Do you have celiac disease and do you want to enjoy a nice worry free evening out? Stand up for yourself and ask those much needed questions! I hope that with these 5 tips, you can go out to dinner with friends and family and enjoy that great meal! Off course these pointers can also be usefull when keeping an eye on any other allergens 😉
Tip 1. We advice you, not to just charge into any restaurant and order. Try ringing first and explaining what your needs are. This prevents disapointment on your end. Not every restaurant is equipt to serve a glutenfree meal on the spot. That is not because they don’t want to, but it is not their main target to serve gluten free meals.
Tip 2. When arriving, try to immediately explain that you have celiac dicease and nééd to eat gluten free. You can even ask to talk to the chef when you are hesitant about the waiters. Beter be save than sorry. When taking a look at the menu, ask for the possibilities. Maybe they have some glutenfree meals or maybe they need to alter them for you. You want a really ‘clean’ meal and not a salade where the croutons were taken off just before serving. Don’t forget to ask things like “How will my fries/chips be baked” and remind them of the dressings or sauces; are they gluten free? Also try explaining cross contamination at this point. When given your dish; take time to look at it and look at the plate next to you; did you get the right one?
Tip 3. Ask to see an overview of the allergens in the different dishes or ask how something is prepared . They will probably not give you the entire list of ingredients (the chefs secret) but they need to be able to tell you about the allergens. When looking for gluten you can check or ask for the use of spelt, kamut, barley, rye, wheat and oats.
Tip 4. You might be wondering why things go wrong sometime… This is not slackness or lack of will from the restaurant, but because of the routine work they do every day. When you cut bread all day long on a certian chopping board, it is so easy to put that glutenfree bread on the same board (after whiping it ‘clean’). We both know this is not gluten-clean. This is why things go wrong and we need to stay alert and keep communicating about what is and isn’t possible. If you spot a seat nearby the open kitchen; I would know where to sit. 🙂
Tip 5. Are you still hesitant about a restaurant, was the organisation not in your hands and are you afraid to end up without a meal? Don’t wait for it but just bring your own spare meal. It does not have to be a difficult one but at least you will have something to eat. No restaurant will deny you your food when you explain what the problem is. This might not be the best solution but hey! A person has got to eat 😉
I hope you have had a positive experience and are confident to go out to dinner with these preparation tips. If you have a great tip we haven’t mentioned? Let us know!