On the Border

Review by Lauren

19 Commerce Way, Woburn, MA 01801
Celiac
1 year ago
Not celiac friendly

Absolutely terrible experience here. I'd like to start by saying I'm not the type of person who ever leaves bad reviews for restaurants. Ever. I've been a diagnosed celiac for 14 years and have worked in the food industry for a long time. I try to be very patient and understand that restaurants can not always accommodate celiacs. However, if you require a GF diet DO NOT GO HERE. Spark notes version: If I could give this place 0 stars I would. The staff do not understand what gluten free means at all. The worst service I have ever had in my life-- truly appalling. Again, as someone who worked as a waitress for years (through college and grad school), I never complain about service at restaurants. But this was unlike any experience I've ever had-- it was awful. Long version: I came here for a friend's birthday dinner. I informed my server that I had celiac disease. I also explained it as a severe gluten allergy since people don't always understand when you just say you have celiac (Side note: I'm the type of person who apologizes to waiters for having dietary restrictions bc I know it can be a pain in the ass and I feel bad about inconveniencing them, but I just don't want to die. I'm not the annoying GF entitled type at all). Anyways, they seemed confident that they could accommodate me...until my food came out. I had ordered the fish tacos. A non-GF friend ordered a similar dish. The server came out with both taco plates and asked who got them (we had a large group). I asked which dish was the GF one, to which she was visibly unsure and guessed that both were GF. I asked politely if she could double check again saying it was a very severe dietary restriction-- hey, accidents happen, not a big deal at this point. But then I watched her go ~5 ft away to a different server to consult. Both were clearly confused/unsure (actually shrugging) and I heard them guess which one was GF but both clearly had no clue. She came back and tried to give me the plate that I had just watched/heard them randomly select. Again, I calmly explained to her that I have celiac disease (again also explaining that she could think of it like a severe gluten allergy if that made more sense to her so in a similar way to how those w/ a severe peanut or shellfish allergy can't have any cross contamination, neither can I-- overly simplistic but seemed to make sense to her). She leaves and gets the manager. I nicely explain my situation to manager. Manager brings back the "GF" menu to help me find something. I won't get into all of the details but she was a complete jackass, treating me like a moron and belittling me. Basically talked down to me as if I didn't understand my own disease. Said that most people with celiac can handle cross contamination. Tried to tell me that dairy and soy were made of gluten (and no, not soy sauce, just regular "soy")-- when I tried to correct her, she said I was wrong, laughing at me like I was a 5-year old saying the sky was green. At that point, I was so disappointed and humiliated, and so furious with her that I cut her off and told her I didn't want a damn thing from them. Despicable service and treatment overall, but especially by the manager. She never apologized. Her incompetence was astonishing. Non-GF friends agreed their food was shitty anyways so I clearly didn't miss out on much. Paid for my drink, left, and will never go back. Despite the length of this post, I left out many additional examples of why this restaurant/service sucked so much. Just trust me when I say do not go here.