One of the things that can be an issue when you are on a gluten free diet is dining out. There are now some dedicated gluten free restaurants that are incredible, with wonderful menu items but these are not found in every city.
Most restaurants are starting to grasp the Gluten free concept. However, there is still much education that needs to be implemented surrounding cross-contamination.
What to do
If you are planning a special night out, call the restaurant ahead and speak to the manager [it is helpful to do this during the late afternoon – the restaurant is usually not busy at this time and they are just preparing for dinner]. Ask if they serve gluten free meals and if they have precautions in place when preparing and serving; reiterate the importance of cross-contamination measures.
If they are unsure, try to pick another restaurant, otherwise your lovely evening out may turn out to be a horrible next few days. Try to stick to restaurants that offer a gluten free menu, as they already have an idea of what items can be gluten free.
Once you get to the restaurant, tell your server you are gluten free, make sure that they understand what that entails and ask them some of the questions from the link below. In most restaurants the manager will come over to speak to you to answer any concerns you may have.
Where to look
There are some great apps available to download that will let you know what restaurants near your location may offer gluten free meals.
This is also a great resource for finding gluten free restaurants across Canada: The Celiac Scene. It also has a great printout with questions that you can ask the restaurant surrounding the gluten free dining experience .
Remember, you are the one who is responsible for making sure that you eat safely, if there is ever any doubt about something, don’t eat it! If you are at a restaurant and there is an issue, ask them to take it back, if they are ‘knowledgeable’ about gluten free dining they will understand and make it right.
*Disclosure – although I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions stated are my own.