We are neck deep in the process of buying a new house. When I say neck deep, we’ve been looking at Real Estate for about 4 months now, and our house closes on November 1st. Really, we’re looking at moving. Of course, we’re moving pretty quickly with this whole moving thing, because we still haven’t 100% bought a place yet. We’re just under contract. Yup, that’s how we do this moving thing.
This whole process has made us do a lot of eating out. We’ve been going to open houses every weekend for months. We’ve been going to look at house after work. And since there’s very food quick fix gluten free meals, we’re had to find food out and about.That can be a tall order for a Celiac, because of all of the things that we mentioned in the blog before. I’ve been eating a lot of Chipotle and Red Robin, because they’re good at the gluten free thing.
We have taken to carrying around cash to tip anyone who does gluten fr
ee really well. When I ask for them to change their gloves and instead they offer to make my food in the back, away from all of the gluten foods, you bet I’m going to toss a couple of dollars into the tip jar. Places like Chipotle, this is just their normal standard procedures. But if you walk into a Panera and get that offer, I’ll give them a couple of bucks. I still tip at the Chipotle, because they do well and should be rewarded to doing well.
Of course, I have been known to tip up to 50% if aserver says the magic words “Oh I totally understand, I have [insert family member or friend] who eats gluten free.” It instill this sense of security and a camaraderie with the server. They understand what I’m going through! They can take care of me! I trust them! Yup, I will pay good money for this. It’s the same sense you get when you walk into a gluten free bakery, you have a guide who can point you through a menu or advocate for you with the kitchen. As a celiac, you going to put a lot of effort out there. You’ll make calls to restaurants to make sure they can accommodate you. You’ll give your pre-prepared speech every time you order. Just that moment when you realize that you have someone who is really on your side, really willing to help you out and go to bat for you (even if it’s just for one meal) you gotta reward that person.
I’ve had a couple of these great interactions. The first time I tried our local taco place (plus tequila bar) I had a server who had a family member that had celiac. He pointed me to menu items that I could eat, and even gave me a suggestion of what to have on that menu (grilled halibut tacos with mango salsa and chimichurri and grilled asparagus on the side). This was my first real experience with the “I know” servers, and I thought I would never have it happen again. But I’ve had people say that they eat gluten free, and made sure the kitchen was extra careful. I had people go to the bar to check what alcohol they had, and said “I see my mom drink this and she is gluten free.” I even had one person who came by saying that she had chills because kitchen had accidentally pit an onion ring on my place and she was worried that I was going to “die” from it.
That’s not all of my experiences, but some of the most note worthy. I have had a lot of great interactions by just being blunt and asking for help. There are some restaurants where they just met my expectations of taking care of me. But then there were these amazing superhero servers who went above and beyond. I think they they should be called out as the amazing human being that they are. We’ve all had someone in customer service who go out of their way to help. The best of them will just tell you that they’re “just doing their job.” It doesn’t mean that you are any less appreciative of their help. Unlike a lot of other customer service jobs, you can reward the servers for their work by leaving a bigger tip, and you probably should.