Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Going Out to Eat

Although my gluten-free diet has gotten much easier over time, eating out was very scary at first and still requires some planning.  However, making every meal in the comfort of my own kitchen was just NOT an option. Going out to eat is a part of life and being on a gluten-free diet shouldn't stop us from living.  Of course I was scared about the "secret ingredients" they use and the cross-contamination, but it is just about making smart choices.  There are so many restaurants that actually have gluten-free menus (the list keeps growing) and so many more that will make accommodations for special diets.  

The information is everywhere... individual restaurant websites, magazine articles, gluten-free forums and blogs, and the list goes on.  The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide (Triumph Dining) is also great if you do any traveling at all.  I have actually packed this in my suitcase on a few trips! But don't stop there... if you are planning on going out to eat and aren't sure they will have something for you, just call ahead and speak to a manager.

Brazilian steakhouses are one of my favorites that don't necessarily have special gluten-free menus, but always have plenty of tasty options.  Some of the more popular chain restaurants with gluten-free menus include P.F. Changs, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Chili's and Legal Sea Foods. However, be sure to check the menus frequently as ingredients may change.  I usually order the Original Baby Back ribs with mashed potatoes when I go to Chili's, but recently noticed that only the Honey BBQ ribs are now listed as gluten-free. They even removed the mashed potatoes from the list of gluten-free sides.  So it is important to check the menus and ask questions!
            
I have definitely gone to a few restaurants and simply ordered a plain salad after looking at the menu or talking to a server who seemed completely clueless (sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry), but that is not the norm.  I have enjoyed so many wonderful meals at restaurants and it just seems that more and more places are becoming familiar with gluten-free diets.  Again, it is all about making smart choices and doing a little research.  

1 comment:

  1. To whom it may concern;

    I am writing to inform you of our new Gluten free menu. About 4 yrs ago my sister Christine and I opened nebo restaurant at 90 N. Washington St. in Boston’s North End. Nebo is a traditional Italian restaurant offering dishes based on recipes that were passed down from our mother and grandmother. After being open for about a year, two of our closest friends were told they had Celiac disease. We then realized just how many people this disease has affected and the need for an alternative for their dining restrictions. Determined to serve our friends their favorites, we set upon making our menu available in a gluten free form. We are thrilled to say that we have now produced 90% of our menu with the same great taste as our regular menu. We don't think there has been an accomplishment that has brought us more pleasure. If you would like us to forward a copy of our Gluten free menu please send a menu request to nebofunctions@gmail.com .

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