I had lunch with a friend at Day by Day at 2101 Sansom Street in Center City Philadelphia last week. Pre-celiac diagnosis, I had enjoyed Day by Day's interesting lunch and catering menus. While most of their sandwiches are meat-centric, they always have an interesting vegetarian option or two, either on the regular menu or among their daily specials. So I was surprised that they seemed so ill-equiped to serve a glluten-free vegetarian.
When we arrived, I told the woman seating us about my needs and asked for a gluten-free menu. She said that they didn't have one, and something to the effect of "I hope you like salad." Fortunately I DO like salad, but she gave me the distinct impression that the restaurant owner and kitchen staff hadn't given the topic much thought. I had decided on a house salad when our server mentioned the quinoa salad on the specials board, which I had overlooked. That sounded good and the waitress confirmed that none of the contents of the salad had gluten, so I ordered it. After a 10 minute wait, our server came to the table again to let me know that the quinoa was packaged in a facility that also handles wheat. I don't know how sensitive I am REALLY to gluten, and I don't know REALLY how contaminated grains processed in the same facility are, and I REALLY wanted something more interesting than their house salad. I went ahead and got the quinoa salad. It was tasty, but there was enough doubt about it to make it completely enjoyable. And it was a little on the pricy side as my lunches go. $10 for the
Given that it would be very easy for Day by Day to attend to gluten-free diners, the question is, why don't they?