The other day my girlfriend, who has just discovered that she can no longer eat gluten, asked me about a meal she recently had while dining out. Did I think that her steak au poirve was made with gluten, or can steak au poirve be made without gluten? I can’t remember the exact wording, but that’s the gist. It reminded me of how I felt during the early days of eating gluten-free. It reminded me of times where I assumed there was no way a particular meal could have any gluten in it and sure enough it did. I often found myself nauseous and with an upset stomach for days. Thinking about the challenges my girlfriend, and many people who are just starting out face, I have decided to share some simple and easy ways for you to do your part in avoiding a gluten bomb when you are out to eat.
- Call ahead and tell the host that you are gluten-free & and ask if they have a gluten-free menu
- Tell your server that you are gluten-free
- Ask your server what items on the menu are gluten-free. If they don’t know, ask them to please check with the chef. Better safe than sorry!
- Always ask about sauces and condiments. Gluten lurks in the most unsuspecting spots, salad dressing and soy sauce to name a couple.
- If something arrives and looks like it has gluten in it, never feel embarrassed in double checking that it’s the correct dish. Mistakes happen.
- If you order fries make sure that the fries aren’t dusted in flour before frying. Curly fries are NOT gluten-free.
- Fries are high on the list of foods that can be and often are cross contaminated. If you see lots of fried dishes on a menu assume your fries will be fried in that same oil.
- NEVER ASSUME A DISH IS GLUTEN-FREE ALWAYS ASK!!!
Gluten bombs can happen to even the most savvy of gluten-free diners. Follow these suggestions and you will be doing your part to ensure a nice gluten-free dining out experience.