Is It REALLY Gluten-Free

I blog a lot about how it can be very easy to dine out Paleo style, simply by having your list of questions to be sure and ask, either in advance when making a rezzie, or at the time of, when ordering with your server. I continue to stand by this, as more often than not, what I order comes out according to the plan and all is well; the food is fresh, tasty and no one gets hurt (ok, no one gets sick, but hurt sounded better.) However, this is definitely not to say that we still have to be uber diligent about making sure people know what gluten is, and whether or not items contain it. The other night, I had an experience of the unfavorable type. While the server assured my I could have the roast chicken prepared without rice-based stuffing and with the ‘sauce’ left off, what I received was undoubtedly not gluten free. The entree came out smothered in sauce, which another server confirmed was a flour-based sauce, and inside the chicken, was stuffing. I asked to speak to the manager, who came out, corrected the situation by suggesting another dish- chicken paillard, which worked out perfectly, but then followed up with telling me that he knew the stuffing was not gluten-free because ‘it contained white rice, not wild rice, and white rice is the only type with gluten’. OK, then. Another notable occasion was when a server assured me everything was gluten free because the kitchen ‘didn’t cook with flowers’. Fortunately, these situations seem to be the anomaly, but they do serve as a reminder to make sure we ask, ask and ask again as needed, especially if one has Celiac, or Autism, an autoimmune issue, in which cases consuming gluten can have far worse ramifications compared to someone such as myself, who has a sensitivity.  I still won’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole; feeling sick to my stomach for days and being doubled over in pain is enough reason to stay the heck away. Keep on asking those questions!