I get anxious researching for upcoming trips. With celiac disease, I can’t choose a restaurant only on what makes my mouth water but I have to use my head to try to make an informed decision about how the restaurant will take care of my special dietary needs. I’m a farm to table/locavore foodie. I’d rather not dine in chain restaurants when traveling. I understand this makes my selection even harder. I get frustrated and stressed researching new cities when the only gluten free reviews are for chain restaurants. Sometimes, I will fall back on PF Chang’s or Rosa Mexicano but I’d rather know what local places are doing to accommodate gluten free diners.
In researching restaurants before my travels, I’ve had great experiences but I’ve also found great disappointment. Highlights include finding restaurants with dedicated gluten free fryers, gluten free bread, and GF noted menus. Standout disappointments include after I asked a restaurant if gluten free pasta was cooked in the regular pasta water and as a result was given grilled piece of swordfish and steamed vegetables as my only option. What I need to remember is that one bad meal or a meal where I feel like a pariah shouldn’t get me down about dining out. I’ve also found that reaching out to restaurants through social media is a great way to start a conversation.
Right now I’m researching for two upcoming trips this spring: Miami for the Blogher Food ’14 conference and the Gluten-Free Living conference in Orlando. I’ll be sure to post my findings for those two cities to help other gluten free diners eat delicious local food.