Celiac Disease / Gluten Free Restaurants / Uncategorized

‘Dear Abby’ Takes On Gluten-Free Dining, Finally

As an avid reader of Dear Abby of all generations, Ann Landers & co., Miss Manners, Cary Tennis, and anyone else with a big mouth who wants to tell us all what to do — I was delighted to see the advice column address dining out etiquette in a gluten-free world. Here’s the dilemma:

Q. Dear Abby: I was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. My question is, when dining at a restaurant, while everyone else is eating the bread that is served, is it acceptable to discreetly take a few gluten-free crackers from my purse and snack on them so I’m not starving while waiting for dinner?

My husband thought it was inappropriate, so I didn’t take them. I did ask the waiter if he had gluten-free bread or crackers, but he didn’t. I have many medical issues. I try to eat only what is healthy for me and thought providing my own crackers was a minor deal. What do you think, Abby? — Gluten Intolerant in Florida

While Abby, or whoever is carrying on the Abby tradition, answered pretty much perfectly I think she might have held back in one particular area. That would be the area of, “Your husband is a douche, and you might be off your rocker.”

First the obvious: Your husband is a douche. Abby gave him the benefit of the doubt by saying perhaps he had “a bad day,” but I know what she really wanted to say was, “Dude, your husband sucks it.” While 100% Abby-appropriate, I would love to have seen her slap that guy down in a public forum. Which may be why I should totally be an advice columnist. I’ll call your husband a douche, no problem-o. I probably already do behind his back. Moving on.

“I have many medical issues.” Listen, I feel for anyone with many medical issues. But I’m wondering  just a wee bit, if this lady’s husband isn’t being such a jackass because pulling out gluten-free crackers isn’t the only thing this lady does in public. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt — especially because Celiac disease can come with lots of other issues. If that’s the case, I’m sorry for what I’m about to say: Maybe your husband really hates dining out with you because you’re the most embarrassing person in the world. I’m sorry, it just had to be said. However.

No one should be shamed for bringing in their own gluten-free crackers. If there is a cheese plate on the menu, you bet your ass I’ve got gf crackers in my purse. In fact, you can bet I’ve got gf anything on my person whenever I’m away from my home. But I never ask my husband if it’s okay. I just do it, because, you know, I like to eat cheese. Can I eat cheese without gluten-free crackers? I can, and I will. It’s more of a little pick-me-up in my purse when I remember to bring along a lovely cheese transportation device.

One more note. If you’re starving by the time you wind up in a restaurant — and it happens to the best of us — order a gluten-free appetizer right away so you don’t freak out and go all Taxi Driver in the middle of the establishment. That way you don’t have to dig in your purse for sustenance, and embarrass your douche bag husband.

You’re welcome, Gluten Intolerant in Florida. You. Are. Welcome.

Anyone else need some advice? Bring it.

18 thoughts on “‘Dear Abby’ Takes On Gluten-Free Dining, Finally

  1. I was pretty sure, when I got my celiac diagnosis and started looking for anyone “with a big mouth who wants to tell us all what to do” and is gluten intolerant, that someone whose blog is called “Gluten Is My Bitch” would have to be a favorite. I was right.

    Thanks. I like to be right; and reading your blog almost always makes me laugh and otherwise feel better. 🙂

  2. As for permission? My @ss! As for friggin forgiveness – NEXT YEAR!


    And, unless the hubby is going to skip eating any gluten during dinner to support his GF wife, – why would you ask him a thing????

    Just my two cents. Douche didn’t quite cut it for me.

  3. Not sure why wordpress decided it didn’t like my ‘k’s – so here it is – me trying to post my reply – again.

    Ask for permission? My @ss! Ask for friggin forgiveness – NEXT YEAR!


    And, unless the hubby is going to skip eating any gluten during dinner to support his GF wife, – why would you ask him a thing????

    Just my two cents. Douche didn’t quite cut it for me.

  4. Um, I’m sorry but I was distracted by the “Dear Abby” right beneath the Gluten-Free. O.M.G.

    Dear Violated: Unless your mother-in-law insists on sleeping between you and her son when she comes to visit, I do think you’re overreacting. What she did was give you a back rub. In most families, a gesture like that is one of affection. Lighten up!

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/08/3414896/dear-abby-bring-your-own-crackers.html#storylink=cpy

  5. I’ve brought my own snacks to the coffee shop before. I figure if I’m already spending half my monthly income on an adequate cup of coffee, I’m entitled to supply my own nuts and berries. Especially since they haven’t any snacks I can have (on top of wheat, I can’t have corn, so I really can’t have food out at all).

  6. Isn’t it already a pain in the ass to be gluten free at a restaurant when you have to ask about everything, and watch everyone devouring the bread bowl your mouth is watering for? I think the fact he’s eating delicious bread in front of her while she’s hungry is unacceptable. I don’t have strong enough words to express what I think of him.

  7. Found this while trying to figure out a menu for a weekend when a GF friend is visiting. I’d like to do a cheese platter, but the cracker/bread part of it had me stumped — you seem to really like your cheese platter, so would you mind sharing your favorite “gluten free cheese vehicles?”

  8. I appreciate the quick response, and apologize I posted the original question before I found that article. I will go get some of the crackers you suggested. Now — anything approaching a french baguette that is worth the effort to make? Just looking for the lazy-girl’s way out of trying a bunch of french bread recipes if someone can say “use this one” or “not worth the effort, none will work, stick to crackers.” Thanks again and I salute those of you who make this switch to gf permanently!

  9. The only bread that I’ve found that I love that is similar to a baguette is from The Sensitive Baker here in L.A. I have not yet tried them all yet, as I’m kind of over chawing down on crappy gf bread. One thing I do to replace a baguette when I make crostini is to fry polenta. I wrote a post on Cooking With My Kid About this — http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/appetizers/gluten-free-sweet-potato-crostini/

    Good for you for taking this challenge!

  10. Pingback: Sneaking Gluten-Free Food Into Hostile Territory | Gluten Is My Bitch

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