Saturday, June 20, 2009

Restaurant Review: Carmine's - Resolved

EDIT: See post for July 7, 2009. Carmine's has made a lot of positive changes and I highly recommend them.

In February, I wrote about Carmine's in Eastgate Shopping Center and had a great experience. However, I can't say the same tonight. I was told there were two types of gluten free pasta: spaghetti and penne. So, like last time I ordered Baked Ziti with gluten free penne. The waiter did not know the difference between "gluten free" and "whole wheat" pasta and I was given the wrong one. When I got the pasta I thought that it was darker than last time, but I thought it was all in my head. I often worry more than I should when ordering gluten free at restaurants.

Everyone apologized profusely, but as you know there is nothing else to be done. They were truly sorry and handled it the best that they could. The looks on everyone's faces said a lot about how sorry they were. We had a party of 5 and were not charged for our meals.

Right now, I am drinking lots of water hoping I won't feel too sick later tonight. I have not been sick in over two years and am not happy (to be as nice as possible).

In the future, I was told I could see the box of gluten free pasta and speak with the chef beforehand. If you ever decide to take the risk I would go as far as possible to ensure that everyone understands what it means to be gluten free. I feel bad for everyone there because I know how hard they try to accommodate special dietary needs. However, Carmine's would have to assure me that all employees are properly trained to the upmost degree before I'd ever go back.

I suggest that Carmine's uses different plates (different color, shape, etc.) as a sign that the dish is gluten free. Bella Monica and PF Changs have different plates. It eases customers' concerns and helps employees know that the meal needs special attention.

EDIT @ 9:15 pm (about 3 hours later): Definitely sick as of a few minutes ago, but doing alright, considering.


Anonymous said...

I have sent out an email to all of my staff along with links to understanding what gluten free is. This has never happened before.It will never happen again. I have made that very clear.I am just glad John cought it before you had more then a very small amount of food. There is no excuse.I take full resposability and can not say I am sorry enouph. I hope that you feel better and allow us another chance.


Anonymous said...

They should also use a colored GF pasta so customers can easily recognize it as well as the different plates.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen colored gluten free Pasta. Let me know were you have and we will look into that and use it.

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...


Thank you. I'm glad John caught it too. I would have been a lot worse off if I had anymore than I did. I was sick last night for several hours but besides being tired, I'm doing well today. I apologize for being short with some of your staff. I haven't had any food that was 100% wheat since my diagnosis 3 1/2 years ago and was scared as to what would happen. I'd love to hear any new ideas you have to help customers with gluten free and special dietary needs. I think different plates are a great idea. I'll be back later in the summer.


Kristen said...

Tinkyada makes a gluten free spinach pasta that is green in color- Biaggi's uses this for all of their gluten free dishes.

I agree that different plates/colored pasta would be helpful- I ate at Carmines last night and had an amazing meal and the staff seemed very well aware of what gluten free meant. I feel very comfortable returning there. Although I completely understand your hesitation after a mistake was made and you got sick....I hope you have the chance to go back and give them another chance.

Lauren said...

Hi Kristen, thank you for sharing your experience here. I'm happy to know that you had an excellent meal. I did go back to Carmine's a few weeks later (see post 7/7/09)and felt more comfortable, but must admit I have not been since. You're right; I should go back for another chance.