I originally wrote this post on June 15, 2015. It’s still relevant in the fact that dining out is still a major undertaking. So much so, that I hardly go out to eat anymore.
When I decided to go gluten free almost a year ago, I sat down and had a talk with my husband. “Honey”, I said, ” I think I will have to give up gluten. Everything I have read points to that”.
“Ok”, he said, ” but I won’t be going gluten free. But I will eat whatever you cook for me”. Now that’s love! But sometimes I wonder just how easy it is to live with someone who can’t eat gluten or dairy. Especially when he is a carb and cheese addict. But he has adjusted. And he loves my new recipes.
When I first started out, date night became a whole new challenge. Our first dinner out to our favorite steak place went something like this:
We sat down and I said, ” I can’t eat gluten or dairy. “. The server literally tore the regular menu from my hands and brought me a gluten free menu. There were basically two choices-steak and salmon. So I ordered the steak- no fried onions, and the baked potato with no sour cream. At this point, I was still eating butter. Next was the salad bar. I knew most of their dressings were gluten free. While we were still eating the salad the entrees came. You guessed it-fried onions and sour cream. I removed the onions and scraped the sour cream from the potato.
I was a bit annoyed and I am sure my husband was too. I ended up calling the waiter over and letting them know I was not happy. The steak had been overcooked too. In fact, the manager brought my replacement dinner out to me and asked if everything was ok. Meanwhile, my hubby continued to eat his meal. Like I said, he is very patient and understanding.
You may not be so lucky. Here are some tips to help you avoid icy stares and daggers:
- Check the menu ahead of time. Nothing annoys people more than waiting for someone to decide what is safe for them to eat
- Go out to eat at non-peak times if possible. Wait and kitchen staff won’t be as accommodating when they are running about like chickens without heads
- Have a backup plan. They may be out of salmon
- Call ahead if possible to speak to the chef so that something can be prepared in advance
- Let your family know of your dietary restrictions ahead of time. They may not understand what gluten free means
- Bring your own food to family gatherings. This eliminates problems from the get go
Being gluten and dairy free is hard. It is much harder on your loved ones. Cut them some slack. Just smile and say, “pass the vegetables”.