Sunday, February 17, 2008

Navigating Valentine's Day

So, as the media, chocolate, flower and jewelry industries have been reminding us for at least the last month, this past Thursday was St. Valentine's Day. Now, disregarding your personal feelings about Valentine's Day, the traditional dinner out can be more traumatic for a GFer than we care to admit. Mine was successful in terms if avoiding gluten, but just about a washout in terms if romance.

My honey picked me up from work and was already hungry, he wanted to stop at one of Manhattan's numerous serve yourself salad bar places. I remind him that I just can't do that. (Anyone else have a reaction from contaminated food from one of those salad bars?) I'm just to sensitive to take any chances. We compromise and decide to go to our neighborhood Peruvian restaurant that we know has lots of food I can eat.

We never make it there, but stop at a Colombian brasserie that's right by our subway stop. The nice thing about Latin restaurants is that they don't use flour in most of there cooking. Unless you order bread you're pretty safe. Although I have learned that both seco and cevice can be made with beer. In any case, we had a great dinner and I didn't have to worry about what I was ordering (at least not any more than I would about general healthfulnes).

As we headed home we detoured to our favorite neighborhood bar. Now, drinking is not important to me and I don't carry a list of what I can, or can't, drink. I have a glass of white wine and I know that I can't drink any of Marco's Long Island Iced Tea. So far, so good. The bartender brings over chocolate, both those little foil wrapped hearts and whole fundraising chocolate bars, I'm able to read the labels on the larger bars, and they thoughtfully tell me that there is wheat in the crisped rice. I recently discovered that there is barley malt in Lindt truffles so I avoid that nondescript chocolates as well.

The evening didn't end all rosey, but I navigated the hidden gluten pitfalls. I ended up fixated on the chocolate and ran to CVS for some Peeps, and my date had about two drinks too many. But that has nothing to do with gluten.

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