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Hard Rock Cafe Nye Buffet

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I knew nothing about celiac's disease before I was diagnosed, so I'm not expecting the whole world to know about gluten-free living now that I have to be gluten-free. But shouldn't people in the food service industry start getting a little more enlightened?

My husband made reservations at the Hard Rock Cafe for their New Year's Eve celebration. I knew it would be unlikely I could eat anything there - the kitchen was only cooking for the buffet - but I called anyway to ask if I had any options. After all, we were paying a lot of money and the buffet was included in the price.

A very nice, but clueless, lady tried to help me out. 'You can't have starch and things like that, right?' she asks. I explained the gluten-free diet a little. 'Well, there will be breaded chicken tenders', she says, and pauses, a long time, then says, 'oh, but I guess you can't have those...' I tell her no. She was certain I could have the wings. She was surprised when I asked if they would be deep fried (they are grilled), but I didn't even bother to ask about the sauce - I knew I would avoid those. She was also surprised when I asked the brand of nacho chips for the 'nacho bar' and someone in the background looked them up and said they were gluten-free. 'And you can have the fruit and cheese and vegetables and pita bread...' she says. Sigh. I didn't bother correcting her about the pita bread. She assured me I would have a lot of options and that the waitresses could also help me out.

So I decided in advance I would have veggies and fruit and the nachoes and maybe some cheese.

But when we got there, the nacho chips were in a big pile next to a bunch of triangles of pita bread - not in bowls, much less separate bowls, but laid out right on the tablecloth touching each other! The tongs were for both the pita bread and the nacho chips. The cheese cubes were mixed in with salami and other deli meat cubes on the tray. And all over the place are little teeny loaves of bread practically touching everything. I almost cried. The waitresses were way too busy getting drinks (and it took about 45 minutes each time we placed a drink order) so I did not want to ask for some cheese right from the kitchen, so I sat and watched everyone else eat.

Thankfully we went to dinner at Outback earlier, and I ate very well there in case I couldn't have anything at the Hard Rock.

But still, it was frustrating, which is why I wanted to vent a little here.

I won't be doing New Year's Eve there again!

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