I have good friends who have been very patient with me. Because of my "issues" and being homebound, I have not had much of a social life with friends. It is much easier to have an embarrassing accident and "issues" in front of family rather than friends. But I have friends who occasionally I have lunch with. One of my best friends is Pam. She is a special educational teacher who happens to be the mother of Bailey's best friend. Actually, we use to go to the same church, our kids were in the same preschool and we just have loved each other and been the biggest supporter of each other when we are hurting. Pam, more than any of my friends, when I was at my sickest over the last two years, called, asked "is she able to come to the phone" (best thing to ask when wanting to talk to someone going through chemo and radiation) and accepted when I couldn't, kept calling and came over on my good days. I love her dearly.
Pam and I have not visited for many months. She had this spring break week off and wanted to do lunch. Well if you have read my blog, you know my luck in restaurants are not so good. But when in Salem the other day, I bought a magazine for people that need a gluten free diet. It is called Delight Gluten Free. I love it. I then looked up past issues and found a good article on how to eat out in restaurants.
Basically choosing the restaurant is the most important thing. When lunching with friends, we usually choose a ethnic (Mexican or Asian) or a bar and grill. It was recommended to choose a restaurant with a "real" chef who has a lot of fresh food at their disposal, that you can ask a lot of questions and order specifically to your needs. If they are well trained, they already understand gluten free and the issue of contamination. So when Pam called me and told me to pick a place.... My brain when to The Glockenspiel in Mt. Angel. It is right around the corner from my mom's house, so if I had problems, I had an exit plan. Here is their web site.
When I got there, I first looked at the menu to choose something I thought maybe safe. Then when the waitress came, I told her of my issues, asked what the fish dish was, and asked her to find out from the chef how it was prepared. She came back with the info. He said he could prepare the fish lunch special without the sauce and breading, give me extra veggies to replace the side dishes which had gluten, and they could fresh make the salad without the house dressing and croutons. It was ordinary for him. That was what the magazine said. You may have to go somewhere a little more expensive, but if you have a good chef with fresh prepared food, they can make a very safe meal for you.
It has been almost 4 hours since I ate. No "issues" So I am thinking I have Delight Gluten Free magazine to thank for giving me the right questions to ask and guidance. Yes!! Really love occasionally going out with friend for lunch.
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