A couple of weeks back I received a complimentary copy of Triumph Dining’s 5th Edition of their Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. I have an earlier version that I purchased shortly after I started the gluten-free diet, but seeing that it was over 4 years ago, it was time for an update. In that first year, the guide came in extremely useful, especially during road trips.
The 5th Edition has been updated to include menus for 120 National & Regional Chains and 6,500 restaurants for all 50 states. In addition to restaurant locations and menus, the guide also includes tips on navigating menus, communicating with the staff and a dining out checklist.
The menus all have dates of when the information was confirmed and most have phone numbers if you are interested in contacting them yourself to follow up. I think it is important to remember that this is just what it says – a “guide”. Always ask for the most current information before ordering and even follow that up with asking questions to make sure the staff is aware of what they are doing. Triumph also makes dining cards to help educate the staff to let them know what is safe & unsafe for us to eat. I always have these in my purse in case dining at a restaurant that doesn’t have a gluten-free menu is unavoidable.
I want to also point out that I found a discrepancy in at least one of the menus. In the guide, Triumph states that the Asian Chopped Chicken Salad at Pei Wei Asian Diner should be ordered without lime vinaigrette. This is not the case on the Pei Wei gluten-free menu posted on their website. I thought that maybe a change had been made recently, as I have been eating that dressing there for several years with no adverse reaction, but that is not the case. I think that this just goes to show that you need to double check your information when dining out with any kind of special diet due to Celiac Disease or food allergies & intolerances. It is also possible that a restaurant may change suppliers or manufacturers and therefore a product or menu item may no longer be gluten-free.
In addition to the Restaurant Guide, Triumph also has The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide. This guide includes over 30,000 brand-name and store-brand gluten-free grocery items. The book is color coded, making it easy to menu plan and find your favorite items easily.
All of Triumph’s products can be purchased on their website. If you are interested in saving some money, consider ordering the “Combo Pack” for only $49.95. This pack includes both books and the dining cards – a savings of almost $13.00! This would make a great holiday gift or care package for those newly diagnosed or college students that may be struggling with the diet while away at school.
I want to send out a “Thank You” to the wonderful folks at Triumph for the Dining Guide – it will be put to good use! I am considering sending it to the parents of Jon’s friends where he hangs out. The kids rotate houses every weekend and sending this guide along with him may simplify things a bit for them all.