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110 Comments

  1. 1

    Ken

    It’s on my list.
    The only way to guarantee our safety is to open a dedicated GF restaurant. That’s what I’d like to do. But it would be a sports bar/family restaurant type place.
    My niece said I should call it Glooters. I’m not really sold on that.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      IrishHeart

      Glooters lol
      How about GlutenFreedom? Or GlutenFreeNation?

      My friends Sherry Lynn and Howie Birch have a totally dedicated bakery and restaurant in Latham, NY. No gluten was ever used in this establishment and no one is allowed to bring anything in–even the staff. (at this moment, they are re-locating to a new place down the road, but will be up and running soon. ) I believe they were the first in the country but there are others now.

      Soon, there will be more. :)

      Reply
      1. 1.1.1

        GF and more

        What’s the name of the restaurant? I think it is a great idea.

        I won’t eat out at a restaurant that has any G food in it, for the same reason that I won’t eat products made on shared lines or with G in the same facility/factory. No matter how carefully people are trained, errors can occur, and it is not a risk I am willing to take. It would be a dream to have a restaurant that is dedicated GF. Even though I have a host of other food allergies to watch for, the concept that a place can be so committed to doing GF right, not just because it is trendy or it is a way to attract customers.

        Reply
        1. 1.1.1.1

          IrishHeart

          It’s called Sherry Lynn’s Gluten Free

          Reply
          1. 1.1.1.1.1

            GF and more

            Thanks! I will definitely check it out when I’m in the area :-)

            Reply
      2. 1.1.2

        Ken

        Next time I head upstate I will definitely visit Sherry Lynn and Howie.
        I’m in NYC… If I open the first one up in Park Slope I’ll make a killing. I think there’s a gluten moratorium for the whole neighborhood. (Inside Brooklyn joke- sorry).
        I wanted to call it The Seal and Yak Pub, but nobody got it.
        Anyway, it’s just a spark in my head right now, but I will be talking to some friends who are chefs, and some friends who are small business owners just to see if it’s feasible.

        Reply
        1. 1.1.2.1
    2. 1.2

      Kristy K. James

      Not sure where you’re from, Ken, but please feel free to open one of the Glooters restaurants in the mid-Michigan area.

      Reply
    3. 1.3

      Laurel

      Hi Ken, I came across your blog and I LOVE IT! You are very honest and entertaining! This article is exactly why we do not eat out. We never know if we are really getting gluten free or not. So we make all of our food from scratch. This is also why I have dedicated myself to my website for gluten free cooking and healthy living. Please go to it and check out all the wonderful recipes that people can access for free. The main goal for this website was to help celiac sufferers live a more normal life and eat the foods they were use to….AND most importantly which I think a lot of gluten free products you can get at the store leave out….that it tastes good! http://www.sproutedroots.com

      Reply
  2. 2

    Melinda

    I almost cried watching the video. Now I know where I’m going for my birthday! :)

    Reply
  3. 3

    Kathleen Connors

    Wait, Dude, now I am totally confused. I know you have said you won’t eat certified GF food if its produced on shared lines (that they clean between productions). A stance I whole heartedly agree with, by the way. But you would eat here. Even though the pasta is also made on “shared lines” i.e. the same pasta equipment that has been used to make wheat pasta (that, like the shared lines, has been cleaned in-between). I guess I don’t understand what the difference is.

    Reply
    1. 3.1

      Gluten Dude

      Cleaning a pan to me is different than trying to clean a large piece of factory equipment that has processed mass amounts of gluten containing foods.

      As I said, there is an inherent risk any time you eat out. It’s just about minimizing that risk as much as humanly possible.

      Reply
      1. 3.1.1

        Molly (Sprue Story)

        Though I think it’s awesome that Del Posto has made such an extensive gluten-free menu, to me, that the video itself does not touch on cross contamination at all (at least, I didn’t notice it doing so), indicates a focus more on getting the taste and texture right (obviously admirable) than getting that ppm gluten level as low as possible (which, to me, is more important when I eat out than how the food actually tastes and feels, as depressing as that may be). It sounds from the separate advice the chef gave you that he DOES have this in mind, but the video itself not going there does not give me much confidence.

        At Tommy Lasagna in NYC, a smaller place with less of a publicity engine than Del Posto, the chef recently revamped the menu to make fresh gluten-free pasta and pasta dishes, and to make the GF pasta they use entirely separate equipment in a separate room of the restaurant, at a separate time from making glutenous pasta. I understand that pasta-making equipment doesn’t come cheap, and I understand that it’s of course possible to clean equipment well enough to leave behind no traces of gluten, but to me, taking the extra step to use separate equipment makes a big difference. (Plus, pasta making equipment can’t possibly be simple to clean well! Not like a grill or a frying pan—lots of little pieces, especially that spaghetti machine, e.g.) Putting gluten-free consumers’ health and safety front and center in publicity also makes a big difference.

        So…I’ve never been to Del Posto, I thought the video was nice, and I’m pleased they’re making an effort, but I’d respectfully disagree that Del Posto’s GF menu is the standard to which other restaurants should hold themselves. Other places are doing it better.

        Reply
      2. 3.1.2

        Kathleen Connors

        Oh, its not the pans I’m worried about, its the pasta makers with all their nooks and crannies. I worry about how clean those can possibly get.

        Reply
        1. 3.1.2.1

          Kathleen Connors

          Sorry Molly I hadn’t read the whole thread when I replied. I agree with you. How can they possibly get the pasta machines clean enough? To me, that is a “shared line”.

          Reply
  4. 4

    Shauna

    I think it’s interesting that they say they are not a hospital. I, unfortunately, had to spend a couple of nights admitted to hospital a few years ago. Even with my chart marked “Severe Celiac” and receiving the GF food choices menu, I was not able to eat anything that was sent up from the kitchen! The last straw was the turkey with stuffing and gravy on the potatoes. Ummmmm…..what? Yes, it’s challenging to eat out and I have suffered more than once, but I don’t want to live scared either. I inform and try to educate the servers and staff and hope for the best. It also helps that my hubby will often threaten that if they make me sick I’ll vomit on their shoes. Hasn’t happened yet. ;-). We all have to do what is best for us. Wishing all my celiac sufferers a great and healthy day.

    Reply
    1. 4.1

      GF and more

      That is exactly what scares me if G-d forbid I ever have to be hospitalized. Even with the markings, how do I know how I am going to be accommodated? I know of others who have also been CC’d when in hospital – a place where they are trying to recover from illness!

      Reply
  5. 5

    Tricia

    Not sure if you are already aware of it, but I thought you might appreciate pizza chain Mellow Mushroom’s take on gluten free.

    (From their GF menu)
    You’re no longer a second class citizen!
    Our cooks have been trained in the importance of preventing cross contamination. The kitchen will wash hands, put on fresh gloves and a fresh apron and only use Gluten-Free dedicated cooking utensils and ingredients. Everything is made to order and prepared in a separate area. A screen pan is used during the baking process so the Gluten-Free crust never makes direct contact with the pizza stone.

    They list the crust ingredients, as well. Plus, they are so yummy!

    Reply
    1. 5.1

      Ken

      I love Mellow Mushroom! Last time I was there they asked me if I was GF “for a diet, or do you have an intolerance.” I thought it odd at first, but really appreciated it later on.

      Reply
    2. 5.2

      Eliza Evans

      One of my worst glutenings ever was at a Mellow Mushroom in the Tampa area. I was visiting the area for Thanksgiving and my trip was completely ruined. I’m glad that some people have good experiences there, and I’m sure some locations are better than others, but I could never ever trust them again.

      Reply
    3. 5.3

      Greg

      I tried one of Mellow Mushroom’s gf pizzas several months ago, in Wilmington, nc where I live. It did not make me sick, so I assume safe practices were followed. Unfortunately, the pizza was thin, had few toppings, and was not worth half what it cost. Oh well

      Reply
  6. 6

    Cookie's Mom

    Attempted to order dinner from The Olive Garden (an Italian style restaurant in Canada) on the weekend and could not. We were told that they were out of gluten-free pasta. “Out”! How does this happen? Surely it would be unacceptable for them to run out of regular pasta. I went to social media with my complaint. The restaurant attempted to take the conversation offline. To their credit, they did offer me a gift card to make up for the problem. I thanked them, but also told them that the reason I went to social media with the complaint is that it’s a bigger problem that my dissatisfaction. (I will be emailing them this post). Either you can accommodate a gluten-free diet or you can not. Period.

    Reply
    1. 6.1

      Gluten Dude

      Give me a high end restaurant over a chain any day of the week to keep me as safe as possible. I know…more $$…but darn it…aren’t we worth it ;)

      Reply
      1. 6.1.1

        Diagnosed in 2013

        I definitely agree with what you say, but unfortunately, the finances just aren’t there for a high end meal more than very occasionally. Of moderately priced chains, are there any you’ve had better luck with? Outback seems pretty solid so far, I’ve heard Red Robin?

        Reply
        1. 6.1.1.1

          Musicmidget

          I personally have had great luck with Red Robin. They put an allergen alert on the ticket that goes to the kitchen, they have different plates for gf items, and they know not to season the fries because their seasoning contains traces of gluten. Not only that, but all the servers are knowledgeable and never look at you like they don’t know what you’re talking about. I live about 30 miles outside off Nashville and have two small children so I don’t go out to eat all that often and when I do, a totally gf restaurant isn’t always convenient. Chains can do well with this stuff too. :)

          Reply
          1. 6.1.1.1.1

            Diagnosed in 2013

            Great to hear! I actually find with the right chain, there’s procedures in place for cross-contamination, such as the ones you describe. Independent places are good if they make an effort, but I’ve also found the lack of formal policies can be risky. Basically, I find the best is a small place that takes good care, then chains, the worst a small place with no knowledge or procedures.

            Reply
      2. 6.1.2

        Cookie's Mom

        Agreed. Only we were travelling and peanut is super picky and… well, you know. :)

        Reply
    2. 6.2

      Mark Dandeneau

      I’ve worked at several restaurants and I can tell you that running out of things is pretty common. Of course the customers hardly ever know about it because restaurants will borrow from other restaurants or sometimes even go to the grocery store. One of the most common items for a pizza restaurant to run out of is cheese. If the item that runs short is an uncommon item they will probably just have to wait for the next truck to arrive.

      Reply
      1. 6.2.1

        Mark Dandeneau

        Also consider that the restaurant I now work in is owned by someone who owns eight restaurants. Recently all were running short on medium pizza dough. We even called another restaurant in the same chain, but owned by a different owner and they too were almost out.

        Reply
  7. 7

    Kimberly Kuehl

    Amen, I have yet to feel good eating out, stopped and a little depressed again recently with everything as I have other ailments as well. I read your site and always a bright spot awaiting. Thank you and all of you! Kimberly Kuehl

    Reply
  8. 8

    IrishHeart

    I would eat here. Make it a table for 4, Dude.:)

    Reply
  9. 9

    Gluten Free Bree

    Good video. Careful about ‘you’d never know [which dish is gf]’. The PF Chang’s policy of a differently marked plate for gf food is the best since I’ve had a mgr sprint over and grab my plate from me after a ‘mixup’ at a pasta place before.
    I agree with Kathleen above, which is why I don’t follow Dude. someone tweeted this link to me. I also agree with Molly.

    Reply
    1. 9.1

      Gluten Dude

      You don’t follow me…why? You think I give out bad info? You don’t think I have my fellow celiacs in my best interest? Just curious.

      Reply
  10. 10

    Gluten Dude

    I just got an email from someone who called Del Posto, said they saw their video on my blog and then gave them hell because they serve corn pasta and “corn is not safe for celiacs”.

    This has got to stop folks. We’re not doing ourselves any favors. You may not react well to corn but CORN IS GLUTEN FREE.

    I posted a video. I was impressed by their passion and by the reviews I’ve read about how seriously they take it.

    You go out…there’s a risk. You need to decide what’s best for you.

    But don’t make us all look bad by calling out a restaurant when they don’t serve your purpose specifically.

    Dang…sometimes I wonder why I blog.

    Reply
    1. 10.1

      Rachael

      FRUSTRATING! But just remember, idiots are frequently louder than the larger population of sane fans! You blog because you can’t quiet that voice inside your head that constantly tells you that you can make life better for Celiacs. If that voice in your head ever quiets, I’ll be sad.

      Reply
        1. 10.1.1.1

          GF and more

          I agree with Rachel – the extremists can be vocal, but there are many many more sane people out there. I really admire and appreciate everything you do Gluten Dude as an advocate for our community.

          And even though I might personally respectfully choose not to visit Del Posto because they do have G products in there and that is a risk I am not ready to take, I do appreciate the effort they are making. Calm discussion and the right to make a personal choice should be respected. Sadly, the notion of calm discussion without vitriol from extreme positions imposing on others can be hard to maintain.

          Reply
      1. 10.1.2

        IrishHeart

        I’ll be sad too. He knows if he goes, then I’ll have to start my own blog
        and I just don’t wanna! LOL

        Reply
    2. 10.2

      Gloria @ glutenfreepoodlehome

      Even the people who say you can’t have corn because it is GMO are full of it because I have purchased corn pasta and cornmeal that is clearly marked non-GMO.

      Reply
  11. 11

    Chris Lamb

    I agree with the unconvinced folk who have commented- Tthathe fact the “GF” pasta is extruded through the same holes as the non GF pasta would not reassure me 100% that it was GF even though the machinery had been cleaned thoroughly. Also, just because people who have eaten there say they “have had no issues”, one must remember that it is possible that those microscopic villi in the small intestine are being destroyed even though one doesn’t have symptoms. Celiac disease can be a silent disease. I agree, however, that eating out at a high end restaurant like Del Posto far would be far safer and preferable to eating at a restaurant chain that claims to serve GF food.

    Reply
  12. 12

    MooseMalibu

    Sigh… It is unfortunate that instead of choosing to not go to a restaurant because the risk is perceive too high they fly off the handle. Sigh.. I’m sorry Dude! I think we live in a culture where everyone has to be right and ‘agree to disagree’ is not in the vernacular. I appreciate this restaurant for trying. I would go to it should I ever have the opportunity – and I know it would be at my own risk.

    Reply
    1. 12.2

      GF and more

      Exactly Moose – no need for anyone to fly off the handle. I personally might think the risk is too high for CC, but that’s just my view for myself. I hate when people start spewing hatred at Dude for highlighting a restaurant that seems to be trying to consciously move beyond treating GF as a fad and towards something to be taken seriously.

      Reply
  13. 13

    GF and more

    I still wouldn’t feel comfortable eating there. As Chris mentioned above, it is the same extractor. And that aside, there is G in the restaurant. I see how busy and crazy restaurants can get, especially if there is a large group coming in or many patrons overall. No matter how well trained, mistakes and slips happen. Grabbing the wrong utensil when under pressure from a chef who is yelling that the food needs to go out or having a sous chef juggling 10 things at once… sorry, not for me.

    I hope that someday there are dedicated GF restaurants, no matter how small their offerings or capabilities, that can really serve us safely.

    Reply
  14. 14

    Kristy K. James

    Businesses in Michigan seems to be backwards in acknowledging food allergies. The only place I’m aware of is a pizza parlor/sort of short order grill/bakery that’s in one of the most heavily trafficked cities in the state, but at least anyone with gluten issues can eat there safely. The owner has had complaints from people who get mad because he refuses to allow gluten on the premises. This is one little family owned restaurant.

    There is a national Mexican food chain I’d like to call on the carpet. When I read about their restaurants being 99% gluten-free, I thought I hit the jackpot. Just avoid the flour tortillas and everything else on the menu is safe.

    Unless you order a taco.

    Both the flour and corn tortillas are heated on the SAME warmer. It’s a good thing the tacos are prepared right in front of the customers. As it was, when I saw only one warmer on their counter, I asked if that’s where they put the flour tortillas too. Yup. They sure do.

    The employee seemed surprised when I cancelled my order, and she certainly didn’t understand when I explained why. All I can say is I’m grateful I was able to see what they were doing, or I’d have been wondering what I’d eaten that made me so sick. What irritates me the most is that their website boasts of being 99% gluten-free.

    Maybe they’ve changed their method of operation since last summer. I don’t know because I’ve never been back. But it’s garbage like this that explains why I have only eaten in restaurants four times in the past nine months.

    I do want to give a shout out to Falsetta’s Casa Nova in Lansing, Michigan though. A family member’s graduation party was scheduled there last summer, so I called the week before to see if there was anything I could safely eat. Nope. They were sorry, but the risk of CC was high. So I asked if I could bring my own food and just pay them whatever an average entree would cost.

    The owner said absolutely, as long as it was homemade and not from a competitor. He also that I wasn’t going to pay them anything at all.

    The waiter offered to warm my pizza once everyone else got their food, but I declined the offer because I don’t mind cold pizza. And because – with all the flour flying around the kitchen – I figured the odds of CC from the plates and/or microwave were probably high.

    It doesn’t hurt to ask. Some owners will probably say not a chance. But my experience proves that some will have no problem with it … and that was the first time I tried. I haven’t asked anyone else because it’s just easier to eat at home.

    Reply
    1. 14.1

      Connie

      >Both the flour and corn tortillas are heated on the SAME warmer.

      I know which restaurant you are talking about, and clearly you did not tell the restaurant that you are a celiac. If you did, they would:
      1. Change their gloves.
      2. Put additional foil down on the line to make sure no crumbs get into your dish/on your taco.
      3. Put your taco tortilla in between 2 sheets of foil (top and bottom) and put an extra foil sheet around those to warm it.

      I’ve never gotten sick from any of their restaurants, and I eat there at least twice a week for years. And every location, no matter what state I’ve been in, has never objected to their own restaurants’ celiac protocol.

      I don’t know where everyone has gotten the idea that Michigan is still completely backwards when it comes to gluten free eating. There are many options now, it just depends on where you live. For example, these are some of my favorite places across the state (Charlotte Bakery-Grand Rapids, Hawk Hollow-Bath, Katharo Fields-Morrice, Babycakes coffee-Marquette, Greengos-Grosse Pointe Park, 8th Street Grill-Holland, Bobaloon’s-Escanaba, Brick Road Pizza-Grand Rapids, Cafe Kabob-Southfield, CK Meditteranean – Detroit, Bavarian Inn-Frankenmuth, Irontown Pasties-Negaunee, Mountain Town Station-Mount Pleasant, Slows Barbecue-Detroit, Cherry Hut-Beulah, Sugar Bear-Paw Paw, Toast N Jams-Muskegon, Blue Heron-Cadillac, WOW-Okemos, Rochester Mills Brewery-Rochester Hills, Amici’s Pizza (a few locations), G’s Pizza-Lake Orion,) – and those are just the ones I can find through a quick scroll through last year’s travels through Michigan.

      And those are just the one’s I can think of that have dedicated areas for cooking, not just adjustments. Some of them are even dedicated whole restaurants. And that’s not to mention Michigan is lucky in that it has Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Chipotle, so that there are “fast food” options available to us with items that are okay – and even better, that some owners have undergone celiac safety/contamination training (depends on the area, you just have to ask if they’ve done it or not).

      If any of those restaurants are not in your area, get on your advocacy hat! Start talking to your local restaurant owners. Get them up to speed on the certification programs are available. They can’t change/adapt unless they know something is wrong or serious enough to make them $$$.

      Reply
  15. 15

    Gloria @ glutenfreepoodlehome

    Unfortunately the only places with gluten-free only restaurants are in large cities or places that have a lot of gluten-free diners. My celiac daughter lives in Boulder Colorado and there are some totally GF restaurants there.

    Reply
    1. 15.1

      Diagnosed in 2013

      No question, this is a disease that limits where you can happily live. Large cities, eclectic/laid back places like Boulder, Austin, Portland OR, etc. I find Canada easier than the US overall – Toronto and Vancouver especially so. But small cities with limited food options to start, it’s tough at best. Head for the city!

      Reply
  16. 16

    Grace

    “That said, as he says, they’re a restaurant, not a hospital, so if you have very serious problems, they can’t guarantee complete isolation between ingredients unfortunately.”

    Ha ha! Hospitals are some of the worst places I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing for GF.

    What’s that? After being diagnosed with CD six months earlier, you’ve just come round from your follow-up gastroscopy to check your intestine is healing, you’re feeling groggy and confused from the sedation. Oh, but you need to prove you’re well enough to leave the recovery room by eating a (definitely not gluten-free) cookie…
    Well done hospital.

    Reply
  17. 17

    IrishHeart

    Oh, for pete’s sake, people. I have a lot to say, so bear with me (or not–I can’t make you read this) lol

    (1) “No question, this is a disease that limits where you can happily live.”
    Seriously??? I happily live wherever I am. What are you talking about?
    This disease does not limit me in any way. It’s not about how many restaurants I have in a 50 mile radius. I KNOW HOW TO COOK!
    And if you don’t…learn.

    (2) Corn is gluten free.
    AS IN ……FREE OF THE KIND OF GLUTEN THAT HARMS CELIACS. Period.

    (3) GMO’d anything…does NOT cause or contribute to celiac symptoms. READ THE SCIENCE about GMO’s before falling for the rhetoric from the likes of “that wheat belly guy,” etc.

    (4) Eat out… or not, it’s your choice!
    ….but I have eaten in restaurants that also serve gluten items, and the chef and staff took great care of my food and….

    (5) gee whiz, my biopsy back in August showed “healthy villi and no active celiac”. I healed my gut. I was dying from this disease back in 2010.

    Learn this one simple fact:

    THE EARTH is a giant “shared facility”.
    You may get glutened from time to time. Okay, yeah, it sucks. You may feel crappy (and I even lose some hair when it happens) but it will not kill you. UNLESS you completely destroy your villi and develop malabsorption which will only happen IF YOU CONTINUE TO INGEST large QUANTITIES of gluten ON A DAILY BASIS for a long time (that’s why a gluten challenge for a biopsy and elevated antibodies takes months!)

    My best advice to all celiacs is: if you really want to live a long, happy healthy life, learn the damn facts & read VALID info about REAL LIFE with Celiac and stop being afraid..

    Eat in places like this:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34346-d2460930-Reviews-Chef_Michael_s-Islamorada_Florida_Keys_Florida.html

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d425338-Reviews-Bistango_Restaurant-New_York_City_New_York.html

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g29512-d775836-Reviews-Tryst-Arlington_Massachusetts.html

    http://www.nakedoyster.com/

    I appreciate chefs like this! I want them to keep offering celiacs options. I would like to see the whining from ungrateful & uneducated celiacs to stop. Otherwise, no chef will even bother to try.

    Just my two cents. IMHO

    Reply
    1. 17.1

      Diagnosed in 2013

      I have to reply to point one. Not everyone is so lucky to have a family to come home to, to live in a place where their friends and family are, and some just aren’t born chefs. Coming home to an empty apartment and cooking every night is pretty bleeping depressing. Throw in all kinds of environmental allergies that limit socializing at people’s houses (actually, makes it all but impossible, a glutening is nothing compared to what happens to me around perfume, cats, cigarette smoke, etc.), and learning to cook doesn’t solve all the problems.

      Sorry, I don’t have much use for or belief in the existence so-called tough love, so I guess your post rubbed me as insensitive and unaware of the issues – Celiac sites should be about understanding and compassion. For many of us, yes, losing the ability to eat out and socialize means life kinda sucks. And that can’t be fixed by learning to cook. Sitting at home alone when you used to be able to meet people at restaurants, have a neighborhood bar, feel like you had a life…,that sucks every bit as much as celiac. Maybe more so.

      And for most people, social isolation is depressing. I’ve turned down a few offers to meet people at restaurants since I got Celiac – not one of those people has offered to invite me over, and why should they? A restaurant is a lot safer place to get to know people. Maybe it’d be different if I was in a place I’d lived for years, but I don’t, so I don’t know.

      Like it or not, restaurants are a huge part of social life, and restrictions on that have a massive impact on most people’s social life, which has an impact on happiness. I couldn’t care less if I eat gluten again, but the difficulty in meeting people in restaurants reminds me of the days when smoking was allowed everywhere. Once smoking bans came in, suddenly, I had a totally different social life, I knew far more people than before, and more importantly, I wasn’t excluded from social activities. I felt the exclusion, then the inclusion, then the exclusion. Inclusion is better.

      I’m glad I at least live in a place with some options. And besides, it’s not all about restaurants. I know GD has good luck with the whole foods diet, the truth is, I don’t have the ability to take two hours to prepare every meal and still work. There’s no Mrs. GD for me. So I’m glad I’m in a bigger place where GF foods, breads, etc., are available. If you’re in a small place, odds are that’s not the case.

      Reply
      1. 17.1.1

        Thankful For Whole Foods

        Hi “Diagnosed in 2013” – Wish I could come over give you a hug and cook with you! I was diagnosed in Sept. and have run the gamut – started out enjoying getting some new spices and recipes an then struggled with cooking and feeling way to overwhelmed to cook and all of it…very recently I found out I was very low vitamin D and supplementing that (along with some other factors) has put me back in the cooking mode. I work too. My goal is to keep cooking as simple as possible. Here are some things I’m trying. Maybe they might help?
        – Cook once and eat 2, 3, or 4 times. Every time I cook anything I make a lot of it and either freeze or fridge it. Tomorrow I won’t cook anything but toast- I have leftover ham and eggs in the frig to go with my GF toast for bfast, leftover taco meat and a bag of salad for lunch, and leftover meatloaf/steamed green beans and potatoes for dinner.
        -Google “simple gluten free recipes” – OR “10 minute prep gluten free” – here’s just one site and it’s pale stuff which means it’s all whole foods.
        http://www.lifemadefull.com/2014/02/07/40-paleo-meals-prepped-10-minutes-less/
        – Try a slow cooker. You might need to get up 10-15 minutes earlier but you’ll come home to dinner ready and your apt. smelling great and you’ll probably have enough for several meals!
        Not an ex-pert (ex is a has been – spurts a leaky faucet, just a fellow struggler hoping to help you out,
        Hope that helps some, TFWF : )
        P.S. GD and Irish – thank you sooooooo much for all of your time and effort on this blog. It has been a WORLD of help to me over the past few months!

        Reply
        1. 17.1.1.1

          Thankful For Whole Foods

          OOPS – not “pale” stuff but “paleO” stuff. : )

          Reply
          1. 17.1.1.1.1

            Diagnosed in 2013

            Thanks so much for the post – those are some great ideas! And for the record, I’m thankful for Whole Foods too!

            Reply
        2. 17.1.1.2
          1. 17.1.1.2.1

            IrishHeart

            Hi “Thankful”
            When I first started out, I was very ill and weak and cooking (something I love) had become a chore. My brain and reflexes were affected deeply, I had multiple deficiencies and I was not hungry because my GI tract was in flames…..but eating whole foods and making large batches for dinner gave me lunch the next day (and something to nibble as my appetite increased).

            Stephanie O’Dea has a great blog and cookbook for slow cooking.
            I wrote her an email thanking her and she graciously replied. There are dozens of bloggers who share their cooking wisdom and we are fortunate that they do.

            I am so.glad anything I may have said was helpful to you.
            Please call on me if I can help further. GD knows how to reach me or you can PM me on celiac.com
            Best wishes and hang in there!!…and I agree–whole foods are best! :) :)

            Reply
      2. 17.1.2

        IrishHeart

        OUCH! “insensitive and unaware of the issues “..I have never been accused of either of those before, but I am sorry if you feel this way.
        I assure you, I am neither of those, but perhaps you just do not like my direct & honest approach. No one has coddled more G F Newbies than I have. lol

        I wrote this thread for the newly diagnosed. Maybe it will help you
        figure some things out about food prep?

        http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/

        Cooking is not rocket science, hon. And I suspect you may enjoy it if you give it a chance. Women love men who cook.

        The science does not support GMOs being the reason for increased celiac.

        “There has been no scientific evidence put forward for a GMO/celiac disease link that is supported by the CFD Medical Advisory Board,” says Marilyn Geller, CDF’s CEO. There is no GM wheat on the market, so any gluten that is consumed comes from conventionally bred wheat.

        Plant geneticist Dr. Wayne Parrot, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia, says that Smith’s claims are based on a “handful of deeply flawed” studies and makes no reference to the 2000 plus studies from international, independent scientists that found that GMOs do not cause any adverse health effects.

        http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/12/05/jeffery-smiths-claim-of-rampant-gmogluten-allergies-rebuked-by-celiac-disease-foundation/#.UwNae1J93vE

        Best wishes to you!

        Reply
        1. 17.1.2.1

          IrishHeart

          and one more thought….I socialize at a local bar/restaurant.
          The view of the water is fantastic and this is where people I like — like to gather. I just do not eat the offerings from that particular menu and no one seems to care or notice. I eat before or after I go there. Food is not the focus.

          My point is…
          This disease is only as “isolating” as you make it for yourself.

          This is not tough love, as you call it….it’s just the truth.

          Do not wait for invitations, extend them.

          That’s all I got. :) This is our life and we have to make adjustments, I am afraid. Best wishes to you.

          Reply
          1. 17.1.2.1.1
            1. IrishHeart

              well, gee whiz, you sweet, funny girl..and right back at ya!
              are you coming down to Orlando??? :)

              Reply
        2. 17.1.2.2

          Molly (Sprue Story)

          Irish, I don’t find you insensitive or unaware, but I do think that “learn to cook, you’ll learn to like it” is an oversimplification of what really is a complicated social situation for people who don’t have the loving family to enjoy that home-cooked meal with.

          For example, people living with Craigslist roommates in a city where they weren’t born—like I was when I was diagnosed—might go from enjoying a dinner with friends several times a week to eating alone at their computer most nights. Even ordering in food with my roommates was no longer possible. Although before getting diagnosed, I had already enjoyed cooking and already aimed to make most of my own meals, this new feeling of being “forced” to do it sucked the joy right out of cooking for a long time. I knew it was what was right for my health, so I did it, but it was definitely depressing.

          Certainly there are other ways to socialize besides via food, but unfortunately our social lives are limited by what those around us want to do. If all of my friends are (or think they are) too busy to meet for anything other than dinner, then I either have to forgo seeing them, go out with them but not eat (and have to spend extra time/energy feeding myself later or earlier), or attempt to twist their arm into coming over to my home for dinner, which is not particularly in fashion these days and not especially convenient given how far I live from many of my friends.

          I’ve long complained about how few people enjoy dinner parties, and when I went gluten-free, I thought, “Well, now people will HAVE to come over for dinner.” But, in fact, they don’t have to; they have their own lives and can choose how to live them. Some of my friends have gotten into that, and I’ve also figured out other ways to spend time with them (which a little too often include me eating Pop Chips and hummus for dinner, certainly out of a lack of planning on my part, but who wants to spend all their time planning their next meal? It’s too much). But I’ve also just lost some friends. And sure, it’s all well and good to say, “then you didn’t need those friends,” but you do need SOME friends. Sometimes it’s better to have people to just spend time with (even if they aren’t your bosom buddies). And going gluten-free can make that harder.

          I don’t mean to catastrophize AT ALL. I feel pretty good about where I’ve gotten to with my own social situation, now that I’m some time in. All I mean to say is that it’s hard, for some people it’s really hard (even if, of course, there are hardER things that COULD happen and DO happen to some people), and it’s not fair to pretend it’s not.

          /Also diagnosed in 2013. Sorry to go on and on.

          Reply
          1. 17.1.2.2.1

            IrishHeart

            Molly, dear girl :)

            I do not pretend anything, I am a stark raving mad realist. lol
            I lost some “friends” when I was ill for 3 years. (yes, some people deserted us. It was devastating. I got over it eventually)
            Celiac comes with a built-in jerk-o-meter.

            It was ugly and awful…but I decided to regain my health and my life and to never, ever waste another moment of my life wishing things were different, wishing people were different, wishing that this never happened to me, wishing that people could be more understanding, etc. etc. No one owes me anything because I have celiac–and other food intolerances, BTW. This is not a cake-walk for me either.
            I just choose not to let it define or confine me any longer than it did.

            It does not mean I do not have sympathy for everyone who walks this path. And feel free to disregard anything I say, but never assume I am not sympathetic to the plight of celiacs who are trying to socialize. Think I like having to vett every single place I might like to go? I don’t, and I especially HATED losing spontaneity most of all—-but it is not the end of the world IMHO.

            I just view it differently, that’s all. :)

            Best wishes— as always!

            Reply
            1. Molly (Sprue Story)

              I don’t think we see things all that differently—the social consequence of celiac is something to be gotten through and dealt with over time, one way or another, and in most endeavors a positive attitude, if possible, is helpful. So no, it’s certainly not the end of the world. But it IS a sucky middle part of it! :)

              Reply
              1. IrishHeart

                Sucky indeed! :)

                I may also view things differently because I was so very sick and
                lost so much time that perhaps, I got past the “suck factor” a bit faster?
                I don’t know. I’m just talking with you here.

                You have every right to mourn, get mad, feel cheated and be pissed off
                but then, your attitude will determine what happens next. (this is the editorial “you” I am using here)

                Reply
                1. GF and more

                  Yes to all of this IrishHeart. You are amazingly supportive to all celiacs/GF-ers and I applaud your grounded views. Attitude really is everything, so much of celiac is mental I’ve found, and we can be just fine if we are ready to be. Might take some time, but it is worth it.

                  Reply
                  1. IrishHeart

                    “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way we cope with it makes the difference.” –Virginia Satir

                    I. LIVE. THIS. :)

                    Reply
          2. 17.1.2.2.2

            Diagnosed in 2013

            Totally agree Molly – and oversimplification is probably a much better word.

            Reply
      3. 17.1.3

        Else

        “restaurants are a huge part of social life”.

        True, but one can go to a restaurant and not eat. I’m one of those people that gets really sick for a really long time from a tiny bit of gluten, so I very rarely eat out as there are very few safe restaurants where I live. But I still go out to restaurants all the time. My friends eat, and I have a drink. I eat before I go or when I get home. I still get to socialize and I’m more relaxed because I don’t have to worry about whether I’m going to get sick.

        Food and socializing are strongly linked in our culture but sometimes we just have to change our mindset.

        Reply
        1. 17.1.3.1

          IrishHeart

          True, true Else. I just drink mostly when I am out socializing. Just kidding. (Not really) LOL

          I go to Bonefish Grill and all the other places I mentioned and I have been fine after.

          I do eat out when I think it’s going to be okay. I also have people to my house. I also have a few friends who took the time to read what I sent them and they cook for me–SAFELY. I gave them all flexible cutting boards that they use only when “Ginny is in da house!” :)

          Reply
        2. 17.1.3.2

          Diagnosed in 2013

          Problem is, I’m not really a drinker….. :(

          Reply
          1. 17.1.3.2.1

            IrishHeart

            then, drink a seltzer and go have fun. Chatting does not involve food or drink.

            Reply
            1. Diagnosed in 2013

              Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be welcomed at many restaurants around here. Because of the tax laws where I now live, most restaurants make little money on alcoholic drinks, and ordering food is often required (officially or unofficially) in the restaurant area. I suppose if I went as part of a large group (which I rarely do) they might tolerate it. In the past, I’d often go on my own or with a couple people, sit at the bar – believe it or not, I’ve met some of my best friends that way. But even then here, they’re often not big on you doing that without food for more than a half hour or so unless you’re drinking a LOT.

              The reality is, Celiac does make life harder in many ways, more so if you’re more on your own. It’s great it’s worked out for you, but not everyone is so lucky.

              Reply
              1. IrishHeart

                It seems no matter how many suggestions are offered to you to help you cope with your new reality,(which is probably why you are reading this blog) you have a negative response. I am guessing you are still in “this disease sucks mode” and nothing said to you will change that right now.

                Totally understandable. We have all been there/done that.

                But, there comes a time when you have to get past that or this thing will own you.

                I am sorry you think “luck” has anything to do with how a celiac copes in this world, hon.
                Luck has nothing to do with it.
                I am not “lucky” in many respects, and I will spare you my long story, but I know this: Your attitude speaks volumes.

                Get past this negativity, be proactive, learn to cook, invite people over to your house, join a celiac support group, take a walk in the park, do something…but please do not waste your time thinking this is a horrible existence just because you can’t eat while sitting at a bar.

                And FWIW, I met my husband….. at a bar.

                Get out there and live your life. I gave you my best “cheer up/realistic/ supportive suggestions and I do wish you all the best!

                Reply
    2. 17.2

      margaret

      Amen, Irish Heart (and thank you, GD). As usual you’ve hit the nail on the head (as my mom was fond of saying). When I was diagnosed at the end of 2010 I thought my life as I knew it had come to an end – I live in Europe (long-term expat) and my life style involved lots and lots of travel to the US and around the world, lots of socializing in restaurants, business dinners, etc. etc. Three years later I’ve discovered that yes, my life as it was then is gone but that my new life is also a life. We still travel, we still eat out a lot, we still socialize in restaurants. The tough part is the constant attention you have to pay ALL THE TIME: asking questions, explaining, just paying attention generally. (And I’ve discovered that the riskiest part of a restaurant meal is usually the dessert course – not the choice itself but the care the kitchen and the server take; somehow this is where they often get it wrong (even in upscale restaurants)).
      GD: great that you posted this video. Restaurant owners have to be educated and they ARE trying (many of them). I’ve had good experiences in Red Lodge, Montana; Frankfort, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; a diner outside of the east entrance to Yellowstone (the server even brought out the ice cream carton so I could read the label); Ann Arbor, Michigan; Anniston, Alabama and so on. The list goes on. Sometimes I get sick, yes, but you’ve got to live, right?
      And for anyone travelling to Europe: Italy is paradise for celiac, Spain and Portugal are great. France – very difficult. Holland – generally fine. And – farther afield – Malawi, totally unexpectedly terrific.
      But – to all the critical posters above – it really isn’t fair to blame the restaurants/servers all the time. There is a lot more awareness of celiac than (even) three years ago and it’s up to us to keep asking, explaining, paying attention, etc. (And that is the tough part. Sigh).

      Reply
      1. 17.2.1

        Gluten Dude

        Great attitude Margaret…appreciate it.

        Reply
      2. 17.2.2

        IrishHeart

        Margaret,

        One friend recently told me:
        “I lost 6 lbs. while staying in Paris for 5 days”

        Why? Because of the lack of celiac awareness( and read that as “refusal to believe in gluten intolerance” of any kind) and the many chefs’ refusals to accommodate her. She lived on fruit, veggies and macarons.

        I said “That sentence has never been uttered in the history of gastronomy!”. lol

        Lose weight in the starchy carb capital of the world where patisseries
        are on every corner? You can if you have celiac. lol

        Reply
        1. 17.2.2.1

          Kate

          Only if you don’t know about this place…

          http://www.helmutnewcake.com/

          or this place…

          http://www.noglu.fr/

          France is not as good as some places, but they’re starting to catch on!

          Reply
    3. 17.3

      Connie

      Amen Irishheart! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      That being said, I want to call out some great businesses that are fabulous in the Chicago area:

      Senza-high end restaurant at night, cafe in the morning (all totally gluten free) – Chicago

      Bountiful Eatery – more casual food, very tasty (all totally gluten free) – Chicago

      Sweet Ali’s Bakery – all gluten free bakery (they don’t even allow the staff to bring in gluten containing foods on break!) – Hinsdale

      Lady Gregory’s – best educated staff I’ve ever seen anywhere, and all gluten free dishes are marked with adorable American flags so they look normal. (Try the flatbread pizza and the white bean soup – best I’ve ever had outside of Italy).

      OMG It’s Gluten Free – silly name, great food! – Frankfort

      I think if we focus on the businesses that are doing it right, we do way more good than whining about the businesses that don’t.

      Reply
      1. 17.3.1

        IrishHeart

        I heart you, Connie! :)

        “I think if we focus on the businesses that are doing it right, we do way more good than whining about the businesses that don’t.”

        Reply
    4. 17.4

      MooseMalibu

      The Earth is a giant shared facility… true that G! ;)

      Reply
      1. 17.4.1

        IrishHeart

        J
        I would like to take credit for that one, but Peter Sawyer said that one years ago, and baby, he’s so right! I always give him due props. (should have said it earlier)
        xxG

        Reply
    5. 17.5

      GF and more

      So well put IrishHeart! Thank you for your comment putting all that out there. It really is about choice, choosing how we live and not being scared of every little thing while still being mindful of protecting our health.

      Like you, I’m happy wherever I live, because I am *healthy* and not in constant pain all the time. I don’t need to have special treatment or eat out at any place that I pass by or think that everything is out to poison me. Gluten is what we need to avoid, but all this about GMO or corn or other stuff making us sick is IMO verging on the extreme (if not there already). No need to make things so crazy. A few deep breaths, and I hope that people realize that as you say, we can be just fine.

      I choose a really low risk tolerance, which means that yes, I cook for myself and feed myself whole fresh fruit and veg as the base of my meals. And with that comes the understanding that because I chose such a low risk tolerance, I’ll not be able to eat out as easily as others. I’ve accepted that. While I wish there were dedicated GF restaurants around, I know that’s not going to be a reality in any large sense. So be it! I enjoy the social company of my friends and family, and I love hosting people to come over and eat my cooking.

      And like you I appreciate the efforts of places that are taking GF seriously, even if there are G products. They are moving towards treating this as a real health matter, beyond doing things just the surface or fad way. That should be encouraged, or else people will just give up. While I might choose a different level of risk for myself, I do think that they are doing a lot to support awareness of how to make dining out for celiacs/GF-ers more safe. The vitriol won’t do that – it just makes us look insane or cultish or paranoid, which we are not.

      Reply
      1. 17.5.1

        IrishHeart

        :So be it! I enjoy the social company of my friends and family, and I love hosting people to come over and eat my cooking.”

        Totally agree, GF and more!! :) :)

        Reply
  18. 18

    Diagnosed in 2013

    Also – do you have proof GMO has not changed anything? I’ve lived in a wheat growing area, known plenty of wheat farmers. And the fact is, the wheat today is different from 40 years ago. Part of that difference is gluten content is higher.

    Allergies are a mild form of autoimmune disease. And the way they work, if you haven’t been exposed to something, you won’t be allergic to it. It’s quite often that an amount of an allergen overwhelms the immune system, triggering the igE reaction in the first place. At that point, the allergy develops, and much smaller amounts afterwards create the same reaction – this is why those who move to a new place often get an “allergy holiday” for the first while if the vegetation is significantly different – but if the body is predisposed to igE reactions from allergens, the allergies will follow.

    Using that knowledge, it makes perfect sense to me that genetically modified wheat increased the gluten content (which it did, that much is known), and that more people struggle with that amount of gluten than the smaller amounts of years ago. It’s not all Wheat Belly science – yes, I’ve read the book and don’t understand the backlash, as there’s some very scientific data in there, but I’ve read dozens of books on allergies, Celiac, GMOs, not to mention internet research, much of which is medical and scientific based. I do believe the reason Celiac is more prevalent today is genetically modified wheat. As tests on frozen blood from past years have shown, the incidence of Celiac is about four times greater today than WWII – not the incidence of diagnosed Celiac, but the incidence of positive ttg tests (which were performed on the old blood). Something is causing a difference and has changed, that much is known – if you dismiss the GMO theory entirely, what theories do you propose?

    Reply
    1. 18.1

      Ken

      You seem to understand science, so you know that the burden of proof is on the claimant. Just saying “there’s no proof there isn’t” isn’t valid.
      Plants evolve. All life forms on the planet do, or they die out.
      Read this if you like:
      http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/12/05/jeffery-smiths-claim-of-rampant-gmogluten-allergies-rebuked-by-celiac-disease-foundation/#.UwNvZca9KSM

      Reply
      1. 18.1.1

        IrishHeart

        Ken
        That may be the same one I posted…..(above)great minds and all…
        :)

        Reply
        1. 18.1.1.1

          Ken

          Ooops… Great minds indeed.

          Reply
      2. 18.1.2

        Diagnosed in 2013

        But at one time, we didn’t know secondhand smoke was harmful. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t harmful.

        Point is, just because science hasn’t proven something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Science is ever evolving. It’s not proven true, it’s not proven false. And my personal belief is it’s a huge factor, if not the main one, in why Celiac is four times more common in today’s blood than the blood of sixty years ago. Until it’s proven or disproven, people will or won’t believe, based on their thoughts on the issue.

        True, there is not what is called “GMO” wheat on the market. But hybridized wheat has changed the gluten content, so from a gluten point of view, a change has taken place in most of the wheat we consume.

        Reply
    2. 18.2

      Erica

      But there is no commercial grown GMO wheat….

      Reply
      1. 18.2.1

        Audra

        Dr. Davis, author of Wheat Belly, does not claim that wheat is genetically modified. He specifically says that it isn’t – and that the term “genetically modified” has a specific scientific definition.

        He does say that today’s wheat is the result of hybridization, which has increased gluten and other proteins in the wheat to cause a 4-fold increase in celiac disease.

        He also says that hybridization is actually worse than genetically modified, as there is no human testing done on the new hybrids.

        Here is a link to his blog post about this. He also writes about this distinction in his book:
        http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/02/wheat-is-not-genetically-modified/

        Hope this helps everyone.

        Reply
        1. 18.2.1.1

          IrishHeart

          Really want to discuss Davis? okay.

          “Davis implicates hybridization as the source of the new toxic gliadin proteins. However, hybridization has been abandoned by the wheat breeding community as ineffective in producing economically useful wheat. The “hybridization experiment ” Davis cites actually is somatic cell protoplast fusion, which went through a series steps involving UV radiation (a powerful mutagen), protoplast fusion and tissue culture (also known to be factor causing mutation). Apparently, Davis doesn’t know the difference, or chooses to ignore the difference, of simple hybridization through crosses used in wheat breeding from somatic cell fusion hybridization. (Xia, G.M., Xiang, F.N. and Zhou, A.F. 2003. Asymmetric somatic hybridization between wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and Agropyron elongatum (Host) Nevishi. Theor. Appl. Genet 107:299). Both cell culture and UV radiation can cause genome variation. However, somatic cell hybridization is not a conventional hybridization approach used by wheat breeders. None of the wheat cultivars in the U.S. were developed via somatic cell fusion hybridization.

          There are no “new” proteins (gliadins) in commercial wheat that haven’t been present since wheat was wheat some 7,000 years ago. New proteins have been seen in research labs, due to mutagenic treatments of the embryo, to deliberately study the effect of altered proteins. None of these plants have been involved in conventional wheat breeding for consumption by people or livestock”.

          His assertion that “The incidence of celiac disease has increased”:

          “Celiac disease is debilitating and difficult to manage. It is a very real immune response to certain wheat proteins, mostly the alpha gliadins. In those afflicted with celiac disease, the villi of the intestines are essentially stripped-off due to immune response and obtaining enough nutrition becomes difficult for the patients. Diagnosing celiac disease is difficult and involves invasive biopsies and blood analyses. Analyzing blood for antibodies to the gliadin epitopes (the part of the protein that elicits the immune response) can identify predisposition to celiac, but a true diagnosis involves much more diagnostic work.

          “Wheat Belly” states that the rate of celiac disease has risen fourfold. This number was arrived at by comparing blood samples from military recruits 50 years ago with those of today. The actual rates were 0.2% and 0.9%. Indeed, a four-fold increase, but still less than 1% of the whole population (Rubio-Tapia, A., Kyle, R.A., Kaplan, E.L., Johnson, D.R. and Page, W. 2009. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology 137:88). Further, presence of the antibodies does not necessarily mean that celiac disease is present. Colonoscopic biopsy of the intestinal lining is required for a complete, confirmatory diagnosis.”

          “Another issue is that reporting of celiac disease has increased as more physicians become sufficiently educated to entertain celiac as a diagnosis in patients who suffer from digestive system problems. These patients represent the true celiac disease sufferers. Many more individuals self-diagnose and attribute digestive system problems falsely to celiac disease”.

          – See more at: http://www.thebestgrains.com/wheat-is-not-unhealthy-a-rebuttal-to-recent-claims#sthash.ThGyQgIG.dpuf

          Most of Davis’s claims have been debunked.

          Sorry. I am no fan of his….he once said “celiac does not exist”

          Reply
  19. 19

    GlutenFreeRobi

    I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We have been very lucky that a totally gluten free restaurant opened up here recently called the GF Diner. The owners are very strict regarding absolutely no outside food being let in. The food is amazing! I’ve been there twice now but figure why take the risk of eating out and getting sick at a regular restaurant now that we have this place in our city!

    Reply
    1. 19.1

      Gloria @ glutenfreepoodlehome

      Good for you. I hope all celiacs support them. Because they are probably doing it because they are passionate about it, but they are taking a risk and will have less profit.

      Reply
      1. 19.1.1

        GF and more

        Exactly! I’m too far away, but I join your hope that celiacs support them wholeheartedly and rate them positively on Yelp etc.

        Reply
    2. 19.2

      Diagnosed in 2013

      Be sure to give them a good review on sites like urbanspoon, yelp, that helps those places a ton these days! I looked up the restaurant, looks like a good place for us Celiacs!!

      My math skills are getting a test with all these posts. :)

      Reply
      1. 19.2.1

        GF and more

        :-) Math skills! Mine too, and they could certainly use the brush-up :-)

        Reply
  20. 20

    Diagnosed in 2013

    That’s great! GF restaurants seem more common in Canada than the US – I know of totally GF places in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto (five or six, including suburbs), Vancouver, and I believe Halifax. In the US, I’ve mainly come across them in Boulder (where there’s two or three), Portland (IIRC), and I believe one in Austin, Texas.

    Reply
  21. 21

    IrishHeart

    FWIW

    I review on Find Me Gluten Free. If any of you have good experiences with places, please review them on there too.

    The more we can share safe dining info, the better for us all.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  22. 22

    Melissa

    Personally, I’d eat there in a heartbeat. They “get it” on managing allergies. That is my choice and anyone else can make their own choice. I fell fortunate that I have had wonderful restaurant experiences for the last 2 years – the last time I got glutened was early in my diagnosis and I wasn’t asking the right questions yet. I know I am fortunate that I don’t seem to be ultra sensitive, but as long as my tests come back clean I will continue on as is – asking lots of questions, referring to celiac sites for restaurant suggestions, “Find me Gluten Free” when travelling, etc. What works for me may not work for everyone, but so far for me it does.

    On socialization – yes it can be a ROYAL PITA to coordinate, but I’ve made sure to have a list of local places that I am comfortable eating at and offer them as suggestions if folks want to go out. Or as a previous poster mentioned, I eat something before hand or bring something to snack on if attending a party or going to a bar where I’m not sure there will be something for me. Last potluck I attended I made sure to bring 2 dishes so I was sure I’d be safe.

    As for Wheat Belly, I read it, it had some interesting theories and while it would not surprise me if the changes in wheat over the last 50 years have *contributed* to the rise in celiac/gluten sensitivity, the book was SO anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence is not science, it is certainly a way to determine what science should attempt to prove or disprove, but it is not fact. There are too many factors beyond just wheat (or grains) in our diets and the ecosystem – chemicals, preservatives, etc etc etc could all be factors but anecdotes can’t/don’t look at the big picture. So while I don’t count out his theories entirely, I want to see real science done to back up his claims before wholeheartedly buying into it.

    Thanks Gluten Dude for the awesome website – I look forward to your posts. We all have to manage our disease the best way we can, which always means what works for me may not work for you or vice versa, but I am very appreciative of the community for sharing what works for each of us because it is awesome when it does work out.

    Reply
    1. 22.1

      Gluten Dude

      Well said Melissa…thanks!

      Reply
  23. 23

    Donna

    Dude, I can’t believe you brought this up NOW! How ironic! We went to Crab Shack on Valentines Day. Of course we figured I was safe ordering salad, clams, king crab and steak!! What an idiot I am!!!!!! Of course, I ordered off of the GLUTEN FREE MENU!!! Yup they have one! What does my salad come out with? Croutons! Mm hmm! She took it back and “Said” she would have a fresh one made! Yeah right! Ok….Didn’t believe it, but stupid me…instead of leaving at that point we continued with dinner! Next comes out my Dinner. King crab legs, and steak!!! OMG…yummy! I start eating the French Fries….what is under my F-ING steak???? Ok….ready? A slice of bread!!!! BREAD!!!! She took it back…I stepped outside to cool down—I was a little angry if you can imagine!–and within 3 minutes my meal was back!!!!! My husband ASKED HER if she removed the bread and brought the meal back and she vehemently refused that she did!!!!! To make a long story short…I got sicker than a DOG! I called to speak tot the manager the next day and told him that they should remove the gluten free menu from their options! Either that OR train their staff as to what GLUTEN FREE MEANS! I have Celiac disease! There is a myriad of other issues that result from ingesting gluten! ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I am so PISSED I could spit! But…thanks for listening GD!!!!!

    Reply
  24. 24

    John Licwinko

    Dear Dude
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do.

    I read that you had taken some heat (i.e., criticism) for this particular blog.

    I am sorry that you took heat. This blog was right on the money. Any restaurant that thinks there is a middle ground for gluten free meals needs to be made aware that there is no middle ground for gluten free meals. None. Your blogs make this clear. The video makes it clear.

    As the parent of a grown up child with celiac, I have witnessed and been part of the restaurant meals wherein we were assured of no cross contamination, only to have my daughter glutenized and being so severely sick that I am thinking emergency room.

    Even worse, is calling the restaurant the day after to advise them what happened, and there is really no satisfactory resolution and the restaurant has no idea of where cross contamination could have happened, etc.

    Any restaurant that advertises gluten free has got to realize there is no middle ground here, either there is no gluten or there is gluten, there is no such thing as a “small amount” of gluten.

    Because of your efforts, more and more restaurants and regular folks are understanding the binary nature of gluten contamination.

    Thanks for everything you do.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    And FWIW, often I will email people that you have identified as being irresponsible, for example, Rachel Ray and other uneducated celebrities. I do this to hopefully reinforce the message that you are putting out.

    Best regards,
    John

    Reply
    1. 24.1
  25. 25

    Becky

    Just a word of encouragement to those who are frustrated and depressed by lack of options for eating out–it can get better. Just in the four years I have been gluten-free, it has improved exponentially. (BTW, I react pretty quickly and violently to even a small amount of gluten, so it is pretty clear when I’ve been glutened) I live in Atlanta, which is a big city, so that helps (we have at least four dedicated GF bakeries within 20 minutes of me),but some techniques can work anywhere.
    The best advice I have is to develop a relationship with the owner/manager of a local restaurant who is open to learning about gluten free, as appears to be the case with Del Posto. When I was first diagnosed, the owner of a restaurant I frequented pre-celiac saw me start coming in and just having a glass of wine with friends–he asked why and I explained my situation. He made a real commitment to learning about gluten free, trained his staff (who are all long-time employees, which helps), and now I and many other celiacs eat there safely. He added hard cider to his beverage menu at my suggestion and it is now one of their biggest sellers. When I got married, we had our reception at another of his restaurants, and I happily ate and drank. An acquaintance of mine opened a restaurant recently, and he decided that all fried/breaded items would be made with cornmeal/corn flour exclusively, so that everything from the fryer is gluten-free. No one seems to notice the difference, except those of us who can now eat fried calamari in a restaurant.
    It takes time and work to develop relationships with restaurants and owners, but the benefit is that I now am a “regular” and can eat out with confidence.

    Reply
  26. 26

    Coffngrl

    I can’t be bothered to read all those comments, but I totally agree with this post. Even if the kitchen is extremely careful, as our local place is where the chef’s wife is celiac, and which has a GF menu and regular menu, the servers can some times make mistakes. I had one who served me the gluten version of a dish that contained soba noodles. Luckily I’d had it before, and I knew it didn’t come with noodles. I asked, and he assured me those were gluten free rice noodles. Suspicious, I sent the dish back and told him to ask the chef. It came back, redone with no noodles, but I got no apology from the server. I left a crap tip and a note. When I went back, I got the same server. When he recognized me he switched with another server!!!!

    Anyhow, there is a place in Durham, NC called Dos Perros that allows no gluten ingredients to be used in the kitchen. For the dishes that have gluten (one, the quesadilla, and the imported desserts) there is little chance of cross contamination.

    Until I get a few years into this and stop being sick every few weeks, I won’t try any Italian restaurants that offer GF versions because I do not believe they can keep it all straight.

    Reply
  27. 27

    Allyson

    Nice that Del Posto does GF dinner, too bad it will cost about $200 per person to enjoy it.
    When I go to their other venue – Eataly – there are only a handful of GF products.
    Risotteria has been GF since it opened and average people can afford to eat there. Their breadsticks are the best I’ve ever had. Pizza and dessert too.

    Reply
    1. 27.1

      IrishHeart

      Bistango and Freidman’s lunch–also good and more affordable.

      Reply
      1. 27.1.1

        Susan

        Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope is another restaurant that does it right! They have two separate fryers for gluten free and take allergies very seriously.

        Also, Bistango is opening up a second location on the UES in March! So excited!

        Reply
  28. 28

    John

    In a similar vein to this post, the Huffington Post had an article last week, “10 Things I Wish Restaurants Understood About Gluten Intolerance”.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brette-sember/10-things-i-wish-restaurants-understood-about-gluten-intolerance_b_6987668.html

    It’s worth reading in full but in short, here’s the author’s list of bugaboos, which touches on some of the things already discussed here:

    1. Restaurants with GF fare should have their menu on their website for pre-visit consultation.

    2. Dessert portion of menu should have as much selection as entrees, not just mostly ice cream.

    3. GF versions of non-GF dishes often amount to simply omitting the gluten part and creating a bland dish (e.g., lack of sauce).

    4. Getting unwanted bread added on top of a GF dish that must now be sent back and redone from scratch.

    5. Waitstaff unaware of GF status of specials unlisted on menu. [I’d say if they don’t know, then chances are they’re NOT GF. —J]

    6. If the whole table gets a bread basket included with their orders, a similar GF offering would be nice (which doesn’t necessarily have to be GF bread), even if there’s a charge for it.

    7. Supposedly GF dishes that contain gluten ingredients like malt vinegar, etc.

    8. Waitstaff unaware which menu items are GF.

    9. Don’t offer GF if you aren’t doing anything about cross-contamination.

    10. Too many dishes have gratuitous gluten when they could otherwise be enjoyed by GF diners.

    Oh, and when I said worth reading in full, I only meant the article itself — the reader comments might actually be best avoided.

    Reply
  29. 29

    cindy

    Try living in a small town in mid western Minnesota. I sometimes go to a restaurant in a small town near my home, and the OWNER is the chef, and she always puts gluten bread on the same plate as the gf salad I order, which is listed on the menu as gluten free. We have no restaurants or bakeries that are dedicated gluten free.

    Reply

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