Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Lean Gourmet Eats Out at Cheesecake Factory and almost glutened!

Happy weekend everyone! I tweeted yesterday asking everyone what their plans for this weekend entailed. My folks and baby brother are visiting us in sunny Florida this weekend. My family arrived yesterday after I got off work so we went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory

mushroom burger gfree style
This is the second time I have eaten there while following my gluten free diet. The restaurant doesn't have  a gluten free menu, but rather items that can be prepared gluten free off the menu. My biggest concern eating here is cross contamination. I will get to that later. I ordered a mushroom burger with a lettuce "bun" and a side salad. The fries are not gluten free since they do not have a dedicated fryer for gluten free foods.
My brother Isaac and Me

 Isabella wanted a burger too so I ordered her the mini sliders off the kid's menu. As far as we know she is not gluten intolerant like me. So she enjoyed  having the brown bread from the bread basket, her mini burgers, and fries

My burger was delicious. I asked the server for some spicy brown mustard. I opened the jar that was already opened and slathered on the Grey Poupon, took a big'ol bite, and panicked. I didn't think about cross contamination until that first burger bite. Cross contamination with gluten free food can happen easily at restaurants especially ones that don't have a dedicated gluten free kitchen. If someone had dipped their knife into the mustard and spread it on their burger bun and then re-dipped the knife again in the jar for more mustard then the jar of mustard would be considered cross contaminated with gluten. 
When I first started eating gluten free this happened in my own home. Even recently it happened again. My friend Dave had brought over peanut butter to have lunch with my husband and left the jar on accident. It is the same brand we eat and I thought nothing of it and used it all week. I couldn't figure out why I was sick for an entire week. One morning I opened the jar in front of my husband and he said, that's Dave's don's use it. Then I said so that's why I've been feeling crumby all week; it is cross contaminated. My husband didn't even think of that:(

So far this morning I am happy to report I am feeling fine and not glutened.
My parents and brother ordered cheesecake to go for dessert and we walked around browsing the shops around the restaurant.

 There is a charming children's train that kids can ride near the restaurant  My daughter, Isabella, is obsessed LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine movies and toys. She thought the train was Thomas so her and Uncle Isaac took a ride. I took the opportunity to grab some yummy gluten free yogurt from Fro-Yotopia. They only have 2 flavors that are not gluten free. I had the original Tart yogurt. and Sweet Coconut topped with fresh berries and pineapple. It was fresh and so delicious. I highly recommend this place for gluten free treats!


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