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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Glutened At Chili's?
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20 posts in this topic

First off, I'm still really new at this but have been having amazing results in how I feel. Yesterday I met my Mom for dinner at Chili's as I'd heard they have a gluten free menu. Their gluten free menu had "Monterey Chicken" on it so that sounded good and I ordered it. I didn't have much faith in my server especially when he asked if I wanted gravy on my mashed potatoes. Ummmm. no dude. I probably allowed myself to order incorrectly as I didn't see why I couldn't have the mashed potatoes without gravy (like the menu suggested) and the side of fresh veggies.

I was halfway through my meal and all of a sudden I broke out into a cold sweat and felt nauseous. I stopped eating. On the drive home I had severe stomach cramping that I felt certain I was going to throw up and a sensation of having a spiky rock in my stomach. I made it home but the cramping and nausea lasted for about 2 hours. I never did get sick and feel fine today. This is the first time since (recently) going gluten free that I've had the stomach pains.

Is this what being "glutened" feels like? Did I order something wrong?

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Consider the place you ordered food from. Some have good luck with the local Chilis. The ones here always have a revolving door of servers, many under 18. The cooks don't speak English. I have little faith that they are trained in the gluten-free menu or able to take the precautions necessary. They could have grilled the chicken right where they just toasted a hamburger bun. Used the gravy spoon to scoop up your potatoes.

Eating out is tricky. If you have a PF Changs near you, they " get" the gluten-free thing. Even the bus boy at ours seemed to understand. For a few months, it might be best to not eat at restaurants or food other people cook.

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It's possible you could have been glutened. I've gotten sick from eating the Montery chicken before but do fine with the Margerita chicken. I think it's possible the mashed potatoes could be contaminated with the gravy spoon as suggested above. Or honestly it could be a much richer meal than you can handle at the moment and gluten wasn't a factor at all. It's especially tricky to pin it down when you are new and you aren't healed 100% yet. Sometimes your stomach acts up for no good reason.

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Eating out is tricky. For a few months, it might be best to not eat at restaurants or food other people cook.

I have been avoiding eating out and think I'll make it a "have to" eat at home. Yesterday I had to take my mom to a breast cancer dr. appt and we were downtown (so 20 miles from home) so our choices were limited and after the long appt we were both starving! :) We tried Central Market first but they didn't have a gluten free menu so we moved to Chili's. I won't be trying Chili's again for a LONG time! Thank you for your insight.

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It's possible you could have been glutened. I've gotten sick from eating the Montery chicken before but do fine with the Margerita chicken. I think it's possible the mashed potatoes could be contaminated with the gravy spoon as suggested above. Or honestly it could be a much richer meal than you can handle at the moment and gluten wasn't a factor at all. It's especially tricky to pin it down when you are new and you aren't healed 100% yet. Sometimes your stomach acts up for no good reason.

I almost got the Margarita Chicken but the server said he thought that the tortilla chips needed to be left out, which I questioned because they should be "corn tortillas" but anyway, that's when I started doubting what they knew about gluten free. I wish I'd eaten the Margarita Chicken! Or you may be right, it may have just been too rich compared to what I've been eating. Thank you for your help!

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I almost got the Margarita Chicken but the server said he thought that the tortilla chips needed to be left out, which I questioned because they should be "corn tortillas" but anyway, that's when I started doubting what they knew about gluten free. I wish I'd eaten the Margarita Chicken! Or you may be right, it may have just been too rich compared to what I've been eating. Thank you for your help!

If the restaurant fries it's own chips, they are likely not gluten-free. They probably use the same oil for onion rings or frying flour tortilla things ( chimi?)

You will learn to keep food with you. Even a pack of nuts or a Lara bar so you don't get into these situations, again.

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It is HARD to eat out, but if you find restaurants that really work with their servers it really isn't so bad. I have had horrible luck at Chili's and I think it is because they don't educate their servers...so they probably don't clean the grill, or changes gloves, or use different spoons etc. I agree...I have had GREAT luck at PF Chang's and at Red Robin....there are several restaurants. You just have to make sure they know you have a SEVERE gluten allergy and I have found people to be more careful. Sorry you were glutened! It stinks! You can also check on the website before you go somewhere and see where the nearest gluten free places are...so next time you can enjoy a good meal out! I only go to places that have a separate gluten free menu, or one that has more on it than you can order this but without this type of thing. It seems when they take the time to make a separate effort they are more diligent about the issue. Oh and not all tortilla chips are only corn based...some have wheat to fill in. A lot depends on brand. SO SORRY!

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First off, I'm still really new at this but have been having amazing results in how I feel. Yesterday I met my Mom for dinner at Chili's as I'd heard they have a gluten free menu. Their gluten free menu had "Monterey Chicken" on it so that sounded good and I ordered it. I didn't have much faith in my server especially when he asked if I wanted gravy on my mashed potatoes. Ummmm. no dude. I probably allowed myself to order incorrectly as I didn't see why I couldn't have the mashed potatoes without gravy (like the menu suggested) and the side of fresh veggies.

I was halfway through my meal and all of a sudden I broke out into a cold sweat and felt nauseous. I stopped eating. On the drive home I had severe stomach cramping that I felt certain I was going to throw up and a sensation of having a spiky rock in my stomach. I made it home but the cramping and nausea lasted for about 2 hours. I never did get sick and feel fine today. This is the first time since (recently) going gluten free that I've had the stomach pains.

Is this what being "glutened" feels like? Did I order something wrong?

HI I WENT CHILL,S BEFORE AND I ASK TO TALK TO MANAGER AND ASK TO HE HAVE GLUTEN FREE MENU. HE HAD SOME PRINTED AND GAVE ME ON. I BEEN VERY CAREFUL ON EATING MASHED POTOTOES BECAUSE YOU DONT REALLY NO HOW THEY ARE PROCESS AND GRAVY IS DEFINTLEY A QUESITON. I HOPE HAVE THAT BAD EXPERIENT NO MORE.

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My first Chili's experience after gluten-free was so typical of what can happen at any restaurant, especially if it's busy. Saturday night, I tried to carefully explain to the waitress that I have Celiac Disease and can't have any bread, so please no bread with my meal. Get our food, there it is, a piece of garlic toast right on my plate.

It wasn't touching any of my food, so I just took it off and wiped where it had been. I'm sure that's what they would have done anyway if I tried to send it back.

Luckily I didn't get sick.

best regards, lm

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First off, I'm still really new at this but have been having amazing results in how I feel. Yesterday I met my Mom for dinner at Chili's as I'd heard they have a gluten free menu. Their gluten free menu had "Monterey Chicken" on it so that sounded good and I ordered it. I didn't have much faith in my server especially when he asked if I wanted gravy on my mashed potatoes. Ummmm. no dude. I probably allowed myself to order incorrectly as I didn't see why I couldn't have the mashed potatoes without gravy (like the menu suggested) and the side of fresh veggies.

I was halfway through my meal and all of a sudden I broke out into a cold sweat and felt nauseous. I stopped eating. On the drive home I had severe stomach cramping that I felt certain I was going to throw up and a sensation of having a spiky rock in my stomach. I made it home but the cramping and nausea lasted for about 2 hours. I never did get sick and feel fine today. This is the first time since (recently) going gluten free that I've had the stomach pains.

Is this what being "glutened" feels like? Did I order something wrong?

I haven't tried my local Chilis and probably won't. I'd stopped in one night to get my DD some chips and dip in the "To go" door. I had a good view of the kitchen, the manager was all to happy to print the gluten-free options for me, however, after I saw them sling all the food around...nope for me. too much of a chance for CC. That's just my local one though.

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I usually just order a plain green salad & take along a gluten-free sandwich. It's just not worth the risk any more. Seems like the longer I am gluten-free the longer it takes to get over being glutened.

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The monterary chicken is safe, I eat i all the time when I go there. Their mashed potatoes are safe, without the gravy of course. The thing you most likely got sick from was the vegetables. They are cooked in the same water as pasta. I always order another side of mashed potatoes instead of vegetables.

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Here's my recent Chili's experience.

I asked for a gluten free menu, and explained that I have a wheat allergy. After much fuss, the manager managed to print one for me.

I ordered the margarita chicken with black beans and loaded mashed potatos, all items were on the gluten-free menu. No tortilla strips. They specified on the gluten-free menu that they were not safe.

While waiting for the food, I broke out in hives on my arms which were resting on the table. I took a good look at the table and saw it was dirty with greese marks on it. I called the first person in sight over, which happened to be the managar. I showed her my arms and asked if she could wash my table using a clean washcloth that had not been used on other tables to pick up wheat crumbs and such....she complied and cleaned my table as I requested. Then she turned a little white in the face and ran real fast to the kitchen......HHHHMMMM...I wonder why???? Meanwhile, I went to the bathroom and washed my arms.

Back at the table, the waitress arrived with just the kid's food. She told me there was a delay, a problem, with my food. I asked her what the problem could be and here is what she said; "UM.......yea......apparently, the cook wasn't careful with your food or something....ya see, we've had all these customers come in that are eating gluten free by choice because it's a fad, so the cook didn't take the whole ordering from the gluten free menu seriously, he just figured you were another food fad person. Then the managar ran back and told him you were the real deal and that she saw hives on your arms just from touching the table and that she had to re-clean it for you. She told him that your food had better be safe or he could cause you to leave the restaurant by ambulance. So, the cook had to throw away your food and start over, and do it right. We're really sorry, we actually even have 3 waitreeses who have gone gluten free because it's popular right now. But don't worry, the cook does know how to make sure your food is safe, and he's making sure it's safe now"

OK....that scared the CRAP out of me!!!! But, I ate, with the managar watching from a distance, biting her nails in fear. And I did not get sick.....but OY, if I had not broke out in hives they would have glutened me for sure. I've been scared to eat out since then. I've been packing food in little lunch thermos and eating in my car. At least it's hot food!!! Yesterday I packed delicious homemade mac and cheese, which was made with Tinkyada penne noodles and homemade gluten-free cheese sauce. It was delicious, hot and I felt real good about eating it....no anxiety, no dreaded restaurant to deal with....and much cheaper!

So, as it turns out, because it's popular to go gluten-free, restaurants may not take us seriously.....scary.

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That is really scary! Guess that drives home a point - we need to be clear that we are celiac and must avoid cross-contamination! Those on gluten-free as a fad sure don't have to worry about the CC !!

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That is really scary! Guess that drives home a point - we need to be clear that we are celiac and must avoid cross-contamination! Those on gluten-free as a fad sure don't have to worry about the CC !!

That's exactly right, those who are doing it as a fad, don't have to worry about CC!! They would not even know they were CC'd! Yet people like me with a wheat allergy, or you, a Celiac are going to get messed up if we get glutened....Chili's.....wow.....I can't believe they did that, but I'm so happy they fixed themeselves and that the waitress was honest in telling me what happenned.

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My last two experiences at Chili's were bad... I asked for the gluten-free menu both times... explained my whole deal... and then had to call the manager over to show him a tortilla stip in my salad. The manager said that the two salad mixes were probably next to each other. The last time, the salad I ordered also wasn't supposed to contain tortilla strips and it was FILLED w/ them... they chose the completely wrong salad mix! I told my husband (who loves Chilis) that I'd give it one more try before I wrote a scathing letter to the company, but we've not been back since. I'm not inclined to go now... after hearing your experience!!

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Here's my recent Chili's experience.

Back at the table, the waitress arrived with just the kid's food. She told me there was a delay, a problem, with my food. I asked her what the problem could be and here is what she said; "UM.......yea......apparently, the cook wasn't careful with your food or something....ya see, we've had all these customers come in that are eating gluten free by choice because it's a fad, so the cook didn't take the whole ordering from the gluten free menu seriously, he just figured you were another food fad person. Then the managar ran back and told him you were the real deal and that she saw hives on your arms just from touching the table and that she had to re-clean it for you. She told him that your food had better be safe or he could cause you to leave the restaurant by ambulance. So, the cook had to throw away your food and start over, and do it right. We're really sorry, we actually even have 3 waitreeses who have gone gluten free because it's popular right now. But don't worry, the cook does know how to make sure your food is safe, and he's making sure it's safe now"

So, as it turns out, because it's popular to go gluten-free, restaurants may not take us seriously.....scary.

Wow! Thank you for your story Trish Trish! Why would someone go gluten free if they didn't need to? A FAD?!? Wow. I'm wondering if that is what happened to my food now. Hmmmm... I haven't been glutoned since but then again, the only take out I've had is Jason's and only once.

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Wow! Thank you for your story Trish Trish! Why would someone go gluten free if they didn't need to? A FAD?!? Wow. I'm wondering if that is what happened to my food now. Hmmmm... I haven't been glutoned since but then again, the only take out I've had is Jason's and only once.

I know....it's nuts!!! If I didn't have a wheat allergy. I would be buried up to my earlobes in Krispy Kream donuts right now!!! If you google "gluten free fad" you will see a bunch of news stories about it. It scares me......yet, that's why we have so many new great gluten-free products! That, I like!

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I'm sorry to report that I was glutened at a Chili's today. I ordered the children's portion of the grilled chicken with a side of broccoli. About 20 minutes after I ate I began to feel sick with a headache and a bad stomach ache. The stomach ache is the kind I've come to associate with being glutened. I'm so mad, because I wanted to trust their gluten-free menu, but I suppose it was a matter of cross-contamination. I won't eat there again. :(

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I hear ya, Jody.  Welcome to the forum, by the way!   I used to be a big fan of Chilis and their cheap greasy eats, but I haven't dared step into one since diagnosis.  I just feel their inexperienced staff is a recipe for disaster.   That is why I stay away from the value based chain restaurants, because if you can't order something with no onions and them get it right, how can you reasonably expect your meal to be protected from CC in their busy kitchen?  I will keep them on the back burner and only go if there is no choice between that and starvation, haha.  

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