Tips for Eating Out  (Simplified from GIG’s Restaurant Dining Tips)

  1. Selection of restaurant
    1. Could language be a barrier? Is there large turnover in servers? Inexperienced servers?
    2. Make sure you have time to explain your diet and restrictions.
    3. Consider calling ahead if it’s your first time to this restaurant.
  2. Dine early or late
  3. Explain restrictions briefly (You can also carry a restaurant card that explains this.)
    1. “Hi, I made need help with the menu. I have a medically restricted diet and I am gluten intolerant so I can’t eat wheat, barley or malt, rye or oats.       Also, my food should not come in contact with anything that has gluten in it.”
    2. “I would like to order the fish. Is it breaded or marinated? Can I have it grilled with no sauce? Can you make sure the grill has not been used for something breaded?”
  4. Potential questions with menu items:
    1. Salads – Does dressing have wheat or malt? Can you leave off croutons?
    2. Marinades/seasonings – Is it made here? What is it marinated in? Soy sauce used? Thickened with flour?
    3. Soups/Sauces – Is it made here? Soy sauce used? Thickened with flour?
    4. Rice/potatoes – Is it pure rice? Confirm it’s not rice pilaf. Processed frozen potatoes can have wheat added – ask about fries, hash browns, etc.
  5. Contamination:
    1. Cooking surfaces – confirm that they are not putting items on a cutting board just used for slicing French bread, grilling an egg where pancakes are made, etc.
    2. Fried Foods – is oil used in frying same for breaded and non-breaded items? French Fries and Onion Rings
  6. Confirm that the meal you ordered is the one being served. “Is this the gluten free salmon?” Some servers will do this automatically, but it’s good to check.
  7. THANK YOUR FOOD SERVER! Especially if you get good service.
  8. Return to restaurants you like – they will get to know you and treat you well!