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Tips For Dining Out On The Gluten-Free Diet

By Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN
Nutrition Coordinator, Celiac Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Avoid ordering fried foods, such as French fries or taco “basket” shells at a Mexican restaurant, which are fried in the same oil as battered foods or coated fries.

Check to make sure that liquid eggs held in a buffet line for eggs-to-order are not mixed with wheat flour (to keep them from separating).

Ask your server to request that the cooks change their gloves and use a clean skillet and utensils to prepare your food.

If you don’t feel that your needs are being met, ask to speak with the chef or the manager. Carry a restaurant card (available from several of the national celiac support groups and online) that lists safe and prohibited food.

Rice and corn-based cuisines, such as Japanese, Thai, Indian or Mexican, usually have many more naturally gluten free items available than American fast food or standard fare.

If you are with a large group and you prefer not to draw attention to your special diet, order your meal last so that table conversation is flowing and you can take your time. Or excuse yourself and have your conversation with the chef or your server near the kitchen.

If you’ve had a wonderful meal, tip generously, thank the chef and server personally, and tell the restaurant you plan to share your good experience with fellow diners, the local celiac support group and your clinicians. As restaurants are alerted to the needs of those with celiac disease, gluten-free dining out will be more and more enjoyable.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
http://www.bidmc.org/celiaccenter
For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted March 2009

About John Libonati

John Libonati
Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com & The Gluten Free Works Health Guide. Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
  • Denise says:

    For Mexican food, always ask if they add flour to the enchilada sauce or in the mexican rice seasoning, i have gotten into trouble many times on this.

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