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For more gluten-free choices, check out low carb and vegan options

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The outrageously rich flourless chocolate cake that became a restaurant dessert menu staple several years ago is an excellent example of foods that do ‘double duty’ for diners. Flourless chocolate cake is often described as ‘an indulgent treat for chocolate lovers.’ If you have ever had this cake, you know that it is as described. And, this cake is also gluten-free (though rarely is it advertised or written about that way).

Back in the 1970’s when the first version of a famous diet doctor’s low carb diet became popular, in the disallowed food list happened to be everything that contained wheat and almost all grains, too. As many people decided that eating low-carb was the best diet for them, they didn’t even realize that they were also eating a gluten-free diet. Hmm… see where this is going?

Sometimes, it may be better not to ask about gluten-free restaurant menu selections. Sometimes it is better to ask for low-carb or vegan options. Why, you may ask?

Many establishments believe that is they offer an item as gluten-free, they must certify it to be from a no cross-contamination environment. This simply isn’t so. People with Celiac disease who must eaten pure gluten-free foods know this. Those who are not sensitive to cross-contamination do, too.

If an establishment wants to certify an item as gluten-free, there are steps the must take to do so and insure that these steps are followed. However, any place can offer a wide variety and selection of foods that fit many people’s needs – and offer a short disclaimer as to the possibility of cross-contamination as open disclosure.

As a restaurant customer, by keeping your mind open to what different menus provide and how other dietary selections can also meet a gluten-free standard, you can have better dining experiences.

A restaurant you might want to check out is Zoe’s Kitchen (http://zoeskitchen.com for locations and menu), and before going take a look at their ‘Live Mediterranean’ style with options for everyone. http://zoeskitchen.com/LiveMediterranean.aspx

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