Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gluten: It's not sugar

A rant and rave about restaurants

The rant

As a former waitress, I have nothing but love for my comrades in the restaurant industry. However, sometimes, people are really frustrating. Twice now, I've gone to a restaurant, explained to the server that I needed to maintain a gluten free diet. I have asked questions about specific menu items. I have said the magic words "wheat, barley, and rye" and yet, when I finish my schpeal, the servers have looked straight at me and said, "So, no sugar, right?"


I get that my order might sound a lot like that of a person on a low-carb diet, but come on! An Atkins dieter would not ask about the ingredients list or brand names for your salad dressing. An Atkin's dieter will not get very very sick if you drop a crouton in her salad.

The rave

Anyone who is or has eaten with a Celiac knows that going to restaurants can be a challenge. This weekend, I met some friends for dinner at a newer Mediterranean restaurant in town. That type of food is usually pretty safe and Aladdin’s even has a GF menu printed, so I went in with more confidence than usual. I still prepared myself for a dinner of lettuce drizzled in olive oil and vinegar (my fall back when nothing else appears safe), but was cautiously optimistic. I would feel better if the person I ordered from knew what gluten is… So, I spoke with the person behind the counter who immediately went to a cook and asked about a gluten free menu. It was apparent that this was not the first time they’d been asked and that they did have some sort of plan for feeding people who can’t have gluten.

The cook came over and discussed my options with me, which were far more than I had anticipated! In the end, I got a Greek salad with lamb. Wonderful, gyro style seasoned lamb. DELISH!

So, if you are Celiac, or a friend of a Celiac and want to choose a fantastic dinner place where everyone will be happy and where you will spend far less that you’d expect, go to Lavash in Clintonville. You won’t be sorry.

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