I was glutened over the weekend. I didn't get seriously ill or anything, but of course it was a bad situation and taught me a lesson about being more careful.
It happened at Mellow Mushroom in Jacksonville Beach, which is normally a reliable gluten-free place. I wrote a month ago about how happy I was to see that they had a gluten-free beer on tap, Prairie Path.
So I went there and ordered a Prairie Path with my pizza. As I was finishing the pizza, I ordered another Prairie Path and was informed that they were out of Prairie Path and had given me a different beer.
Of course, I was horrified and let them know that. The short story is, there was miscommunication among the bartenders which resulted in them serving me a normal beer.
To their credit, the restaurant handled it well. The manager came to talk to me and was very concerned and gave me his card to call him if I did require medical treatment. I knew that wouldn't happen, and I told him that I would probably feel lousy but I wouldn't get seriously ill.
He picked up the tab for my meal and gave me a $20 gift card to come back again. And he said he would call me when they got Prairie Path back in.
This is the first time I've been glutened since the awful incident at a Jaguars game last fall. If you didn't read my account of that, check out my Times-Union column about the incident here. Jaguars management also took that seriously and I hope they will have a better gluten-free program this season.
Here's the lesson I took away from the Mellow Mushroom incident. Everywhere else I go to drink beer only has gluten-free bottled beer. So, I never have to worry about what I'm being served. I can see what the bottle is.
With a draft beer, we really have no idea if what's in the glass is exactly what we ordered. I should have double-checked when they handed it to me: "This is a gluten-free Prairie Path, right?" I've had to ask questions like that when I was served food and wasn't so sure it was gluten free. I really can't take anything for granted.
So, I'll take that lesson away, and hopefully Mellow Mushroom also learned a lesson about being more careful with its gluten-free clientele.