The Bottom Line
Triumph Dining's Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide - 5th Edition contains more than 6,500 restaurant choices for gluten-free diners, including multiple independent establishments along with many chain locations. The guide also contains excellent tips for gluten-free dining, along with lists of gluten-free menu items from more than 120 chain restaurants.
- Extensive selection of gluten-free restaurant options
- Tips to help you eat out safely gluten-free
- Lists of gluten-free menu items at chain restaurants
- Format makes it difficult to find gluten-free restaurant choices in smaller cities and towns
- The guide contains more than 6,500 gluten-free restaurant choices, 1,500 more than in the previous edition.
- More than 2,800 of the restaurants listed have gluten-free menus, gluten-free specialty items or both.
- The guide includes tips on how to eat out safely gluten-free, and lists gluten-free menu items from chain restaurants.
Guide Review - Triumph Dining's Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide Adds Many Dining Options
If you enjoy traveling and eating out at new restaurants, a diagnosis of celiac disease really can put a crimp in your lifestyle. But a little knowledge about restaurants that understand the intricacies of the gluten-free diet certainly can help.
Triumph Dining's Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, Fifth Edition (2010) aims to do just that. Since its inception in 2005, Triumph Dining has provided dining cards, a grocery guide and its popular restaurant guide to people who need to eat gluten-free.
I bought my first Triumph dining guide in 2007, at the start of a long trip that would necessitate multiple restaurant meals. I used it with good success then, although I wished it included more restaurants.
I got my wish with the new edition of the gluten-free restaurant guide. It contains 1,500 more restaurant choices than Triumph's fourth edition, indicating the growing popularity of gluten-free dining at both chain restaurants and independent establishments.
More than 2,800 of those restaurants have gluten-free menus, gluten-free specialty items, or both. Of course, many of these restaurants are simply locations of well-known restaurant chains such as Outback Steakhouse and P.F. Chang's, which cater well to celiacs. In fact, the guide also contains lists of gluten-free menu items from more than 120 chain restaurants that have locations throughout the U.S.
Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide Includes Entries for All 50 States
The guide is broken down by states. If a particular city or town in a state has several options, those options are broken out under a subheading (i.e., "Manhattan," under New York, has nearly seven pages of entries).
However, most of any given state's entries are lumped together in alphabetical order under the "All Other Cities" heading. This wasn't much of a problem with the first Triumph guide I used (in South Carolina, for example, there were only 14 entries, many of which were chain restaurants).
However, now that gluten-free dining options are expanding (South Carolina has 20 entries in this newest guide), the format makes it difficult to find a gluten-free restaurant in a particular city - you literally need to scan all the pages for that state, looking for the name of your city.
However, that's really the only quibble I have with Triumph's restaurant guide. It's clear that the authors have taken great care to confirm information on gluten-free dining options with the restaurants themselves before publishing it.
In addition to restaurant lists, the guide also contains some very useful tips on communicating with restaurants about your gluten-free needs and also on building long-term relationships with restaurants.
The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide - Fifth Edition can help anyone with celiac or who eats gluten-free navigate restaurant choices in an unfamiliar city, or even spotlight some new options closer to home.
The guide, available from Triumph Dining, retails for $23.95, plus shipping.