Is It Getting Easier to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road? | Triumph Dining

lv-signIs it just me or is it getting easier to eat gluten free away from home? When I went gluten-free I’d pour over menus and ingredients at restaurants trying to determine what was in there. I’d explain that I couldn’t eat the croutons because I’m gluten free and they’d say, ‘great’ then offer me cookies for dessert. Clearly clueless.

Lately, though, that seems to be changing. Now I can ask for a gluten free menu and the staff is educated enough to inquire about how sensitive I am. I had a conversation with the host at McCormick and Schmick’s in Illinois about which items on their gluten free menu were below the 20 PPM as designated by the FDA. I’ve had the chef come out from the kitchen to tell me (unsolicited) that the soup should be avoided because it started with a roux. I learned that butter cream frosting at a bakery that my family likes is gluten free but only for certain flavors.

While visiting Las Vegas for work, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House knew exactly the tweaks necessary to make my shrimp and grits dish gluten free. They even knew that I was gluten free from the notes added to my reservation and were able to proactively provide ideas on what they could do.

On that trip I also went for sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. I had called ahead so I knew they offered a few varieties of soy sauce, including one that was gluten free. They were able to put the sauce to one of the dishes on the side for us so that people who wanted it could dip and I could do without. The thing I learned there, however, was that their sushi rice was NOT gluten free! I’ve made my own sushi before and though I’ve been following this lifestyle for years I honestly hadn’t considered that rice would contain gluten.

Please take this as a warning to ASK about what goes into sushi rice next time you decide to order sushi. Apparently this establishment used a malt based vinegar and/or soup stock in some of their rice. The restaurant was very accommodating, however, and I was able to stick to sashimi, steamed rice and veggies with the gluten free soy sauce. Years ago they wouldn’t have known what gluten free was, much less opened my eyes to a hidden gluten!


5 thoughts on “Is It Getting Easier to Eat Gluten-Free on the Road? | Triumph Dining”

  1. I even found #GF pita from Rose’s at my local pita bakery and store. I was so surprised! Pleasantly of course.

  2. Maybe but restaurants dont still know where gluten can be hidden in many things some restaurants have gotten better but some havent and as for other food allergies. Some still dont know about food allergies. Gluten maybe but I eat grain free and that is a challenge for many places and they dont know like milk..included in milk is butter or cheese. Not sure why..

  3. I always ask if they use water, a dash, or anything else when cooking the rice. I hadn’t considered that the vinegar used to make it sushi rice would contain malt. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Thankfully, the best sushi place here is quite knowledgeable about gluten free needs, and even keeps a bottle of gluten free shoyu in the back.

    While many chain restaurants are becoming more aware, and adapting to customer needs, if you’re traveling through areas without these options then small mom and pop joints are less likely to know about gluten free needs. It’s usually higher end restaurants that have the space to prepare food separately, and that usually offer options. Sadly, lower price places don’t often have gluten free knowledge, experience, or options.

  4. My husband is so afraid to eat out including the places that offer gluten free……such as a fast food pizza place that advertizes. We eat at home for fear places cannot be trusted. We live in a town I am afraid is not all that prepared for gluten free food.

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