Hi again! Since I became gluten free, my restaurant experiences have been rather hit or miss. Sometimes, I find myself in a conversation for 15 minutes with the waitress explaining that no, croutons are not OK because they are bread and bread is not ok. In more than one instance, I’ve gotten rolled eyes from wait staff at various restaurants who are “inconvenienced” by my limitations, or they have thought I’m just making it up because I don’t like something and then don’t take it seriously. I find myself weighing if it’s worth being “glutened” because I am the hassle for wanting to eat out, or if I should just go hungry watching my friends around me eat, or stick up for myself to try to be accommodated. And I only have one food issue. So many have multiple dietary restrictions.
Sometimes, following a gluten free diet can feel a little claustrophobic. You feel like you are stuck in a cage and unable to break out and try new foods/places to eat. A constant omnipresent fear is always in your head stopping you from trying that new restaurant or making your own bread or eating anything not made from scratch. I had this fear for a long time (before I met Jenn, of course). Rice, meat and potatoes were the staples in my diet and I dared not stray from this regime or I would react and feel awful for the next week or so (at least this is what I thought in my head). This constant fear plagued me for a very long time, and as a result most of the time when I went out to eat with friends and family, I would only get a grilled steak with a plain baked potato.
Now I love a good steak, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, it would be nice to feel comfortable eating something else. And that is why I get so excited about enterprises that DO accommodate the gluten free crowd, and have options that are exciting. Not just serving a hamburger without a bun, but a real entrée that I can enjoy to its full capacity. Such places with their dedication to understanding what it is like with dietary restrictions have really helped change my perspective on eating gluten free, and have let me feel like a newly released convict from my food prison.