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silk

Invited Out To Dinner With Friends! Eeek!

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Just had a friend (who does know about the gluten thing) e-mail wanting to take my husband and me out to dinner for Christmas and our anniversary (29 years on the 23rd). She suggested that they would like to take us to an East Indian restaurant that they enjoy. I've been there and it's not a fav but under 'normal' circumstance I could make do. However, I went on line to look at their menu remembering that there were not a lot of Celiac-friendly dishes available and I was right. Short of order water, with which you could get cross contamination...there are not many if any options available for me and I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to decline and hurt their feelings or ask to go somewhere else since it is their treat to us and they really like this place.

I did e-mail back and tell her in a 'chatful' way that the gluten free thing was going really well but that finding foods that agreed with my stomach was somewhat of a challenge. I hope that she will take the subtle hint and realize that this is probably not a good choice of restaurants for me. I don't want to be a stick in the mud and ruin it for everyone else. I guess I will just eat 'well' at home before we go and ....how can you not eat when someone is nice enough to ask to take you to dinner for a special occasion that is YOUR special occasion?

Any suggestions? I've thought of offering to cook for them instead but I will have my grandkids overnight and most of the day and hate to spend the time that I am suppose to have with them in the kitchen cooking.

I guess I had better get used to dealing with this now but I would be grateful for suggestions.

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I think there would be celiac-friendly options at an Indian restaurant. However, if you really don't want to go there, just tell her you'd love to go out to dinner, but you're unable to eat at the Indian restaurant due to your dietary restrictions, and suggest some alternatives (maybe PF Changs, if you live in the US?).

If you google "celiac indian food" and other similiar word combinations, you'll come across a lot of info. about gluten-free options at Indian restaurants. :)

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Since they mean to treat you on your anniversary, they would want you to enjoy yourself and feel safe, I hope. If they take you there and realize that you can't really eat anything, they would feel bad about it.

I think it would be much better to let them know that you would love to go out with them, but it isn't safe for you to eat at this particular restaurant. Do your research on safe alternatives, letting them know that you can find safe food there, and ask them if one of those would suit them.

I hope it works out for you and you end up having a good time.

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I agree with Ursa... This is a treat FOR you and your hubby. (Happy Early Anniversary!) Your friends are going to want the restaurant to be someplace where you can have an enjoyable experience.

Having dietary restrictions does not make you a stick in the mud!!! No one would expect to serve PB&J sandwiches to someone with a peanut allergy. It's just part of your life. I think they will understand.

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I would also not be subtle about it. Ask directly for what you want/need. I see no reason why you can't say "I'd love to go out to dinner, but I looked at the menu and didn't see much that I could eat. Could we try this other restaurant instead?" Or if you feel completely uncomfortable eating out at all, why don't you suggest another activity - maybe going to the theater or ice skating or to a holiday fair or a movie or rent a movie and get a nice bottle of wine.

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I would also not be subtle about it. Ask directly for what you want/need. I see no reason why you can't say "I'd love to go out to dinner, but I looked at the menu and didn't see much that I could eat. Could we try this other restaurant instead?" Or if you feel completely uncomfortable eating out at all, why don't you suggest another activity - maybe going to the theater or ice skating or to a holiday fair or a movie or rent a movie and get a nice bottle of wine.

I think this is an excellent suggestion. If you are not ready to hit the restaurants yet, speak up, let them know. They may know about the gluten-thing, but most people don't truly understand it until they live it. You don't want to hurt their feelings but I'm sure they would feel awful if they found out you got sick because of their good intentions. You don't have to eat to enjoy each other's company or to celebrate an anniversary.

And Happy 29th on the 23th :D

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Guest j_mommy

I would also say that that may not be teh best option fo ryou right now and maybe you can choose a different restaurant together.

Also once you pick one....you could swing by and check out the menu...take your "no, no" list with you and talk ingredients with a staff member so you know before you get there what you can eat. I definetly wouldn't go in blind that night..it will probably be busy that close to teh holidays.

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Thank you all for the excellent advice. Actually, these are really very good friends and after I sent the e-mail talking about some of the challenges of eating gluten free my friend e-mailed back and asked me to tell her all about Celiac disease and gluten intolerance because they had never heard of it and were really interested. I took your advice and said perhaps we could look for somewhere else that would be able to accomodate my needs a little more easily than the Indian restaurant without making to much of a fuss and they were whole-heartedly supportive of that idea. I have eaten at this Indian restaurant before, and honestly although I like indian dishes, it was not my favorite because I did not feel like the service was good, that the place was terribly clean and there is a window that you can watch them prepare the dishes while they cook and I can promise you that even if they served something without gluten listed in the ingredients, there is NO WAY I could be assured of not getting cross-contamination. So I am relieved to know that we can look at other options. There is one place that I really like that has a salad bar and they serve a good steak and I have been there twice since going gluten free and they are very accomadating and I have not had any problems after eating so that is probably where we will end up.

Thanks again for the advice.

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