Monday, October 31, 2011

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Diablo Royale Restaurant

I do not suggest anyone that is gluten-free go to this restaurant!  

There are not many restaurants these days that I can't get a gluten-free dish or worry about major cross contamination but this spot really does take the cake.  Or shall I say non-Gluten-Free corn chip...Oh no wait!  It's not corn, it's flour! AHHHHH!

I had a birthday party on sunday at Diablo Royale, a tiny Mexican Saloon in the heart of the West Village. My friend Felicia always chooses these spectacular divvy spots (like Fish, Garage and others), so I didn't think twice when my friend told me that she had notified the Manager that I had Celiac and couldn't have gluten.  No problem.  She said they were going to change anything on our shared menu that had a flour taco/chip with 100% Corn.  I was psyched!, because this spot was family style.  So I sent my friend a list of questions to ask the chef:

Are the corn chips 100% corn?

Are the corn chips made in house or outside of the restaurant, if so what are the exact ingredients and what does the labeling say?

I cannot eat: flour, wheat, bread, thickeners, Sauces with gluten, fried and breaded foods...

Are the taco's 100% corn?

Do they dust anything with flour?

How big is the kitchen, and is there an area where they can cook my dishes separately?

Do the sauces have flour? wheat? bread crumbs? thickeners?

Are the potatoes dusted with flour?

Those were the basics.  I got confirmation on everything from my friend and was ready to go.

I arrive and there are cinnamon dusted chips on the table.  I ask the waiter to ask the manager to see if these are gluten-free.  I actually see him speaking to the manager.  I got the go-ahead!  Yeah! I downed 3.  Super psyched, Score!  ...

"Wait what?  these are not gluten-free?? Your waiter said you confirmed!! I just ate 2!  I'm going to get really sick!! Why would he confirm!!?? Ahhhhh!.  Crap.  I was able to spit 1/2 of one out...But down that gluten went, and it was definitely more then 1/8" of a teaspoon.  Great!.  Ugh.  The waiter was not apologetic and instead he said "well I hope you don't get sick".

Honestly, it was the last thing I needed.  Do I really want to feel horrible for what could be up to a few weeks?  And break out, stomach issues, hives/rashes, all over body itch and the whole nine yards?.  I can tell you I was so beyond annoyed.  He followed by saying " I know, I know...we were informed of the gluten thing".  Obviously they didn't even take it seriously.  

Everytime thereafter a dish came out I had to ask the waiter if they could confirm everything that was served was 100% corn.  Their waitstaff got really annoyed with me and one host in particular was very short.  I said " I have an allergy, I need to speak to the manager".  It was only once out of the few times I had questions that the Manager even came over to me.  That's poor manners in my book.

And I didn't eat the potatoes either, I didn't want to risk if there truly was flour dusted on them.  My Spanish language card from Triumph Dining would have come in handy!! 

There was also another dish on the table...French Toast with fruit.  The waiter mentioned, "well you can have the fruit just push the french toast to the side".  I was like um! I don't think so!! That's contaminated!

So, I do not recommend this spot.  And what a shame I love blogging good things about the restaurants I eat at, but as much as I love to spread the great gluten free word, I also like to advise my fellow readers of the shady non gluten-free spots you should NOT frequent!

For other GF Friendly Mexican Restaurants check out:

Enjoy! xoxo Julie

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