Gluten Free Restaurant Meals

Is it really possible to just relax and enjoy a gluten free restaurant meal?  That is after all what eating out is all about isn’t it?  Taking a night off, letting someone else handle the cooking while you enjoy the company of friends.

With a few tips on what to watch for and planning ahead by checking restaurant reviews and allergy guides you too can take pleasure in gluten free restaurant meals.

So raise a glass and have some fun!

Go here for everything you want to know about Gluten-free alcoholic beverages

Sharing sustenance with friends and family

 It's the most communal of activities.  We celebrate with food, we socialize with food, and we comfort ourselves and one another with food.  How many of the most significant occasions in your life can you link back to the memory of a meal?  More and more in North America, these celebrations take place in a restaurant.  We’re choosing to give ourselves a break from day to day chores and delegate the task of cooking.

For me, the prospect of eating out used to bring a smile to my face.  Not only was it a break from cooking, it opened up a whole, well, menu of things I could choose from.  First there’s the establishment: American roadhouse / tavern; one of the many ethnic choices; high end or casual? Italian, Chinese, Thai, Sushi, Mexican, wings and beer, steak and seafood, nice light salad…  No longer was I limited to the contents of my pantry and the boundaries of my cooking skills.  I could choose.

Eating out for a celiac is a much different experience.  Gluten free restaurant dining is less about choice and more about limitation.  Less about the freedom and relaxation of handing over the chore of cooking and more about the anxiety of where to eat, what I can have off the menu, will they understand when I explain my needs, will they prepare it properly, will I come home with a stomach ache... 

Governing Gluten Free

What we really want is confidence.  They say it's gluten free but how do we really know?  Fortunately both the US FDA and Health Canada have published guidelines around the requirements for making a gluten free claim.  We still need to take responsibility and ask questions of the people preparing our meals.  In some cases you may even want to direct them to one of these pages.  I was at a restaurant recently that indicated their sweet potato fries were gluten free, right on their menu.  When I asked, they were cooked in the same fryer as onion rings.  They got an email with the Health Canada Link ;)

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