I have just posted a few chain restaurants that offer a gluten free menu.While I know most of us who have been eating gluten free for awhile realize that almost every dining establishment menu has safe possibilities.The biggest concern is cross contamination.If you are a true Celiac ,then I would strongly suggest you talk with the restaurant manager before ordering to discuss the level of your intolerance so they can monitor how your meal is prepared.

Don’t take anything for granted when placing your order ! Something as simple a grilled fish or chicken could be dusted with flour before seasoning.I personally encountered this and ,trust me when I say it ruined my evening.

I look at the whole dining out venue in categories: Safe,no brainier,Middle of the Road American,better be careful and OMG , nightmare Italian and French.

Overall Asian Cuisine is your friend ! This is in my safe , no brainer as it offers many selections that are gluten free as well as vegetarian.Within the Asian category Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese. They have the easiest menus as most selections are rice noodles, rice paper wraps, sushi,miso soup as well as of course rice.They generally use corn starch to thicken , but of course  always ask !!! Great choices are Pho’,steamed vegetables with your choice of protein, rice noodle dishes such as Pad Thai and summer rolls.

Next the Middle of the Road American : Mostly what I have covered in the guide below as well as family owned restaurants.This category tries to make  accommodations and has come along way in the last few years.It can be difficult because of the cross contamination issues, sauces and of course our biggest deal breaker …bread.I always order a “protein” style sandwich i.e. the lettuce wrap and stay away from soups unless you can get a” Scouts Honor” from the manager or your server.

My last and final category the OMG Nightmare. It goes like this: Overall Italian,French and Breakfast Joints are the most difficult.We are talking here about sauces,pastas,bread products everywhere ! My best suggestion is to call ahead if possible to discuss your options. Next with regard to ordering , if a gluten free pasta is available go for it.Just be mindful that toppings like meatballs and even sausage can contain gluten.Another safe choice is a grilled meat or fish with a side of vegetables and risotto.

I cannot stress enough : When in doubt …ASK !!!

to be continued…Image