Many ethnic restaurants regularly serve items that are gluten free, but I haven’t encountered many that take advantage of the opportunity to market this feature.
Chinese restaurants and Thai restaurants that prepare meals with rice noodles, rather than wheat noodles, have several options. Chen Chinese Cuisine in Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills, offers several dishes that are naturally gluten free, including Moo Goo Gai Pan and Pad Thai, and you can also order egg foo yung gluten free. We had a wonderful meal at Yu’s Mandarin, but their extensive menu doesn’t emphasize their many gluten free dishes.
Japanese restaurants also have a number of dishes that are gluten free, but are more likely to feature the gluten free options. See the Kids and Gluten Free menu for Pl8 in Barrington.
And the Middle Eastern restaurants, the Indian restaurants, and others. To my mind, they are missing a terrific marketing opportunity. Maybe there is a trade group that could take the initiative to publicize this.
About two-and-a-half years ago, my doctor suggested that I try a gluten free diet. His suggestion was based on a high level of thyroid antibodies, and some other symptoms. I felt that I could certainly try it for a while and see what happened.
I wanted to find out more about gluten intolerance and read a couple of books on the subject. My reading led me to understand that there are varying degrees of gluten intolerance, with the most extreme level being celiac disease. This casual research was part of my introduction to gluten free living. I initially thought that a gluten free diet would be difficult and leave me feeling deprived, but the selections offered by a number of restaurants and food companies have provided me with a good variety of satisfying food options. There are also many excellent recipes available online and in cookbooks. (My current lifestyle doesn’t include a lot of home cooking, though.)
As my trial with living gluten free progressed, I found that my bouts with digestive problems became fewer and subsided almost entirely. I felt that eating a gluten free diet was producing beneficial results. What is confusing to me is the reporting about gluten free in the media. There seems to be no acknowledgment in the reporting of any legitimate need for gluten free diets except for people with celiac disease. Gluten intolerance which is not severe enough to be celiac disease is not mentioned. Eating gluten free is often referred to as another fad diet craze! So you are either celiac or just following an eating fad!! I certainly hope the public discussion – some of it by members of the medical community – doesn’t persuade the food manufacturers and restaurateurs to abandon the effort to provide gluten free food. Why is there such a difference between the information I found in the books I read and the information being provided by the media.
I would love to hear from any readers who can add to this discussion.