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sallyterpsichore

"safe" Restaurant Picks

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Hi all,

I just wanted to start a thread for everyone to list items that they assume are safe in restaurants. I've been gluten-free for 11 months now (eek!) and am still really hesitant to eat out. When I have in the past, I usually don't mention the Celiac thing and just order stuff that should be safe. I've ordered nachos and made sure the chips are 100% corn, but mostly that's all I ask. I've realized by now that this isn't a good idea, but my guess is that many of you do the same thing.

I'll list off items I've considered "naturally safe--naturally gluten-free":

Baked Potato

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Hi, I am not sure anything should be considered as safe without asking. My 6 year old is the one with Celiac and we learned early on you always have to check. For example, we went to the Rain Forest Cafe and asked for the mini hotdogs with no buns. Well, we found out that their hotdogs come frozen and already in the bun. Bascially the are just nuking them for us <_< . And I believe at another place we used to eat they baste the outside of their baked potatoes with a butter mixture that contains wheat, why, I have no idea. And sometimes the meat and or cheese in nachos are unsafe as well. Always ask unless it is specified on a gluten free menu and then still make sure they know you are ordering gluten free.

Nicole

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I never assume anything is safe. But my daughter has additional food issues to worry about. I would never order a hot dog without the bun because some of them are not gluten free to start with and some contain milk or soy and my daughter is allergic. A hamburger patty is usually safe, but again, not always. Fruit that is cut up and in a package, or a whole piece of fruit is something I would assume was safe. Salad is not necessarily safe. I've gotten it with croutons in the bottom even though I asked for no croutons.

The baked potato thing in the deep fryer sounds disgusting. I can't imagine anyone doing that.

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I now know not to consider anything safe, which is why I won't go out to eat unless there's an actual gluten-free menu. However, I hate "being a pain in the butt", so I have avoided trying to eat at other restaurants because everything could be contaminated. The point of the thread was to 1)emphasize the point which both of you have further demonstrated and 2) to explain the idea that even things that seem safe, aren't necessarily.

When I was brand new to this, I didn't really have anyone to tell me otherwise and I hadn't found resources like this online before attempting to eat out socially. I figure there may be other newbies out there who think they can slide through the "gluten-filled system"! ;) Thanks for the responses!

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Hi-

And yet another problem with the Nacho's being safe (having to check everything can be a pain sometimes!). You need to check with the restaraunt to see if they make their own chips. If they use an undedicated fryer, you'll get issues with cross contamination. Sorry :(

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Salsa is almost always gluten-free, but the chips might be fried in a non-dedicated fryer.

richard

Yeah, but I still say ask for the list of ingredients. There is a salsa at Chipotle, just ONE, that has gluten in it (the spicest of them all I think...which I don't eat anyway) that has gluten in it. So I always ask....

I question anything fried, anything. And grilled foods can be brushed with "grill baste" that can contain gluten. Texas Roadhouse (I have read here) has a "grill baste" that is not gluten free, so you need to say "dry steak" or "only salt, pepper, butter, etc". (If this is no longer true, or is a rumor, I apologize. The point is that you might not think about something they brush on the steak, and they might not either.....)

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I can't imagine going out to eat and not letting my server know, but I get so sick and it lasts for so long that I probably am more cautious than most.

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I am probably one of the worst Celiacs when it comes to eating out. I keep saying I'm not going to eat out for awhile because it is so dangerous but I do anyway. I am way too nervous about being "a pain in the butt" to mention to the waiter/waitress that I have Celiac and therefore have special needs. Like others, I just try and order stuff that should be safe. Steak, salmon, roast chicken etc. I stay away from fries or other deep fried stuff and usually get a baked potato or rice as a side. But as I've tried to tell my husband many times, just because steak doesn't have gluten in it doesn't mean the spices they put on it doesn't, or that they aren't flipping the steak with a utensil that was used to flip a piece of breaded chicken or something. A lot of times I'll get a salad but have no idea what is in the dressing. It's a really bad habbit that I know I have to break. At the very least I have to start being a "high maintenence" customer and telling the servers about my condition.

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I am probably one of the worst Celiacs when it comes to eating out. I keep saying I'm not going to eat out for awhile because it is so dangerous but I do anyway. I am way too nervous about being "a pain in the butt" to mention to the waiter/waitress that I have Celiac and therefore have special needs. Like others, I just try and order stuff that should be safe. Steak, salmon, roast chicken etc. I stay away from fries or other deep fried stuff and usually get a baked potato or rice as a side. But as I've tried to tell my husband many times, just because steak doesn't have gluten in it doesn't mean the spices they put on it doesn't, or that they aren't flipping the steak with a utensil that was used to flip a piece of breaded chicken or something. A lot of times I'll get a salad but have no idea what is in the dressing. It's a really bad habbit that I know I have to break. At the very least I have to start being a "high maintenence" customer and telling the servers about my condition.

I know you feel like you are being a pain, but it would be eaiser on you if you just go to places with gluten free menus. That way you can have *some* assurance that they have researched the ingredients. Cross-contact is always a concern, but when you know the dressing is gluten free, then you ask for FRESH dressing, from the WALK-IN COOLER and then you are being the safest that you can be. Some great places with gluten/wheat free menues are Outback, PF Changs, Chilis, Legal Seafoods, Bone Fish Grills, Carabas, and there are more that I just can't remember right now :)

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