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smsm

How Often Do You Eat Out?

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I ate out at Bonefish Grille twice this month while vacationing --a first for me----and all is well. The staff was very gluten-savvy and their menu has been approved by GIG. I was leery (as I am very sensitive to gluten CC) but they did a fine job handling/prepping my food. :)

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:lol: on both counts.

I will never, ever forget that 22-minute toast. And at 22 minutes it was not even brown - just sort of beige here and there and sort of crusty but not really. I bet to get it nice and toasty it would have taken 31 minutes. :P

I did that the other day :P. Toaster oven, new kind of ciabatta, 7 minutes - nothing; 10 more minutes and cut a piece off and it wasn't even warm; another 10 minutes and it was vaguely golden on top but underside was not even vaguely crisp. Gave up, cut it in half and stuck it in the regular toster :lol: No, it didn't burn!!

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We do not eat out often, but when we find a restaurant that can cater to our needs, we do enjoy it! As an allergic mom to three young, allergic kids, eating out or being able to get takeaway can be an incredible relief in our schedules. We do pack a lot of food, and I do not eat at casual social gatherings unless it is the food I brought and have kept segregated. We research restaurants before going, and I found the tips in Allergic Girls's book to be really helpful. We ask questions and share our needs with the wait staff and managers when eating out, but this is always easier when I have called before to review how they can safely feed us. It has taken us some time to get to this point, and our geographical locations have made big differences in the availability of gluten aware options for us. Finding restaurants that base their menus on fresh, whole foods with little, if any, gluten always makes it much, much easier to find success. And if you find you are too sensitive to take those risks, there are some who can appreciate that. I do allow my kids more freedom in their risk taking than I take for myself, as it is much easier for me to pick up the pieces of their indiscretions than for them to cope with mine. Since we also have "allergy" symptoms to gluten exposure, we help each other gauge the safety of new food trials.

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Thank you so much for the replies - I know that no one can tell me that it is always ok to go out and I needed to hear that other people are not going out as much. We are huge travelers and it has been hard to figure out how to travel without eating out as much. I live in a medium-sized southern city (about to change in a couple months, I hope!) and there is very little in the way of options. When we travel, I find it hard to trust places. I have even gone to places that are entirely gluten-free when traveling and I find myself checking and rechecking constantly with the staff that it is ok - I need to find a way to relax about it but the threat of pain is too much. When I went to NYC several months ago, I did hours upon hours upon hours of research (probably in the neighborhood of 100 - I am not joking - I researched online, created a google map, and phoned every place ahead of time) - I had to eat out every day and I did and it was fine except for one place which got me (it was fairly minor, but it hurt) and I was devastated - not so much even by the pain but by the thought that no matter how much planning, how much thought, how much research, how much talking with waiters/chefs/managers, etc. there is still a chance - always a chance. That experience completely rattled me and I went from going out a couple times a month to a couple times in the last 6 months. My biggest concern is transferring my fear to my children - they aren't afraid and their symptoms last on a few days to a week. They are healed and an occasional small risk to teach them to be out in the world is worth it - and I don't want to be left behind. :(

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It doesn't sound like an unwarranted fear to me. When I travel, I bring a plug in cooler made by Coleman, along with a mini microwave. That way I don't need to eat out. I think that you could communicate to your kids that they can eat out, but it isn't a risk that you want to take because you get so sick. The kids need to learn the difference between risks. Like, the chances of getting in a car accident are very low, but you still put on your seat belt. The consequence of not having it on if you do get hit are just too great to take the chance.

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I did that the other day :P. Toaster oven, new kind of ciabatta, 7 minutes - nothing; 10 more minutes and cut a piece off and it wasn't even warm; another 10 minutes and it was vaguely golden on top but underside was not even vaguely crisp. Gave up, cut it in half and stuck it in the regular toster :lol: No, it didn't burn!!

Funny! I thought I was the only nerd who does such experiments. Whew! We're in this thing together! :lol:

I can just imagine the bread and becoming sort of golden after half an hour. That's priceless! Only those with celiac would understand this sort of thing. My husband thinks it's quite funny. :P

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Thought I would take time to contribute to this one since it has been a "journey of learning" for me as well. I've been diagnosed Celiac for four years (endoscopy), and most all of my "glutened" episodes have been from eating out - and there have been many; so many that four years from diagnosis, I lost 80 lbs and have recently become anemic, both red blood, and white blood count. So I don't take risks anymore. I stay with known restaurants that I've had success with and who have gluten-free menus. Here's my list:

Outback Steakhouse

Carraba's

Pei Wei

P F Chang

Rockfish

BJ's

Cotton Patch

Here's some that do not have a gluten free menu, but where I've taken the plunge and risked getting glutened and won the bet; i.e., I didn't have symptoms within 24 hrs afterward (my symptons are bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and explosive diarhea within 8 hours). Choose your entree's carefully and make sure you don't get any crouton's, tortilla strips, etc. If it's a soup and it's cloudy or creamy, don't eat it until you talk with the manager or the chef - find out what makes it cloudy or creamy and make them "swear" it has no gluten. Well, make them state it clearly.

Boston Market

McDonalds

Cheers,

Bob

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We eat out once a week. However, my DH just informed me on how much we spent on eating out and add that on top of gluten free eating....it was just too much. I need to cut it out.

Sorry...off track. We go to the same places. We go mainly to Red Robin or Wendys. She eats chili and a baked potato at Wendys. Also, Chick Filet has a gluten free kids meal (grilled chicken and fries) that's safe. The manager's wife has celiac so he was so understanding and gave me all the details on how they try to prevent cc.

There is a local pizza place that has a gluten-free crust and seperate oven/utensils. Then a hometown favorite that I make grill her food on tin foil just to be safe. She doesn't react to gluten outwardly so we'll find out next month at her first blood test if we have been ok. If not, we'll cut out the restaurants.

The only thing I miss is a good Mexican restaurant. That's her favorite. You'd think that a simple taco would be easy to find but nope...they deep fry everything together! I miss that the most. (She is at grandparents for a couple of nights so I did sneak some gluten today. I feel like a junkie)

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In my experience the restaurants post a gluten/allergy nutrition page on the company website. Although this doesn't really make me trust the reliability of each individual franchise, it at least gives some semblance of concern on behalf of the restaurant. That being said, if they mess up and serve a "gluten-free" meal and it is contaminated, all the guarantees and published information is little consolation. How confident can you actually be in claims made by restaurants with little supervision in the kitchen?

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We used to go out to eat (and I by this, I mean sit down AND take out) maybe 3 times a WEEK. We cut that down to maybe 1-2 times a week but not that Ive been gluten-free it is going to be less than that. We had a little argument yesterday over where to go because I feel like I am limited by who and what I trust and I think that sort of overwhelms my hubby. Its not that he doesnt care, because he DOES, its just so new to him to even have to think about the fact that i CANT eat everything.

I am a waitress. I waitress at a small family owned place in my town. We are SUPER busy all the time and we only have 13 tables and a teeny kitchen. They try their best to accomodate allergies but honestly, the kitchen is SO small, its hard to guarantee that something doesnt fall where it shouldnt, or so busy that maybe they dont think before slapping a bun on a burger...

HOWEVER..since I am now gluten-free myself, I am especially vigillent when my customers tell me they are gluten-free. I will watch the cooks, make sure they change their gloves, wipe down pans with a clean cloth, use different spatulas, etc. SO far my gluten-free customers are super excited to go there because they know I KNOW the menu and I have checked all of the ingredients we have and I know what is made with what, and whats in what, etc.

I am sure there are restaurants out there that DO have staff who care and take the time to learn what is actually in all the menu items, but a lot of restaurants are staffed by young people who really dont care..like college aged kids who just want to make some money and really cant be bothered to learn what Gluten even is.

So its scary, its a scary thought to go out to eat anymore :(

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