Eating out is difficult and sometimes not fun because of celiac. We decided to go to Olive Garden because they have a gluten-free menu (nifty!). Of course you cannot have the breadsticks :(. Our server brought our salad with croutons on a seperate plate because I told him I was gluten-free. I actually didn't eat any salad because I wasn't sure on the dressing -I should have asked but they were busy that night so I just skipped-. On the website they have their gluten-free menu http://www.olivegarden.com/Menu/Gluten-Allergen/ and one of the items listed is salad with italian dressing so I assume it is gluten-free, but always ask.
Alright so I ordered Penne Rigate Pomodoro with shrimp (make sure you always specify gluten-free).
It was delicious, I loved it until I got to the end. I started finding other kinds of noodles in my pasta... Olive Garden only has gluten-free penne. I don't know if I ate any of the noodles, but they did touch my food. We asked our waiter about it and he went and talked to the cooks and his manager. The manager came to our table and explained that they cook the pastas in the morning in like 500 degree water and then bag them and place in the fridge for the day. She said that gluten-free pasta goes into a seperate cooker or whatever it is than regular pasta so she really has no idea how they were mixed.
I have eaten at Olive Garden twice since I was diagnosed and this has happened both times =/. There isn't really anything they could do about it because I had already ate it. She did apologize and take it off of our bill though. I think they should better inform their staff on gluten intolerance, especially if they want to advertise a gluten-free menu.
Right now I don't feel bad, but I am bloated a little=/. My celiac isn't as bad as others, I just get sick for 3ish months, but it could be deadly for some people. I think I will email the company and tell them what happened and that this could really hurt some people.
All in all I like Olive Garden and hope this is just a small issue that they can fix :). Oh and we had the best waiter ever! Olive Garden really is a great place so please don't think I am trying to diss it or anything. I just want my fellow celiac/gluten-free friends to be cautious. I will update this and blog again on Olive Garden if I get a reply from them about the problem.
I got a letter back! Read "Olive Garden Update"