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Every Dining Experience Is Different

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I just wanted to say that although I think it's a great idea to get help here when trying to pick out a place to eat out in your area. However, it's important to remember that your experience might not be the same as others - even at the same location where others have had great success. I rarely eat at chains anymore but when I was first dx'd, I went to the Outback nearest me. Getting my meal to go from there seemed fine but eating there was a disaster....no current gluten-free menu, no manager to be found, it was just awful. I got sick and never went back - but I never liked Outback so I wasn't missing anything. I noticed a few weeks ago that Outback had closed and I'm not surprised as it wasn't run very professionally regardless of what you ate there.

We have two PF Changs in town - one is pretty good and the other seems very uninterested in feeding gluten free diners.

Our new Red Robin is a joke re: gluten free but in many other areas of the US and Canada people love eating gluten free there. When they had to redo my burger (after obviously removing a bun in the back) which took forever, the manager offered me a coupon for onion rings - that was it. When I explained that I could not eat them she had nothing else to offer me. Corporate offered to send me a gift check but I didn't feel right getting and knowing I'd just give it to a friend since I'd never go back.

I'm just hoping that newbies that are trying to learn how/where to eat keep in mind that every single gluten free dining experience is different. There is a chance you'll do fine and a chance a place will goof and make you sick. I find the nicer the place, the better off I am and so I spend the extra money for great tasting (not bland), safe gluten free meals. One day mid level places may improve but for now you really need to go over everything with the server (or manager) even when they have a gluten free menu. The average chain employee could not tell you what gluten was if their life depended on it.

Though I eat out once a week, I would not dare eat out once a week if I was going to the chain places that have gluten-free menus. I'm much more confident at places with real food, not loaded with MSG, which I can't tolerate anymore.

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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