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Author Topic: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)  (Read 12465 times)

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2018, 05:18:03 pm »
I just need to get this off my chest before moving on (for now).

We are having  a day out with friends next weekend.  This means  that we will want a lunch and an evening meal out and not necessarily in the same places.  The amount of my time I have spent (and arguably wasted) tracking down eateries that can be relied upon to provide a good GF experience is seriously beginning to make me angry.

A small number of cafe/restaurant/pub outlets make the effort to let diners know what they can and will offer.  the vast majority do not!  It is all well and good looking at Tripadvisor to see 'gluten free options' against any given eatery, but for many this can be as basic as a microwaved jacket spud with tuna mayo or a piece of steak and some salad.  Big DEAL!!  Worse still, arguably, are the places that offer 'gluten free' simply by taking items away and still charging the same amount.

Why, oh why, cannot every eatery give clear indication of what they can do to make a gluten free diner feel welcome and assured of a decent meal?  Please tell us on your menu what you can do, what is gluten free or can be adapted.  I am finding the "gluten free options are available" very very frustrating because what does that mean?  Does it mean it is an establishment that will make an extra effort to help, or is it one that will simply tell you everything that isn't GF, leaving a very limited choice.  During the course of my research into our day out, I came across a place that kindly provided an online allergen list - it basically listed a complete list of the 'current' menu options against which the vast majority had 'contains wheat/gluten'.  Great.

Too few dining establishments stand out with the positive "here is a place that will cater for GF diners" attitude, offering a GF menu or advertising the fact that they will adapt menus to make GF diners happy ones.  It's still a throw-away "oh, and we can cater for GF nuisances, if we really have to, but please go somewhere else if you can."

Wake up people!  Shout it from the rooftops!  "Gluten free diners welcome!"  We will come - gladly!  Provide a decent GF dining experience and we will spread the word.

OK, enough.  I need to get on with my life...

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #61 on: March 22, 2018, 10:26:35 am »
We recently had cause to visit the Claregate pub between Tettenhall and Codsall in the West Midlands.  It's a Marstons chain pub with a decent range of good value menu items.

Planning is always key when eating out gluten free.  A visit to the Marstons Claregate website revealed a very useful feature: you can filter their online menu by allergen.  OK, so you cannot guarantee that a particular menu item is available on the day, but at least you can form a good idea of some choices.  My wife was well impressed.  She discovered that she could have a beefburger and chips (she doesn't care about the bun anyway).

Despite it being fairly early on a Monday evening with few diners, the food took a while to arrive.  The front of house staff seemed to know what they were doing on the GF front...mostly.  We had a little less confidence in the kitchen staff - my wife had to send her meal back because someone had put onion rings onto her chips!  When the meal returned with fresh chips she noticed that the burgers did not have the advertised cheese.  The lady serving us thought this might be because the cheese was not GF.  Er?  I think I need to check that!

We enjoyed our food - it was tasty, filling and good value.  My wife has since commented that she did have some slight discomfort later on and does wonder if there was some very minor contamination.

We will give a cautious thumbs-up.  At least the menu filter feature is useful.