Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pacific Catch, Campbell, California

Pacific Catch is one of the restaurants I found on the Gluten Intolerance Group's Gluten-Free Food Service training.  On Friday, September 14th, I visited their location in Campbell, CA.

The place was packed, hostesses were friendly. We waited at the bar. When we finally were offered a drink and menu, the bar tender was very professional and happily went to get me a gluten-free menu as well. This menu was very short.

The drinks sounded amazing but fell a little flat. My favorite of the three we had was a lemongrass Mojito, which was mostly good because it was super sweet.

When we were finally seated after about 30 minutes, the waiter was very friendly. However, he was not able to answer most of my questions about their food. I was curious as to why the tacos were not on the gluten-free menu, as most tortillas are gluten-free. He explained that he didn't know much about gluten, which was a major disappointment for me (remember, this place has a gluten-free service training). He said something about how the tortillas have white corn, and then pointed out that they made the gluten-free menu for a reason. Point taken. I ordered something off of there.

I do acknowledge that the GIG's website about their Gluten-Free Food Service training only describes their training as having to do with aspects in the kitchen. Yet, as a Celiac customer, I will only feel comfortable with a waiter who is knowledgeable about gluten and the kitchen policies. How am I supposed to be assured of my food's safety if my point of contact, the waiter, is not knowledgeable? And really, what is the point spending effort, energy and money on training in the kitchen, if your waitstaff can't communicate that to customers? Is the GIG supposed to be a substitution for good communication with customers? Not in my opinion!

In the end, my item from the gluten-free menu was pretty good. I got the Salmon Thai curry, with half rice and half lettuce. It had a very pleasant sweet and tangy flavor.

Before going back here, or to any Pacific Catch location, I would talk to the manager first and clarify what gluten-free practices they actually use. I would definitely recommend it for non-Celiac gluten-free people.

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