“Hi and welcome to Tim Hortons, may I take your order?”
“Yes, I’d like a turkey sausage, egg and cheese biscuit without the biscuit, and –“
“So you want a sandwich…without the bread?”
“Yes. But instead of the biscuit can you put everything between two hash browns?”
“So you want us to put the sausage, egg and cheese on top of the hash brown?”
“Yes. And then put another hash brown on top of that.”
“Um, okay… Just one moment, ma’am.”
“Ma’am, I’m sorry but we actually just ran out of hash browns.”
“OK, you can just cancel my order. Thanks.”
“Sorry about that. Have a great day!”
Y’all see this? This is the type of stuff you gotta deal with when you’re gluten-free and trying to order your makeshift gluten-free breakfast sandwich from Tim Hortons.
But that’s Tim Hortons for you; too focused on giving out as little napkins and coffee sleeves as humanly possible to care about whether or not they have enough hash browns to make it through the first half of the day. Stuff like this just comes with the territory of being what I like to call a “gluten freebie”.
Just so you have a better idea, here are a few more gluten freebie struggles:
Sitting in a room full of kinfolk as they enjoy your mama’s delicious, homemade German chocolate cake which you can’t eat because it’s made with wheat flour which has gluten in it and you can’t eat gluten.
When you’re out to dinner with your family at Outback and the waiter brings out two fresh, warm loaves of bread with honey butter and you can’t eat any of it. But your family can. So you sit and watch them devour both loaves like a pack of wolves until your food comes out.
Going to a friend’s kickback and there’s hella pizza on deck for everyone, but you can’t eat any because pizza also has gluten in it and it honestly, truly slipped your friend’s mind to order a GF pizza because she forgot you can’t eat gluten. Which I totally get because who really stops to think about someone’s dietary restrictions while ordering pizza? It’s pizza, for crying out loud.
Being the odd-foodie-out can be annoying sometimes. But fortunately, a lot of grocery stores and restaurants have hopped on the GF wave. Take my favorite local breakfast spot, Original Pancake House (aka Ohop), who recently started serving gluten-free pancakes. When I discovered this, I damn-near broke out into a Patti praise break in the middle of the restaurant.
Y’all don’t understand. Ohop has THEE greatest pancakes of all time (besides my daddy, of course). Their banana pancakes are basically crack with syrup (I don’t endorse illegal drug use but you get my point).
Anyway, after I stopped eating gluten, whenever we were out to eat my mom would always tell me to ask the waiters if they had GF options on their menu . This would let the restaurant know there was a demand for it (because more than likely other people were asking, too). So for the past four years, every time I went to Ohop I would ask if they served gluten-free pancakes. For a good while, it was a flat-out “No.” Then eventually that turned into “No, but we do serve gluten-free toast.” (#Progression) Until finally…
Honestly, if you didn’t know they were gluten-free you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. Side note: GF versions of foods like pancakes, bread, pasta, and baked goods generally don’t taste different. It’s just a lighter texture because of the type of flour used to make it, which is usually rice, corn or a blend of the two.
If you’ve read any of my other posts about being gluten-free, you know that for me it’s because of health reasons. So even though being a gluten freebie can be frustrating at times, at the end of the day I know my health is way more important.
FYI – I’ll be making more posts highlighting restaurants with GF menu selections so stay tuned!!