Yesterday, I went to Coldstone Creamery at the Blackstone Valley Mall in Millbury, MA. When I asked the server which of the ice creams were gluten free, she told me that at their store, all flavors but the cookie dough are GF. And then she retrieved a clipboard with a chart printed by Coldstone Creamery listing the ice cream flavors. The chart indicated which flavors had major allergans, for example nuts, gluten, etc. The list also included the mix-ins (butterfingers, m&m’s, etc.). Once I made a decision about which flavor I wanted, she volunteered, before I even had a chance to ask, to go into the back of the store and scoop my ice cream with a clean scoop, from a new container! I was so surprised (and delighted) that I asked for the manager so that I could compliment her. When the manager came out and I shared my compliment, she remarked that strangely enough, in the last several weeks, numerous people had come into the ice cream store asking about the gluten free status of the ice cream. AND she remarked that just the prior Monday, the area newspaper (Worcester Telegram & Gazette) published an article about Celiac. And in fact, she brought the article into her store and told all of her employees about it with the hope of educating them and helping to serve people who came in asking about GF ice cream. After she told me all of this, I then told her that I was the person featured in the article. She gasped and ran to the back of the store to get the article. She returned to the front of the store and asked for my autograph!!! What a hoot!
I felt very safe eating my ice cream treat. And yes, one more score for Celiacs! People are beginning to pay attention. If you are so inclined, call your local newspaper and ask them to do an article in their health section about Celiac and your story. It’s great to have the publicity for our cause. Maybe more and more restaurants will get on board.
Speaking of restaurants, we went to Longhorn Steakhouse in Fitchburg, MA last week. The manager bent over backwards to accomodate me. He personally spoke with the cook who was grilling my steak. They cleaned the grill and cooked my steak on a thick piece of foil. And he went into the kitchen and personally made my salad. I had a very pleasant and successful dining experience. He did tell me that they don’t have, nor do they plan on having, a gluten free menu. He said that management felt that they’d like to treat each individual customer and make sure that their needs were met. You can be sure we will return to that restaurant again and again.
I would like to bring your attention to a new and interesting website at www.LiveWithoutGluten.com. It is an excellent source for recipes and the people who run the site are as nice as the day is long. Check it out!
Anyway, happy July 4th to you all!