For all of those chefs, owners, managers out there please learn about celiac disease as one of the 8 common food allergens. If you don't have the time to learn and a patron calls to ask if you have a GF menu just say no, we can eat elsewhere.
You can check out The Celiac Disease Foundation and a local site Gluten Free in San Diego.
Those places that are GF friendly usually offer a separate menu. This takes away the issue of dealing with a wait staff person who does not fully know the menu or is not educated on Celiac Disease. Nothing makes the restaurant look worse than when the waiter recommends an item that clearly contains gluten after being told that I have celiac disease and can only eat GF foods.
We are not on a fad GF diet but it is a treatable disease by avoiding all gluten. This even means cross contamination. That means nothing in the fryer unless you have a dedicated GF fryer. Hand washing, cleaning knives and utensils to serve the food are essential to prevent cross contamination.
When the staff know the menu and understand the disease they make us happy to eat there.
Please educate the staff.
1. Make sure the waitstaff know the menu and what items contain gluten.
2. Find a way for the waitstaff to communicate to the kitchen that a patron has an allergy / sensitivity.
3. Make sure the kitchen communicates back to the waistaff when the food is served. Especially if there is a runner.
4. It really puts us at ease when the staff serves the plate and confirms it is GF.
5. Make sure the kitchen has an area dedicated to GF food prep or cleans the area prior to prepping a GF plate.
Putting together a short GF menu helps. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. I would rather have a choice of 2 or 3 apps and 2 or 3 entrees that I know are GF then having to digest a large menu, read every accompaniment and garnish.
Create an area of the kitchen for GF food preparation.
Understand if we get glutened we are sick, we have pain, it attacks our gut, we miss school or work for days, and won't be coming back to the restauarnt.
I applaud a few SD establishments and hope to find more. They include George's Modern, Urban Solace, Rendezvous, Mountain Mike's Pizza, and 2 Good 2 B.
The UnGluten Guy