Asiana Garden, Radnor, PA Gluten Free and Vegan

Happy Holidays! It is that time of year for holiday events - aka ladies day out with their manager.

These types of events tend to freak me out and we all know why. Not all restaurants are Nicole-friendly and if they are, ordering can be painful and difficult to explain - but you have to be a team player and get involved in these events.......... so here we go.

Things I do before attending a new restaurant:
1. I call and ask to speak with a manager. I try to discuss the gluten-free allergy and get a feel for their understanding and importance of contamination

2. I use Facebook to communicate some of my additional food preferences/ allergies.

3. I review the menu 1,000+ times trying to see where I could ask for modifications and not just be served a piece of lettuce.

Day of the event:
1. Pray

2. Arrive at the restaurant. After being seated, I excuse myself from the table and find a manager to speak with. I explain all of my allergies and what I am looking for and together, the team and I came up with a meal. While the idea of the meal is bland, no seasonings, oils, butter, etc - it should be a meal I can eat and not become ill - so I will take it!

Asiana Garden, and I spoke on the phone prior to the event and I got the sense that they did in fact, understand the gluten free diet rather well. I felt confident I would be able to work something out with them for a safe meal.

On the day of our team lunch, we were greeted and seated in the back of the restaurant. It was nice because it was secluded and I honestly couldn't tell you if they had any other clientele during out lunch.

When I excused myself from the table, I spoke with the waitress and together we decided on a side salad with a substitute of lime juice for dressing, steamed vegetables, and a side of steamed white rice.

As food was brought out, it seemed to come out delayed. Some of our team had their appetizers and soup a good 10-15 minutes prior to the others. Which is awkward when you want them to eat their food while warm, but they are polite and insist on waiting until the entire team has their meals.

Additionally, for those who ordered the same dish- each portion seemed to not match the others. Example, my side salad was significantly smaller than my coworker's side salad.

In the long run, what happened is, yes I had a meal that was Nicole safe, bland but safe - it was cold! I didn't really enjoy it. However, the rest of the team commented on the love of their dishes and that they look forward to ordering delivery soon! To me, it seemed like the restaurant was slow at this time, so there was no reason for each members' dish not to be served simultaneously and portions to be consistent.

A big thank you to Asana for accommodating me but next time I hope for a warmer plate.


  1. Should we have to pay the same for a bland meal as those with regular meals? I know they kitchen has to put more work (i.e. special attention) but some of the meals I've been served, under the guise of being the only way to accommodate GF, have been kind of bullshit. More so 10 years ago but today too. Isn't it time for us to stop apologizing and Chefs start stepping up? Without us having to grovel in praise?

  2. Maureen - I couldn't agree with you more! I actually find that my "bland" meals cost more than the regular priced items, and I think my dishes are actually saving them money - just perhaps need a bit more attention. I'm with you on this 100%. I just had to place a corporate lunch with a local catering company and my dish, which will be a small portion, no doubt - is simply steamed veggies - running closer to $20.00. The remainder of the order is a variety of sandwiches, salads, cookies, and drinks- all for $15.00 per person. Am I missing something - my dish is definitely less expensive to make, no?


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