2

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Those of you who have Celiac and have to avoid gluten, what do you typically order when you eat at restaurants/diners/etc?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 01, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Those of you who have Celiac and have to avoid gluten, what do you typically order when you eat at restaurants/diners/etc?

I try to order the safest stuff possible but always end up having digestion trouble so I assume I am still getting some gluten contamination.

7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

(540)

on October 02, 2012
at 02:05 AM

as far as chain restaurants: chipotle is the best. they'll change their gloves. and only the obvious stuff has wheat in it. get hard corn tacos instead of soft since the soft are heated in the same griddle as the flour tortillas. or a burrito bowl. legal seafood is fabulous. joe's american grill and paparazzi, both chains in this area have separate gluten free menus and well informed staff. if you happen to be in the NYC area: rosa mexicano (mexican food in general is pretty easy, since the sauces arent thickened and most tortillas are corn) is DELICIOUS and 75% of the menu is naturally GF.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 01, 2012
at 06:23 PM

It's gluten free (traditionally). I only do small amounts of fermented traditional soy foods (miso and tamari). They are a rare treat.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:46 PM

As much as I generally dislike Olive Garden, if I go there they do above and beyond. But you do have to pay like 21 dollars/steak&Veggies. :/

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:45 PM

It can sometimes be gluten free, but it is not always paleo. You don't do soy right?

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:44 AM

@polynesian your analogy makes no sense. Vegatarian's or people eating Kosher don't get sick if something is cooked in the same spot as the food they are avoiding. They would never know it even happened. I on the other hand end up with stomach pain, diarrhea, anxiety, and tons of other problems for days.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Is miso soup gluten free? I thought it was not but I can't remember why.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:54 AM

That chocolate cake would make me miserable for a day and a half!

43e9d0f324c2fc8b5f283786a1e3bf4f

(419)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Hah! That's good to know. I thought it was just me.

22f5eaad0646ed737b95b551aad5187b

(80)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:43 AM

That is why I always tell the wait staff my issues and eat at places where they say they will cook properly for me. If not, I have no problem leaving and not coming back. Most of the time, it has turned out fine for me.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:38 AM

Mathgirl: when I do eat out and it is an occasion I do indulge in the desert! I'll always go with the most "friendly" desert option, usually a rich, dense chocolate cake with ice cream!

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Found pretty much anything labled "gluten free" is full of sugar, corn, soy and rice... Anything labeled as a "healthy" food is conspicuously suspicious. Why are they trying so hard to convince a person to eat it. If it were good enough to eat it'd need no advertisement, right?

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:33 AM

And it is never a good idea to eat in an establishment where the servers don't know what is in the food. Also tweak a place by yelping them for not being current with modern diet and lifestyle trends (right?) And as far as cross contamination is concerned deal with it or don't eat out. It's not like you are a Vegan who eats for ethical reasons or Kosher for religious reasons. When they eat out they do quite well regardless of the grill or plate.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Same with dairy for me. I get a very particular kind of cystic acne in the same spots over and over whenever I eat dairy. I've probably had the same cyst 20 times in 6 years from dairy.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:27 AM

I worry about "breakfast all day" places because a lot of breakfast foods are off the table (i.e. french toast, toast, waffles, pancakes, etc) and I worry stuff is all cooked on the same grill. For example how do I know if the bacon isn't throw on the same spot as pancakes were just cooked?

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14 Answers

6
22f5eaad0646ed737b95b551aad5187b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:22 AM

I quiz the wait staff and eat at higher end restaurants. When you find one willing to work with you, eat there often! I have found a few that are great where I don't get sick. I usually eat a steak or broiled fish and steamed vegi's and a salad... But check ingredients for the dressing. High end restaurants make their own dressings often and know what's in them. Also a "breakfast all day" place works well. Good luck!

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:27 AM

I worry about "breakfast all day" places because a lot of breakfast foods are off the table (i.e. french toast, toast, waffles, pancakes, etc) and I worry stuff is all cooked on the same grill. For example how do I know if the bacon isn't throw on the same spot as pancakes were just cooked?

22f5eaad0646ed737b95b551aad5187b

(80)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:43 AM

That is why I always tell the wait staff my issues and eat at places where they say they will cook properly for me. If not, I have no problem leaving and not coming back. Most of the time, it has turned out fine for me.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:44 AM

@polynesian your analogy makes no sense. Vegatarian's or people eating Kosher don't get sick if something is cooked in the same spot as the food they are avoiding. They would never know it even happened. I on the other hand end up with stomach pain, diarrhea, anxiety, and tons of other problems for days.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:33 AM

And it is never a good idea to eat in an establishment where the servers don't know what is in the food. Also tweak a place by yelping them for not being current with modern diet and lifestyle trends (right?) And as far as cross contamination is concerned deal with it or don't eat out. It's not like you are a Vegan who eats for ethical reasons or Kosher for religious reasons. When they eat out they do quite well regardless of the grill or plate.

5
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:20 AM

I start by informing the waitstaff that I can have absolutely no gluten. I'm not celiac, but highly sensitive to it, and framing it in the form of an allergy makes them more aware. I don't order anything in a sauce. I typically go for grilled or roasted items and, when I'm wanting a burger, make sure I ask if they mix bread crumbs or cracker meal into the meat.

I don't always come out unscathed, but it makes dining out more pleasant. Since transitioning to Paleo, we eat out far less than we used to, but do still enjoy going out once in a while.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 01, 2012
at 10:54 AM

That chocolate cake would make me miserable for a day and a half!

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:38 AM

Mathgirl: when I do eat out and it is an occasion I do indulge in the desert! I'll always go with the most "friendly" desert option, usually a rich, dense chocolate cake with ice cream!

5
47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:18 AM

I don't have Celiac but I do avoid gluten and eat out frequently. I usually scan the starters in the menu for Mussels and then a salad. Ordering an entree is usually a Paleo fail, but its easy to put together a meal in most places just by ordering apps.

3
3d6548e911e29a0ddbdfe69c3775ec6a

on October 01, 2012
at 06:58 AM

I don't have Celiac, but get very sick if I eat even a sprinkle of flour. Cross-contamination seems to happen more often than not. Now dealing with it actually. I am more convinced that I should not even try to eat out anymore. Not worth it.

3
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:26 AM

sashimi is usually a safe bet.

3
43e9d0f324c2fc8b5f283786a1e3bf4f

(419)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:14 AM

I have the same problem. I test negative for celiac, so my doctor thinks it's gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

I also have this problem with dairy, fwiw. My reaction to dairy includes my face breaking out in a particular pattern, and I get it from eating out stuff that is supposed to be dairy and gluten free.

My strategy is to avoid eating out. I'm all ears for what other people have to say about this.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Same with dairy for me. I get a very particular kind of cystic acne in the same spots over and over whenever I eat dairy. I've probably had the same cyst 20 times in 6 years from dairy.

43e9d0f324c2fc8b5f283786a1e3bf4f

(419)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Hah! That's good to know. I thought it was just me.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 01, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Sushi, bring my own Soy.

White Spot (in Canada) is good about gluten - I get a Double burger with bacon and mushrooms no bun and yam fries. Sometimes I get a hard, fizzy, cider with it.

My non-paleo is a mexican place with rice and bean bowls with lots of salsa and meat with a heap of guac.

Also, my wife loves movies and when we go see one we bring in Terra mixed root chips and Lindt 90% dark chocolate. Our theatre doesn't mind since they have nothing we can eat.

2
F0d897e3d602f2e3b303f21210f34bff

(190)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:23 AM

I agree with using the word "allergy" it does seem to trigger a response in waitstaff that is helpful. They don't need to know specifics just tell them what they need to hear in order for them understand how to help. So "gluten allergy" or "wheat allergy" works.

I typically stick to salads with balsamic vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper. Then a filet or salmon with steamed vegetables. Pretty much every restaurant has some iteration of this combination.

Eating out is kind of a drag in general...the worst is in when they automatically bring a bread bowl to your table...we usually wave it away but it always makes me a little sad...particularly when I'm really hungry and just have to wait for my entree or appetizer (which can save the day if you can find something clean like shrimp).

In higher end restaurants they often serve plates with cheeses, artisanal meats, olives, etc. Love those.

2
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Restaurants? No way would I trust them.

2
7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 01:28 AM

I totally overexagerate what happens when I eat gluten- because if it becomes something they can control and will reflect upon them, the waiter will try harder to get the cooks to understand. Restaurants are a game of telephone!

I never tell them the symptoms happen hours later.

I tend to go with plain meat (specify unseasoned) like steak/hamburger in places without steak, and a plain vegetable/sweet potato, or a plain salad (with oil/vinegar!)

2
2cdd49e87ef8ecffad56a5f6b16f4fee

(30)

on October 01, 2012
at 12:22 AM

I don't eat out much, but when I do, I try to stick to my "safe" restaurants. Those with a gluten-free menu are a good place to start, but I still ask them to be sure that they use clean utensils, etc as much as possible. I actually have Triumph Dining Cards for gluten-free diet, which I can share with the server, and those tell the server/chef what to look for and how to handle my diet. I also am dairy-free, so I explain that as well. If I am somewhere new, I often try to talk to a manager to be sure I get someone that can find out the ingredients of a particular food. Generally, I order stuff that seems to be as simple and easy as possible. I'll look at the menu and ask about a few options that "appear" to be safe, and ask about marinades (gluten, broth, beer) and such. Whether something is fried in the same oil as breaded foods. That kind of thing. Many times this does leave me with a basic salad, possibly with some grilled meat on top, oil and vinegar for dressing. Personally, I'm fine with that - better to feel good than eat something questionable and regret it for days!

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 01, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Found pretty much anything labled "gluten free" is full of sugar, corn, soy and rice... Anything labeled as a "healthy" food is conspicuously suspicious. Why are they trying so hard to convince a person to eat it. If it were good enough to eat it'd need no advertisement, right?

1
7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

on October 01, 2012
at 03:11 AM

talk to the wait staff! and yes, always always use the word allergy.

my mainstays: grilled chicken/fish, burgers without a bun, steak, salads (oil and vinegar is almost always okay - no dressings really use malt vinegar) + extra protein

thing to ask about: - is the meat breaded/floured? - is the sauce/dressing made in house? thickened? - how is it prepared? what else is grilled/baked/sauteed/fried in the same area/pan/grill/oil?

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:46 PM

As much as I generally dislike Olive Garden, if I go there they do above and beyond. But you do have to pay like 21 dollars/steak&Veggies. :/

7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

(540)

on October 02, 2012
at 02:05 AM

as far as chain restaurants: chipotle is the best. they'll change their gloves. and only the obvious stuff has wheat in it. get hard corn tacos instead of soft since the soft are heated in the same griddle as the flour tortillas. or a burrito bowl. legal seafood is fabulous. joe's american grill and paparazzi, both chains in this area have separate gluten free menus and well informed staff. if you happen to be in the NYC area: rosa mexicano (mexican food in general is pretty easy, since the sauces arent thickened and most tortillas are corn) is DELICIOUS and 75% of the menu is naturally GF.

1
D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

on October 01, 2012
at 01:48 AM

I don't have much access to higher-end restaurants. Chains will often have their nutrition/allergy information online, so I will check those out first. If nothing on the menu seems remotely safe, I simply avoid that restuarant. I will also avoid a restaurant that only serves salad as a safe option. I'm not going out and spending $15+ per person for a mound of lettuce.

Higher-end restaurants will sometimes have gluten-free menus. This is not always a safe option for those with celiac, still, but since I can tolerate low-doses of cross-contamination, I personally don't notice. When I find a place that has plenty of tasty options for me, I eat there often.

I avoid anything that has a gravy or potentially soy sauce. I also have to remember to ask for no croutons on my salad because I often forget it's commonly added to a side salad.

I do sometimes go out and say I have a wheat allergy. The word "allergy" triggers something in people to take better care. Some have been kind enough to ask the kitchen staff for me why the grilled asparagus on their menu was not gluten free (seasoning mix), and ordered it for me without the seasoning.

I love eating a sushi restaurants because I can get sushi/sashimi and miso soup without a problem. I eat out at a lot of Mexican restaurants. Since I tolerate nixtamalized corn just fine, I can order most of what's on the menu. I just have to be careful with items that are too Americanized (flour tortillas instead of corn, STORE BOUGHT corn tortillas, breading a chile relleno with wheat flour instead of masa harina). I generally order tamales, which, besides Menudo (contains tripe. Paleo bonus), is about as traditional Mexican as you can get at a Tex-Mex place, and least likely to have the maize switched with wheat.

91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on October 01, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Is miso soup gluten free? I thought it was not but I can't remember why.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 01, 2012
at 06:23 PM

It's gluten free (traditionally). I only do small amounts of fermented traditional soy foods (miso and tamari). They are a rare treat.

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 01, 2012
at 02:45 PM

It can sometimes be gluten free, but it is not always paleo. You don't do soy right?

1
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on October 01, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Eating out is always a dicey proposition. I'm not a celiac but just very gluten sensitive. A salad minus dressing is always a safe bet and just make sure that there's no croutons added to it. And you could just carry your own dressing. A salad bar works too as you can pick and choose and cold dishes may have less chance of being contaminated with gluten than hot.

Steak or fish is also good and some restaurants offer gluten-free entrees. Of course, you don't know what kind of surface it's been cooked on. I always make sure that I let the waiter know that I'm wheat sensitive but I honestly don't know if that always helps.

The best thing is to have a list of restaurants where you've eaten without problems and frequent those places. If the wait staff knows you, you're more likely to have a pleasant eating experience.

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