Unless you are a regular at the restaurant ALWAYS ask to talk to the chef and our the manager about your concerns. I found this out by trial and error of many years of doing so. Also make sure to say flour along with wheat. For some reason most people are very ignorant and do not associate wheat with any thing except whole wheat. I have found this to be true even with the owners, managers and chefs. When I was single I ate out all the time and actually became friends with the owners of many of the restaurants that I ate at. They would often come and sit down and talk to me. My first year of being gluten free was the hardest because I would not mention flour as a product and they would say what was safe and I would get sick. I would then ask if they had flour in the dishes and was told they did. So I learned the hard way what I could order or not order. I have had the chefs make me special meals that are gluten free. They are usually proud to do so. They want to take care of all their customers.
About label reading. You have to be very delegate with this. Even with products that you usually buy. It might be safe with one purchase and then next time you buy it you will react, then go back and look at the label and find they have changed the product. This happens very frequently. So read the labels on products that you even buy regularly. I have also found that even if the product is labeled gluten free you can not always trust it. I am one of those celiacs that react to Oats. Because oats are no longer considered a restricted food as long as it comes from a pure source it can contain it since they tool oats off the restricted list. There is also breads that contain spelt that are labeled gluten free. Spelt is not gluten free. It is a form of wheat. There is also spouted wheat which some companies claim to be gluten free but it is not a 100% gluten free product because not all of the seeds sprout and you well get some seeds in with the sprouts. If you look real close at sprouted wheat you will often see some of the wheat kernels still clinging to the leaves. So I really fail to understand why some companies claim they are gluten free.
You usually have more success in the higher end places. The chefs CARE about what comes out of the kitchen and cook mostly from scratch. Communication is the key. If you are going high end NEVER SETTLE for just a salad when there is so much more out there for you!
Advice for a GF newbie in high end restaurants needed! I am new at this (and feel so much better!) but my friends and I go to very high end restaurants about once a month. Whats the protocol -- do I ask the waitperson to ask the chef to 1)give me a list of apps and entrees that are GF, 2) ask to fix me a special GF dish or 3) just order the salad? And are most chefs familar with the GF concept in your collective experience? Thanks!
Well, I have a few restaurants around the Denver area to suggest, if anyone's interested. I LOVE Glutino pretzels and crackers. The pretzels are my absolute favorite snack. Also, Food for Life makes good rice flour tortillas (I missed flour tortillas SO much), and Tinkyada pastas are all I'll eat. They're amazing. The others aren't at all like regular wheat flour pasta. I read labels on pretty much everything.
SUGGESTED CHAIN RESTAURANTS:
PF Changs' China Bistro has a gluten-free menu. VERY GOOD.
Outback Steakhouse: gluten-free menu
Chili's: I've had good and bad experiences here.
Also, I order things from Debby's Gluten-Free and Outside the Breadbox. Just google them. They're both out of the Denver/CO Springs area, but they ship things. Debby's has cake, cookie, bread mixes, and also ships pre-prepared food, while Outside the Breadbox is a totally gluten-free bakery with the best crackers on the planet, including cheddar-jalepeno, as well as parmesean, and your standard saltines.
Kinikinick (sp?) makes amazing bagels and english muffins.
Edited by: KALIHALL at: 7/27/2007 (12:08)
Start weight - 137 (12/1/6), NOW - 114.5 lbs
Goals Remaining: 112.5 (9/15) - Bottle of wine 110 (9/30) - New workout outfit 107.5 (10/15) - Nice dinner 105 (10/30) - New jeans!
My face and body changed dramatically when I stopped eating wheat. Within a week people could see these changes enough that they would say something like: "You look like you've been on vacation to Hawaii." But that is only what was on the surface!
On my insides, I could digest my food with a fraction of the effort. I could breathe without having to take all kinds of medications! The side effects of these medications were gone!! (I still take some, but they're not so bad.)
Sure, I still get a few people here and there who challenge my decision to eat my way. But that is happening less and less as I become healthier and healthier. Plus, there is an element of self-satisfaction that is growing inside me. On days when it's stong, people forget to be critical. They might ask if I want a biscuit, cookie, cake, pasta, etc. I just smile and say, "No thank you."
I had heard that Outback has a gluten free menu and I'm glad that you had a good experience with them. Chili's also has one and you can access it online. They actually have a number of menus including a dairy free as well. I wish more restaurants would do that.
I have discovered that the smallest amount of gluten brings on gall bladder attacks, so it would be nice to know what foods had them and what didn't. Hopefully more people will actually recognize that this is a food intolerance (like being lactose intolerant) instead of some diet fad.
Good luck to you!
S/W: 287 -- C/W: 282 -- G/W: 199
1st Mini-Goal: 279 Pounds Lost: 5 Pounds to Lose: 83
On our last trip to Seattle, just before we dropped my teenager off at the airport, we asked him where he wanted to eat. He said, "Outback Steakhouse," and I figured oh great. I'll be having the mixed salad with no dressing on it again... but I was SO surprised that the waitress said, without skipping a beat, "Oh, let me bring you the Gluten Free menu." She was back in a flash and smiled away as I chose how I wanted my fish. She was so friendly and smart that I felt completely and entirely taken care of. That's how I'm supposed to feel in a restaurant!!!
The food was delicious. Now, as far as celiacs are concerned, I don't know how to guarantee that no molecules of wheat got onto my food...but I can say that it digested easily.
I was so surprised by this, because I guess I just stereotyped that restaurant chain because of the whole beef/big knife thing. But you know, they actually also had a Dairy Free menu, too. I think restaurants that experiment with alternative diets should be widely supported. Next time I go to the mainland, I'm going back.
I noticed recently that Benefiber now has Wheat Gluten in it. It just proves they put that stuff eveywhere, and it proves you HAVE to read every lable even if you've read it on the same product many times before.
Funny story about reading lables...I was in Clark's Nutrition (a healthier food store) and an employee came up to me and asked if he could help me because he noticed I'd been in there for about 2 hours (and my basket wasn't full). I insured him that I didn't need help, I just have to read EVERY lable because I can't have gluten and I'm on a very low sodium diet. He was very nice, but you could tell he was concerned.
"I stand in awe of my body." * Henry David Thoreau
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