we are allergic.

I must say that I do not worry about dining at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Even though our choices there are very limited and the bread on the table is an annoyance. Yes, we could ask for no bread but the others who dine with us do want it. They do assure you that your food will be cooked in a separate pot and try to keep the bread away from you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yuck!!!!! No wonder........ :ph34r:


***************************

Beverly

Gluten free since 2005

In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.

Albert Careb

36_35_6[1].gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have worked in kitchens. I know what its like back there. I won't eat at chains that don't have gluten-free menus, cause they are particularly bad, unless its something high end like Houstons. I know they pay attention. They also have video cameras on the kitchen so you can watch them make your food.

As far as kitchens go, I rank applebees and those sorts of places right next to Denny's in terms of safety. I never eat during peak dining hours, regardless of restaurant. At smaller restaurants, where it is not a chain, I either get good attention, or told they are uncomfortable serving me. If they are uncomfortable or I don't feel like I am getting attention, I don't eat. If I am going out in a situation where I don't have control of the place or setting, I don't eat. I always have a snack with me.

I'm rambling... but thats how I survive. I eat out.... not as much as I used to.. but I eat out.

Now that I've discovered that Cafe Rustica delivers to my friends house though.... (gluten free pizza in Berkeley. Its brilliant). Since the first time I've had pizza once a week. I'm like an addict.

Elonwy


Positive Bloodwork 7/8/05

Inconclusive Biopsy 7/20/05

gluten-free since 7/23/05

Never felt better.

"So here's us, on the raggedy edge, come a day when there won't be room for naughty men like us to slip about at all. - Malcolm Reynolds"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with becoming completely discouraged and giving up on dining out. I have worked in kitchens in the past and I know how they can be not only disorganized but just plain unsanitary. But there are many kinds of restaurants out there - it's probably worth paying an extra $20 per table to go to a restaurant where the chef and GM care deeply about their final product. Jaleo and Oyamel in DC are examples of restaurants whose chefs can recite each and every ingredient they serve, and Old Ebbitt Grill in DC will issue an "alergy alert" with your order, and your meal comes out with a special cover. Just look at all the good restaurants that have been posted here! The more we are willing to try things and share experiences, the more restaurants will pay attention and eventually keeping food separated will become just as universally important as maintaining safe food temperatures.

If you don't live close to affordable options and you have to go out less often so that you can save up for a trustworthy restaurant, so be it. But I think it would be depressing to hole up altogether just because of a few lax chain restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thing do happen and if you go to a place where the staff is not training properly or does not care for whatever reason you may or may not get sick.

I have had more great experiences since going gluten-free than bad. I usually go to places with a gluten-free menu. I like Carla tell them a wheat allergy and the staff has always been helpful. One day I may not be as lucky, and I know that. I don't know if you should encourage people to not eat out...it may scare new celiacs who are trying to feel normal around their gluten friends and some of our members enjoy meals out.

Overall, if you go to a reputable place more times than not your meal will be great.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jaleo and Oyamel in DC are examples of restaurants whose chefs can recite each and every ingredient they serve, and Old Ebbitt Grill in DC will issue an "alergy alert" with your order, and your meal comes out with a special cover.

Thanks for the info on DC restaurants!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is exactly why I have been scared about taking my son to a restaurant. In the six months since his diagnosis he has only gotten restaurant food twice, and both times it has been ice cream. I do realize that eating out is a part of life sometimes, and I plan to start taking him out. I will choose places that I hope are safe. He's four and he needs to learn how to behave in restaurants, and as he ages I need to teach him how to order in restaurants. It's still scary though. :huh:

Does anyone use the celiac disease information cards that you give the wait staff/cooks in restaurants?


Jenny

Son 6 yrs old, Positive blood work, Outstanding dietary response, no biopsy.

Household mostly gluten free since 3/07

Me: HLA-DQ 02 & 0302 (DQ 08), which I ran & analyzed myself!Currently gluten lite, negative tTG, asymptomatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is exactly why I have been scared about taking my son to a restaurant. In the six months since his diagnosis he has only gotten restaurant food twice, and both times it has been ice cream. I do realize that eating out is a part of life sometimes, and I plan to start taking him out. I will choose places that I hope are safe. He's four and he needs to learn how to behave in restaurants, and as he ages I need to teach him how to order in restaurants. It's still scary though. :huh:

Does anyone use the celiac disease information cards that you give the wait staff/cooks in restaurants?

Hi Jenny,

I do not use them myself, but another celiac friend I have in my area does use them frequently. I believe she got them at a GIG meeting. She loves them. Good Luck.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi everyone, i don't want to sound like a downer, but I have gone to small sized independently owned restaurants thinking my needs would be better served. Some of these were higher end places ($20-30) per entree. I was told more than a few times, that they don't offer substitutions, or the chef will not alter his recipe. I guess it must affect his creativity or his presentation of the meal, or maybe he was offended that I needed to alter his menu, so who knows. According to Anthony Bourdain, chefs hte this! HAHA! I also have never had a chef come out and talk to me about my diet restrictions. I am thinking of getting the triumph dining cards, maybe I will have better luck. I stay away from chain places, like Ruby T's, TGIF etc... for fear of the above statements. I have to say the only fast food place I've been lucky at is 99. They have a menu that lists all the food allergies. so good luck eating out.


found by accident during an endoscopy for GERD/PUD in June 2006. Biopsy positive X2. IgA/glutein blood test confirmed July 2006. Have GERD (prevacid) and Gallstones too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with the cross contamination issues in restaurant kitchens. We don't eat out very often for this very reason. When we do, we always go to a restaurant that does not marinate their steaks and cooks them on an open flame grill which is much safer than a flat grill. My husband also has another little trick. When he orders his salad, he asks for all fresh cut iceberg lettuce only and with oil and vinegar on the side. This insures less chance for cross contamination. Some restaurants have their salads already made up, croutons and all; and if someone orders a salad without croutons, they just pick them off which doesn't help at all.

About marinades...once we were in a very high end restaurant that we hadn 't been to before. They had a very extensive menu featuring 10 or 12 steaks. When my husband asked about marinades, the waiter got very indignant saying that they only served the best of meat and didn't need any marinades. A waitress nearby overheard the conversation and suggested to the waiter that he better double check with the chef. Come to find out, there was only one steak on the menu that was safe for him to eat. All of the rest of their steaks were marinated at the locker before they were even delivered to the restaurant. Guess who got the tip?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always used to order an omelette after I would see if they were safe....I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES I got sick off a freaking omelette from CC!!!! UGH! but that is SICK! I'm so glad I don't work in food, I don't think I would ever ever ever eat out again!


all my life i have had an oat allergy.

gluten-free 5/2005.

active yeast free since... don't remember.

refined sugar free 5/2010.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever got sick from Pei Wei??? I've always felt pretty safe getting food for my daughter there, but she got really sick last night. I noticed I felt a little funny after eating, so I double checked the ticket (my husband brought it home) and I noticed one of the meals said "NO gluten free" instead of the "gluten free" like the other one said.

Anyway, we called and talked to the manager, who remembered my dh and assured him that both were gluten free, it was just a misprint. I never got sick, but my little girl had a rough night and now I feel awful. I don't know if we'll eat there anymore, I'd really like to think it is a safe place though! It's just such a big risk, especially with little kids.


Tamara, mom to 4 gluten & casein free kiddos!

Age 11 - Psoriasis

Age 8- dx'd Celiac March 2005

Age 6- gluten-free/cf, allergy related seizures

Age 4 - reflux, resolved with gluten-free/cf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had both experiences when eating out, but it seems the chain restaurants, cheaper restaurants nail me every time! My last Chili's experiences was horrific AND they have a gluten free and dairy free menu. I was scrupulous in the way that I ordered and was sick in two hours.

The flip side is the really nice special occasion restaurants that have a gluten free menu have been outstanding from service to prep and I haven't gotten sick. I am going to save my money and go only to that type of restaurant when given the option.

Terri


Diary free 11/06-6/08

Now using a small amount of low-lactose dairy such as aged cheeses and yogurt. Yum!

Gluten-free since 4/07

"When you row another person across the river, you get there yourself."

- Fortune Cookie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always used to order an omelette after I would see if they were safe....I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES I got sick off a freaking omelette from CC!!!! UGH! but that is SICK! I'm so glad I don't work in food, I don't think I would ever ever ever eat out again!

There is no question that eating out is a huge challenge for Celiacs....but it is an inevitable part of life for most of us. Its one of those risks that you simply have to take once in a while to avoid being excluded from relationships...its not really about the food. Most of the time eating out is about relationships and thats why it matters.

Ive had some bad experiences eating out and there are some places I will never go back to. But I have had many good experiences with helpful wiat staff and yummy food!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always used to order an omelette after I would see if they were safe....I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES I got sick off a freaking omelette from CC!!!! UGH! but that is SICK! I'm so glad I don't work in food, I don't think I would ever ever ever eat out again!

Hi, I am not sure if this was the case for you or not, but I learned from quite a few members on this board that some places (not sure which ones) use pancake batter for their omlets and scrambled eggs. I guess it makes them fluffier.

I ate at Perkins 2 weeks ago, and they do not use this practice. That could be what made you sick. I know I would have never thought about it until someone here said it happened to them. Boy was that an eye-opener.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only one I know of for certain that uses pancake batter in omelets is IHOP, and they warn you of that on the menu now. You can get an omelet made of fresh (some call them broken) eggs or the egg substitute if you ask.

rihard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily (for very small values of lucky), I don't respond, at least with gastrointestinal distress, to small amounts of gluten (I can pick the croutons off the salad). However, I have been glutened by carelessness, both on my part, and the part of the kitchen. For example:

An Indian restaurant (Nirvana) in Arcadia, CA glutened me with their "rice" pudding. I wasn't paying attention, and realized after the second bite that it wasn't rice. It was angel hair pasta. I was sitting there with stomach cramps with the guy insisting that there was no wheat in the noodles after he said that it was pasta and I said I was allergic to it.

Then there's the Coral Cafe in the Hilton Miami Airport where I am now. All I asked was that the chef be informed that I was allergic to wheat, and if the dish I ordered (Steak, potatoes, vegetables, and a cheese-stuffed tomato) contained wheat, then to please suggest something else. I was assured that there was no wheat and got a steak on mushroom gravy, and a tomato topped with bread crumbs.

The problem with not eating out is that I am a consultant. Traveling is part of the job. I can't not eat out unless I want to starve or live off of prepackaged sawdust masquerading as gluten free snacks (I sometimes wonder if the folks making those things have taste buds). I have spent more time in hotel rooms than in my "new" apartment that I moved in to in April. However, thanks to forums like this, I have found celiac-friendly restaurants that truly care about their food and customers.

I ate a proper pizza tonight for the first time since diagnosis (well over a year) from Pizza Fusion and it was delicious, as well as gluten-free. I can't recommend these guys enough, though you'll have to add www. and .com to pizzafusion yourself, since I'm apparently spamming the board by trying to give you the URL (and how are we supposed to inform people? :rolleyes:) Anyway, tonight I went to the one in Ft. Lauderdale (almost an hour drive). They were out of the gluten-free flour. I last cried in 2004 when my grandmother died, but I was near tears when he told me that. I'm being literal, not figurative. He called the one further north in Deerfield Beach, and not only did they have it, he paid for it, over my insistence that he not. I will be a regular customer there any time I'm in the area. The gluten-free brownies are good, and they have gluten-free beer. While I can drink the occasional beer or 2 and usually not react, it's always a gamble except with the gluten-free stuff. I didn't realize how much this disease has affected me until tonight, when I was about to cry over pizza and beer.

So if you're ever in the Miami area, check them out and thank them again for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites