Staying gluten free can be tough. Especially when eating out with friends of family. Here are nine quick and easy ways to stay gluten free eating out.
Do Your Homework
Take the time to look at the menu online, and narrow it down to choices you know to be 100% Gluten-Free.
Call the restaurant to make a reservation and let them know you are Gluten-Free. Try to call at off-peak hours to ensure you have the staff’s full attention.
Ask the Important Questions
Do they have procedures in place to avoid cross-contamination?
ie. Are the fries (or chips) fried in the same oil as gluten items? Is the Gluten-Free pasta cooked in the same water as regular pasta? Is the grill cleaned before making Gluten-Free items?
Do the garnishes on specific items contain gluten?
Does the restaurant use flour or soy sauce in their salad dressings, sauces or seasoning mixes? Do they use pre-made salad dressings, sauces or seasoning mixes? (Why? See below.)
Beware of Pre-Made Salad Dressings, Sauces and Seasoning Mixes
Most Pre-Made Salad Dressings, Sauces and Seasoning Mixes contain gluten. If the restaurant makes use of pre-made items sure they do not use these items when preparing your food.
When in Doubt, Go Raw
Raw Oysters with Fresh Horseradish, Crudo, Ceviche and Carpaccio are all great Gluten-Free options.
Know Your Liquor
Tequila, Rum and Vodka (Potato or Grape) are Gluten-Free. Most wines are Gluten-Free. If in doubt, check with the winemaker. Gin, Scotch and Bourbon are distilled from grains, a process believed to remove gluten. There is no real consensus as to whether or not these liquors are Gluten-Free. Proceed with caution.
Sit at the Bar
Bartenders are great multitaskers. They can mix a cocktail or pull a pint while still being able to address any concerns you may have about the food.
Dine in Off-Peak Hours
Just like calling at off-peak hours, you are more likely to get the staff’s focused attention when dining at off-peak hours.
Remember the Golden Rule
It’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your meal is Gluten-Free. Most restaurants will do what they can to accommodate you — but always remember to treat others as you would like to be treated.