Happy Veterans Day. Central thanks all of our veterans for their service. Many restaurants around the country are showing their appreciation with special offers for veterans. Take a look at these specials and please feel free to share what specials you find, or what your restaurant will have. Most places will require identification, so be sure to bring it upon going to a restaurant.
Veterans are able to get a free entree all day on November 11.
BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse
Active duty and veterans are able to get a free lunch entree or a one-topping mini pizza for dinner on November 11.
A free meal (one of six choices) will be available for both active duty and veterans from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. on November 11.
Members of the military can get a free burger (excluding the Pepperjack Bacon and Kobe Burgers) on November 11. Dine-in orders only.
A free Grand Slam breakfast will be available for active military and veterans on November 11.
Depending on location, a free or discounted meal will be available for active military and veterans on November 11.
The Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner, which consists of a free meal, will be held at locations all around the country on November 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
All throughout the day on November 11, with a purchase of a beverage active duty and veterans are able to get 10 free wings. Dine-in orders only.
All active duty and veterans can get a free doughnut on November 11.
Upon showing military ID, active duty or veterans can get a free order of Crazy Bread on November 11.
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants
The 13th annual Veteran’s Day meal will be held on November 13.
Veterans are able to get a free meal (from a pre-set menu) on November 11. It will include bread sticks and choice of soup or salad.
Active duty and veterans are able to get a free Bloomin’ Onion and Coke. This offer began on November 7 and concludes on November 11.
All orders placed from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on November 11 will make a $1 donation to assist the USO upon using their online ordering app.
At many locations around the country, active duty and veterans can get a free six-inch sub on November 11.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., active duty and veterans can get a free lunch on November 11.
For active duty and veterans, they will have a buy one entree, get another free on November 11.
Have you had a sandwich this week for lunch? If so, it was probably some type of meat and/or veggies inside a nice thick bun or maybe some delicious doughy bread. Imagine that same sandwich, only take away the bun or bread and you’d be more accurately describing a meal fit for someone who is gluten-free. Whether you’re gluten-free by choice or necessity, it can put a crimp in your daily diet, but it’s important to know that it doesn’t mean having to do without. Celiac.com says that “at least 1 in 133 Americans” are affected by Celiac Disease. Wheat allergies are in the top 8 most common food allergies alongside items like peanuts and shellfish. There are many more suffering with gluten sensitivities. With this in mind, much of the food industry has begun to turn over a new leaf and started to offer a much broader range of foods and knowledge to ensure safety and variety for those on a gluten-free diet.
What’s the difference between celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies?
“People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients,” is the way Celiac Disease is described by the Mayo Clinic. While this disease is manageable, if not carefully monitored and properly diagnosed, it could eventually lead to permanent damage to the intestines. Since this disease is genetic, the American Celiac Disease Alliance encourages, “If someone in your family is diagnosed, it is recommended that first degree relatives (parents, children, siblings) are screened as well. “
Gluten sensitivity, whilestill painful, poses no long-term physical damage. Basically, it is an intolerance of the body to digest gluten and while it can cause discomfort in the form of abdominal pain and similar issues, it will not cause any permanent damage and will go away once the gluten is out of the system.
Wheat allergies are more directly associated with a protein found in wheat products, which means it could be possible for sufferers to eat other types of grains. Like many other allergies the symptoms can range anywhere from mild (an upset stomach) to severe (throat swelling, lowered blood pressure, etc.)
What products should be avoided?
For all three issues you should avoid products containing wheat, rye and barley which includes many types of bread, crackers, pastas, pizza and cookies. It’s also extremely important to always read food labels to make sure other products don’t contain these ingredients. According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), “Wheat has been found in some brands of ice cream, marinara sauce, play dough, potato chips, rice cakes, and turkey patties, and at least one brand of hot dogs.”
What are some alternatives?
Recently, more and more items have become gluten-free. There are now breads, cereals, pizzas and other products certified by the FDA as gluten free. Two such brands that you may find in your local grocery store are Udi’s which specializes in baked goods and Amy’s which offers everything from frozen pastas to soups (with an extra bonus that all products are either organic or made with organic ingredients). FAAN also gives the suggestion of using items like rice, corn or potato starch flour when baking as a substitute for wheat flour.
Eating Gluten-free on the Go
Although it does take some extra planning, eating gluten-free at your favorite restaurant is a possibility. As mentioned in our post on dairy-free dining, there are many databases like Allergy Eats and Allerdine which allow you to search for restaurants in your area that take special food safety measures for patrons with food allergies. There’s also a database specifically for gluten-free eating, Gluten-free-onthego.com, that allows you to search for everything from coffee shops to sit-down restaurants all over the world (recently France, Italy, Spain and Mallorca were added to the search areas). And in case you’re at the grocery and want to know what’s safe to grab, there are also several apps to get your phone thinking gluten-free such as Gluten Free (for Blackberry) and Gluten Free Ingredients (for Android).
Just as in our previous dairy-free post, it’s extremely important to be aware of the possibility of cross-contamination when eating gluten-free. The easiest way to do this is simply by keeping an open dialogue between yourself and the wait staff and/or management. Doing this will give you the ability to ask questions and make an informed decision on whether or not an establishment truly does meet the standards for being gluten-free. In addition to your own guidelines, an advocacy group for the gluten-free community called Celiebo, has presented a certification program to make sure restaurants are as safe as possible for diners. In an article from Food Service Central, it says that “The Celiebo certification includes training programs, presentations and educational materials to be posted in kitchens detailing the specifics of gluten-free food preparation and ingredients to avoid. Certified establishments will also receive a window decal that states they are a Celiebo Certified Gluten-Free Restaurant™.” And while this certification is currently only being used in New York City, it plans to eventually expand.
In the meantime, if you’re on the go and curious as to where it’s safe to eat, you can rest assured that there are many options. Chains like Cheeseburger in Paradise, Bonefish Grill, and Outback Steakhouse (also Dairy-free friendly) all have a variety of options to keep you safe while letting you enjoy a wide selection. However, restaurants are not your only gluten-free on-the-go dining option. If you like sports, you’ll be happy to know that many baseball and football concession stands are also joining in on this dining revolution. Triumph Dining has some great coverage on dining safe while watching your favorite team including what’s offered at some individual stadiums like Tropicana Field and Busch Stadium.
Think about what you’re planning to have to eat today. Does a dairy product make it onto the menu? If you’re part of the 75% of the world’s population that is lactose intolerant to some extent or a lower 3% with a milk allergy, you may be giving a bit more thought to your daily dairy intake. Read on to find the differences between an intolerance and an allergy, what is being done for sufferers and a few helpful and delicious dairy-free recipes.
What’s the difference between
lactose intolerance and a milk allergy?
Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the milk sugar, lactose, found in dairy products.
Milk Allergies are more focused on the proteins or caseins within milk products.
What products should be avoided?
For both you should avoid dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, chocolate, goat’s milk products and any product labeled as containing milk or milk ingredients.
What are some alternatives?
Most dairy-based product have an alternative that uses a soy or rice base although sometimes soy may also cause allergic reactions and intolerances.
Eating Non-Dairy on the Go
While it may take a bit of pre-planning using online allergen guides, many restaurants now have tasty options for those with dairy-free eating restriction. There is also a handy databases like Allergy Eats and Allerdine which allow you to search for restaurants in your area that have special food safety measures for patrons with food allergies.
The most important tip when eating out (other than avoiding the obvious dairy products) is to be aware of cross-contamination. This can happen through using the same frying oil, grills, woks or cutting boards for the dairy and non-dairy foods. Another way to prevent cross-contamination is to bring along your own wet cloth to wipe down any surfaces just in case the allergens were left from the previous diner.
It’s also imperative that you open a dialogue between yourself and the wait staff and/or management. While you may have already looked at the allergen guides, it’s always a wise idea to double check to confirm that the item you’re ordering is cooked and prepared separately and without any allergy/intolerance inducing elements. Making these inferences every time and at every location is important since staff, preparation guidelines, etc. may change from visit to visit.
Places like Chipotle, Qdoba and Subway are some of the more obvious options since you’re able to add exactly what you want (be sure to watch out for cross contamination). However, there are many options at your average sit-down restaurant like Denny’s, Chili’s, Red Lobster and Outback Steakhouse as well. In fact, Outback not only gives suggestions on menu items, they also give advice on how to request the food be cooked and what extras should be left off to ensure a higher degree of safety.
And just in case you’re planning a trip to Disney with your dairy-free eater, not to worry, there are plenty of tasty options there too including tofu ice cream, waffles with fruit and dairy free whipped topping, rice milk and dairy free pasta.