When you have food allergies, dining out can be extremely difficult which is why I created my Gluten-Free Spotlight series. It’s a way that I can share with all of you great gluten-free destinations in the Bay Area and beyond. Usually the places I highlight are specialty restaurants and bakeries that only have one location. Today, however, I wanted to share with you a great gluten-free option that has locations all across the country, and abroad! Due to the many locations, Chipotle is perfect for when you are traveling and might not have access to many safe gluten-free restaurants. If you have never been to a Chipotle, it is fast Mexican food that is delicious! You order at the counter and are able to pick and choose everything that goes into your burrito bowl or tacos. This is a gluten-free guy or gal’s dream because you don’t have to worry about what is happening back in the kitchen, but can actually see it for yourself. It has taken me a little while to figure out how to order safely and avoid cross-contamination at Chipotle and I wanted to share with you my tips.
5 Tips for Eating Gluten-Free at Chipotle
1. Tell the person making your meal that you have a severe gluten allergy and ask them to please wash their hands and change their gloves. Most Chipotle employees are familiar with this and are happy to do it. (Word to the wise: After they change their gloves, watch that they don’t put their hands back on the tortillas… It seems like this wouldn’t happen but sometimes it does.)
2. Request that the person who has recently changed their gloves be the only one who makes your meal.
3. If you like to put lettuce or cheese on your burrito bowl or tacos, request that they use a fresh container of lettuce or cheese. (If they use an existing one, then their gloves continuously touch the tortillas and then the lettuce/cheese, therefore, contaminating it.)
4. If you are concerned about the utensils that touch the flour tortillas touching your meal, they are often happy to change those out as well.
5. Watch the process carefully to ensure that all safe practices are followed and thank the person making your meal for enabling you to eat at Chipotle safely!
And then enjoy your delicious Chipotle meal! If you can eat corn, then you can also have the crispy corn tacos or add-on some corn chips to round out your meal! (I can no longer have them, but Chipotle chips are absolutely delicious!) If you have other food allergies, check out this link to the Chipotle site where there is a great chart. Also, if you are Paleo, you can still eat at Chipotle too! I order a large bed of the shredded lettuce with chicken and topped with medium salsa! You could also go for a variety of their other meat options and add the fajita veggies too, simply skipping the rice and beans!
-What’s your favorite Chipotle (or other Mexican restaurant) order?