4

votes

Why would you open a Paleo restaurant, cater to vegans, but make it unsafe for the gluten-intolerant?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I just called Dick's Kitchen in Portland, a Paleo restaurant, to see whether they were generally safe for people sensitive to cross-contamination. I was told I probably wouldn't be safe there. They make their own potato buns, which contain wheat flour, and they don't seem to take precautions to prevent cross-contamination from that wheat flour to other surfaces in their kitchen. They do offer gluten-free buns (prepackaged), but I don't understand why they make their own gluten-containing buns. Why not buy locally-baked buns for their hamburgers, if they want a gluteny option for non-paleo eaters?

They go out of their way to offer vegan options on the menu, and yet they can't cater to the gluten-sensitive by simply not baking buns with wheat flour? Do paleo eaters really want buns that contain wheat flour, anyway?

Has anyone here who is sensitive to cross-contamination eaten there? If so, have you ever gotten glutened?

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on July 10, 2012
at 06:42 PM

I think that's a really great point that I haven't considered! It could definitely go beyond cross-contamination. Huh... Now I am a little suspicious of Dick's!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 01, 2012
at 07:29 PM

...or almond/flax flour. Or a lettuce wrap.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 01, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Guys, I'm just saying. Heck, I wouldn't open a restaurant that caters specifically to fringe groups like paleo and vegans. :P

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on July 01, 2012
at 12:56 PM

There are also plenty of gluten-intolerant vegans. I had to go GF when I was still vegan, and damned if I could find ANYWHERE to go out to eat. You can do both. Why not make a GF restaurant that both caters to vegans and paleo? It wouldn't be that difficult.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:36 AM

There are tons of gluten intolerant/gluten sensitive people who do not know they are gluten-intolerant. Wheat flour is a PROCESSED FOOD and ALL OF US are PROCESSED FOOD INTOLERANT.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Loads of places are able to do it. Baking with wheat flour in a small kitchen seems a quick and easy way to be unable to, though.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Celiacs account for approximately 1% of the population, and a bit more are simply gluten-sensitive/intolerant. A CNN poll in 2002 showed that 0.2% of adults in the US are vegan. That number will be a bit higher in Portland, but I don't know by how much.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I wasn't considering eat the bun. I'd just like to eat there with my friends like I have been at Widmer, Berlin Inn, Otto's, Corbett Fish House, and Jade. Cutting down cross contamination seems pretty doable in this town. And I think the only reason their kitchen is unsafe is that baking with flour without careful cleaning can lead to cross-contamination. That Dick's Kitchen isn't comfortable standing behind their kitchen hygiene makes me suspect they've had complaints in the past.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:22 AM

Been there....not super impressed with it.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 03:36 AM

A quick back of the envelope calculation shows that a serving of food with 10 ppm yields about 1 mg of gluten. We don't say "oh, it's only a milligram of cholera toxin", so I'm not sure why it's so surprising that some people are sensitive to 10 ppm of gluten.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on July 01, 2012
at 12:13 AM

You need more than just 'potato' to make 'potato buns', ok? Why anyone would be ordering a 'bun' - of any kind - in a 'paleo restaurant' is just preposterous on its own account as it is. Finding out there is gluten in said buns?? Recockulous. Finding the .000000001% of people who are so hyper-intolerant to gluten that ingestion of a single molecule of gluten causes sickness??? Priceless

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on June 30, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Vodka wouldn't be too bad though. I don't get a negative reaction from it like wheat.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 30, 2012
at 07:47 PM

This. No reason to be upset about it, they are just offering some Paleo-friendly options. I don't think they're claiming to be a Paleo-specific restaurant, how could you if you're going to use buns for everything and offer tempeh burgers?! But I'd be relieved to have a place like that in my town that at least made some efforts in that direction.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on June 30, 2012
at 07:01 PM

That's just beyond dumb - a Paleo restaurant that's not gluten-free and safe for someone with celiac disease? They are going to lose a lot of potential customers and a lot of respect from the Paleo community. Maybe you could start a campaign to ask them to change. Surely they could serve rice or gluten-free buns as a non-Paleo alternative for non-Paleo friends/relatives. Totally stupid marketing choice on their part.

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Agreed. It's entirely possible to be gluten-free without being paleo, but I wouldn't consider gluten-free products to be admissible under paleo. Isn't the point to eliminate unhealthy foods, not replace them with cute substitues that are equally unhealthy?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Sara - I would even go further. Not only gluten sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, period. I cannot have any additives - I feel them in less than a second. I am fine with everything natural.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:18 PM

Lastly, I want to mention that I have found no correlation between thinking I'm likely to get glutened and actually getting glutened. So I have reasonable assurance that I don't "make myself sick". I'm just really bothered by people who don't know any better saying it's all in someone's head. It's a way for people to dismiss the experiences of others.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:16 PM

Also, plenty of restaurants (usually where the owner or chef knows someone with celiac disease) are able to accomodate by following good practices in the kitchen, just like they do for peanut and shellfish allergies (which also tend to be extreme, like celiac disease). Does anyone claim that shellfish and peanut allergies are psychological?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:15 PM

Also, plenty of restaurants (usually where the owner or chef knows someone with celiac disease) are able to accomodate by following good practices in the kitchen, just like they do for peanut and shellfish allergies (which also tend to be extreme, like celiac disease).

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Do you have something to back that claim up? That has not been my experience at all. I have repeatedly gotten sick (diarrhea) from walking into a bakery (not eating anything), and from drinking tea made in a bakery, when it couldn't have been from anything else. I've also gotten sick from foods that tested barely positive on my ELISA test strips which are sensitive to around 10ppm. If you read the celiac research literature, you'll see that there are variations in sensitivity, and the 200ppm or 20ppm limits don't hold for everyone. Destruction of intestinal brush border isn't psychological

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on June 30, 2012
at 05:54 PM

Because most people claiming ultra sensitivity to gluten have a psychological, not physiological condition?

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6 Answers

18
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:15 PM

How can a Paleo restaurant serve potato buns with wheat flour? How Paleo is this?

Paleo should be gluten-free, period. If they are not gluten-free/grain-free, they cannot be Paleo.

It is super easy to combine Paleo and vegan - not even vegetarian, vegan. Omit any kind of animal products.

It is super easy to combine Paleo and Primal - add some cream/butter.

But Paleo and gluten? What else do they add, Paleo MSG? How about serving Paleo vodka a la Caveman?

My Gosh - Paleo is really a broad term. Very soon they will be making Paleo Twix and Paleo Mars bars.

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on June 30, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Agreed. It's entirely possible to be gluten-free without being paleo, but I wouldn't consider gluten-free products to be admissible under paleo. Isn't the point to eliminate unhealthy foods, not replace them with cute substitues that are equally unhealthy?

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on June 30, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Vodka wouldn't be too bad though. I don't get a negative reaction from it like wheat.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:22 AM

Been there....not super impressed with it.

12
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 30, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Yep, paleo has jumped the shark. If I'm going to eat gluten, I'm not going to eat it as some culinary ghetto "caveman" restaurant, I'm going to eat some real french bread in Paris or pasta made by a top chef. And for burgers, there are so many burger bars everywhere, that I can just pick the best tasting one and order without the bun. I'm not some kind of "gluten is teh devil" person, but I do think it's beyond dumb to offer modern wheat at a paleo-diet centered restaurant. They could at least use spelt or einkorn or some other kind of heritage wheat.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 01, 2012
at 07:29 PM

...or almond/flax flour. Or a lettuce wrap.

10
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 30, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Basically this isn't an actual Paleo restaurant... Just one willing to market itself as one and offer some Paleo options. While I fully understand needing to appeal to a wide audience to 'make it' in the restaurant industry, offering pseudo-paleo offerings will destroy their credibility...

Checked out the menu, and it appears to be primarily a burger and dog joint with a few paleo and vegan options. They do use grass fed beef and offer some interesting sides, but I'd really like to see a Paleo restaurant that has some innovative salads and focuses on stews, soups, meat, seafood and veg prepared in creative dishes.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 30, 2012
at 07:47 PM

This. No reason to be upset about it, they are just offering some Paleo-friendly options. I don't think they're claiming to be a Paleo-specific restaurant, how could you if you're going to use buns for everything and offer tempeh burgers?! But I'd be relieved to have a place like that in my town that at least made some efforts in that direction.

3
Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on June 30, 2012
at 07:11 PM

I have indeed eaten at Dick's Kitchen, but I'm (seemingly) not gluten intolerant. However, since I've been eating (mostly) Paleo I really haven't eaten any buns. Even if it's a potato bun I'd avoid just because of the extra carbs.

I like the idea of the petition though. Overall I had an enjoyable experience at Dick's and think they generally have their head in the right place (I loved the meat options there, what other restaurant can you find venison burgers at?). If they could eliminate the gluten cross-contamination or the gluten at all, I think I might find myself eating there more often. Everything is a work in progress right??

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I wasn't considering eat the bun. I'd just like to eat there with my friends like I have been at Widmer, Berlin Inn, Otto's, Corbett Fish House, and Jade. Cutting down cross contamination seems pretty doable in this town. And I think the only reason their kitchen is unsafe is that baking with flour without careful cleaning can lead to cross-contamination. That Dick's Kitchen isn't comfortable standing behind their kitchen hygiene makes me suspect they've had complaints in the past.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on July 10, 2012
at 06:42 PM

I think that's a really great point that I haven't considered! It could definitely go beyond cross-contamination. Huh... Now I am a little suspicious of Dick's!

2
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 30, 2012
at 11:26 PM

I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong or fair or unfair, but I think it's expensive/difficult to guarantee no gluten cross-contamination. I believe it's much easier to offer paleo options and vegan options than to be able to guarantee some dishes in the kitchen have no gluten cross-contamination.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Loads of places are able to do it. Baking with wheat flour in a small kitchen seems a quick and easy way to be unable to, though.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 30, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Why cater to vegans over the gluten-intolerant? Because vegans probably outnumber (real) gluten-intolerants 10 to 1, at least amongst those who eat out.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 01, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Guys, I'm just saying. Heck, I wouldn't open a restaurant that caters specifically to fringe groups like paleo and vegans. :P

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Celiacs account for approximately 1% of the population, and a bit more are simply gluten-sensitive/intolerant. A CNN poll in 2002 showed that 0.2% of adults in the US are vegan. That number will be a bit higher in Portland, but I don't know by how much.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 01, 2012
at 05:36 AM

There are tons of gluten intolerant/gluten sensitive people who do not know they are gluten-intolerant. Wheat flour is a PROCESSED FOOD and ALL OF US are PROCESSED FOOD INTOLERANT.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on July 01, 2012
at 12:56 PM

There are also plenty of gluten-intolerant vegans. I had to go GF when I was still vegan, and damned if I could find ANYWHERE to go out to eat. You can do both. Why not make a GF restaurant that both caters to vegans and paleo? It wouldn't be that difficult.

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