Neither my husband and I are working at the moment. Best practice is complete avoidance. Keep up the good work. . The hives were extremely itchy, lumpy and painful and lasted for several days. Now Im really sick. I called the manager and he apologized and refunded my money, but still… People don’t take Celiac seriously and all restaurant employees need some education on different food allergies/intolerances/diseases. Maybe that gave you a stomach ache and illness today. An Interview with Dr. Peter Gibson, Let’s Talk About (Gluten) Intolerance: An Interview With Chef Marc Vetri, An Interview with Jenna Drew: Miss NJ International and Fellow Celiac Advocate, 20 Emails in 4 Days: Part IV (the final act), Celiac.com: A Tragic Tale of Good Intention$ Gone Awry. I have an intolerance to it and it makes me very ill and causes migraines. boycott the place? Also, if you can afford the calories, the dessert is really great! Struggling through health issues and trying to eat gluten free can make a person feel a tad…alone. I didn’t eat at PF Chang’s often, but I always felt safe there. When I eat out and that is rare now..eating away from home has become less desirable over the last few months ..I can’t see paying 3 times as much for bland and boring food that might or might not make me feel horrible for weeks.. Not worth the risk besides I make better meals at home or a quick trip a grocery store to grab natural lunch meat, baby carrots and an apple keeps me safe and and fills the hump lol.. I had to share this because I thought the timing was just so weird – not two days after I posted here, extolling the awesome that is my local PF Chang’s, my sis and I went to dinner there. What Recourse Do We Have When a Restaurant Lies to Us? Caitlyn Miller But, the Palo Alto, CA location is ok. I do however find it strange how many Celiacs just wanna go to a big chain restaurant and feel like they give a Damm. It was so salty that I wouldn’t have been able to eat it anyway. I just wish I had some way of knowing if the things I eat often were safe. If you don’t mind my asking, what is the local restaurant where you feel safe? “Its a pain, this celiac thing, but I’m glad there are so many vocal advocates to making sure there’s a great experience for everyone.”. The easiest PF Chang's for you to get to would be White Plains. When I got home hubby said, next time bring your own lunch and give the owner 5 bucks like a corkage fee. The bottom line is — you can’t trust restaurants that mix having GF with gluten-filled dishes. If you order online your food will have a pink allergy sticker on it, just make sure you write your allergies/state you have celiac in the notes section. The thing about PF Changs is if you go during rush time, its going to be a madhouse. WE, the celiac sufferers, have to raise the bar, and most importantly, take a stand when the standard is not being met. I’m working on building relationships with some of the restaurants around me, but honestly, it’s not worth it. The calories and fat content of some of these dishes is unbelievable- some are nearly 2000 calories! And when I spoke to the chef a few days later, he fell all over himself apologizing.” We take GF and all allergies very seriously”…. Let’s face it, “gluten-free” is a FAD right now. So far they’ve always brought out the gfree sauces and have used the special plates. Nice to electronically meet you Heidi. You help people feel less lost/angry/scared/sad. Doc told me I was an unlucky one. I love PF Changs, but I will say I’ve had way better experiences with their lunch menu than their dinner menu. I also take my own food in the containers I will eat it in when I go to my in-laws’ house. I tried it a couple of times and got sick each time. I was not symptomatic when I was diagnosed so I really would have no idea if I was being glutened there or not. Eating out is definitely a risk. I think the goal of the group is to dine at ALL the gluten-free places! I’m not sure what the PF stands for in your name, but for me it now means Painful Food. There aren’t any Pei Wei’s where I live in CA – but knowing there are a few more options out there when I travel is great news. For those that don’t, thank your lucky stars. I've been to the Palo Alto and Sunnyvale locations. I greedily ordered and sat down excitedly. As a person with celiac disease (gluten intolerance), I salute them. I agree with you and trying to get to the bottom of it, because I love pf Chang’s and have eaten there a million times over the years (i travel a lot and it or chipotle are my go tos!) I ate there 3times with out any symptoms at all . And, for a while that was the case. I think you should have a little chat with the manager, even if you don’t plan on eating there again, just so they know they are doing something unsafe. Your latest post is why my son wants to be Gluten Dude when he grows up. I didn’t eat anything that night I just had water .. I’m done with them lol, I get the blank look a lot. I’ve been burned too many times. Have an issue with something in the wine? I do not mean to argue with you, hon, but there is simply no solid proof of a corporate-wide mass glutening of diners because of some “hidden gluten ingredients.”. Maybe Chang's would do better in future but they have to cut down on the amount of salt they use.....that really ruined it. However, I do not get sick if I get glutened so I have no way of telling when I accidentally eat gluten. The manager asked me how my gluten free meal was I mentioned that I was alarmed that the menu said the soy sauce was only wheat free and he said it was too expensive for PF Changs to purchase gluten free soy sauce. (No Pei Wei unless I want plain rice and broccoli, but I do go for an ice tea sometimes!) I think eating out is one of the things I miss the most. And for the record, I agree with a previous poster–all vinegar, except malt vinegar is safe for celiacs. It seems to be hit or miss with a lot of folks. Why the hell not? I just had to write and tell you how much I appreciate your blunt honesty and fighting voice in the celiac community. LOL! but they don’t. I’m guessing rice wine is okay (not sure)?? The site is very easy to use too. One of your blogs appeared in the middle of a sea of the usual B.S. I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for providing the missing piece in my ongoing struggle with mood swings and behavioral issues. I have never gotten sick from eating there! Thanks Gluten Dude. This works well to drive home my point of this being serious and to keep staff aware. It could be due to the fact I also noticed a decline in the service generally as well. However, this past weekend my family went there again and this time the waitress was not as friendly or helpful. If I get sick at a restaurant, or one of my family members, and that restaurant claims to be that careful in their kitchen practices, then I have a BIG problem with it. I actually am an employee at PF Changs and have been for several years. If a “few isolated incidences” also happen in other cities and to other people then I have an even bigger problem. To My Fellow Celiac: You are NOT an Outcast! I have had some in depth conversations with two separate managers, one in LA, and one up here in Emeryville, and the training they get on Gluten Free is really astounding considering that they are a national chain. The next time, it’s good, but the time after that? Gluten ALLERGY?! let ’em have it!!! I'm so glad I did eventually (last year) stumble upon your blog. From my experience, P.F. Just me. Chang's and, quite frankly, am surprised that so many think their food good. Why should I believe a couple of people posting on the internet that they think they were “glutened” by a restaurant with a great gf protocol? I will have to call the restaurant and ask some questions. 1) Our servers ring in the dish as Gluten Free which prints on the kitchen ticket and alerts the staff that the dish has an allergy associated They also make pizza crust mix, dinner roll mix, and sandwich roll mix. It was on the right plates (I asked, although they weren’t red, except for the sauce). “Fortunately” I have other food allergies so many of the g/f options available to you are off limits to me anyway. I wonder though, could you eaten soy? Chang’s China Bistro. It seems a lot of celiacs simply cannot handle their food. Both times I ordered off the gluten free menu and informed the waiter. Dear Dude: My Girlfriend has Celiac and Cheats. I’m so sorry to hear that this happened. Many are located right off or close to a major highway so getting there is easy enough. I know some of you are going to scoff, but yes I am strongly suggesting that each Celiac take some responsibilty and action towards ensuring that the food experinces you have while eating out are fun and positive instead of stress filled events to be avoided!!! I have celiac disease, but I do not suffer any longer, now that I am not dying from the disease process. Many of PF Chang's gluten free meals are identical to options on the regular menu (minus the gluten, of course! only to have a similar experience as you. Dee, that is awesome that a manager is involved in that way. I suggest to everybody to get that done. But, you’re absolutely right that there is no way to know if you could potentially be harming yourself by eating something bad. Melissa, Thanks Melissa. This has happened several times to me, and finally it’s ended with me being ill for 2 weeks and vowing never to eat there again. It gives her an opportunity to put in a plug for gluten free dining options, as well. Since I react to both wheat and soy, unfortunately Chinese is pretty much “out” for me. Don’t get the cheese or lettuce at the end of the line because they all use their hands to get it out, so even if the person getting your food has clean gloves everybody else has already touched it. It really means so much! I am truly enjoying a website dedicated to the few, the proud, the gluten free. To make a long story short, I ate my lunch and enjoyed the heck out of it. They were incredibly apologetic many times over. One time, my food came out on the wrong plate. I was sooo cautious and asked again and the guy didn’t even check. Good for her every day life – bad, I guess for ever knowing if she’s getting glutened or not though. That’s why we all have to be such hawks and complain if something does get screwed up. I usually am a nervous wreck eating any where, but PF Chang’s is one I feel sort of safe at. I always use the word “severe” when I eat out, hoping it gets them to take me a bit more serious. You would have to take the train to White Plains and then take a cab from the train station (there are usually always cabs just waiting there). Chang’s before, but it’s good to know that it’s an option. Sometimes I even get slight reactions when I cook at home. Ok I’m back less than 24 hours later to say DON’T TRUST CHANGS!!! It's easy to find....Harvard Square in Boston, Mass., right down the street from Harvard University. The staff gave me a lot of reassurances, ate egg drop soup, brown rice, spinach and garlic. Thank you SO much! I won’t try that again! Finally a place where I'm not viewed as 'weird' or 'fanatic' about food. I laughed and cried because this was where I felt connected. I’m also allergic to avocado so this makes my sushi fever even more difficult and annoying to the chefs. Then again, my sensitivity to cross contamination and gluten parts per million has gotten so sky high that I do not eat out anymore, anywhere, period. Don't worry about reservations...they don't take them unless you have a group of 8 or more. If they know a little I would be afraid of any misinformation they were given down the line that will make any Celiac sick. I know this because my friend ordered it at the same time I did. They have a GF hot bar! Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. They have a fabulous, full Italian menu, served out of two (2) yes, I said TWO, kitchens. But, a few isolated incidents is simply not a large enough number for anyone to conclude “this very well could be an oversight of gluten in one if the ingredients used in many if not all of the chains”. ugh. Going out to eat and feeling normal is such a rare treat. One I will never go back to is BJ’s Restaurant due to a similar experience. Additionally, I think re-learning what to eat is a personal and unscientific process. . But then little things started happening. A manager came out as we dining and he said the pork was the least spicy. Their establishment is 100% GF–new equipment that has never touched a grain of gluten. The other time I cried in a restaurant, it was my birthday and we were at a restaurant that had a gluten free menu and other celiacs had reported it was good, and after asking about food prep I found out that the entire GF menu is prepared on the same surfaces and cookware as the gluten. So bottom line, you’re not the only one having a problem with PF Changs food, and I do sympathize with you. I’ve also found that calling and discussing with the manager after you get sick really helps, it gives them a heads up that they need to be watching their line cooks a bit more and that it might also be time for a fresh round of employee training on how to handle gluten-free items. I’m not saying I was being glutened (I’m not saying I wasn’t either) but I just didn’t feel well. So off I went, checked-in with the manager and server, told them about my Celiac, and was giving the all to familiar, “don’t worry, we will keep your food safe”. It is indeed magnificent. Gluten sick. All the other beers are gluten reduced beers. Even my friends who aren’t GF like them, and like the idea that they are protein rather than starch. Symptoms or not – it’s very helpful having someone who has already dealt with this to guide you. I would never have been able to eat anything there if they were dosing foods with MSG. It gets worse, in spite of the fact that you explain your story the same each time. I even went back a few weeks later. The food came out on a “regular plate” so I questioned it. Will have to try Rialto the next time I'm in Boston. I avoid everything else because they use their hands to grab it. and Deerfield Bakery has a pretty good GF selection as well. 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