Thursday, 18 August 2011

Eating Out

One of the hardest things I've found about my newly diagnosed gluten and lactose intolerance has been eating out.  Working long hours in a job that can be quite stressful often leaves me exhausted at the end of the day and I really find it difficult to muster up the energy to cook.

Interestingly enough though, it's possible that this can be attributed to my B12 deficiency or even the gluten intolerance itself (oh yes, they also found I was B12 deficient.  Did I mention I hate needles and these needles are huge?).  I have to say, there have been a couple of days and nights recently when I've felt quite peppy.  It's a strange sensation, I feel a little hyperactive, like I've had caffeine. 

We have fallen into a habit where we eat out quite a bit.  We do try to go for healthier options as much as possible, but ultimately it is still takeaway food.  Now we are finding that our options are a little more limited than they used to be but there are so many people with allergies/intolerances around that more and more establishments are catering for them.

Guzman y Gomez

Our first attempt to eat out post intolerance was at an old favourite, Guzman y Gomez.  Their menu is online and they have a comprehensive nutritional guide although I would have liked the allergens (or lack thereof) to be more clearly marked.  I had a burrito bowl with no cheese and it was awesome.  I'm pretty sure that the grilled chicken or steak salad would be gluten and dairy free too, but I haven't checked this.

1000 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley
Ph: 07 3188 1701

Fresh Sushi Co

Fresh Sushi Co at James Street Market is my favourite place to get sushi, although a lot of their food is naturally gluten free if you don't have soy sauce.  I love the rainbow rolls and the fresh prawn boxes and they even sell bottles of gluten free soy if you can't do without.

James Street Market
c09/22 James Street
Fortitude Valley
Ph: 07 3852 6659

BYOB Build Your Own Burger

D loves BYOB and we gave them a try after finding out they also offerred gluten free burger buns.  I have to say that I did not check to see if their gluten free bread was also dairy free and I would definitely check this before I went back again.  I also didn't check to see if their burger patties are made with any gluten/dairy.  They hand cut their potato chips and sweet potato chips but I also didn't ask if they were coated before frying.  BYOB has lots and lots of options and I'm sure that after a bit more questioning I could make a BYOB as good as any I've had there before.

Shop 2/12 Commercial Road
Ph: 07 3252 8856


I have never been to Wagamama before, despite my being a frequent visitor to the Emporium.  I was reading a blog (a UK blog no less but I can't remember which one, I'm sorry!) and the blogger mentioned that Wagamama offered a great gluten free menu.  I headed over to their web site to check it out and found their wonderfully comprehensive dietary requirements guide.  When we visited I asked the server about gluten/dairy free options and he whipped out a laminated booklet with everything that that was gluten free and what could be adapted to be GF/DF.  

The server recommended their ginger chicken udon.  They replace the udon with rice noodles and serve it without sauce, but it's so fresh and light.  I really enjoyed it. 

1000 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley
Ph:  07 3252 8229

Pizza Capers

One of the first things I craved after started my new eating plan was pizza.  Doughy pizza covered in cheese.  Instead, we went to Pizza Capers.  Pizza Capers, like many pizza places out there, have a gluten free base option.  D and I shared a pizza but he couldn't bring himself to have a pizza without cheese so we ended up requesting half with, half without cheese.  Pizza Capers were wonderful, leaving a good inch buffer between the cheese and my half.  D decided that he wasn't a fan of the gluten free base so now we have to get two pizzas, but what can you do?

I do think that the gluten free base tastes better reheated in the microwave.  I'm going to butcher my next pizza with some Notzarella.

Samuel Village
Cnr Boundary Rd & Samuel St
Camp Hill
Ph:  07 3395 2111

The Upfront Club

Without a doubt, this was the best service I've ever had at a restaurant.  We visited the Upfront Club on a recent trip to the Sunshine Coast.  They have their gluten free and vegetarian options clearly marked on their menu and they also offer gluten free options.  I wasn't feeling any of their gluten free options because I really wanted a steak sandwich with gluten free bread.  They were really good and let me know that their chips contained gluten and not only did they give me the chips I would have gotten with my steak sandwich but they also gave me a HUGE side salad instead.

Unfortunately, I forgot to mention that I couldn't have dairy and my bread came out buttered.  I was going to ditch the bread because the steak and sauce were well insulated from the butter by lettuce and tomato, but we did ask if we could get (and offered to pay for) another piece of bread.  Not only did they refuse to charge, but they gave me two freshly toasted pieces of bread.  Nothing was too difficult.  They were wonderful.  I left a large tip in their tip jar.

31 Maple Street
Ph: 07 5494 2592

Since the last time I've visited Maleny a raw/vegan restaurant had opened.  The Kind Living Cafe looked incredible, but my dining companions weren't feeling it.  I wish Maleny weren't so far away because I really really want to go back there!!!

Cafe Siena

We visited Cafe Siena on a whim, after it was given a glowing recommendation from the lady behind us in the line waiting for Medicare to open.  Cafe Siena didn't have gluten free options listed on their menu, but upon questioning they confirmed that they had gluten free bread available and were really good with answering questions.  My breakfast of poached eggs on toast with bacon was hardly tricky to make gluten/dairy free, but they had the best gluten free bread (as good as Vitality Bakehouse, which is my favourite gluten free bread) and everything was top quality.

1098 Creek Road
Ph:  07 3398 5377

Now we come to the embarrassing confession of the post.  It was late, we were hungry, it was on our way.

Red Rooster

We visited Red Rooster after I read an article online about the coating on chips/french fries containing gluten so I was a little apprehensive and just ordered some chicken and salad without doing my research.  As it turns out, Red Rooster chips do not contain gluten, however their chicken does and I discovered this too late.

It is clearly marked on their website and I didn't do my research beforehand, but there was nothing in store.  I think a large chain like Red Rooster should definitely consider putting their nutritional/allergen guide in store.

Wynnum Road,
Cannon Hill
Ph: 07 3890 2699

I'm slowly learning the questions I need to ask to try and avoid troubles after eating.  One of the more important ones is just because a bread or dough is gluten free doesn't mean it's also dairy free, so I need to remember to ask the question.

Disclaimer: I have only recently been diagnosed with my food intolerance and I am still learning my tolerance limits.  This means that I may still try food that will cause a reaction and my research isn't always the most comprehensive because I'm hungry now!  Please ensure that you also do your own research to make sure that any foods served by the places above are suitable for you.  I don't want anyone getting sick because of me!

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