Saturday, December 18, 2010


Eating around the holidays is MUCH better this time around! Last year, I received a box of Frango chocolates (loaded with milk). At our office Christmas party at Maggiano’s, I was just dairy free and I filled up on bread because I could not eat any of the appetizers (this was before my salad eating days), and my plain grilled chicken breast and barely blanched green beans on a pitiful looking plate arrived AFTER everyone else was finished with their first helpings. I did not stay to see what my fruit cup looked like. Situations like this are what give me major food anxiety that prevent me from feeling safe or enjoying dining out.

Thankfully, this year’s holiday festivities are off to a great start!

Instead of chocolates, I received gluten free cookies from my boss and his wife! Yay for food I can eat myself rather than regift!!! I spoke to someone from Maggiano’s a week ago to go over my menu. The restaurant prides themselves on being able to make some gluten free food, but as I saw with how dairy-free was handled last year, I was obviously very skeptical. One of the two salads would be safe (the other had blue cheese), salmon over herbs and gf pasta with a red sauce, and dessert would be a plate of fruit. My salmon and pasta would have special preparation to make sure that they were gf. I was feeling better after talking to the Maggiano’s representative, but was still scared of a repeat of last year.

I must say, I am quite impressed by Maggiano’s making me dairy and gluten free food. (And this time around, I received my food first!) The salmon was especially delicious and their gf pasta was just like I make at home. The fruit plate was a little disappointing only because I am so used to having traditional desserts converted to gf at home. But when dining out with a food allergy or two, it seems like fruit is the easiest solution for the chefs. If you are just gluten free, Maggiano’s did have more (dairy filled) gf options! Be sure to ask!

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