Tina Turbin on eating out gluten-free

Tina Turbin is a strong advocate for those who live gluten-free.  As she states on one of her sites, GlutenFreeHelp.info, “I have been actively involved in this area of research, writing, meeting and working with MANY specialists as well as developing gluten-free recipes.”  (As an aside, she is also the author of a children’s book series “Danny the Dragon.”)

Last September, Tina wrote a nice, concise piece entitled “Dining Safely and Gluten Free,” which I am republishing here with her support.

Dining Safely and Gluten Free

If you need to adhere to a Gluten Free diet, dining out can be hell. I sit there half the time explaining to my waiter what gluten is, to finally resort to asking to speak to the Head Chef in hopes the guy or gal knows what I am talking about.

More and more restaurants are becoming aware of the various needs of their public. Some are offering completely separate menus or a symbol signifying the GF meal. Times are changing and we now have various listings on the internet to locate a restaurant that can cater to our needs [AllergyEats, of course, being the most comprehensive for gluten-free and food allergy].

One very simple suggestion is to call ahead and ask the hostess or whomever answers the phone if they have a GF menu*, are aware of GF needs, etc. He or she may not have a clue what you are referring to and at this point I ask to speak to the manager, owner or chef. If they have no clue what you are talking about, head elsewhere. There are web sites with a simple search on the internet for “gluten free restaurants” [again, think AllergyEats] but you will need to narrow the search in your area with a town or city name.

There are a few sites dedicated to asking restaurants to sign up to be placed in the database for general use. Here is one: Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program [a.k.a. GFRAP]**. Diners can use this website to locate restaurants that offer gluten-free meals.

*On the results page of an AllergyEats search, some listings have a link to a restaurant’s gluten-free menu
** On the results page of an AllergyEats search, GFRAP participating restaurants are denoted with the GFRAP logo in the last column of the associated listing.

I encourage everyone to check out Tina’s websites (gluten-related and not), www.glutenfreehelp.info, www.TinaTurbin.com, or www.DannyTheDragon.com.

And no, I don’t know Tina personally nor is this a paid advertisement. I admire Tina for her commitment to children and those living a gluten-free life. Thank you, Tina.

I would also ask, as always, that you consider helping strengthen the value of AllergyEats (www.allergyeats.com) as a resource for those with food allergies or intolerances. It’s as simple as taking one minute to rate each of your restaurant experiences. Even one additional rating improves the site and benefits our entire community.


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