With Just a Little Planning….
If you know you're heading out to dinner, or lunch or anywhere that you've gone to the trouble of booking a rezzie, it pays to call ahead and speak with the host or hostess and explain that you've got an allergy (to gluten/soy/dairy) and ask for suggestions as to what might make for good options on the menu.
Of course, even if you don't have a rez, you can still make a Paleo meal at the most unlikely places, but arranging something in advance is not only more helpful to the chef, it will increase the chances that you'll get a full meal that you won't have to pick apart or worry about there actually being something in there that, in a busy moment in the kitchen could possibly have been overlooked.
Just last week, I called ahead to a restaurant I was heading to and went through my usual diatribe, kindly asking what would be the gluten-free/dairy-free/soy-free options.
The hostess emailed me their gluten-free menu and from that, it was easy to see that I'd likely have a few potentials to choose from, but that I'd clearly need to ask more questions to cover the dairy and soy issue.
Well, when I arrived, seemingly everyone in the restaurant knew that I was to be served no dairy, no soy and no gluten.
When everyone else in the restaurant was receiving their typical bread and butter, I got this:
I know celery and carrots hardly qualify as anything special, but the fact that they went to the trouble was pretty cool.
The rest of the meal was fantastic. They'd prepped sauteed spinach AND steamed broccoli, to accompany my roast chicken, all of which our waiter ensured me, twice, had not touched gluten.
Afterward, they brought a lovely dish of fresh berries …
This was not a posh restaurant, but honestly, the service was impeccable. The trouble that the entire staff went to was unmatched.
Yes, you can make it work if you pop into a place on a whim, but again, if you know you're going in advance, why not hedge your Paleo bets and optimize for a really delish Paleo meal?