My sister and her family came down to stay with us for the weekend. They really got lucky because the weather was amazing. Heading out for dinner we decided to go to my favorite pre-gluten free Italian restaurant, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. We had planned go to there for dinner during our 4th of July vacation, but ended up eating else where. I know their pizza is not G-free but I figured I could order the anti-pasta salad (no dressing).
While waiting in line I went up and asked the hostess if they had any G-free options. She said that they offer a gluten-free pasta, alfredo cream sauces, and marinara sauce. She guided me to the gluten-free pasta section in their market (the front of the restaurant is an Italian market). Taking my name to inform our server of my gluten intolerance, when it was time for us to be seated.
After being seated I talked my order over with my server. I ordered the gluten-free rice pasta with alfredo cream sauce. My sister, brother-in-law, there kids, and my husband were having pizza (I could have cried when I saw the cheesy deliciousness)
Not to long after ordering our dinner was headed to the table. My pasta with alfredo cream sauce was not that bad. I have never rice noodles with pasta sauce before so I had to get use to the taste. I can’t see it holding up well enough to take home for left overs. I could smell the wonderful aroma of their pizza. But I made it through dinner without longing over it, breaking down into tears, drooling, or fighting myself to grab a piece. Which was an accomplishment for me.
Happy and satisfied with full tummies out came the bill. Now here is where I was confused. My pasta cost $15.45. Huh? Was I reading the bill right? When I looked at the menu I saw that fettuccine alfredo with cream sauce was $11.75 So where did my pasta go wrong? Did they charge me more for the special care? For using a different pasta? Not wanting to make a fuss over the extra $3.70 I went ahead and paid the bill.
And this brings us to today, I was thinking about my bill from last Saturday and wanted more information. I have been to other restaurants where servers have told me of price increases when ordering special items. Or I there would be an asterisk on the menu indicating and additional price.
The extra $3.70 was not putting me out, but I would have like to been aware of the price increase.
I decided to call Filippi’s Grotto this afternoon and get the info. I spoke with a very nice gentleman and proceeded to tell him my situation. That I was in with my family last Saturday night and ordered the gluten-free pasta with alfredo cream sauce. Asking him to confirm the price of their regular dish to my dish, inquiring about the difference. That I didn’t see anything on the menu informing me of the price increase and that our server (who was otherwise lovely) didn’t inform me. He said it’s not their policy for the server to inform of price differences unless asked. And that so many people have been coming with a gluten intolerance that they decided to carrying gluten-free pasta in their store. Stating that it is more of a specialty item not listed on the menu. I asked them if there was anything they could do to inform G-free customers of the price difference. He said that they reprint the menus ever few months and he would make a suggestion to add an asterisk. And that, is all I could ever ask for. Thanking him for his great customer service I hung up the phone very pleased.
This has been a great lesson for me. I am still learning so much about the G-free lifestyle and what restaurants have to offer. I know they work for the general public, but with so many G-free people out there, it doesn’t hurt to make a suggestion or ask a few question. So far every restaurant I have spoken with has been more than gracious.
Thank you Filippi’s Pizza Grotto for hearing me out. You are still my favorite Italian restaurant in San Diego. See you soon!