It is very easy to focus on the difficulties of keeping to a gluten free diet, particularly when eating out. However you can also discover that being on a special diet can have huge advantages.
I was on a recent business trip staying away from home, working as a facilitator/ trainer. Delegates were asked to choose lunch and dinner from a rather restricted menu.
I on the other hand was invited to choose from the A la Carte menu.
At the first lunch time there was no suitable desert. I spoke to the waiter and asked that there should be something more exciting than fresh fruit for the evening meal. From then on every meal a “creation” each more interesting than the last appeared amid oohs and ahhs from the assembled company. As they were of gigantic proportions my table were happy to share in my gastronomic delight.
I accept you have to wrestle with the issue of being ‘different’ but at times it is rather nice to find that the difference leads to an enjoyable difference rather than watching everyone else tuck into something scrummy whilst I get the boring option.
There are a few principles to ensure you get good service from a restaurant:
- Talk to the staff and make yourself known when you arrive
- Smile and engage rather than demand
- Explain what you are able to eat and what to avoid
If things go wrong (and they will!) explain politely that what has been served will make you very ill. Ask them to completely replace with something safe rather than take the offending item off the rest. An example of this happened last week when a selection of sorbets came up with a biscuit. A quiet word with the waiter meant it was whisked away and a completely new sundae appeared very quickly.
Always thank people for their help. It will make them much more likely to go that extra mile for you if you return and for the next celiac who walks through the door