I hate going to restaurants. Especially when I’m traveling on business.
There you are with a bunch of peers from the office, partners, or customers and you get to interrupt the order taking process with a 17 minute grilling of the server.
Are your steaks marinated?
What else do you cook on the grill?
Am I going to die if I eat here?
What else is on the plate? Onion straws, fried items, sauces, condensed gluten dust?
Do you have any reason to want to harm me?
How exactly are your mashed potatoes prepared?
Is any pan coating spray used in preparation?
Are your sauteed vegetables prepared with oil, real butter, or a plastic facsimile of butter?
What seasonings are added to grilled items?
Have you sterilized your hands since last handling bread?
And so on…
Meanwhile, your business associates have either fainted from malnutrition or quietly left via the back door to find another restaurant.
But sometimes I am pleasantly surprised. This evening for instance. My hotel in Salt Lake City is right across the street from a Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Yep, a pasta place. Brilliant Tom. Let’s go try to eat there without getting sick. Maybe for dessert I could hit an Atlanta Bread Company or something.
Anyway, as there were no other choices within easy walking distance, I poked my head in and asked if by chance they had a gluten free menu. And yes, I was embarrassed to ask this question at a pasta place.
As a matter of fact they do – and it’s very well done. Unlike many companies who are more concerned with writing endless disclaimers than useful information, Romano’s offered a factual, current, and quite useful gluten free menu. In fact, their web site offers a PDF guide that covers about 8 different food sensitivity categories. You can find it here.
To make a long story short, I ordered a great meal and felt quite safe doing it. Check this out:
Lightly sauteed spinach.
Roasted garlic cloves.
Fresh rosemary just for fun. And it smelled pretty.
I was impressed.
Kudo’s to Romano’s for doing a great job of communicating useful information about the food they serve and making it easy for us celiacs and other food sensitivity sufferers.
I’ll be back!