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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Thor's Day 
8th-Apr-2010 07:26 am
Happy birthday to my beloved Adam!

Pretty okay, if a bit worn out.

Note to restaurants
"The gluten-free items are listed on our website" is not a useful response if it is not then followed by "I will bring you a laptop" or "I will print the list out." I do not generally haul my laptop to restaurants. This is because if I look up your website and see "gluten-free" next to a bunch of things - indeed, as part of the name of the dish in some cases - I expect your format to be the same in the restaurant. Silly me, right?

Minus fifty points to Au Bon Pain, whose employees looked at me like I was from Mars or had forgotten to take my crazy pills. You guys. This is not an uncommon condition, really. And someone at your corporate office has a clue. This doesn't get passed down in the training? I know, what do I expect from a place with "bread" in the name? But the menu online indicates a nice variety of GF stuff. You just apparently have to print it out yourself. Or memorize it.

Minus twenty-five points to Cosi, because while they only list allergen info and absence of wheat != gluten-free, they were at least aware that they did not have sufficient information for me to order safely. And they were apologetic.

Clothesline Project
Went really well, and I did manage to stick to just a two-hour shift. Thanks to those who came out!

Weight loss = my skirts from last spring/summer hanging off my hips. And it is not jeans weather anymore, really. I need to save money for Explo; cannot shop! Nyargh.

Daily Science
Scientists discover first multicellular life that doesn't need oxygen.

Work. Please I do not want to need a nap today, as I need to be writing. Dinner with Adam, wherever he likes.
8th-Apr-2010 11:38 am (UTC) - Trade?
I've put weight on and you've taken it off... want to go through the clothes that don't fit and see if there is anything you want?
8th-Apr-2010 01:41 pm (UTC) - Responding to both 'Song and Taura...
If I lived up there, I'd totally want to do a swap. :) If none of your friends can wear it, you may want to look for a consignment shop.
8th-Apr-2010 02:49 pm (UTC) - Re: Trade?
Currently a 4 or 6...
8th-Apr-2010 04:36 pm (UTC) - Re: Trade?
I will be sorting through clothes tomorrow night. I will put aside anything in those sizes.

(Unfortunately, I've learned the quickest way for me to loose weight is to get rid of the "thin" clothes)
8th-Apr-2010 11:43 am (UTC)
Would it be an option to find a local person who could take in your skirts for you? Or did you lose too much to do that?

You might be able to take your too-big clothes to a consignment shop and work out a trade there if the above person's size doesn't jive with yours. :)
8th-Apr-2010 12:14 pm (UTC)
To be fair, restaurants and chains don't list other even more common allergens, like contains dairy, or nuts or seafood. Usually, however, you can tell when dishes can contain these. But not ALL the time though, as my boyfriend with a nut allergy can attest!

The nut and seafood allergy really boggle my mind, as people with those allergies usually stop breathing, so you'd think eateries would be more responsible.

The short answer is you've got to be diligent. We ask all the time, and if the waiter doesn't know we tell that person to go ask someone who does. And if they still don't know, we don't order it.
8th-Apr-2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
We can fix the skirts hon. I'm thinking that's something I can handle, even.
8th-Apr-2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
You rock.
8th-Apr-2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Giving the gift of randomness: Facebook presents a keyboard.
8th-Apr-2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry about the gluten-free FAIL at local eateries.

And a big fat THANK YOU for your work on the clothesline project. I think I'm even more moved the day after than I was last night. (I even bought myself a pin, which I'm wearing proudly today!)

Big hugs.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Apr-2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
most conventional wines are pasteurized using dairy proteins.

Huh. No shit. My bf has an intolerance (not a true allergy, but close) to dairy, eggs, casein, and peanuts. Good to know.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Apr-2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Eh, not a big beer drinker (cocktails are more his style), and when he does, it's usually crap light beer. I'll keep that in mind, though.

Any recommendations for safe wines?
8th-Apr-2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
Skirts should be relatively easy to take in. Do you have a friend that knows how that could do it for you (as a favor or for barter), rather than paying a tailor?
8th-Apr-2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Why yes, yes she does...:)

'Song - absolutely favor-land here ;) and I'm now to a point in my craft room where I can use the sewing machine, so I'm prepped to hand sew, pull in elastic, pretty much do whatever needs to be done depending on the skirt(s).

Edited at 2010-04-08 10:17 pm (UTC)
8th-Apr-2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I was with shadesong yesterday afternoon, and it was very annoying. Because these two fast-food outlets (Au Bon Pain and Cosi) hadn't bothered to print out the gluten-free information on their websites, we were deprived of the opportunity for a pleasant lunch at South Station.

Not everyone who needs gluten-free food uses the Internet at all. It's wrong for a business to assume that everyone can go to a website for the information they need.
8th-Apr-2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
I don't think anyone was saying life with allergies isn't annoying. It is in fact just that. No one likes to start their evening out on the town only to end up in the ER because the idiot behind the ice cream counter used the same scoop for dish out cookies and cream as she/he did for hazelnut gelato...

But that is the reality of allergies and the reality sucks. Not every service person thinks or has been trained about the issue, whether it's nuts, dairy, shellfish, gluten, etc.
8th-Apr-2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
The thing is, since the information already exists on their website, it'd be the work of seconds for them to just hit print and then have the page stashed behind the counter.
8th-Apr-2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oh I agree! It's massively stupid. But see, I'm something of a pessimist and EXPECT the stupid. Maybe it's sad, but I feel like I can only depend on myself and therefore look to arming and educating myself, since I can't count on the other person to do so...

But yes -- absolutely ridiculous that they did not have a copy at the store. Completely agree that that is FRUSTRATING!
8th-Apr-2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Have encountered this exact situation when ordering for my daughter. The person who gave her the dairy-free sorbet used the same scoop as the one used for sherbets and ice cream. I've worked for Friendly's, so I know how prevalent it is for the scoop to sit in water after each use instead of it being washed off. Just like rinsing off a paintbrush in the same water time and again. Only, for someone with an allergy, this mistake can easily result in an ER visit.
8th-Apr-2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
Training at Au Bon Pain is probably better than "here's your shirt, get on the reg" but it's unlikely to be stellar. Just sayin'
8th-Apr-2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
I would not expect employees to know what foods are gluten-free. I would, however, expect them to know how to find this information, preferably on sheets of paper that are stored somewhere in the restaurant for this purpose.
8th-Apr-2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe this is just because I'm picky--and I probably only have a quarter of your digestive issues--but I fully expect that people will have been trained in their products. Especially in today's environments, where it's important to know ingredients because of allergic conditions, diet choices, and whatnot. I dated an ovo-lacto vegetarian for several years, and you get used to asking if meat broth was used to make X or if this unknown French word means meat-product, or whatever. (I myself have dairy issues.)

So, yeah, sorry, it's RestaurantFail if they can't tell you what is in what. At times like these, I find Yelp or other review sites to allow cartharsis as I warn other folks off, or at least tell them what to expect.
8th-Apr-2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Ran into similar issue at The Melting Pot - Website said Gluten Free menu available. Say yay, right?

Called them, in fact, and they said, yes!

Got there, and the waiter looked at me like I had grown two heads :P

But after that, he went back, did what he could, brought out the allergen info, and worked with us from there - and then was *extremely* good about what could/couldn't be put in the pot, including catching himself before making our cheese fondue w/ beer base, and brought out a non-mushroom base vegetable broth (yay verily, two thumbs up). They were also good about making sure there were vegetables for cheese fondue and my dining partner was awesome about not putting gluten containing foods in any thing.
10th-Apr-2010 04:30 am (UTC)
When I worked at my deli clerk job for a supermarket owned by a certain Dutch company, we received no training about what gluten allergens are or even what gluten is. There were times I was the only person on shift who knew what it was and I had to tell customers we unfortunately didn't have the information they needed.
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