Publishers "Triumph Dining" kindly sent me a copy of the 2008-2009 edition of their “The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide” for a review.
The comprehensive US, city-by-city, state-by-state guide is well laid out and clear, indicating a GF menu, if GF specialty products are made or if (happy shock?!) a restaurant is 100% GF; prices for entrées, addresses, and websites if available are listed.
If that weren’t enough (if you’ve ever read or used a Zagat you know it would have been), these authors have written a brilliantly supportive introductory section about how to get a great gluten-free meal when dining out.
“How?” is a question that comes up again and again in emails from readers of this Allergic Girl site: how do I manage to have such happy allergen-friendly meals so often? How do I create those relationships with General Managers, with Chefs, with restaurant owners? What are the steps? What is the right stance when ordering?
I've laid out the process in several posts on this Allergic Girl site but the savvy Triumph Dining authors have placed all of that kind of information in 16 easy to read, clearly worded pages. The advice they give for the most part is very sound and not unlike my own, which is probably why I like it and agree with it so wholeheartedly.
They open the section with their core attitudes for successful GF dining:
“1. The first fundamental building block of successful gluten-free dining is the ability to share information in a clear, efficient manner.
2. The second is the development of rewarding short and long-term relationships with restaurant staff.”
The next few pages are filled with superb dining-out strategies: everything from the importance of becoming educated about the ingredients in different cuisines to how powerful a thank you is after a successful free-of meal.
If you couldn’t tell I really think the introduction is worth the price of the guide alone, especially if you are just starting the journey of how to eat out with special needs like celiac disease or food allergies.
Great work Triumph Guides!