A book review: Let’s Eat Out!

Hmmm… a guide for ‘Celiacs’ while dining out. Would you buy this book? I checked it out from the library, but depending on your needs, it might be a useful purchase.

Let’s Eat Out with Celiac & Food Allergies! A Timeless Reference for Special Diets is great for people who have always enjoyed dining out but are now faced with food allergies or Celiac disease. LOVE that they included other allergens rather than just Celiac (dairy, nuts, soy, corn- every allergen). The book is divided into chapters based on types of food- Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Italian and even a section named ‘Let’s Eat American Steak & Seafood!’ Each section has a ‘menu’ that you might find at any particular restaurant and things to look out for in each menu item. For example, when choosing a safe menu item at a Thai restaurant you may want to ask if the Pad See Yu has wheat in the fish sauce.

Seems simple to me. At first browse, I figured this book was geared towards people that always go out to eat and never cook. Wouldn’t they know the ingredients in common menu items? Maybe I’m also biased because I worked in a restaurant for 7 years and saw how things went down. Actually though, I still learned quite a bit from the book. Best thing is you really don’t have to read it cover-to-cover to get it all!

Have you ever tried those crispy-delicious bites (aka- pakora) from an Indian restaurant? I have. Delicious. But once I realized gluten was no longer my friend, I declined to order them on a later visit. Heartbroken. However, in the ‘Let’s Eat Indian!’ chapter I learned that it is often made with chickpea flour. Of course! To be on the safe side next time, I’ll just ask if they mix the chickpea with wheat flour and if they fry these yummy babies in ghee (dairy) or oil. Hmmm… well then I have to ask if the vegetable oil has soy in it. Well, a day’s work is never done.. but overall this book has reminded me to be proactive in my health. A new found confidence to ask questions necessary to protect myself when dining out.

Lastly, this book has some good resources listed thorough and as well an appendix at the back.

glutenfreepassport.com is essentially the online version of this book in a more condensed form. You can download apps for your iphone & browse dining cards. Whew. Seems overwhelming at first but if you are passionate about continuing your social life and enjoying meals out, then check it out!

allergyfreepassport.com is the same as the gluten-free site but dedicated to other allergies. Perfect for people like Buttercup!

glutenfreeonthego.com is specifically geared towards Celiacs but it’s still awesome to plan ahead when traveling. Especially since the site covers places worldwide!

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