Life is dangerous. People are out to get you. You should never leave your house, except to walk the dog and go to work. Why? Because they’ll poison you with gluten.
Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but, truthfully, it’s difficult to eat out if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. There’s good reason to be concerned about your food being “poisoned” with gluten. Fortunately, awareness of special dietary requirements is increasing and several restaurants are adding gluten free menus.
How do you find these restaurants? There are a number of websites and even a couple of books that list gluten-free friendly restaurants in the Birmingham area and wherever you may be traveling.
Triumphdining.com: The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide This book features 6,500 restaurants, has notes with information on cuisine and price for each one, and has over 120 gluten-free menus from chain restaurants.
Let’s Eat Out! Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free by Kim Koeller and Robert La France. This information-rich book gives advice about hidden sources of gluten, suggested menu items for seven different cuisines (American Steak and Seafood, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian, French, and Thai), and important questions to ask when ordering your meal. Good for traveling.
Glutenfreeregistry.com has a list of restaurants searchable by city and state. It features links to each restaurant’s website and gluten free menu (if available) as well as a rating for each restaurant based on customer reviews.
The reviews are an excellent source of information about specific restaurants, since even chain restaurants differ by location. Managers and staff vary in their knowledge of the gluten-free diet. Call the restaurant to assess the restaurant’s ability to ensure you have a gluten free meal. Don’t forget to add your own experiences, good and bad, to online review sites.
Tip to make searching for a particular restaurant or location easier: once you have pulled up the long list, press the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then the F key (while still holding the Ctrl key). This brings up the Find box. It may appear in different places in different browsers; it appears in the upper right of the window in the Google Chrome browser. Type the word you are searching for in the box.
Urbanspoon.com also has gluten-freely restaurants, reviews, pricing information, and some menus.
Glutenfreely.com has a webpage with excellent tips on eating out.
“Let’s eat out!”