Dining out gluten free can be challenging, but it is definitely doable. It’s essential to advocate for yourself whenever you go out to eat. Don’t take anything for granted: recipes, practices and the staff’s level of knowledge are all things can change from one visit to the next. Always inform your server of your dietary needs, and ask about the steps they take to prevent cross contamination. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a manager, and ask the waitstaff to inform the chef.
Ask about fryers: if anything breaded (chicken tenders, fish sticks, onion rings, etc.) is cooked in the fryer, gluten free food can become cross-contaminated. Some restaurants do have dedicated gluten free fryers or can cook items in a separate pan of oil.
When ordering egg dishes (such as scrambled or omelettes), ask whether they add any batter to them. Some restaurants add pancake batter to make the eggs go farther.
Ask whether there is a separate grill for gluten free foods. If there isn’t, request that your food be placed on tin foil; this allows the food to cook without actually touching a grill that may be contaminated.
Some restaurants boil vegetables and other items in the same water as their wheat pasta. Request that your food be boiled separately. Because this can take longer to prepare, either call ahead, or order it first thing, along with your drinks.
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