Ah, Cape Cod. Warm waters. Granite field fencing. Babies playing on the lawns. Sea grass and sunshine.
And the youngest, most inexperienced waiters in the world.
I lived on Cape Cod on and off for about 7 years. One thing never changed– most restaurant servers are your local teenagers.
Me: “I have Celiac Disease.”
Burlington waiter: “Oh, ok I will double-check on your order and let the kitchen know.”
Cape Cod waiter: “Huh?”
Me: “I am allergic to wheat.” (sometimes you have to make “medical metaphors” to get your point across)
Cape Cod waiter: “Well, we could substitute an English muffin. Does that have wheat?”
There are some truly fantastic places to eat gluten-free on Cape Cod, but that is a whole other post! This past week I was on the Cape for work and we went out for lunch. I was pretty hungry and hoping for something other than just a salad. We enter the Parkside, a new bisto/cafe in Falmouth, MA that claims to have GF options! I was up for the challenge.
Me: “I’d like to have your gluten-free bread on my sandwich but I have Celiac’s disease, which you should treat like a serious wheat allergy. Can you tell me how you prepare the sandwiches to avoid cross contamination? Could they use a clean prep surface and change their gloves?”
Her: “Yes, I will talk to them and make sure of that. We toast the bread but it’s a vertical toaster so there’s no crumbs or anything that can fall onto your gluten-free bread.” #palm/forehead!
Me: “Actually, touching the same surface as non- GF bread makes it not gluten-free. Please don’t toast my bread and, yes, thank you for talking to the staff before they make my sandwich.”
I must have put the fear of something into her because wide-eyed, she immediately took my order back to the kitchen (gotta love open kitchen plans where you can see what’s going on out back!!!) and gave them clear directions.
Great sandwich, no gluten issues. Even ordered from them again the next day.
The bottom line? Great lunch-time option in Falmouth and a reminder to always ask those annoying questions– it pays off in the end. Just add a smile and a tip to make the staff feel good about helping you out, not put-off
Safe travels and Happy September!