How to Order a Gluten-Free Meal at a Restaurant
The first thing to that to start earning more as most restaurants that have special gluten free meals always like to charge the earth and the moon for it! The reason is Internationally a lot expensive ingredients like almond meal, almond paste and a nut based ingredients are used. In India, the extra money is charged for doing it especially and most breads, cookies, cakes are made with pre-mixes bought from abroad.
Let’s start with some simple rules if you have been recently diagnosed with Celiac or gluten sensitivity I would recommend you take a break from eating out and allow yourself 3 months of home cooked food and let your gut heal.
Remember getting gluten free meal isn’t so hard it is the cross contamination that really effects your gut
In India 3 years ago, I use to feel so nervous taking Mannat out for a meal and the first time we went to 360 at The Oberoi’s as I could explain how I wanted the fish crumbed and the risotto done with a zillion instructions. The awareness levels were so little about “Gluten” it is always easier to explain by saying no wheat(Atta) or flour(Maida). Today, most restaurants in hotels understands “Gluten Free”, some free standing restaurants like Town Hall have a gluten free menu in New Delhi.
The best places to dine if you are on a gluten free diet are Japanese restaurants, Continental Restaurants and Coffee Shops. The reason being you want food that can be done in a simple style. You should avoid all the junk food places that serve hamburgers, pizza’s, Chinese/ Thai restaurants.
Beware of hidden gluten in “Soy Sauce”, Corn flour, Icing Sugar, Baking Powder, Vinegar refer my earlier article ……
Couple of tips to follow when you dine out:
Check the restaurant menu when you receive it for a “Gluten Free” meal or ask for a gluten free menu.
Always order food that is naturally gluten free example a Grilled Fish Steak, vegetables and jacket potato or a risotto with vegetables.
Always order your food with the Head Chef or Manager so that you can explain that no cross contamination, use separate pans. Tip: tell the chef to boil some water in the pan and allow it to evaporate before making your dish, no dusters, avoid chopping boards.
Avoid foods that have sauces as all sauces have thickener’s made with flour.
Avoid food that is being processed close to any bread/ wheat.
Remember just because a restaurant has a “Gluten Free” menu doesn’t mean it is 100 percent gluten free. Restaurants don’t understand cross contamination and don’t know hidden gluten in ketchup, vinegar, sauces.
“You are what what you eat eats.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto