As a human being you probably have a desire to go out to a restaurant and have a bite to eat. Whether its a solitary dinner alone, a private intimate evening with a loved one or a group outing with friends or family. Chances are, you have thought about it at least once. For those who don’t know, this kind of thinking can cause anxiety to a diagnosed celiac. No one considers food to cause anxiety. Guess what? It can.
Finding the right place to eat out can be a trial on its own.
There are many factors to consider when deciding to dine out and eat at a restaurant. Making sure that they have some semblance of what gluten-free is should be the first sign that you’re possibly in the right hands. Gluten-free menus are often indicators that a restaurant has their stuff together an dare doing what they can to provide meals for everyone. It’s always amazing when eating establishments can create gluten-free food.
Above everything, a fully gluten-free restaurant is the PLACE you want to go. As diagnosed celiacs you know that your butt is covered and there is no worry about cross contamination of gluten-full and gluten-free food. The shame of it all, is that a fully gluten-free restaurant is hard to come by (YES there may be on win your town, but that doesn’t mean that there is one in every town).
You can’t truly search the county for a gluten-free restaurant when you live in a small town in Northern Canada, it’s just not practical.
The safest place for diagnosed celiacs to eat is obviously their own home, but the need to go out, interact and be social can be far to great of a feeling than sitting home all night and all day and for the rest of your life stewing about not being able to go out for lunch with friends.
Yes. Salad is always an option.
The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.
With salad available, that means some kind of gluten-free food is available at the dining hall and you can go out to eat.
It’s not always enough. But it’s a start.
Is there anyway to tell in a restaurant truly cares about the need for you to eat gluten-free?
1) If there is an option on the menu for gluten-free you can be assured in the fact that the kitchen (and subsequent chain) have some knowledge abut what gluten and gluten-free is.
2) When telling the server about having to ‘order from the gluten-free menu’ they as if its due to celiac disease or an allergy. Better yet, any mention of celiac disease from this person should give you a better sense of security.
3) Does anyone in management come out to your table to talk to you? Kitchen Manager. Head Chef. Restaurant Manager. Assistant Manager? These are all people that should come out and see you and see that your order is processed properly.
There is no list or rules of how to do gluten-free at a restaurant. The places that have gluten-free options often govern themselves and do a pretty good job at it. By self regulating they can control what comes and goes from the kitchen. Each person has a job to do and handles one particular section of food and can be monitored more closely. The only rule that truly exists when dining out as a diagnosed celiac is whether or not the diagnosed celiac is comfortable to do so.
None of this applies to eating out in TRUE ‘rules’ fashion. Each individually diagnosed celiac is in charge of their own bodies and what they eat. Under no circumstances should anyone be told what they can and a can’t eat. If you have to eat 100% gluten-free for medical reasons like being diagnosed with celiac disease, then, make sure you do. Make sure you feel safe when you dine out and make sure that your voice is heard.