Life as a Celiac is hard enough giving up food you love, not being able to be spontaneous when it comes to meals, scouring labels and calling companies to ensure what you are eating is safe. And that’s if you are just at home, in your insulated world. It’s when you step outside that things really get tough. Going to restaurants when you have Celiac disease is scary and nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, my daughter and I learned this the hard way.
We had lunch recently at Biaggi’s Italian Restaurant in Victor, NY. We have happily dined there many times before. My 11 year old daughter has Celiac disease. They pride themselves on having an extensive gluten free menu and advertise that they take that very seriously.
On this particular day, we ordered the fantastic gluten free chocolate cake they serve, as we usually do. (Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery supplies them with this cake.) The waitress brought out what I knew was not the gluten free cake. It looked completely different. I questioned her twice and she confidently assured me that the cake put in front of my Celiac daughter was gluten free. I insisted that it wasn’t. She took it and went to check, then came back with the actual gluten free chocolate cake, no apology, nothing. I asked to speak with the manager, who was very apologetic. But I’m not sure that was enough to make us want to return. If that was our first trip to Biaggi’s, I wouldn’t have known what the gluten free cake looked like. My daughter would have eaten it and been severely sick.
Biaggi’s is delicious and my daughter adores their gluten free pizza. Our whole family loves to go there because we can get a wide variety of wonderful food and my daughter is very happy with her gluten free pizza and cake. But my confidence in them as a gluten free/celiac safe restaurant is gone. So if you go, please ask to speak to the manager when you arrive and ask them to oversee your order.
Disclaimer: This is an independent review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer but wholeheartedly supported by the gluten free chef.