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horsegirl

Restaurant Frustration

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I don't understand the sense of entitlement about eating in restaurants. It's a place of business, not a public park. If you think it's unfair to be barred from bringing your own food in, is the "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policy out of line?

I also don't understand why anyone would threaten restaurant personnel with legal action or projectile vomiting when you eat restaurant-prepared food at your own risk.

I like this common sense.

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I think the issue is more that it's a work function so it's not like the OP has control over the restaurant choice. If OP was going out to dinner with a friend, I'm sure she'd pick an acceptable place. Maybe the issue here is that her work didn't choose a place that is accommodating to all. Of course, it can be difficult to accomodate everyone, especially since OP has multiple allergies and may not feel comfortable eating anywhere.

For me it's mostly that these are social events. I don't want to miss out on socializing just because I have celiac. If it's lunchtime I often can't eat prior due to meetings, and I'm really hungry. I do sometimes eat prior and just get a drink at the restaurant, but if I can't eat prior it's super hard to sit there hungry and miserable while everyone else eats. I mostly do it when I'm with a large group at a very informal/fast food type place. If I made my group of friends go to the same few safe restaurants every week, they'd stop inviting me. I don't want to be excluded from social events because of this.

I do understand the restaurant's point of view in that I'm not a paying customer. I would argue that if I wasn't allowed to eat there, none of my friends would either. There are other restaurants that will allow me to bring my food or can serve me that we would go to. I will note that I do tip as if I ate a meal - the server still brings me drinks, even if it's just water, and for that I am grateful. I also don't think we are entitled to accommodation - I don't think this falls under disability laws. I'm trying to come up with a good example of a similar situation - the best I can come up with is amusement parks not accommodating people in wheelchairs - you can get into the facility, but you may not be able to ride the rides. No one is forcing you to eat in a restaurant. If it's a work function, that's a work issue not a restaurant issue.

I'm fascinated that this thread has caused so much controversy! I'm super stubborn about not letting this disease get in the way of leading a normal life so to me it only seemed natural to bring my own food when I can't eat what's being served. It hadn't even occured to me that others would have such a strong opposite viewpoint.

Since we seem to be all over the map here, I'd be interested in what everyone thinks about the following questions: How much accommodation in regards to food can one expect from a work function? What about from friends who you go out with frequently (and thus would tire of our limited restaurant choices)? If you are someone who will not bring your own food to restaurants, has this affected your social life in any way?

I don't actually think that we deserve special accommodation for having Celiac. I guess my point is that we deserve the SAME accommodations that everyone else who goes into the resteraunt gets. If a customer goes in it's the resteraunts job to please the customer and "most" resteraunts will cater to what you want. They will make your hamburger medium, well, or rare if you'd like. You can have it with or without the condiments you like. You can have your veggies steamed, fried, or microwaved if you want. You can add butter, sour cream and other things, well I just really want the same respect. It's also the resteraunts responsibility to make sure food is safe and sanitary, so that (to me) means they are responsible for making sure the food EVERYONE eats is safe. If you ask not to have nuts I think it's the resteraunts responsibility to make sure what you eat does not have nuts even if they have a sign that says allergens may be present. Sure I can chose not to eat there but I shouldn't have to, because the foods without nuts should be safe unless the resteraunt is being careless and unsanitary which is against the law.

I realize resteraunts have a lot of responsability, but I am in the day care business and I serve food all the time, but day care is my business and not food service, but it's my responsibility to make sure that no one gets allergens in their food, so why are resteraunts not held to the same standard? Yah parents can also chose not to come to our day care, but they can also Sue us if we serve something and their child gets sick. How is that acceptable? They can also Sue us if we turn them away if their child has a food allergy because that's discrimination (even though it would be a huge risk for us).

I don't actually consider Celiac to be a disability for me (yet), but I know it can be disabling. I am still having major medical issues that we can't figure out, and It's very hard for me to walk sometimes let alone cook, so I feel that there are others out there that are disabled because of the effects of Celiac.

I also wanted to say that I do respect the opinion of others that it may be rude to get your own food out at a resteraunt. It probably is a little rude, but I also feel like it's the responsibility of all resteraunts to offer some foods that are safe for everyone (that's just my opinion though and I don't expect anyone else to agree).

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"The restaurant has the legal right to refuse service to anyone for any reason."

This is a little broad and in the current context incorrect. A resteraunt does not have the right to refuse service to people based on color, race, disability or anything similar, so they do not actually have the right to refuse service to ANYONE for ANY reason. They do have some limitations just like any other business has.

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I don't understand the sense of entitlement about eating in restaurants. It's a place of business, not a public park. If you think it's unfair to be barred from bringing your own food in, is the "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policy out of line?

I also don't understand why anyone would threaten restaurant personnel with legal action or projectile vomiting when you eat restaurant-prepared food at your own risk.

Thank you! You said this much better than me. This is exactly what I was getting at.

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"I don't understand the sense of entitlement about eating in restaurants. It's a place of business, not a public park. If you think it's unfair to be barred from bringing your own food in, is the "No shirt, no shoes, no service" policy out of line?"

I don't think anyone here has a sense of entitlement about eating in a resteraunt. I think we just want the same rights and consideration that anyone else gets.

Resteraunt food is suppose to be SAFE for everyone not just for the majority of people who go there.

All I want is to order fruit without having to tell them to keep it away from bread and not put it on a surface that bread is on and I should NEVER have to tell anyone to wash my dishes for goodness sake. They should be washed after EVERY SINGLE use no matter what. I know I can't have certain foods, and I even know I can't have things on the grill unless they clean it, but I should not have to send something back because I told them not to cook my food with bread and then bread comes on my plate. COME on now resteraunts should be a little safer then that, so If I have to tell them I might throw up on the plate to get them to understand how serious the NO BREAD on my plate is then I will do just that. Sure I can chose not to eat there, but again I shouldn't have to they are in the business of serving me and they should be held accountable for making sure my food is sanitary. If they mix my salad in the same dish that they mixed the last salad in without washing the dish first then that is UNSANITARY, and they should be held accountable.

I would never bring food into a resteraunt who had proven to me that they could be safe with my food, so I would never disrespect a resteraunt that respects me and my illness.

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I hope that you can work something out with the restaurant. I totally understand your wanting to enjoy your lunch with your coworkers and to actually eat with them, especially when you don't have time to eat something ahead of time. I am with a lot of the people here - you still have to eat and bringing food in should be an option - because really it is medicine for you because it keeps you from getting sick, and they allow medicines. I wonder if you and your coworkers could speak as a collective group and ask again for a bend in the rules for that one time event. The restaurant would not want to disgruntle that many customers at one time.

It gets easier to get around all the problems, by having snacks with you at all times, having more wonderful friends who don't think it is a big deal to cook fruits, veggies and meats when you come over, and overall not expecting people to understand. I have been in all kinds of situations, where people know and don't care, with people who know and care (they are wonderful!), with people who don't understand and but still care ( most people are in that category I think). I can't go around educating people all the time about it, so I just keep snacks with me, and say "no thank you" to the cake, even when they give me the strange look because I am thin and they think that I am on a losing weight diet and how could that be? Then I feel it is important to tell them that I can't eat gluten and they don't know what that is but still think that maybe I am on a low carb diet or something! We went to Christmas dinner with neighbors this year and I was so pleasantly surprised that they made a gluten free dinner for all of us and put aside a dessert for me that was gluten free! I felt like I was royalty. I really was expecting to eat around things that I knew would have the slightest possibility of having gluten in them, which might have been everything. But, I was in the situation where I could eat a light snack ahead of time and I did. That way I didn't have any pressure to eat something I shouldn't. Your luncheon is not going to work that way because of your schedule on that day, but hopefully most situations will work out better in the future.

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To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

Cook their food on a clean pan

Make sure that utensils are used only for that food

Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed throughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

Ask if it is okay with the table to bring breads and rolls.

When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food

Do not use sauces or spices without verifing that the person can tolerate them

Raven....this was so good. Hope others can add to this list.

the restaurant cards are also good. (as we all know to take with us at a new place)

thanks Judy

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It is a great list.

I would add that in the kitchen, the cooks need to make sure they do not use the same gloves when preparing gluten-free meals and regular meals. There are many chances for cross contamination in restaurant kitchens and the chef/cooks need to be aware of it.

Ken

Raven....this was so good. Hope others can add to this list.

the restaurant cards are also good. (as we all know to take with us at a new place)

thanks Judy

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QUOTE (ravenwoodglass @ Jan 10 2008, 08:25 AM)

To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

1. Cook their food on a clean pan

2. Make sure that utensils are used only for that food

3. Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed throughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

4. Ask if it is okay with the table to bring breads and rolls.

5. When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food

6. Do not use sauces or spices without verifing that the person can tolerate them

7. In the kitchen, the cooks need to make sure they do not use the same gloves when preparing gluten-free meals and regular meals. There are many chances for cross contamination in restaurant kitchens and the chef/cooks need to be aware of it. (ken, I'd just ask them to use fresh gloves when praring my dishes)..great idea thanks Hope we can keep this list going.

I know we all remember that we need to tip them so well. Sometimes I write the chef a thank you note after I leave. Of course, this wouldn't be on this list. :lol:

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This has really created some intense feelings....I am the one who mentioned vomiting...although do not remember saying anything about "projectile". My comment was made in humor, although honest and was taken that way by my server and the manager. A restaurant is a "service industry" and alhough many of us are no longer aware of what customer service means any more...automated everything...just try to get a real person on the phone when you need help...a restaurant is one of the few places you can still expect customer service. I pay for a salad but use my own dressing, I pay for dinner but opt not to eat bread that comes with the meal, instead I bring my own, my whole family or friends usually order desert and I will usually bring out my own and just use the saucer under my coffee cup. I pay for a full meal and tip well since I am always aware that special care is taken. I am not eating my own food because I am trying to insult the establishment or dislike the food...I do it because I want my life to be normal. I do not expect everyplace to accomodate me so I accomodate myself and fit in the best I can. If the chef or the establishment get insulted by this then they should also get insulted if a patron puts more salt on their food! I do what I do because I have a condition that requires me to make adjustments not because I enjoy it or want to cause problems.

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And how many parents go into restaurants with food for their babies and toddlers? Do they ever get stopped.

a very good point :)

When Celiac prevents me from going places and doing things that a normal person may do, and when it makes me physically ill to do these things, then I consider that a handycapp, and I think we should be treated with the respect and consideration that we deserve. It just bothers me that someone else would be offended because I'm chosing not to punish my family for my medical condition but at the same time trying to save my own life by eating safe.

I don't think of myself as handicapped, but I do agree that this disease does cause a lot of restrictions on what we can participate in as far as "normal" social activities.

I'm fascinated that this thread has caused so much controversy! I'm super stubborn about not letting this disease get in the way of leading a normal life so to me it only seemed natural to bring my own food when I can't eat what's being served. It hadn't even occured to me that others would have such a strong opposite viewpoint.

I admire you in this. I tend to have lots of pity parties for myself when I feel like I'm unable to be "normal" in one way or another because of this disease. I need to work on that!

Since we seem to be all over the map here, I'd be interested in what everyone thinks about the following questions: How much accommodation in regards to food can one expect from a work function? What about from friends who you go out with frequently (and thus would tire of our limited restaurant choices)? If you are someone who will not bring your own food to restaurants, has this affected your social life in any way?

I think I posted this earlier, but my work was pretty accomodating at changing their choice of restaurant because I didn't feel safe eating there (the sushi place).

As far as my coworkers who I eat with every day, I would just try and find something that the restaurant could do for me, as I am not a very confrontational person...even if it's just a plain potato or a salad. I'd probably just suffer through it and raid my glovebox snack stash afterward. I think mine is more of a personality-based choice though :rolleyes:

To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

Cook their food on a clean pan

Make sure that utensils are used only for that food

Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed thoughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

Ask if it is okay with the table to bring breads and rolls.

When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food

Do not use sauces or spices without verifing that the person can tolerate them

I am sure others will have more to add that I have forgotten.

If we can educate restaurant folks about the issue it is going to be better in the long run than avoiding it and just hiding our own brought in food.

I think this list is great. I'm gonna print out and laminate a few to share with my frequent restaurants. I definitely agree that educating people is so much more beneficial to everyone. Although, in the meantime, I still plan on discreetly sneaking my safe food in. :P

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QUOTE (ravenwoodglass @ Jan 10 2008, 08:25 AM)

To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

1. Cook their food on a clean pan

2. Make sure that utensils are used only for that food

3. Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed throughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

4. Ask if it is ok with the table to bring breads and rolls.

5. When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food

6. Do not use sauces or spices without verifying that the person can tolerate them

7. In the kitchen, the cooks need to make sure they do not use the same gloves when preparing gluten-free meals and regular meals. There are many chances for cross contamination in restaurant kitchens and the chef/cooks need to be aware of it. (ken, I'd just ask them to use fresh gloves when preparing my dishes)..great idea thanks Hope we can keep this list going.

I know we all remember that we need to tip them so well. Sometimes I write the chef a thank you note after I leave. Of course, this wouldn't be on this list. :lol:

SWEET FUDGE....KEN ADDED ANOTHER POINT AND SINCE YOUR MAKING A COPY, YOU MIGHT WANT TO ADD HIS SUGGESTION.

YOU KNOW I'VE BEEN THINKING OF THIS THREAD SO MUCH SINCE THE ORIGINAL POSTINGS.

I guess that maybe there are 2 areas of interests.

Eating out safely and having to eat out in a work environment and especially for the younger posters who have active social lives.

I guess since I'm 66 and retired I don't have to deal with the work and coworker issues. These would really make it so much harder to deal with. I case some of you think I'm rude or insensitive and not willing to 'bend' to accommodate my friends..............I did try that for over 1 1/2 years and found it so hard for me now............it's just easier to not go out with groups. It's ok with me now. Really :) I had years of a very active social life............tons of party with couple friends, travel etc. But times change.

The uncontrolled 'd' keep me from my daily swimming program that I'd been doing for 15 years before my illness threw me on the floor. I worked full time and was active in many social clubs esp my garden club...........which I miss terribly now. I'm praying since I know I'm healing and getting better I can add this back into my life and my retired hubby and I can travel again. We have gone a few times in 2 1/2 years but of course we prepare my food etc and call hotels before you book.

I just want folks to know that I support the younger folks who need their social lives, those with children who want them to active social lives with their friends..........and all the rest of the folks on here.

We all do what we can to 'fit in' and not cause others difficulty while doing so. As I posted earlier, I have 3 restaurants I can go to now who welcome me and do not find me difficult to accommodate and for that I feel blessed. My life will keep improving and maybe some day I can expand my 'boundaries' but my health ............both mental and physical............is what is the most important thing for me now.

It's taken me way too long-- 20 years being un DX'D to 'back slide now'

Good luck to you all and if you can add to Ravens list please do so for others who are struggling to eat out safely.

Hugs to you all on our journey toward better health while still having fun in your lives.

Judy in Philly

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Well said!!! I'm also retired and was just diagnosed with gluten,casein,soy, intolerances in addition to the lactose intolerance I've had for many years. I travel full time in a motor home, so I always have my kitchen with me. We now go online and find the nearest large natural food store in the area and make it our first stop when we reach our destination. Fortunately, we have a large motor home, so there is plenty of space to store my food supplies. My heart goes out to the younger folks who have to deal with this health conditon. We seldom go out to eat......we enjoy our restaurant quality food at home..filet mignon, lobster, shrimp,.....my husband of 4 years is actually eating better....no more junk/tv dinners.

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Yes, Judy. Well said.

I'm retired also, so admittedly it is easier for me.

Like Judy, there are a couple restaurants near us I've been able to eat at safely and if my husband and I go out to eat, they are the ones we go to. Anyother place, I bring my own food.

I'm going to be taking a two-week auto trip this summer and I'm starting to get a strategy together. I really don't want to eat at a restaurant because IF I get glutened, it'll mess up our first vacation in 15 years. I admit to being somewhat paranoid, but I just don't want to take the chance. So, while my husband eats at restaurants long the way when we're not at families homes, I'll munch on my own goodies. Discretely, of course.

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Yes, Judy. Well said.

I'm retired also, so admittedly it is easier for me.

Like Judy, there are a couple restaurants near us I've been able to eat at safely and if my husband and I go out to eat, they are the ones we go to. Anyother place, I bring my own food.

I'm going to be taking a two-week auto trip this summer and I'm starting to get a strategy together. I really don't want to eat at a restaurant because IF I get glutened, it'll mess up our first vacation in 15 years. I admit to being somewhat paranoid, but I just don't want to take the chance. So, while my husband eats at restaurants long the way when we're not at families homes, I'll munch on my own goodies. Discretely, of course.

Thanks guys.

If your traveling.........I sure get some of the toaster bags to use. Patti and I looked today on QVC for the link but guess they don't sell them now. They are wonderful and taking tomorrow for toast with my breakfast with friends tomorrow. They do this for alot of their customers. love this place.

you can do a search on this site as we found alot of posts about them on here.

have a great trip and if you go make resevations at the hotels, ask for a microwave and refrig in the room. Can't remember the chain Patti had such good luck with where it was on a rolling cart in the room when she arrived. I'd also take my own toaster if you can.

Enjoy.

Judy

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QUOTE (ravenwoodglass @ Jan 10 2008, 08:25 AM)

To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

1. Cook their food on a clean pan

2. Make sure that utensils are used only for that food That means you cannot cut bread and lettuce and tomatoes and fruit or anything else with the same knife or on the same surface.

3. Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed throughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

4. Ask if it is ok with the table to bring breads and rolls.

5. When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food Assume that all other food is gluten food and don't let anything touch anything else.

6. Do not use sauces or spices without verifying that the person can tolerate them

7. In the kitchen, the cooks need to make sure they do not use the same gloves when preparing gluten-free meals and regular meals. There are many chances for cross contamination in restaurant kitchens and the chef/cooks need to be aware of it. (ken, I'd just ask them to use fresh gloves when preparing my dishes)..great idea thanks Hope we can keep this list going.

I added a couple of "enhancements" because restaurant staff who "don't get it" won't get it unless it is spelled out to them. :rolleyes:

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Dont' let it bother you that you are eating "different" food. Afterall, everyone else will be ordering something different, so everyone will not be eating the same thing. If you have the time, make a gluten-free dish similar to what is on the menu. Ask for a plate, so that you are not chowing out of a tupperware dish. Then discreetly (this is mostly for the waitress' benefit) put your food on the plate and eat with everyone else.

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Dont' let it bother you that you are eating "different" food. Afterall, everyone else will be ordering something different, so everyone will not be eating the same thing. If you have the time, make a gluten-free dish similar to what is on the menu. Ask for a plate, so that you are not chowing out of a tupperware dish. Then discreetly (this is mostly for the waitress' benefit) put your food on the plate and eat with everyone else.

Excellent idea. This is what I would do in this situation. I've done the sit and watch other people eat, it's really not any fun.

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This is getting to be a great list.

I've asked to check things like corn starch in kitchen to see if it is 100%.

Many chefs assume things like soy sauce are made only of soy so perhaps we need to add something like

reading the fine print and knowing what we can and cannot tolerate. Soy sauce being mostly wheat etc.

All those other chemical gluten things are not pronounceable and that I would not attempt to spell http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/style_emoti...lt/rolleyes.gif

Once a chef gets a load of the list I usually carry, they become extremely careful.

One place here the guy came out of the kitchen 4 times to ask me if this and that were ok to eat.

As I mentioned in a previous post, there was only one time in the last 2 years where hey did not want to fix something to order for me. It's their loss, not mine.

Ken

QUOTE (ravenwoodglass @ Jan 10 2008, 08:25 AM)

To safely feed your celiac patrons you need to:

1. Cook their food on a clean pan

2. Make sure that utensils are used only for that food That means you cannot cut bread and lettuce and tomatoes and fruit or anything else with the same knife or on the same surface.

3. Make sure if water glasses are kept at the waitress station along with the bread that they be rinsed throughly before pouring and serving or offer bottled water

4. Ask if it is ok with the table to bring breads and rolls.

5. When serving do not layer or overlap plates with gluten food and non gluten food Assume that all other food is gluten food and don't let anything touch anything else.

6. Do not use sauces or spices without verifying that the person can tolerate them

7. In the kitchen, the cooks need to make sure they do not use the same gloves when preparing gluten-free meals and regular meals. There are many chances for cross contamination in restaurant kitchens and the chef/cooks need to be aware of it. (ken, I'd just ask them to use fresh gloves when preparing my dishes)..great idea thanks Hope we can keep this list going.

I added a couple of "enhancements" because restaurant staff who "don't get it" won't get it unless it is spelled out to them. :rolleyes:

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have a great trip and if you go make resevations at the hotels, ask for a microwave and refrig in the room. Can't remember the chain Patti had such good luck with where it was on a rolling cart in the room when she arrived.

I've had wonderful service with Hampton Inn. When we make reservations, we let them know we will need a microwave and fridge. It's always waiting for us in the room when we arrive.

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Hi All

Just got back from my Breakfast out.

It was beyond my dreams.................. :P:P:P

Had the best time ever.............haven't laughed or enjoyed myself for so.................long.............. :lol:

Checked before hand and as i walked in the door that the chef i know was cooking

Just told the waitress to tell Brian the order was for Judy the Celiac.................blank look like the deer in the headlites...............you've all seen it.

I laughed and said...........You don't have to get it. Don't worry about it.

Please just use fresh gloves when handeling my food and dishes.........put these bags with my bread in the toaster........hold all potoatoes bread etc.

Just ask Brian to cook 3 scrambled eggs and toss in my gluten-free ham and cook in olive oil.

That's it ......................

Even winked and said..............I'LL MAKE THE TIP WORTH YOUR EFFORT............AND I SO APPRECIATE YOU HELPING ME OUT HERE.

PERFECT MEAL SERVED BY THE OWNER WITH..............FRESH GLOVES.

AND YES, THANKED THE CHEF AND OWNER ON THE WAY OUT.............AND A ...........BIG TIP. ...WAS LEFT.

THERE IS HOPE FOR US.

JUDY

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So glad you had such an enjoyable breakfast this morning, Judy!

I hope to eventually be able to eat out so successfully & confidently as it sounds like you do.

There is one employee at Chipotle's who remembers me, & as soon as I order she goes & gets a

bunch of fresh gloves, then walks down the line of workers & tells them all to change gloves & not

to touch my food with any utensils. Kind of cool to see! She says she doesn't want to make me sick.

There is hope, isn't there?

Horsegirl

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Thanks everyone, for your quick replies. I probably will just bring a little snack in my purse, but it

makes me so mad to have to do that! For one thing, the only thing that will work for that is a cold sandwich or a cereal bar, & it's not like gluten-free bread is very appealing! :unsure: And, since I'm always cold anyway (I just posted on that on another topic) a cold sandwich sounds gross in the winter.

But it's not worth getting cross contaminated either, & I definitely am still feeling the effects from that happening recently.

I just think it's dumb that I can't bring in a tupperware container of homemade leftovers or something like that since I CAN'T eat there. It's not like I'm boycotting their food or just don't like it!

Thanks too for the references to how hard it is psychologically; I would think I could come to terms with it by now, but still I struggle whenever it comes to food outside of my own home. I hope I'm able to accept this soon, because sitting at a restaurant, or at a party, or at someone's home, watching others eat yummy food while I don't is a pain. And even if I do bring my own food, then I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, because I'm "different" from everyone else.

<Sigh>, at least it's not a "terminal" illness with no treatment.

Thanks again, & keep the suggestions coming!

Hi, I am licensed insurance agent so I have some background in this stuff.

Restaurants who bar outside food are mostly likely doing this because it's a liability issue - not necessarily because they don't want to be accomodating. The risk is in them getting sued by you for foreign objects in the food or food poisioning: How would they know it was something you brought in or something you ate that they made? Their necks are on the line on this one and some restaurants are just not willing to take this risk or are not aware that this risk exists.

Secondarily, it could be a health code issue for them as well.

And if you are in a Jewish Kosher restaurant, bringing in your own food is absolutely taboo.

Only solution would be to keep a list of accomodating restaurants (like Outback, etc.) so that they get your business instead of places where you can't eat. When you need to go out with co-workers, those would be the only choices of places your group would go to.

I've noticed that restaurants which are considered "white linen" are more likely to be able to accomodate a gluten free diet (Outback while it has a gluten-free menu, it not's white linen type) "White linen" are restaurants which actually still have fabric tablecloths and napkins and are higher price than the family style restaurants and are usually not chain/franchise establishments. An extreme example of "white linen" is a Hilton Hotel Restaurant. We have not as yet gone to the Hilton looking for a gluten free meal...but from what I understand about these pricey places is that they are more used to people who are traveling for business and need special accomodations).

Judy that place you went to sounds wonderful. That's great example of a restaurant knowing their clientele and wanting them as repeat customers

It's only my opinion, but I think it's time for restaurant workers to have to be "trained" in serving special diets. When a server is hired, the manager or owner should have to give them informal training about all types of diets: low fat, gluten free, aspertame free, etc. so that when a customer talks to the server about it, the server is familiar with it. I don't mean training like there's a test after it, just some basic info. I hate that "deer in the headlights" look from servers...it would also help the server in earning better tips. The next step is that a server has to be licensed by the state (has to attend a 2-hr foods/diets/handling of food class/seminar before they can work in restaurant business - this would be good for business and even better for the consumer).

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Obviously I understand where you are coming from, but I think you need to step back and take a look at this from the restaurants perspective. For starters it is most likely a health code violation for you to bring your own food in. But more so than that, they are in the business of selling food and you're asking to sit at one of their tables, take up a spot that a paying customer could occupy and eat your own food.

There are definately people on here that will disagree with me, but I think it's rude to ask a restaurant to let you bring your own food. If I had a meeting at a place like this, I would simply explain the circumstances to my fellow diners, shrug it off as no big deal, order a beverage and carry on.

To be completely honest, I think not only is it unacceptable to do this from a restaurants point of view, but I think it puts the other people in your party in an awkward situation. If I were with someone that did that, I would be rather embarrassed if they suddenly pulled tupperware out of their purse. It's a restaurant, this is how they make money.

This also brings up another issue that also is a problem for a restaurant: without a doctor's note, how would a restaurant know the difference between a real celiac and someone who is just too cheap to order off the menu? I have worked with people who have no health diet issues and brought their lunch to a restaurant while we ordered off the menu. So the question is then how would a restaurant be able to be the "referee" in these situations? To their defense, then they are allowing someone to use a spot to keep them from making an income. This alone gives the restaurant the right to refuse to allow someone on their premises unless a purchase was made.

Restaurants who refuse to accomodate a gluten free meal nor allow "outside" food should be avoided and told why you are avoiding them so that they know and then they have the second chance to "make it right" if they want to.

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