Living With Coeliac Disease and Being Gluten Free

The Trials Of Eating In Restaurants On A Gluten-Free Diet

The Trials Of Eating In Restaurants

Eating out when you are on a restricted diet always has the potential for difficulty. Recently I was reminded of this when we went out for a late Sunday meal.

As always we had spoken to the restaurant, in fact, it is one I have used before. Gravy is the usual problem for a traditional Sunday roast dinner. However, we were assured that the chef would produce a gluten-free version.

So far I have yet to find any catering establishment that produces a gluten-free Yorkshire pudding. If you know of one please let us know so we can spread the work through our website.

We had been putting a room straight after decorating all day, so we’re more than ready for our meal. All went well through the meal until ordering the desert.

Gluten-Free Dessert

Those who know me well know that I enjoy the sweet course best of all. Whilst I love fruit I will always choose to have something different when eating out. I get irritated when restaurants offer fruit salad as the only option – it shows so little imagination.

Back to our meal. On the menu board, there were two good gluten-free options or so I thought. Eton Mess – which is a concoction of broken meringue, raspberries and whipped cream and a lemon cream bruleé. I ordered the Eton Mess but as always asked the waiter to check it was gluten-free.

A couple of minutes he came back saying that the only option I could safely eat was strawberries and cream. Not the end of the world but somewhat irritating if you have got your mouth in the right shape for something else.

Next, there is the decision whether to challenge what is said or to go quietly.

The Eton Mess is served up in a biscuit basket and as the biscuit is not gluten-free so the whole dessert cannot be classed as gluten-free. This is what makes the dessert unsuitable for a coeliac.

Make The Dessert Gluten-Free

Why would it be so difficult for the restaurant to serve the Eton Mess in a standard bowl on this one occasion? Is it beyond someones ability to place the dessert in a standard bowl? Is that tricky manoeuvre more difficult than I imagine?

I couldn’t be bothered to have yet another bowl of fruit. So, on this rare occasion, I decided not to have a dessert!

Consequently, the restaurant lost a sale and we shall probably not go there again.

I think that in a society which is becoming ever more ready to sue when things go wrong restaurants get very nervous. In the end, they make decisions based on ignorance without putting any thought into their decision. This is a shame for both the restaurants and coeliacs everywhere.