Home The Gluten Dude Forum Restaurant Reviews Success with Find Me GF?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  The Brewer Formerly Known as Beer 2 weeks ago.

Success with Find Me GF?


  • SoFloCeliac
    Participant
    SoFloCeliac

    Has anyone had any negative experiences with places you’ve found having a high rating on Find Me GF? It’s typically my go-to in order to vet places – but thought i’d get others experiences.

  • kjanderson
    kjanderson
    Participant
    kjandersonkjanderson

    I just used it for our trip to Mackinac Island. We went to the highest rated place and although they talked like they knew what they were doing, they didn’t and I was super sick for the next 24 hours. But, I also went to one of the lowest rated places and I got spectacular and safe service from a dedicated GF kitchen. So, I think I’ll use it as a good place to start, but not take it too seriously. It really is too bad, because the concept is awesome.


  • Dezmae
    Participant
    Dezmae

    I use it, and havent had any problems with the places I’ve been to so far. I’m still cautious tho.


  • sparkles
    Participant
    sparkles

    I use the app all the time when I travel. I have found some really great places that can accommodate my needs that I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered. I only go to places that are rated highly and that have comments that mention Celiac disease specifically and that the person had no issues. When I leave reviews I always mention that I have Celiac and if I had a reaction or not.


  • jsullivanCD
    Participant
    jsullivanCD

    It has been a Godsend to me! The reviews are usually spot on. I do not eat at the place unless it has several good reviews. I have found many great restaurants through this app.


  • Hulagirl_Tiki
    Participant
    Hulagirl_Tiki

    I use this and Yelp. I find on Yelp there are a lot of non-celiac GF people, or people that state oh that have GF options but didn’t actually eat GF. Find Me Gluten Free is not as easy to sort and search as Yelp, so I use the two to cross reference. I have had success with this method and also mix in chain restaurants with the local places to get a few places in on trips that I truly feel safe at. I wish the App had a better way to search and sort out multiples of chain places in cities. Most cities have dozens of Chipotle locations, but I won’t eat there anymore as they have such a high cross contamination risk and instances of it.


  • Snowflakes
    Participant
    Snowflakes

    Anyone can post to FindMeGlutenFree. So one really still needs to do one’s own due diligence.

  • kjanderson
    kjanderson
    Participant
    kjandersonkjanderson

    Word of caution: A few months ago I had a run-in with the “clever minds” behind Find Me Gluten Free (FMGF). I posted an honest review of a restaurant I visited and made me sick. I wasn’t even snarky, just explained what happened, what I ate, the symptoms. My review was deleted and I got a message from FMGF who said my experience was not possible because this was a reputable restaurant.

    I contacted FMGF offices directly and they then went on to explain that if negative posts about gluten-free businesses were allowed then it would affect the entire industry. Huh?

    They put me in touch with the restaurant owner who refused to tell me where their ingredients were sourced and then dismissed my complaint.

    Turns out that this restaurant is a BIG DONOR to FMGF.

    All I can say is research everything yourself and then ask more questions about where ingredients are sourced (look for dedicated gluten-free processing facilities) and then know that trust is a funny risky thing for us celiacs.

  • The Brewer Formerly Known as Beer

    I’d really hate to find out that they are using the practices of Yelp. I tend to be in areas where there aren’t many options. Hopefully this is not happening. I’d hate to think about how many people are getting poisoned due to restaurants paying fees for critical review removal and better rankings.

    There are a few key points to using the app.

    1. Check the reviewers. Mostly ignore the reviews from non-celiac’s (I assume that NCGS individuals register as Celiac or state NCGS in their review). They don’t have the physiological responses, so they have no way of knowing or judging contamination risk, or blatent disregard for that matter, if the staff knows the right things to say or responds with confidence to leading questions. They are good for evening out the rating for food quality. We can get overly excited about a safe place without judgement from the wait staff and forget that food should taste good too.

    2. Actually read the reviews. Read with a critical eye. Determine which reviews are valid and which ones should be taken with a large grain of salt. Also check the review dates. Staff turns over and practices/vendors change over time. A favorite place can go down hill.

    3. Check the website if the reviews look promising. If there are few accomodating restaraunts in the area, a medocre risky place may get rave reviews. Comparing one restaurant that results in moderate gastrointestinal distress compared to other area restaurants that typicaly result in severe responses may result in overly optimistic and positive reviews. A basic salad and unseasoned chicken that doesn’t make you sick is amazing if every restaurant visit over the past few years has felt like you just ate a bag of wheat flour.
    You can get a decent idea for how the place actually treats GF and Celiac’s/NCGS. Check for a FAQ or GF statement. Some places clearly don’t get it, others are up front and honest (was never really a fan of Panera, but greatly appreciate their honesty about the cross contamination risk and their recommendation for avoidance for individuals with Celiac’s or moderate to severe gluten sensitivity).

    4. Avoid any place that you will be eating from a buffet or if the staff uses an assembly line process (yes, this includes delis and Chipotle (Moe’s doesn’t get it and doesn’t care)).
    The risk of cross contamination is too high. Even if they change their gloves and wipe down the line, it does nothing to eliminate the gluten from placing items on wheat tortillas and bread, then placing them back in the bin, or seperating slices from a stack with gluten covered gloves before the glove swap and wipedown.

    It is a bit tedious and takes a bit of time, especially if in a new area, but it is time well spent. Just glancing at the star rating isn’t useful for more than a cursory glance. The addition of the percentage of people with Celiac’s that rated the place as safe is gery helpful

    The app does let you filter out chains. Both by specific and in general.

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