Triumph Dining sent a copy of their Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, and a set of their Dining Cards, to Gf-Zing! for review. We have tested the book in two states so far, and we have used the cards extensively in American, Thai, Indian and other restaurants and can say that the cards provide an easy way to communicate the gluten-free dietary restriction to restaurant staff. We consider these the restaurant guide and the cards to be true “workhorses” of our gluten-free collection.
The dining cards are useful both with the manager and with the waitstaff. A second less obvious use is that by reading the English translation on the back of each card the diner can find out what the risky items are in each ethnic cuisine, and this proves useful in grocery stores as well. These cards are useful and convenient, and we rely on them heavily. The only difficulties we have had are 1) sometimes the staff will interpret gluten-free to mean ‘spice-free’ and we have to assure them that indeed we like spices and flavors, just no wheat, barley or rye and 2) for the Chinese card sometimes the staff cannot read the characters for barley or rye and has difficulty interpreting the card. Our only other wish is that Triumph dining will produce a Korean and a Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese card!
The Essential Guide to Gluten Free Dining is a very useful book as well. We take it with us when traveling, and we even learned about some new opportunities right in our own back yard. The bright orange cover makes it easy to unearth on the coffee table or in the car. We like this guide, even though we were initially skeptical – we have the internet, right? so, why do we need a book? Well, when you have left your wireless connectivity behind, and you’re on the interstate and hungry, it is just great to be able to leaf through and find tons of restaurants that are not too far away, with phone numbers and menu hints, and sometimes the name of the owner. This book is a welcome addition to our gluten-free library!