The upswing of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in today’s population has created some new challenges for those who like to dine out, but it is possible for those individuals to enjoy a break from cooking in Fallbrook!
For those unfamiliar with it, gluten is a shorthand term for a family of storage proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some patients experience mild difficulties consuming those substances, while others have severe reactions and go on to develop celiac disease. In essence, gluten sensitivity causes the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine.
According to Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Joseph Murray, M.D., “Celiac disease is becoming a public health issue. Studies show four times the incidence compared to 1950, with fatal complications if it goes untreated. Celiac disease was rare, but it’s now more common in all age groups.” In addition, Mayo Clinic reports that it has found a “fourfold higher death risk for people with undiagnosed gluten intolerance.”
Hence the reason more and more restaurant menus include notations next to choices indicating that they are “gluten-free,” because the demand has heightened. Servers, chefs, and managers have become accustomed to being posed questions relating to this topic from individuals. And celiac patients should not hesitate to do so.
“Never assume anything is gluten-free” should be the motto.
Have a desire for Italian food? Eating gluten-free is made easy at Fresco Grill in Bonsall’s River Village. Owner Leone D’arcangelo was sincere when he said, “It’s very easy to eat in my restaurant if you have dietary restrictions.”
Fresco’s offers gluten-free pasta in three forms: spaghetti, penne, and fettucine noodles. All sauces are adaptable to gluten-free preparation and cross-contamination is not a concern at this professional eatery.
Imagine the Gamberoni alla Senape – jumbo shrimp sautéed with garlic, white wine, and artichoke hearts in a creamy Dijon sauce, or Veal Marsala – where tender veal and mushrooms are sauteed in a Marsala sauce – perfectly acceptable for a celiac patient. The possibilities are endless at Fresco, as each dish is prepared fresh, to order and as “special” as it needs to be.
“Whether a customer needs gluten-free, or is vegetarian or vegan, we can prepare their meal accordingly, however they want,” said D’Arcangelo.
Starving for Mexican food? Delos Eyer, owner of La Caseta Fine Mexican Food, said he has many customers who adhere to gluten-free diets.
“We have lots of options in gluten-free dining,” said Eyer. “All taco and enchilada plates (made with corn tortillas) are good choices, including the beans and rice. Our tamales and nachos are gluten-free also and none of our meat preparation techniques include gluten.” In the variety of sauces Eyer uses on his cuisine, only one is not gluten-free he said.
“Our Ranchero, Verde, and Yucatan sauces are all gluten-free, as well as our salsas,” said Eyer.
Those who adhere to a vegetarian diet as well would enjoy La Caseta’s Lite Tostada with its tasty cilantro lime dressing or the flavorful Lettuce Wraps.
At Fallbrook’s popular Garden Center Café, it is refreshing to find an interesting selection of tasty, house-made salad dressings that work for gluten-free dining.
“All of our (salad) dressings are gluten free – the Raspberry Vinaigrette, Garden Center Sweet Onion, Tomatillo Cilantro, and Jalapeno Sesame,” said server Tammie Faught. Paired with fresh salad choices, it is optimally palatable for those with the gluten intolerance. Their sandwich creations can be enjoyed as well, with a slight change.
“Our customers can also order any of our sandwiches without the bread and we will make it like a ‘stack,’ or do a lettuce wrap on it,” explained Faught.
In Fallbrook, restaurant proprietors, servers, and chefs are making significant efforts to meet the dietary needs of those with gluten intolerance. Isn’t it time to take a break and let someone else do the work for a change?