Finding a restaurant with a gluten-free menu can be downright
exhilarating. You breathe a sigh of relief that you’ll eat more
than lettuce and shredded carrots drizzled with olive oil, you
revel in the fact that there is an entire page of options that
actually look appetizing, and you relax knowing that those
preparing your food understand gluten issues.
I finally had a chance to try Amerigo’s gluten-free menu, but I
was reminded of a basic gluten-free dining rule:
NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN!
I was immediately impressed with the many options that were
listed on a menu that actually looked like a menu. No flimsy
little photocopied paper, a real menu. And the menu items
looked amazing. They even had gluten-free pasta! I had to try
Most people would just settle for knowing that the pasta is
gluten-free. But this gluten-free blogging geek had to know
what the pasta was made from. I know Maggiano’s uses a
delicious corn pasta. I enjoyed rice pasta at an Italian
restaurant in Portland before. I’m a huge fan of quinoa, and
lately I’ve really been enjoying Bionaturae pasta which
combines potato, rice, and soy flour.
I really was just curious, so I asked the waitress.
Me: What kind of flour is your gluten-free pasta made from?
Waitress: Uh, I’m not sure. I think maybe wheat?
Me: Oh no, oh no, oh no! That’s impossible. Because WHEAT
is NOT gluten-free. ALL wheat has gluten in it!
Waitress: Let me go check.
I know it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know the ingredients
in the gluten-free pasta. But instantly I knew that she had no
idea how to serve a gluten-free diner safely.
My waitress never did return with an answer to my question.
In fact, my waitress didn’t return at all. A new waiter took over
who made me feel a lot more comfortable about my impending
dining experience. I’m so thankful, because the Spaghetti
Pomodoro with Shrimp was incredible!
I’ll definitely return to Amerigo for another meal. While I’m
very thankful that gluten-free menus now abound, this is a
reminder to be careful, ask questions, and never let your guard
For photos see www.glutenfreecat.com