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msserena

Nice Handy Way

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I've read many posts on this forum that indicate you can successfully eat in a restaurant without getting sick, although I personally have not eaten out since I went gluten free over 2 years ago. I don't trust it. These restaurant cards basically say no wheat, rye, barley, oats. But we all know there's more to mindful of when preparieng a gluten free meal. I haven't been willing to rattle off the litany to a stranger and still risk getting dosed.

So how about it folks? When you all order in a restaurant, do you mention the less obvious things like don't cook in a teflon pan and don't use a wooden spoon? Do you talk about spice blends or soy sauce or malt or modified food starch or carmel color or ? Well, you get the picture.

Thanks

Sarah

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I made my own cards because the list of forbidden foods for me is quite long. When I order food out (only after I have called in advance to see if they can prepare for me--some refuse), I explain that I have many food "issues" and hand the waiter my card. As they are reading the Gluten=NO FLOUR PRODUCTs, etc., I explain that I require my food prepared in a clean skillet, no butter, only olive or canola oil, etc.

Of course, I have never been formerly diagnosed with celiac disease, all doctors will agree that I have food intolerances. Therefore, I am not "damaging myself" when I do accidentally ingest these foods. On the other hand, a crumb can make me sick for DAYS. I have actually gotten sick from putting my food in the microwave too soon after my youngest son made popcorn.

We eat out quite often and I have only really had reactions (since I started using the cards) twice and once it was my fault because I neglected to re-check an ingredient in a drink I ordered (no corn syrup).

The wait staff at the places we do frequent often, remember me which also helps.

-Kate

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My experience with using a dining card was... "How about a nice salad?" They seem to have interpreted the card as a risk. I could tell they would rather I just go somewhere else. Now, I try to eat foods that are inheriently gluten-free. Ethenic foods are easier than American.

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I call ahead, frequent places who've worked with me, and make smart choices. At a place that I haven't talked to before, I stick with things I can be confident about the preparation (rice at a chinese place; yes, I mean plain rice) or ingredients. Salads I'm wary of, because of croutons, dressings, and other "special toppings" they might use - so I choose them carefully as well. Most restaurants aren't going to cook with non-stick pans anyway (they don't produce the quality of results that restaurants are looking for, and won't hold up to the potential for high heat and VERY frequent use), but asking about that is sensible. And, of course, I mention common items that have the potential for having gluten and might be used in my food - soy sauce and spices, but in a place that's cooking from scratch and not using pre-bought sauces, not caramel color.

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I rarely eat out but when I do. . .I only go to places that offer glutenfree menus and have trained staff. Usually, the only things I eat not fro home are McDonald's fries, or something at Outback (never eat either of them very often). Whenever I am in Manhattan is when I do more eating out. Small places, trained staff, and a stong Celiac following!

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