This Ezine article describes what you need to know when eating out at gluten free restaurants or cafes anywhere around the globe. We could spend time detailing celiac disease and some of the foods to not eat, but this expose is all about you and the guide to how to make life easy when managing your gluten free restaurant experience.
For the standard person (sans celiac disease or gluten intolerance) the existence of gluten free restaurants may seem fake, but for those with these health issues, some actual anxiety can be experienced when couples or other groups attempt to consume out at a restaurant of any kind. A gluten free restaurant in America will frequently be a partner of the (GFRAP) program. It means they must follow the tight rules for supplying gfree food, and provide a big menu of GF food. In these cases you expect that most people who dish food within the eatery as well as the owners’ are totally aware of all of the needs of a celiac.
Often what most celiac and gluten intolerant people are trying to miss out on in their dining experience is the hassle involved when asking for g-free foods or describing what the disease is. Of equal importance is making sure whether you have asked or not, that you are not mistakenly ‘poisoned’ by hidden gluten ingredients or by cross contamination.
On the subject of asking about g free, it unquestionably helps if the gluten free restaurant openly exhibits signs expressing that they are gluten free knowledgeable or have g-free menu foods. If they do not, some celiac like to display a gluten free definition card which aptly describes the disease and what foods they can not consume. Preferably a celiac should to have dining companions who are supportive, maybe even ones who will proactively request the gluten free query for them.
Check before going
If you can’t determine menus about a restaurant or café before leaving your house, then telephone ahead. Perhaps make certain you have a couple of choices in the area, just in case a ‘gluten free’ restaurant is just claiming the certification to increase patrons, but knows zero about gluten free. Trust me, it happens more than you might think.
By checking beforehand in a non busy time, you can find if the restaurant is happy to cook your pasta (you bring from home) or whatever gluten alternative product they don’t have. After all, don’t they need you as a worthwhile loyal customer? If not, don’t worry, there are many gluten free restaurants in the book.
While mostly everyone else is eating bread, and you are searching for news about their gluten free credentials from their chef your are starting to feel emptier and probably more frustrated. If you feed yourself before you leave or take some snacks with you, you will be ensured of being able to take your time at the gluten free restaurant.
Review your knowledge of gluten free
GF aware includes knowing what foods are usually safe and what components go into this particular restaurant’s mix. You also need awareness of what components usually have hidden gluten (such as the perennial favorite soy source, not at all including soy, but rather being made from on wheat). This can seem to be hard, but it’s nowhere near the pain you may get after your gluten meal. A short cut to this is downloading and carrying a list of common elements that contain gluten. If need be, you may like having this laminated and give it to the cook. Whether you get a card from an organization or make your own up, in the early stages after diagnosis it is a definite help.
You cant afford to be frightened
When you arrive at your café, now is no time to be frightened. Don’t accept that you don’t have rights or that you are bothering the waiter. They are paid to attend to you and often rely on tips. Instead you may decide to let them understand that this is a real issue, as critical as any allergy and you need to avoid the chance of being poorly.
Often this talk is the most tricky thing a celiac will gear themselves up for all evening. But it does not have to be painful. Actually it’s about building an understanding, making direct eye contact and speaking clearly. Fundamentally the same rules that are in force when you go for an interview! But now you are interviewing them for their health and safety understanding!
Finally, make sure you know you are locating the right person
Do not be taken in, not all food servers are there working their way up to the top. They are not all propelled to please you or be fulfill you entirely, some in fact can be quite uncaring, occupied or just plain neglectful. If you have accomplished your rapport, spoken with clear communication and are cognizant they are looking around, chances are you have met a person who hasn’t heard about the celiac revolution, and is probably that they are too shy or vain to pass your inquiry onto the proper contact or people in the kitchen. You get a server that you can’t handle, and you want to remain, you can always request to talk to the owner.
Whatever you do, make sure you are 100% satisfied with what you have been told, then you can relax and enjoy your friends and your meal!