Friday, August 7, 2009

Top 10 gluten-free eating at restaurant mistakes

I've made most of these, it's how I know about them. Remember, you are the one who is responsible for not getting sick, not the restaurant.

  1. Assuming sushi is safe - ask about malt vinegar in the rice and any and all soy sauce involved.
  2. Assuming a normally-safe food like french fries never shared oil with fried chicken or other breaded items.
  3. Not asking if there restaurant uses margarine - which could be on anything (like grilled chicken) and may not be gluten free.
  4. Eating any salad dressing or marinade or spice rub and not asking for an ingredient list. Soy sauce and modified food starch like to sneak in to the darndest places.
  5. If you send a salad back because it had croutons on it, look through the lettuce when it comes back and make sure they didn't just take off the croutons and send it back - this totally happened to me.
  6. Not being nice to your waiter - they hold your fate (or your fate for the next few hours) in their hands.
  7. Not asking about everything - I even found a place that put flour in their mashed potatoes.
  8. Not thanking a manager and your waiter for going out of their way for you. You always want a wait staff to have a good impression of you. You never know when you or another Celiac will eat there in the future.
  9. Not having a back-up plan. Whenever I go out to eat, I pick two or three things on the menu I would be happy enough to eat and then ask the waiter to ask the chef to recommend the safest item. I don't always get my first choice, but I don't get sick, either.
  10. Eating at restaurants too frequently. I was still feeling somewhat ill and cut back to eating out to about once a week. Unless they only serve gluten free food, even the most well-meaning restaurant staff can't avoid cross-contamination 100% of the time.


Haleyuns said...

excellent list!! I just got sick from eating at Chili's (which normally I am ok at) because I forgot to ask them not to cook the corn on the cob in the pasta water. 1 day of work missed over a stupid mistake. yuck.

housewifingaround said...

Loving your site. You think you got it hard. I can't have gluten (not allergy, but sensitivity) or nightshade vegetables:tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant. These are harder to avoid than wheat sometimes. Restaurants barely happen anymore. The GF restaurants are a big help though. And I've learned to make do, but it's all worth it. I do cheat sometimes, but I think its because it's all very recent and haven't learned my painful lesson enough. Learning how to stick my to guns more, little by little. Continue your awesome site.