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Troubles At Restaurants

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OK, so first let me say is my whole family is celiac and we've always had troubles at restraunts. Especially my parents because they're exceedingly sensitive. We always call before, inform the waiters/waitresses, etc, etc. You know the basic celiac restaurant advice. We even have troubles with the restaurants with the gluten-free menus! So I'm just curious has anyone had the same problems? Any advice to help? I just want to make sure were not the only ones. :(

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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It really depends what you call trouble....

I tend to view all resto's as risky, its just a fact of life....

You seem to be doing everything correct but remember you are dealing mainly with people on minimum wage who might lack motivation from time to time.

My advice is never to expect too much. Its frustrating but less so than looking forwards to eating something and turning up and just loosing confidence. Often its "no problem" then 2 minutes later "would you like some bread" .. etc.

I've found the worse thing is when you wait and wait and your absolutely starving, then you end up taking risks you wouldn't otherwise have taken.

I tend to find its best to find 2-3 places that you feel a good vibe regarding confidence, then keep going back and tip like crazy when they make a big effort or remember something ....

Try and be positive, if you are steered away from something be positive you didn't risk it... sometimes hard when its the item on the menu you really want... or when the waiter(ress) suddenly suggests more bread? but that doesn't always mean they were not on the ball when talking to the kitchen...

I always try and talk to the kitchen myself, when possible but its sometimes hard and then I try and get a floor supervisor and ask them. London is terrible for getting to talk to the kitchen's and the floor staff often don't speak English which doesn't help ... A couple of weeks ago I ended up asking for the supervisor because the waitress didn't speak English beyond "You want drink something" and finally got the supervisor who spoke better English but I still ended up speaking in Italian .. (at which point she suddenly got the point ... "oh celiachia .. si" ... After this she ran off to the kitchen and communicated in whatever language they shared (probably sign) but I ended up OK :D

Anyway, that probably doesn't apply to you but it just shows that things often don't do as expected but the outcome can be OK. I was lucky to get an Italian ... probably better than finding an English speaking waiter/ress (not that its really possible in London) ..

I did however find one place where all the staff seem well trained, I was told I can't have the fries ... well it would be easy to be dissapointed (since its a grill) but instead I convinced myself I'm over the moon finding somewhere understands CC.

For every bit of advice there are examples of the opposite ... phoning in advance is good but often the staff will be different when you arrive... etc.

I honestly think being flexible and have a backup so you can walk away if they just seem to not get it is the best...

Finally .. take advice from others and stick together. Sometimes I find myself just leaving the sald because they added some unknown dressing... but uless you make a point the next celiac will get the same.

Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy when it comes to awareness ?? How many of my bad experiences are due to someone before me and how many after me got poor awareness because I didn't speak up?

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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