Avoid the pitfalls of eating gluten-free food away from home.

The reality of living gluten-free is dealing with a level of dietary inconvenience. Here are some tips to help you adapt and avoid catastrophe when out and about:

  1. Burger modification. Eating burgers. It’s filling. It’s American. I don’t recommend sacrificing it for the sake of gluten intolerance (unless of course you’ll be seriously hurt). You can choose to wrap your burger in lettuce, giving you the added bonus of thinking you ate a salad. Or, you can pull a Seinfeld Snickers moment and eat your patty with utensil. If you choose the later, I recommend Season 6, Episode 3, because only then will you understand what you look like to the rest of the world.
  2. Batter fries. Sorry, but these crispy bad boys are risky, similar to driving below 70 on the Turnpike. Opt for more naked-looking fries that look as if they were simply cut and fried.
  3. Mexican food. If you don’t love Mexican and you’re gluten-free, you should rethink your life, because this is one area where many foods are safe or can be made safe through simple modifications. Simply watch out for meat seasoning ingredients, and make sure you ditch the flour tortillas outright.
  4. Asian food. Chinese takeout heavily involves gluten, from soy sauce to egg rolls. If you’re able to tolerate some level of gluten and you’re ordering take-out, pick plain dishes like Buddha’s Feast, and add a gluten-free sauce at home to be safe.
  5. Ask for a gluten-free menu. More and more restaurants are accommodating gluten allergies, so always ask questions. Also compare menus if possible, because many times gluten-free menus will not include every gluten-free item.
  6. Plan ahead. Keep gluten-free items available in your office, bag, or car, and store staples like bread and pasta at the homes of friends and relatives for visits.


What’s the most inconvenient thing about eating out gluten-free for you, and how do you handle it?