If you’ve been given the celiac disease diagnosis, you’ve most likely gotten your hands on The Gluten-Free Bibleby Jax Peters. And if you’re like me, you thought, “Lady, there’s no way in hell I’m marching into an Italian restaurant with my own bag of gluten-free pasta and asking them to cook it for me, only AFTER they’ve cleaned the pot.”
This advice, and many other suggestions, fly in the face of my ability to enjoy an evening out at a restaurant. You see, I like to make sure everyone is comfortable — and that includes the wait staff. I never send anything back, and I always make requests with a smile. Part of it is the fact that I’m not 100% comfortable with people “serving me,” especially people who don’t make a heck of a lot of money. I also have this unnatural fear of people spitting in my food — or worse. So dining out gluten-free has been incredibly uncomfortable since I’m no Jax Peters. But I just learned my lesson, the incredibly hard way.
I’ve been testing out the “Hi, I have a gluten allergy. Can you tell me if the short ribs will kill me?” at a few restaurants here and there, but I’ve also just taken great big leaps of faith. I’ve been incredibly lucky, and I admit, I also thought maybe I didn’t really have this gluten allergy after all! Until last week when I had a pork chop which didn’t seem to have any hidden gluten, but since I didn’t ask . . . Well, it’s been a rough week, celiac-wise.
Which means, going forward I’m going to be that PIA customer. I’m going to have to always ask about the gluten, and pray they don’t take out the gluten and add a great big loogey in its place. I’m going to have to bring my own gf crackers to dinner parties, and probably eat before-hand just in case I can’t bring myself to tell the host about my dietary restrictions. (Ugh, really? I have to be one of those people?)
This does go well with my personality. But neither does being sick for an entire week because I was too much of a wuss to ask the waiter one simple question. Phhhpt!
GF- eaters: How do you navigate restaurants and dinner parties without being a total a-hole?
Image via Ralph and Jenny/Flickr