Sunday, March 27, 2011
I recently tried to be festive with a friend and visited Tribeca Tavern in Cary. They were serving green beer and corned beef for the St. Patrick's Day holiday. The place was packed and had a 45 minute wait as the weather was warm and sunny and they offered outdoor seating. I tried to be a trooper and not subject my friend to the same dining establishments, yet again, that offered a separate gluten-free menu. I thought to myself ahead of time, "I can handle this. I can successfully manage to order a gluten-free meal from the menu, enjoy it, and not get sick." Well, my experience did not match my original thoughts. Our waiter had no idea that gluten-free beers existed and told me that past diners had just ordered hamburgers without a bun. If I had just been recently diagnosed, then I might have made the same mistake. But, I have been on the gluten-free diet for over four years now, so I knew better. I asked the waiter if he would check with the chef about the specific ingredients in the menu items - I thought I would tackle the issue of cross-contamination and the grill separately. He assured me that there was no gluten in the chicken salad served on lettuce. I hesitantly opted for that option and proceeded to get sick. I sincerely hope that the restaurant will reach out to someone in the gluten-free community for advice on how to properly service our needs. We represent a rapidly expanding market that is very profitable for those who address our needs carefully.