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My SIL has planned a 75th surprise party for my MIL at a local restaurant. I called to see if it was alright to bring my own dinner. I was told they would prepare my meal and leave out flour and it would be all good (head smack) I explained it was a little more detailed than that and was told I obviously had more problems than celiacs! I was also informed, due to insurance issues (and I work for an insurance company) I could not bring my own food. Any suggestions...other than just avoiding flour and my celiacs is cured? :blink:

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My SIL has planned a 75th surprise party for my MIL at a local restaurant. I called to see if it was alright to bring my own dinner. I was told they would prepare my meal and leave out flour and it would be all good (head smack) I explained it was a little more detailed than that and was told I obviously had more problems than celiacs! I was also informed, due to insurance issues (and I work for an insurance company) I could not bring my own food. Any suggestions...other than just avoiding flour and my celiacs is cured? :blink:

Uh, try again with a manager?

Plain lettuce?

Eat beforehand?

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Did you see one time when people were trying to buy airline tickets to New Mexico (sometime ago) for the Olympics? The person at the airlines said it was a foreign country and make sure you have your passport.

I swear some people can be so stupid.

When trying to find safe places to eat, I have been amazed at the stupidity of people.

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I usually only go as far as finding out what my food choices are. If none of the choices appear safe I quietly bring in my own food without asking permission.

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I usually only go as far as finding out what my food choices are. If none of the choices appear safe I quietly bring in my own food without asking permission.

LOL!!! I think I will :P

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Guest Happynwgal2
My SIL has planned a 75th surprise party for my MIL at a local restaurant. I called to see if it was alright to bring my own dinner. I was told they would prepare my meal and leave out flour and it would be all good (head smack) I explained it was a little more detailed than that and was told I obviously had more problems than celiacs! I was also informed, due to insurance issues (and I work for an insurance company) I could not bring my own food. Any suggestions...other than just avoiding flour and my celiacs is cured? :blink:

It sounds to me like this restaurant does not want you for a customer ever again. I doubt the comment about insurance being the cause; I think it is more likely just a monetary issue. Can't have people not paying for the food they eat, you know. Sigh...

I agree with another poster: try the manager. Explain in great detail what Celiac is, autoimmune and all that stuff, then tell him or her how sick you get, how much you love your MIL and how important it is for you to celebrate with your family.

If that does not work, the manager does not have any business sense. And he or she would be pretty dense.

Good luck - please report back with any news about this situation. I am very curious...

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If it were me.......

I would go to the Restaurant during an off time and talk to the manager. I would explain the situation, make reference to your "Medical Diet", and ask what can the restaurant provide safely. Be polite because it is an inconvenience to accommodate you and you are subject to potential risk. Your goal is to have them WANT to help you.

If nothing is suitable, I would bring my salad dressing and order a salad without. I have found that there is always something that I can eat, not always my choice, but something.

Good luck

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It was the manager I was speaking with! I think I will just bring my food as I can't see them kicking me out in the middle of a party--especially when my hubby (1) and kids (3) will more than compensate the restaurant at $30 a head.

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Guest Happynwgal2
It was the manager I was speaking with! I think I will just bring my food as I can't see them kicking me out in the middle of a party--especially when my hubby (1) and kids (3) will more than compensate the restaurant at $30 a head.

Wow - that is incredible! What a poor manager. However, I agree with you: just bring your own food and let them try to kick you out. I also noticed another reply that suggested you try their salad and bring your own salad dressing. I am not sure how well that would work as far as avoiding cross contamination, but I have done this myself and been OK.

Again, good luck - I hope you will enjoy the celebration in spite of the food problems... :)

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the outside food restriction isn't bogus, though, iirc, it's more of a health code issue. many restaurants don't bother to observe it, but it's not fake.

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the outside food restriction isn't bogus, though, iirc, it's more of a health code issue. many restaurants don't bother to observe it, but it's not fake.

Too bad you can't find another place that is more accomodating. You could make a stink and threaten to take your business elesewhere, though maybe you don't want to.

I agree though, otherwise just bring the food in on the sly.

It sounds like unless the restaurants start to understand we exist, the law and their behaviour won't change.

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Call and ask to speak directly to the head chef. He or she may need to call you back but that is the best person to speak with. If the chef seems cooperative and understanding then tell him you will also call to remind him of your restrictions the morning of the event. I would also make sure that the chef knows what the manager said. In the restaurant hierarchy the chef is king, that manager, if the chef is a good one may find themselves in a great deal of hot water if not out of a job.

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I was also informed, due to insurance issues (and I work for an insurance company) I could not bring my own food. Any suggestions...other than just avoiding flour and my celiacs is cured? :blink:

LOL! I got the insurance reason from a manager at McDonald's once when I brought in my dd's food. This was prior to me going gluten-free and I was just having hashbrowns and orange juice while I just had a minor snack for dd (she'd eaten at home). I quietly asked him if his insurance would cover my dd's allergic reaction to their food. We were there for the playland, it wasn't a busy time of day and it's not like I went in there and spent nothing. The manager was fine with it afterwards...though I only went back twice. The issues with cc just weren't worth it.

As for your current dilema, I would suggest a recon mission if possible. When I have time to, I will go out and check out a restaurant beforehand (go....even if it's just for coffee). I try to go at slow times and then I check out the menu and ask the waitresses and staff questions. We avoid gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. So it's a bit convoluted. But we've had some great experiences by planning ahead this way. I've also gone as far as asking what times and evenings are best for coming in with our particular set of needs. This just shocks most managers but they offer up quite a variety of times/days.

Some restaurants also have web sites or on-line menus. So you could look into what looks safest and then call in and ask from there.

And always...bring in some of your own food....or eat a bit before going. It's best not to go in starving and then forget to ask for things a specific way due to brain malfunction. Not to mention the fact that if something goes wrong with your order, you won't be stuck there watching everyone eat whilst you're doubled over starving for a bite. I make mini bread rolls that I can take in my purse and I sometimes will pack a special salad dressing and a dessert of sorts.

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the outside food restriction isn't bogus, though, iirc, it's more of a health code issue. many restaurants don't bother to observe it, but it's not fake.

It can also be an "indirect" insurance issue. Meaning that someone brings something in that has food poisioning potential and share it with others, they all get sick and sue the restaurant - then no one can prove it's not the restaurant's food that made them sick. I would imagine that bad people would do this in order to win a lawsuit from restaurant. So bad people do bad things which makes it bad for the good people.

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Call and ask to speak directly to the head chef. He or she may need to call you back but that is the best person to speak with. If the chef seems cooperative and understanding then tell him you will also call to remind him of your restrictions the morning of the event. I would also make sure that the chef knows what the manager said. In the restaurant hierarchy the chef is king, that manager, if the chef is a good one may find themselves in a great deal of hot water if not out of a job.

I'd try this route and see what happens. This is what I did when I set up my 25th Wedding Anniversary party. And they even made a special plate for my husband (which is what I wanted all along). Some party halls/caterers outright refused to cook a gluten free meal. They were Galloping Hill Inn in Union, NJ and the Kenilworth Inn in Kenilworth NJ. The restaurant has twice now done a great, fantastic, loving job was: The Westwood in Garwood NJ (told them I'd always mention them).

Also, The Victorian Manor in Woodbridge was accomodating for my husband during my brother's wedding so kudos to them too.

P.S. BYOB = to us = bring your own butter!

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I was told they would prepare my meal and leave out flour and it would be all good (head smack) I explained it was a little more detailed than that and was told I obviously had more problems than celiacs!

I've taken to filling in the online restaurant reviews you find in online travel guides. A comment like that would definitely get the lowest star rating possible, a direct quote and a link (if possible) to educate people on the issue if they don't know what it is.

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My motto: "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission." :-) I bring my own food to restaurants all the time. When the server comes to take orders, I just smile and say, "I brought my own because I have food allergies," and I've never had a problem.

Jeanne

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I would go to the Restaurant during an off time and talk to the manager. I would explain the situation, make reference to your "Medical Diet", and ask what can the restaurant provide safely. Be polite because it is an inconvenience to accommodate you and you are subject to potential risk. Your goal is to have them WANT to help you.

I don't agree with the statement that it is an inconvenience to accommodate a Celiac. A restaurant is in the business of accommodating people who eat food and it is not that difficult to prepare a gluten-free meal anywhere. I guess I am lucky that I live in an area that, for the most part, does not have such a bad attitude towards it's customers. In fact, Chef Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Ma. made a remark that anyone walking into any restaurant should be able to order and receive a safe meal. Anything less is discrimination. His son has severe food allergies to many things and can eat even less than most Celiacs, so he speaks from experience and a genuine desire to make his clients happy....which he does on a daily basis. All you have to do is tell them you are Celiac and they will know what to do. No coaching required. Maybe someday we'll have many more Chef Tsai's instead of the nitwit the original poster spoke with.

Personally, I wouldn't ever give my business to anyone with such an attitude. I would find another restaurant with thinking people working in it, who will accommodate the needs of a Celiac. I've had great luck with that in the past.

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If I had arranged the affair, I certainly would have found a food friendly place. Since I didn't, I'm just going to roll with it--bring my own food , not worry about the rude manager and enjoy my family and friends! Thanks for listening...you guys are the best. :D

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My motto: "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission." :-)

Jeanne

P.S. Jeanne: Where did that motto originate from, friend of mine said it was a Jesuit origin..then one said it wasn't ..just curious...

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It can also be an "indirect" insurance issue. Meaning that someone brings something in that has food poisioning potential and share it with others, they all get sick and sue the restaurant - then no one can prove it's not the restaurant's food that made them sick. I would imagine that bad people would do this in order to win a lawsuit from restaurant. So bad people do bad things which makes it bad for the good people.

I own two restaurants, one fine dining and the other a family casual restaurant. Both are very popular restaurants in our area. I would have no problem with someone wanting to bring in their own food if they are uncomfortable because of dietary restrictions and know of no problems with my insurance if they do so. I would think the manager wants the 30.00 per head. Call and ask for the head chef, mine has no problems discussing preparation of their food, that's their job and if they are good they love it! My chef personally went to the grocery store one day to accommodate someone coming that evening after their phone conversation (the guy wanted a boco burger!).

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If the restaurant manager said he could do gluten free, hand him this:

Do's and Don'ts for Preparing and Serving

Gluten Free Meals Restaurants.

Do's

Make sure menu items that are marked as Gluten Free (gluten-free) are Gluten Free.

(If not, your guest will be sick and in pain an average of 3 days)

Have dedicated gluten-free utensils, tongs and cookware that are ONLY used for gluten-free preparation.

Clean grill or pans thoroughly before cooking a gluten-free protein.

(A dedicated grill, cook top or gluten free area is recommended.)

Make sure any sauce used in a gluten-free meal does not include shoyu, flour or thickener made from vegetable protein. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein can come from wheat. If cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch is used, make sure it is 100% pure and not mixed.

If polenta is served make sure it is 100% polenta. Often polenta and food service corn bread mixes contain wheat or barley.

Consider using quinoa grain.

Do wash thoroughly and/or change gloves before prepping a gluten-free meal.

Make sure there is no cross contamination with utensils, plates or foodstuffs that contain food with gluten.

gluten-free meals should not be plated near baking areas or near breads.

(One tiny crumb can cause a celiac to have major problems)

Keep glasses and beverages away from any bread.

Servers should ask at the table if there are other food allergies the chef needs to be aware of.

Read labels. If in doubt about an ingredient, research or ask the executive chef. Do not include it in gluten-free meal until you are absolutely sure there is no gluten protein derivative.

Don'ts

Don't make a gluten-free salad then put croutons on it.

Servers should carry plates with gluten-free meals separately. Do not carry a gluten-free meal on a tray with other meals. Beverages for celiac patrons should be carried separately, not together with beer or other drinks.

Bread should be kept away from patrons who ordered gluten-free meals.

Do not serve anything with barley malt extract, malt or beer.

Don't use anything in a sauce or reduction that you are not sure of. That includes mixed spices, alcohol with caramel coloring or pre-made mixes, especially food service chicken and beef stock.

Remember

Celiacs cannot eat anything with wheat, Rye, barley or oats.

They can have corn, rice quinoa and potatoes provided there is no cross contamination and that they are 100% pure.

Chemicals in prepared foods can often contain wheat. Make sure what you use is safe.

Shoyu or Soy Sauce is wheat. (Keep wheat free shoyu (like San-J brand) on hand

Panko is breadcrumbs therefore wheat.

Noodles like pasta and saimin are made from wheat and potentially deadly.

Furikake and nori is not consistently gluten free. Some types are processed with soy sauce and therefore dangerous.

Ponzu, teriyaki and other sauces contain wheat. You can easily create your own with wheat free soy-sauce .

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If the restaurant manager said he could do gluten free, hand him this:

Do's and Don'ts for Preparing and Serving

Gluten Free Meals Restaurants.

Do's

Make sure menu items that are marked as Gluten Free (gluten-free) are Gluten Free.

(If not, your guest will be sick and in pain an average of 3 days)

Have dedicated gluten-free utensils, tongs and cookware that are ONLY used for gluten-free preparation.

Clean grill or pans thoroughly before cooking a gluten-free protein.

(A dedicated grill, cook top or gluten free area is recommended.)

Make sure any sauce used in a gluten-free meal does not include shoyu, flour or thickener made from vegetable protein. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein can come from wheat. If cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch is used, make sure it is 100% pure and not mixed.

If polenta is served make sure it is 100% polenta. Often polenta and food service corn bread mixes contain wheat or barley.

Consider using quinoa grain.

Do wash thoroughly and/or change gloves before prepping a gluten-free meal.

Make sure there is no cross contamination with utensils, plates or foodstuffs that contain food with gluten.

gluten-free meals should not be plated near baking areas or near breads.

(One tiny crumb can cause a celiac to have major problems)

Keep glasses and beverages away from any bread.

Servers should ask at the table if there are other food allergies the chef needs to be aware of.

Read labels. If in doubt about an ingredient, research or ask the executive chef. Do not include it in gluten-free meal until you are absolutely sure there is no gluten protein derivative.

Don'ts

Don't make a gluten-free salad then put croutons on it.

Servers should carry plates with gluten-free meals separately. Do not carry a gluten-free meal on a tray with other meals. Beverages for celiac patrons should be carried separately, not together with beer or other drinks.

Bread should be kept away from patrons who ordered gluten-free meals.

Do not serve anything with barley malt extract, malt or beer.

Don't use anything in a sauce or reduction that you are not sure of. That includes mixed spices, alcohol with caramel coloring or pre-made mixes, especially food service chicken and beef stock.

Remember

Celiacs cannot eat anything with wheat, Rye, barley or oats.

They can have corn, rice quinoa and potatoes provided there is no cross contamination and that they are 100% pure.

Chemicals in prepared foods can often contain wheat. Make sure what you use is safe.

Shoyu or Soy Sauce is wheat. (Keep wheat free shoyu (like San-J brand) on hand

Panko is breadcrumbs therefore wheat.

Noodles like pasta and saimin are made from wheat and potentially deadly.

Furikake and nori is not consistently gluten free. Some types are processed with soy sauce and therefore dangerous.

Ponzu, teriyaki and other sauces contain wheat. You can easily create your own with wheat free soy-sauce .

Wow! I copied and pasted it to file. Thank you!

Yolo

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LOL! I got the insurance reason from a manager at McDonald's once when I brought in my dd's food. This was prior to me going gluten-free and I was just having hashbrowns and orange juice while I just had a minor snack for dd (she'd eaten at home). I quietly asked him if his insurance would cover my dd's allergic reaction to their food. We were there for the playland, it wasn't a busy time of day and it's not like I went in there and spent nothing. The manager was fine with it afterwards...though I only went back twice. The issues with cc just weren't worth it.

As for your current dilema, I would suggest a recon mission if possible. When I have time to, I will go out and check out a restaurant beforehand (go....even if it's just for coffee). I try to go at slow times and then I check out the menu and ask the waitresses and staff questions. We avoid gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. So it's a bit convoluted. But we've had some great experiences by planning ahead this way. I've also gone as far as asking what times and evenings are best for coming in with our particular set of needs. This just shocks most managers but they offer up quite a variety of times/days.

Some restaurants also have web sites or on-line menus. So you could look into what looks safest and then call in and ask from there.

And always...bring in some of your own food....or eat a bit before going. It's best not to go in starving and then forget to ask for things a specific way due to brain malfunction. Not to mention the fact that if something goes wrong with your order, you won't be stuck there watching everyone eat whilst you're doubled over starving for a bite. I make mini bread rolls that I can take in my purse and I sometimes will pack a special salad dressing and a dessert of sorts.

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