My cousin and I both have Celiacs. We are very sensitive, and my cousin has other severe intolerances as well, so when we want to go out to eat to a new place one of us calls to see if the restaurant can accommodate us. My cousin called Sandy, the owner of Garden State Salads, and spoke to her about our dietary needs. After their conversation she was pretty confident that we would be ok eating there.
We arrived around lunch time and Sandy wanted to take our order at the counter. We still had questions, as Celiacs always do, and my cousin wanted to basically build her own salad because of her other intolerances. Sandy didn't seem too pleased about that - she was very frazzled during our conversations and would interrupt us to speak to other customers. I was interested in seeing if they could prepare me a sandwich free of cross contamination, but the owner's demeanor and answers so far didn't give me much confidence. I ordered a salad. We paid for the meal and my cousin said one last time, "Can you please remind the chef that this is all to be prepared gluten free?" Sandy said in response, "I'll give him a freaking lecture."
So - good news is that we did not get sick from our meal, but the customer service is so poor that I highly recommend that Celiacs do no venture here. We will not be going back. After e-mailing her with our disappointment in her service she replied that she was very offended that we were asking so many questions about their food prep.
My cousin has been diagnosed for about 10 years, I've been diagnosed for 2 and we have never had an experience of a server being offended because we were asking "too many questions" about cross contamination and the chef's practices. We know we're taking a risk eating out anywhere, but an establishment that wants to service the Celiac community must be prepared to answer questions and offer reassuring guidance. If you don't have time to answer questions or do not account for cross contamination we will not be offended, we will simply go somewhere else. No harm no foul. But please be upfront about your willingness to provide us with service - and half of that service is reassuring us that you know what you're doing. We're not in the back of your restaurant - you are.
Food was delicious. I had some concerns about the safety, so I stuck with a salad. They had a lot of intereating salads, sandwiches, and specials that could be made gluten free.
Great salads, gluten free bread, soups, oatmeal and the today they had specials that were gluten free.