January 26, 2010
Do you know what one of my favorite special indulgences is? Eating in a nice restaurant. Most of our family’s meals are cooked from scratch in our kitchen, but it is so nice to get out every now and then and eat delicious food that someone else has cooked. It’s probably even more special now that we’re on a gluten free diet and the restaurant choices are more limited.
For the past couple of years, John and I have used some special tools from Triumph Dining to make eating out easier. These tools have helped us find restaurants that understand the gluten free diet! The tools have also helped us to communicate with waiters and chefs that were not familiar with a gluten free diet, but really wanted to help us find something to eat. Until you’ve experience it, you won’t believe how nice it is to eat food prepared by chefs that really care about feeding you well and enjoy the challenge of creating a great gluten free dish.
The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide
John’s sister lives in St. Louis and when we first visited her there I was a little wary of how we would handle our food needs while staying in a hotel. We’ve traveled enough to know that not planning for our meals can put a damper on an otherwise great trip. Triumph Dining had recently sent me a copy of “The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide” so I pulled it out and flipped to the section on St. Louis. And am I ever glad we did! We discovered the most amazing little hole-in-the-wall breakfast cafe that makes gluten free crepes. Rooster: Crepe.Sandwich.Cafe is now one of those places that we have to visit when we’re in St. Louis.
“The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide” is a huge listing of gluten free friendly restaurants organized by state and city. Both chain restaurants and local restaurants are included. All of the listings include at a minimum the restaurant’s name, address, and phone number. However, many of the listings also include the general price range of the entrees, the restaurant’s web address, and comments on what types of gluten free items are on the menu, as well as the restaurant manager’s suggestions for ensuring that you get special treatment from the restaurant staff. Gluten free menus for many chain restaurants are included near the back of the guide.
Our next trip to St. Louis was for John’s sister’s wedding and the Gluten Free Restaurant Guide save the day once again. The caterer for the wedding reception was not able to provide a meal for us, so we used the Restaurant Guide to find the closest Maggiano’s. John and I slipped out after the wedding, picked up take-out from Maggiano’s, and got back to the reception before the rest of the guests finished going through the buffet. If we hadn’t had The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide to help us find a restaurant, we probably would have had a horribly little pity party. Instead, we ate a great meal (probably better than the caterer’s) and got to spend plenty of time enjoying the wedding party with the bride and groom.
Triumph Dining Cards
So, I know some of you are probably saying, “I live in the middle of Nowhere, Alabama, and I don’t think that a gluten free restaurant guide is going to help me eat out at either of the two restaurants in town.”
You’re right! But, that’s why Triumph also publishes the Triumph Dining Cards. These handy-dandy little cards (which are the perfect size for a purse, backpack, diaper bag, glove box, etc) can help you obtain a gluten free meal in any restaurant that employs at least one person who can read English, Chinese, French, Greek, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish (Mexican), Thai, or Vietnamese.
Close your eyes and just think for a moment of how amazing it would feel to walk into your favorite ethnic restaurant, whether it’s Thai or Southern Fried Everything, and not have to try to explain what gluten is. Instead, you just hand the server your Dining Card and the Dining Card explains everything that the server and chef need to know in order to provide you with food that you can actually eat. Isn’t that a nice image?
Get Out There and Explore
Now that our third kiddo is on the way, John and I are making a concerted effort to go out to eat by ourselves at least once a month. And while our favorite Thai restaurant is safe, we’re ready to explore other options. We’re going to be making use of the Triumph Dining Cards and The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide as we do. And whenever we find a product that we love, we like to share it with our readers too. While both of these tools are available on Amazon, you can only order both products at the reduced “combo” price through a Triumph Gluten Free affiliate. And since we think that the “combo” is the only way to go, we’ve signed up as Triumph Dining affiliates so that we can offer you The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide and the Triumph Dining cards at a 23% discount off of the regular price.
If you’re interested in either the Restaurant Guide or the Dining Cards, or just want to find out some more details, click the link to head over to the Triumph Dining website. Feel free to leave any comments or questions about the products in the Comments below.
Categories: Living Gluten Free