Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fast (?!?!) Food

It's very hard to find quick, allergy-friendly meals on the go. I've slowly learned which fast food restaurants have work-around options. I've been very busy recently and have, sadly, had to revisit some of these options. They may not be "kosher" for everyone of my allergies, but they avoid my major triggers.

McDonald: Apple dippers
Thank goodness for some place finally having developed a "fast food" fruit. I don't use the sauce, but it's nice to get something sweet while on the go. Warning: DON'T get the fruit & walnut salad! The walnuts and, I think, the sauce are not gluten-free.

Subway: Grilled chicken
Funny thing about Subway - I actually had employee leave his station to go ask his manager to approve giving me a sandwich with no bread. Sigh. You can order a salad with the grilled chicken on top (I like using spinach leaves instead of iceberg lettuce), but it costs significantly more for less chicken than a 12" sub.

But what about the common language barrier? I have resorted to this more than once: I asked for a 12" sub on whatever bread I feel like, catch them before they put the chicken down, and have them microwave just the meat. Then while it's heating up, I have them put on LOTS of lettuce and LOTS of cucumbers. Once the meat is ready it goes safely against the greens. Then I only eat the interior items that have not been gluten-ified.

This really only works if you need a hefty dose of gluten to set you off. If you have problems breathing near flour, do not try this approach!

Baja Fresh: Original Baja Taco Chicken with no salsa, onions, or cilantro
...which means it's just the corn tortilla and the chicken. I actually strongly suspect there's a hint of garlic on the chicken since it's so yummy and flavorful on its own, but it's not enough to cause a reaction if I have one or two.

The big thing that varies from store to store is the amount of cross-contamination on the grill. I've learned which stores are better than others (around the DC area) within the chain and try to frequent those most. If I have to eat at a Baja Fresh that I haven't patronized before, I try to do it when I'll be home in a few hours (when my reactions tend to hit), just in case.


  1. I was under the impression that Subway's chicken breasts DID contain gluten. Have they changed this?

  2. Never mind! I see that they have changed it since the first (and only) time I had looked it up!!! Hooray!

  3. Thank goodness! I hadn't really been having reactions, but after all these years I tend to need more than a crumb to set me off...not much more, but to eat out I sometimes take the risk!