1. Search gluten free restaurants guides online
Eating out on a gluten free diet is
impossible not a challenge anymore. You can find on the internet a variety of guides which can tell you the best and most reliable restaurants to eat. For example, check out Coeliac UK’s online venue guide or this list created by Beyond Celiac with the best gluten free restaurants in USA. If you don’t find the list referred to your country, you always have the opportunity to have a look to Trip Advidor, where consumers use to give their opinion about whether a restaurant is really gluten free or not, based on their own experience.
2. Choose naturally gluten-free recipes
Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free: fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs, so use these as the basis to your meals. Foods that are just gluten-free versions of “normal foods” still aren’t very good, and instead if you look for recipes that are naturally gluten-free you can have something more delicious and safe. For example, eat ice cream instead of gluten-free cake. Remember not to take grains and cereal strictly out of your menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are some of the naturally gluten-free grains.
3. Know which alcohol to avoid
Remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Yes, we know that avoiding beer can be very tricky, as is the most common drink when eating out with family or friends. But nowadays, gluten-free beers are available in a fair amount of restaurants and they will serve it in a bottle, not a glass, so just make sure it is labeled in this way. If they don’t have gluten-free beer
you can be sad, you still having a variety of gluten-free options: cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs. Don’t forget Gluten-free soda, soft drinks, fruit juice or sports drinks, as alcohol is not the best if you have decided to drive.
4. ¿What’s cooking on there?
When you’re going out to eat, it’s helpful to know about the cuisine and where they might have hidden gluten. So at a Japanese place you need to ask about soy sauce and panko flakes, but at a French place you need to ask about sauces that are thickened with béchamel (mix of butter and flour)…etc, etc.
5. Make sure you receive the correct dish
The waiter that brings you the dish must be the same that took you the order. Even though gluten-free dishes have special features, like other colors or a pennant on the top to differentiate them from others, you must pay attention to this point. If you are in a place that has the gluten-free food well controlled, where the pizza is made in a different place and baked in special paper o aluminium dish, but the waiter brings you the wrong pizza, nothing is going to save you from a painful digestion.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask the waitstaff
Advice the waitstaff that you are celiac, they would be happy to know and could act consequently. Ask for the gluten-free dishes in the menu and for the ingredients that compound them if necessary. The biggest thing is to remember that even though waitstaff mean all it’s OK, you can keep asking questions or ask to speak to a manager. One more thing would be to double check with the waiter that the dish is indeed gluten-free.
7. Be aware of cross contamination
This is matter of importance for a celiac. Gluten traces can be almost everywhere in a kitchen and avoid this required of high qualified staff. This is why we recommend to attend places where you feel safe; gluten in not only in food, but can be hidden in cooking equipment too.
With these advices we don´t want to discourage you or make you stop going out to have dinner with friends, we only want to help you make good decisions when choosing your food in a restaurant. Keeping in mind these small details and following your gluten free diet can save you from some annoying situations.