Friday, September 28, 2007

Restaurants and Eating Out

Eating out will always be difficult for people living with celiac disease. My goal is to provide factual information that will allow people to make informed decisions on local restaurants that are or attempt to be gluten-free.

Cross contamination in the kitchen can occur when eating out. You need to be VERY careful. You can still have eaten gluten and may not have any outward reaction, so please be careful.

The information shared on this website will have come from myself and other fellow Celiac's experiences.

Eat out if you must, but always call ahead and talk to a manger and explain that you have celiac disease and cannot consume any gluten whatsoever! Remind your waitstaff of your condition and express your concerns about cross contamination in the kitchen etc. You will be able to tell by your conversation whether or not the restaurant can accomidate your needs. Trust your instincts and if you get a bad feeling, leave.

These reviews are based on my own personal experiences:

I give the following restaurants an A+ for knowledge of the disease, a gluten-free menu with variety, and great tasting food: Daluciano's.

I have dined at PF Changs in Chicago last year for the annual University of Chicago Celiac Disease Fundraiser and I have also visited the Orland Park restaurant. I highly recommend the GF lettuce wraps. I give them an A-/B+.

Ted Montana's Grill in Bolingbrook gets a grade of B. They did have a gluten-free menu, but it was missing and someone had to search for it. The menu choices were limited, but the waiter was very attentive and even asked me if I wanted the chef to come out to talk to me.

Red Robin offers a bunless burger and gluten - free fries. I have eaten at several, but the service varies. They never have a gluten free menu available! Download your own from the internet. The menu is limited so they get a C-/D+.

I have never had a good experience at the Naperville Outback Steakhouse . I have gotten sick twice! I'm not sure about the others in IL, but I will not dine there again. The servers did not have a clue about what the word gluten meant, even though I was assured by the manager before I walked in the door that I would be taken care of and that I shouldn't worry. They also did not have a GF menu ready when I arrived, even though I requested that it be there upon my arrival. I give them an D-/ at least they attempt to be gluten-free.

I have not tried Adobo, Biaggi's or Vinci's yet. Fellow Celiac's that I trust have all had a positive experience.

I know there are many more restaurants in the Chicagoland area that I have yet to try. I will find you! Beware- I am very truthful and will always come as a secret diner. ~Lori