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Going Out To Eat Gluten-Free


KNOW YOUR DIET

Even though there is scientific basis for the Gluten-free Diet, there are many personal decisions that you will need to decide what you think is best for you. Such as Deep Fried Foods (Contaminated Oil); Food Cooked on grills or griddles that have had gluten items cooked on them; Pies without an upper crust; etc.

KNOW HOW WHAT YOU LIKE TO EAT IS USUALLY PREPARED IN RESTAURANTS

Before you were diagnosed you went out to eat, ordered whatever you wanted from the menu. You didn’t know all the ingredients or how it was prepared, it tasted good and that’s all you cared about. But now you NEED to know all the ingredients and how your food is prepared. Look up the foods you like to eat out and find out how they are usually prepared in restaurants. That way you know what to suggest that the chef can do to modify those items you need to be Gluten-free.

WHO TO TALK WITH AT A RESTAURANT

Always ask to speak with the chef or someone who knows the ingredients and methods of preparation for the food on the menu. NEVER let the well-meaning waiter play messenger. You need the direct link to the person who is preparing your food. If after you have that conversation, but you still don’t feel confident that you will get what you need – go somewhere else if you can. Or just order a dish that is very basic and you feel confident is safe.

BE ASSERTIVE AND CREATIVE – BUT REASONABLE

When talking with the chef regarding special things he can make especially for you – such as fried calamari, Veal Parm, and such – and the place is busy – back off and wait for another not as busy time for that real special item.

DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED TO ASK PERTINENT QUESTIONS

No question is ever too dumb to ask if you do not know the answer.

BEWARE OF GLUTEN-FREE MENUS

Even if a restaurant has a Gluten-free or Gluten-free friendly menu don’t assume that everything on there is safe for you. Ask for the same person to ask your questions of as above.

MONEY TALKS

If you go to a restaurant and they will not accommodate your Gluten-free needs – spend your money at a restaurant that will accommodate you.

GLUTEN-FREE BREADS IN RESTAURANTS

Even if the restaurant says they have Gluten-free bread, ask to see the package. If they toast the bread ask if there is a separate toaster for the Gluten-free bread. If they don’t maybe they can toast it on each side for you in the oven or salamander -- due to cross-contamination.

AIRLINE FOOD

As of this time most domestic flights in the USA do not serve meals and most of the snacks given or sold are not gluten-free either. This includes flights to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. On international flights I ALWAYS order a Gluten-free meal – but rarely eat it for a number of reasons. Quality, unsure if it’s really Gluten-free, or I’m just being my picky self. I always recommend that you bring backup food of your own for to and from. I always do.

CATERED AFFAIRS

When invited to a catered affair, just find out who the caterer is and then call and explain that you are on a MEDICALLY REQUIRED Gluten-free diet and need to know what is on the menu and the ingredients. Then for those items that are not Gluten-free offer suggestions to modifying or replacing those items.

WHEN IN DOUBT - DON'T !