Gluten free restaurants – NOT

This weekend my “in-laws” are coming to town and my partner asked me to find a “safe” restaurant that we can all go to and eat. But is any restaurant ever safe?

The risk of cross-contamination that will leave me sick for a week is so high, that frankly, I’m scared to even try. It complicates matters that I can’t have grains that are listed as gluten-free safe, but aren’t safe for me.

Even if they have a “gluten free menu” most places don’t even know about cross contamination let alone how to protect against it.

I have tried gluten free pizza at a wide variety of places. 9 out of 10 times I have a reaction. I always thought it was me. But now that I am learning about what it takes to be truly gluten free, I am realizing that those places all cooked the gluten free pizza on the same pans in the same oven as floured pizza. Yeah. Hard to be gluten free when the food is touching things that are saturated with gluten. Hence the whole California Pizza Kitchen pulling its gluten free pizza until they can figure out how to process it with out contaminating it.

I had always thought Japanese food was safe, but I never really thought about how much gluten is everywhere in that food too. Soy sauce, of course, is in almost everything. Most american Japanese restaurants have tonkatsu, udon, tempura, etc in the kitchen, which can then leap from cutting board to knife to my food. And western food and ingredients now permeate the food, like curry rice, one of my favorite dishes, is thickened with wheat.

What’s a girl to do?

I’ve been cooking from home now since August 3rd, almost one month. The only times I have gotten sick are the two times I stayed at somebody else’s house (even when I was cooking all of my own food). And each time I’ve gotten so sick I’ve missed work.

All this has gotten me thinking. When I first heard about the (remote) possibility of a cure for gluten sensitivity, I thought no I wouldn’t take it. Why, when eating gluten free has made me eat much healthier (and cheaper!) at home. When I’ve gotten a lot of gifts of meditation and awareness from the process.

I’m not saying I’d go back to wheat, or eating poorly, or eating out all the time, but right now, if somebody offered me a way to go out to eat with my beloved partner and her family?

Hell yeah I’d take that.

One thought on “Gluten free restaurants – NOT

  1. Curry thickened with wheat??? That’s something I hadn’t expected, but then again, I’m not so familiar with Japanese curry. Thanks for the heads up.

    Curry is one of my favorite gluten-free dishes and often the only thing on the menu that I can eat on the rare occasions I eat out. But that’s usually southeast Asian style curry where they thicken with coconut milk. If you’ve never had it, the coolness of the coconut milk goes perfectly with the heat of the spices. And it’s not all that difficult to make either. 🙂

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