This is a very old article (at least 7 years) but when I found it today it made me so happy that I decided to re-post.
It is hard to believe how much excitement I felt as a result of the opportunity to have bread with my meal. For those of you who don’t know, I have been living gluten-free for about a year now. While I never “cheat” on purpose, eating out in restaurants is always a gamble for me.
Last week I had lunch with my son and his fiance at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. While the website said there were gluten-free options, and I had consumed a magnificent meal there on Thanksgiving, I still expected to have very limited choices. I looked longingly at the regular menu and then let our server know that I would need gluten-free options. She said she would be right back with a gluten-free menu. One star for that?
The gluten-free menu was in my hands within a few minutes and I was thrilled to see that almost everything on the regular menu was also available to me. I could have the herbed chicken or the barbecue. I was so excited. Two Stars!! Then she said that if I wanted one of the sandwiches from the regular menu just to know and they would put it on gluten-free bread for me. Gluten free bread? I don’t think I have been to a restaurant yet that actually had gluten-free bread. Four Stars!!. I actually chose a meal that did not include bread, but just knowing that I had the option was amazing.
I chose to split a sampler platter for two with my son. He wanted to substitute french fried for the collard greens. The server said that the substitution would be fine, but cautioned that the fries would be cooked in the same oil as gluten foods so would not be safe. We got them on a separate plate so my food wouldn’t be contaminated and he was quite happy. Five Stars!!! A server who really got it.
After lunch we were interested in dessert, because it would be yummy and because I had a buy one get one free coupon. Alas, none of the desserts looked to be gluten-free. Once again, my server saved the day, checked with the kitchen, and brought me the most delicious chocolate pudding I think I have ever had. Can I give Six Stars?
For the first time since starting this gluten-free adventure I felt like I had a dining experience that was equal to every one else. Thank you Biltmore Stable Cafe for making me feel welcome and NORMAL.
Since the time of the first publication of this article there seems to be an increased awareness of gluten-free eating, but it still is usually treated as a preference rather than a necessity and many restaurants offer one or two possibilities rather than a full menu. Whenever I go out to eat (which is rare) and encounter a restaurant that can work with my food issues (more than just gluten) I am again filled with the same sense of wonder, awe, and gratitude that I experienced that day at Biltmore.