US & Global Menu Helper
Confidently Eat in Ethnic Restaurants
Throughout the US and the World
Even though more restaurants are offering gluten free menus and allergy charts, there may be times when you need to order from regular menus whether you are in Seattle, Chicago, Miami, London or even Tokyo.
Use ethnic restaurant menu helpers designed as easy-to-use mobile apps, books and ebooks to help you navigate your menu options. Based on 6 years of research and extensive accuracy testing, rely on the best-selling Let’s Eat Out series for the answers.
Understand dish preparation, food ingredients and what questions to ask in “restaurant terms” to make sure your meal is safe from gluten and the top allergens when dining in Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Steak & Seafood and Thai restaurants.
Questions to Ask Your Restaurant Server
About.com Family Vacations: For dining out, your book offers ordering guidelines for people with specific allergies and intolerances. Can you share a few examples of guidelines that would help parents or kids with an intolerance navigate a restaurant menu?
Kim Koeller: Based on global market research that we conducted, almost 90 percent of food service and hospitality professionals indicate that communication of special dietary needs when ordering is the top priority for gluten and allergen free guests.
Depending up on the desired ethnic restaurant meals, you also need to understand what ingredients and food preparation techniques are safe, what questions to ask the staff, where allergens may be hidden and what modifications can be made to easily accommodate the food allergy or intolerance.
So, parents or older kids first need to inform the restaurant wait staff of their food allergy or intolerance. Say, for example, “I’m allergic to gluten and wheat so I can’t eat any bread or flour.” Or “I’m allergic to dairy so I can’t have any milk and butter.”
Then, instead of simply asking, “Is this dish gluten free, dairy free or X allergen free?”, ask questions specific to the menu item based on ingredients and food preparation in restaurant terms.
For example, if they are gluten free, sample questions could be:
- Are your hamburgers and the flourless chocolate cake made with bread crumbs?
- Is your chicken flour dusted?
- Is the sauce made from a roux which includes wheat flour?
- Does your marinara sauce have parmesan cheese?
- Is your steak finished off with butter?
- Do you add milk to your omelette?
It is critical to understand what can and cannot be eaten based on ingredients and food preparation when navigating restaurant menus. Some tools to help ensure safe meals include our Let’s Eat Out book, iEatOut app for iPhone or Allergy Free Menu Helper app for Android.
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