Friday, March 25, 2011

Carrabba's Italian Grill - Gluten Warning RANT!

Let me start by setting the stage:

The first thing I do before we visit a new restaurant is 1. check their website and 2. call them.

We are possibly going to be visiting a Carrabba's Italian Grill in the near future and I wanted to see what they offered ahead of time.

So..... visited their website.  Absolutely NO information about a gluten free menu.

On to #2 - the phone call.  This is what got VERY interesting!

"Hello, Carrabba's".  "Can you please tell me if you offer a gluten free menu?", I asked.  "All of our grilled items are safe without the seasoning."  "Ok", I thought. 

Then....He said, "AND we offer wheat flour pasta."  I politely asked, "So you don't offer a gluten free pasta?".  His response was, "Yes, all of our pastas are made with wheat flour."


I snipped at him, "A gluten allergy is an allergy to wheat!".  "Hold on", he said.  When he came back on the phone, he just said they don't offer gluten free pasta.

Honestly, my gripe wasn't with him.  It was with Triumph Dining Gluten Free Restaurant Guide.  I paid $50.00 to get the restaurant guide, grocery guide and dining cards.  If a restaurant is listed in this book, I feel that they should have a decent understanding of what gluten is. 

Am I wrong?

I looked in the back of the book and they stated this for Carrabba's, "The grill is not dedicated to gluten-free.  Carrabba's has assembled this menu with help from the Gluten Intolerance Group.  Neither organization is responsible for its use or consequential damages.  Carrabbas has not independently verified the information provided by GIG.  Staff is not trained on all aspects of Celiac Disease or the gluten-free diet.  Please direct questions and requests to GIG or Carrabba's corporate office.  Customers should consider this information as it pertains to their own dietary needs."

Honestly, this is the worst amount of HOG WASH that I've ever run into!  How in the world did they ever get into the Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide?

1.  Grill is not dedicated to gluten-free so HIGH chance of cross-contamination.  I always ask restaurants to grill on foil since this is a common thing across the board.
2.  If a restaurant is listed in the Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, then I feel that they should ALL know what a gluten allergy is.

I have called and complained to Triumph and I will absolutely be making a call to Carrabba's Corporate Office.

In my opinion, the chance of cross-contamination in this restaurant is unbelievably high due to the lack of gluten information given to the staff.  In my opinion, with a warning statement like that one that they made, they are not worthy of being in the Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide to begin with!

Please see my Update Post!

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