My community college’s radio program just had their end of the year banquet and award ceremony for all of the radio students from the last school year and, to my surprise, I actually won a certificate of achievement for “excellence in broadcasting.” While I enjoyed my AM radio class I was only able to take one before completing my two-year transfer degree (going to the University of Washington in the fall), so I was so surprised to win something.
As with most events, food played a key part in the festivities and the banquet was held at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Seattle. It’s a restaurant I’d never been to before, but I’d heard generally good things about it and according to their website they offered a complete gluten-free menu. My sister Shannon (who also is gluten-free) and I even got a cutesy little “gluten-free” flag (note the pic) planted right in the middle of our pasta.
Unfortunately, despite the “gluten-free” menu, talking about each option with the server, and the nifty little flag, Shannon and I both ended up getting glutened. We were there right at dinnertime and because we were a part of a banquet, the kitchen and wait staff were going a million miles an hour. It was the perfect setting to have someone forget to wash their hands before making my food, to use the same serving spoon that they had already used with the gluten pasta, or not be careful enough with a crumbly piece of bread.
Perhaps The Spaghetti Factory was having an off day due to the number of people they were feeding. I don’t know. It was odd though that both Shannon and I ended up getting sick when we’d both ordered different things off the “gluten-free” menu. When my future mother-in-law found out about our most recent glutening, she said that a young lady she knows never goes there because every time she’s been to the Spaghetti Factory in Seattle she’s gotten sick due to gluten.
To their credit, I loved the general atmosphere of the restaurant and the servers were friendly; if I didn’t have celiac I’d totally go back. I’m glad that I went to the banquet so that I could see everyone and be there to accept my certificate, but I wish I would’ve packed my own dinner. I appreciate the fact that they’re trying to be accommodating to their gluten-free guest. Unfortunately, due to the seriousness of celiac disease, “trying” isn’t good enough because now Shannon and I will be sick for a couple of days.
Other Articles of Interest:
- Gluten-Free 101: Cross-Contamination
- What the Menu Isn’t Telling You
- Frosted Brownies (gluten-free & sugar-free)