We’re cruising down the highway on a last-minute beach getaway and trying to come up with a place to eat. I’m tapping away at my iPhone, Googling for restaurants and tacking on “gluten free” at the end of every query. I’m checking out menus, hours, prices and locations, trying to find somewhere, anywhere, that won’t poison me and ruin our entire weekend.
Sound familiar? If you’re gluten free, you know that eating out is one of the most challenging experiences you’re faced with. What used to be easy and fun suddenly turns into a complicated endeavor of deciphering menus and quizzing servers and managers, and crossing your fingers that you don’t get cross contaminated by a careless person.
When you find a place that knows your diet and can accommodate you without a lot of fuss, it’s an incredible feeling. If I find a restaurant I know I can trust, I will return again and again, and I’m sure many gluten-free people agree with me! But it can be hard to find those places.
The Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide (5th Edition) makes it so much easier to find a reliable place to eat! Like the Grocery Guide I reviewed last week, it’s a comprehensive guide that provides all kinds of great gluten-free information and resources for 6500 restaurants across all 50 states. Triumph Dining has taken the time to make the calls and talk to the restaurants to really find out if they can accommodate gluten-free diners.
At first glance, it looks pretty similar to the Grocery Guide, but it’s actually a lot more lightweight and therefore great for travel. There’s an introduction section explaining how to use the guide, with tips for effective communication at any restaurant.
Each state has a section in the book, and within each section you’ll find the major cities grouped together. After the cities, they list all the other GF restaurants in the state and their respective town/city. For each restaurant they list the address and phone, plus info on the price range and which meals they serve (breakfast, lunch or dinner).
They even take it a step further with a section of over 120 gluten-free national and regional chain restaurant menus so you can come in prepared. There’s a list of all the chains in the table of contents too so you can quickly scan to see which ones can accommodate you.
They utilize a symbols guide in this guide as well so you can quickly spot places that offer something extra for gluten-free eaters, such as a GF menu or specialty GF products like beer or pasta. The symbol key is listed inside the front and back covers for easy access.
All in all, I think that this is a great resource for anyone trying to navigate the gluten-filled world of restaurants out there, and invaluable for anyone who travels around the country a lot. Of course, you should still be sure to call ahead and practice due diligence no matter what the guide says – you are the last line of defense!
The guide can be purchased for $23.95 on the Triumph website, or remember you can come visit me at the Triumph table at Raleigh’s first Gluten-Free Expo on August 12th and buy it for a discounted price of just $20. Hope to see you there!
Photo from glutenfreeinnc.com