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Dining On The Fly

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what's the best thing to order when eating out if you don't have time to consult the menu/manager in advance?

my town has it's fair share of chain restaurants in addition to some local places too. none of the chains offer gluten-free menus. my boyfriends extended family is coming into town next week and we're planning lunch out. his mom knows all about my restrictions and was gracious enough to let me pick the restaurant the last time they were in town. selections are so limited and i felt like i was being a pain to everyone so i want to be able to find something wherever we go next week.

the only thing i can come up with is plain old boring salad (i'll bring my own dressing). i added chicken to the last salad i had at a restaurant and i got sick. (there must have been some kind of seasonings on/in it.) i'm thinking chef salad is sketchy too if the meat has who-knows-what in it. any suggestions on what i can order, assuming we're going to a regular American-fare restaurant? (i'm guessing it'll be an Applebees or 99 or something like that.)

i get so nervous when it comes to eating out. i've literally only eaten out twice since the beginning of July. i just feel like i'm always going to get glutened :(

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Hopefully I am not breaking any terms of service for this site :ph34r: but in the Files section of the SillyYaks yahoo group is a gluten-free menu listing for 230 restaurants. You will need to be a member to access these files.


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Applebee's is a really tough one because much of their stuff is premarinated or seasoned, and the risk of cross-contamination is huge! When I eat out, I try to go somewhere that prepares the food from scratch...I have been in your position many times! I always explain my situation to the waitress and ask many questions. You really get better and more comfortable doing it, especially after you've been burned! If they will allow you to make suggestions on the restaurant, then do that by all means! Maybe you can come up with three choices and then you won't feel like you are dominating the decision=making.

Some potentially safe options:

Plain hamburger

Plain grilled chicken




For sides, a plain baked potato or steamed vegetables.

It certainly isn't glamorous, but it takes care of the need.

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DUH. i get the idiot of the day award. i can't believe i didn't think of a plain hamburger. i was just saying the other day how i was craving a good restaurant burger (minus the bun, of course!)

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We generally avoid chain places because the food tends to be pre-made and frozen. Often there is added stuff like gluten in that kind of food. I've found that chicken is generally not a safe choice. But a hamburger patty or chopped sirloin is. Steak can can be tricky too. They often put seasoning on it that could contain gluten or use butter that may have gluten in it. I know butter shouldn't have gluten in it but it could be cross contaminated. I generally don't trust salads. I have gotten croutons put on and picked off, or even found a lone one buried deep in the salad. A plain baked potato should be safe, but some places use margarine to coat them Plain fresh or canned fruit is usually safe.

We usually have good luck at Mexican places if we are careful what we order. A tostada or taco with corn tortilla and ground beef are usually safe. Or beans, rice and tortilla. Or black bean soup. Or tortilla soup.

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