When In Doubt, Skip It
I was out to dinner with friends the other day, making my usual picky order with the server (may I please double check that there is not soy, gluten, flour…etc in my entree).
I believe those of us who live in an area like Los Angeles are definitely a bit spoiled in terms of being able to dine out in many places and not feel the least bit odd about asking for a gluten free substitution for the pasta that comes with the catch of the day or a no-sauce version of the grass fed filet.
Because it’s pretty common here for many restaurants and servers to be familiar with such modifications, it sometimes catches me off guard when someone has no idea what I’m talking about. And if that’s the case, it’s a safe bet to assume that the smart thing to do is either not eat there or at least not choice the menu item in question.
For example, the other night referenced at the beginning of this post, began with asking the server whether or not the roasted veggies were gluten free. Seemingly a benign dish, yes, but I have dined at restaurants that actually add some flour to their veggies to provide ‘texture’. Don’t ask. Anyway, when I asked about the veggies, the server crinkled his forehead and told me, “No, we do not ever use flowers in the kitchen”.
Not too different from the server at another restaurant who assured me that the gluten-free soy sauce would be fine for me to eat, since it was gluten free, even though I’d just seconds earlier explained I cannot eat gluten…or soy.
I don’t mean to sound as though I’m moaning and complaining, because in actuality, more often than not, it’s easy to get a Paleo-friendly meal at most places.
Rather, just a little bit of foo for thought- if you ask the appropriate questions and get answers that don’t satisfy, don’t assume that particular menu item is going to be a good thing to eat. It’s you, and only you, who’ll end up suffering the consequences if you accidentally get “soyed”, “glutened” or “dairyed”!