As you become more seasoned in the art of gluten-free dining, you will develop a level of trust with certain restaurants. If you like the food and feel fine afterward, chances are good you will want to return. But you’ll find also that the level of gluten-free food knowledge will vary from restaurant to restaurant, and just because a restaurant offers a “gluten-free” menu or designates items on the menu as gluten-free does not mean you can let your guard down. You can trust, but do so with your eyes wide open.
Double check their knowledge of ingredients used on the menu against yours. If you suspect a menu item that is designated as gluten-free has chicken broth or a beef base as an ingredient, for example, it will not hurt to simply ask if the broth is freshly made or comes from a package or mix. If it is packaged, you can have them confirm its gluten-free status with the ingredient label.
Ask if the restaurant knows exactly how a “gluten-free” ingredient was manufactured. Have they double-checked their ice cream? You have to be the devil’s advocate with restaurants. Also, ask how they avoid cross-contact. Offering gluten-free pasta to replace traditional pasta does not serve you well if it’s boiled in the same water used for boiling wheat pasta. While you should be able to trust the staff, restaurant professionals can make assumptions and mistakes about gluten-free status.
While it’s the restaurant’s responsibility to confirm each ingredient before designating a gluten-free item, it’s still your responsibility to hold the line and cross-reference their knowledge where you believe it’s necessary to do so.