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Celiac Support Issues
Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:50 pmFood.com Groupie
Do you have support among your family/friends for celiac issues?
I find that alot of people are ignorant to gluten and what it may be in, and if they are not personally affected that it doesn't matter to them.
When I was first diagnosed (the first in my family) my family was sympathetic, but that was about it. I was really on my own as far as learning what was safe, etc. If we were invited to a family member's for dinner they made no effort to determine if anything they were serving was safe for me to eat.
As I learned more about what I could and couldn't eat, and shared my knowledge, and as more family members became suspicious of their own possible condition, they became much more involved in seeing that there were safe things to eat available.
Most of my friends are considerate about the condition, and will ask what is safe, etc.
The restaurant community gives me mixed support. I have found some places that will answer questions willingly and alter ingredients to fit my needs, and other places that act like I am a pain in the derriere if I ask them to leave the croutons off a salad. I actually had one place put the croutons on after saying they would leave them off, then tell me there weren't many and I could just pick them out myself. I let them know that if I ended up in the hospital with a reaction to the poison they had contaminated my food with that they would get the bill! After that they did replace my salad with one that did not have croutons (and crumbs) all over it. I know it is a lack of knowledge on their part, but when I ask nicely and explained that it is a medical reason and they agree to accommodate it I was not willing to accept their attitude about their mistake.
At another little cafe I had the cook "assure" me that the white bread was safe for me to eat because it did not contain wheat (it was regular white bread). I asked him waht he thought flour was made from Oh, he mumbled
What kind of experiences do you find?
Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:01 amFood.com Groupie
Your experiences are almost exactly like mine. I could be reading my own post. Why is it that friends are more supportive than family about this?
I have also had the "white vs. wheat" debate with waitstaff before, and even had to argue with one chef who insisted that "semolina" was what was in the pasta, not wheat flour. Semolina is a variety of wheat, as I would have expected any mediocre Italian chef to know. I know the feeling of being treated like someone who's just trying to be difficult, perhaps if the people making your food were the ones who got sick when they made a mistake then they would be more considerate and understanding. But there are some restaurants that have been extremely accomodating, and I reward them with great tips and repeat business, including bringing my friends and family and recommending them to other celiacs. In the end it's just good business for them.
Incidentally, while I'm on the topic of accomodating restaurants, I have to give praise to both Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Grill not only for having a gluten free menu, but for not acting like you're putting them out when you ask for it. Of course the service will vary from specific restaurant to restaurant, but overall I have been very pleased with these chains.
Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:36 pmFood.com Groupie
I agree whole heartedly regarding Outback Steakhouse. The local one here has been wonderful. The first time my daughter and I went there we didn't know they had a gluten-free menu, but we were asking questions about some of the items on the regular menu so the manager came over and asked if there were allergies and told us about the GF menu. Now we just ask for it when we come in and everyone we have ever dealt with has been great about special requests and accomodations. My daughter was thrilled to learn they even have GF desserts!
We don't have a Carrabba's here, but I keep searching out local places that do accomodate without a problem, and like you I recommend them to others and tip well to show my appreciation.
Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:06 amNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
I guess I have been ver lucky in this area. My husband has been very supportive and even eats my gluten free pasta with me. My family has been great. Whenever we go and visit my parents, my mother makes an effort to cook things that she is sure are gluten free. She scours marinade bottles looking for ones that don't have gluten in the ingredients.
Restaurants are another story. I do make an effort to go to restaurants that I am sure I will be able to find food I can eat. If we go out to eat with friends we try to suggest Indian or Asian, where I know they tend not to use flour because it just isn't part of their diet. I try to avoid going to chinese or italian restaurants because chinese have soy sauce in almost everything and italian restaurants are either pasta or they seem to have breading on their meats. It's nice to hear that Carrabas has a gluten free menu. I haven't been there, but I know we have one not too far away.
I do have to say that I have had very good experiences on cruise ships for vacation. They work had to accomodate my needs and even provide me with a gluten free bread at dinner (not that it has always been the best tasting, but at least they try). Mainly they just avoid putting any sauces on the plate and give me plain vegetables.
One thing I am lucky about is that I am a personal chef and have gone to culinary school, so I often know what foods on menus would tend to have gluten in them and can choose meals without having to ask too many questions.
What I have found amusing is when waiters are overly cautious and ask whether I can have potatos and rice. They seem to think that when they hear that you can't have flour, you can't have any starches. I very nicely let them know that rice, corn, potatoes and anything that is not made from wheat, rye, barley or oats is ok and appreciate them being so careful.
Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:40 pmFood.com Groupie
Another restaurant that has a GF menu is Bonefish Grill.
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