Toulouse - gluten free dining
I'm going to be in Toulouse for two days before traveling onto Gers. Any recommendations for restaurants in Tolouse, Gers, or Ariege?
I have Coeliac's disease so cannot eat gluten (proten in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, etc), so would like any information on restaurants that are both fabulous and are sympathetic to specific dietary needs.
Also, one of my friends meeting us there is a vegetarian, so any good vegetarian restaurant recommendations for her will be also be greatly appreciated.
You might find this interesting - someone writing about travelling as a celiac in France. Refers also the the French site for those who are intolerant to gluten
And cards with information to give to a restaurant
My experience of travelling with someone who has dietary issues is that it really varies from one restaurant to another - and it doesn't always depend on the quality or price range of the restaurant. Sometimes they hear part of the message, but not all, and so still bring something he can't eat. Sometimes they just provide the safest/but dullest meal, sometimes they go out of their way to provide something even more interesting than what the rest of us get. Just be careful, and if you have doubts, despite your conversation with the waiter, ask again - sometimes the message hasn't been transferred to the kitchen.
I don't know the Toulouse area that well, but gluten free in France is not that hard (even though almost no one knows what celiac or gluten is), because there is much less hidden wheat than in other places -- you still need to ask the recipe of what you order, and especially to make sure that there is no flour in the sauces (staying away from pastry and bread and breading being pretty obvious). ('je suis allergique à la farine"="I'm allergic to flour"). Just beware of any industrial product, as they do have a lot of hidden gluten (including ice-cream for example). Low end places may have industrial salad dressing or ice-cream or sauces, but traditional places should not. Of course you always must ask.
As for vegeterianism, I am not aware of a single good vegetarian restaurant anywhere in France. But good restaurants should do vegetables well.