Not Salad, Again.
Have you ever gone out to eat and the only safe option on the menu is a salad? This is probably a familiar scenario to someone with celiac disease. Sitting at a table with friends and family, left with little options for food, can be a very isolating experience. Luckily restaurants have become more aware and this is happening less and less. Today, it’s unusual to find a restaurant that doesn’t know about gluten. However there are still restaurants out there that don’t offer variety on their menu and hire staff that are ill trained regrading gluten allergies and intolerance’s. There are also restaurants that will write on their menus “no substitutions”. This too can very disheartening to a patron with a gluten allergy. Leaving the bread off a dish ultimately is what determines whether or not a celiac can order the meal of their choice.
While it’s comforting to dine at restaurants with gluten-free menus, it isn’t imperative in assuring that you can have a safe and gluten-free meal. We have found that many restaurants, who don’t offer a gluten free menu, are still very knowledgeable and equipped. The most important step you can take ,in assuring a delicious and safe meal, is to call the restaurant before going. But instead of asking if they have a gluten-free menu, ask if they can easily accommodate a gluten-free guest. Ask if their current menu is intrinsically gluten-free and if their staff is knowledgeable about gluten allergies. Sometimes a restaurant may offer a menu that is intrinsically gluten-free, therefore a separate gluten-free menu isn’t necessary.
We need to do research and take the problem into our own hands. Sometimes it’s a nuisance and it would be easier to not have to worry. However, doing a little bit of leg work beforehand can make the dining out experience a lot less stressful.