Your View: Restaurants must do more for gluten-free diners

Your View: Restaurants must do more for gluten-free diners
(File photo)

By Ines Alicea, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
After living away from Alexandria for three years, I recently returned and rented a home in Old Town while my nearby home was renovated. I ate out at many Old Town restaurants and was disappointed at the lack of knowledge and offerings for diners who are gluten free.

I have traveled all over the world and even in some of the most remote places; I have found an understanding of which foods are gluten free. However, many Alexandria restaurants seem to be challenged by this concept and it makes people who have to eat gluten free feel unwelcome.

There are a couple of exceptions. La Tasca and Los Cuates, both on King Street, have done an excellent job in training their staff about what is gluten free and offer many options. But many of the restaurants I visited in Old Town did a terrible job of offering a gluten-free menu. Most of the time, the best they could do was uncreative salmon and salad.

That gets old for diners who are gluten free. Alexandria is a major tourist destination and should feel welcoming to all who visit. As a resident of Alexandria, I no longer feel welcome in Port City restaurants. I have to explain too much about gluten free food to poorly trained staff, and I’m bored with most of the dining options at local restaurants for people who are gluten free.

I hope restaurant owners will revisit training their staffs on a regular basis about dietary restrictions facing people entering their businesses.