As I was updating my “DC GFree Eats” page of recommended restaurants in the District, I began thinking of all of the places that I did not and would not include on that list. Number One offender being Ping Pong Dim Sum (locations in Chinatown and Dupont)
Ping Pong Dim Sum has what they like to call a “Gluten-Friendly Menu.” When I asked the waitress upon arrival if they have a gluten free menu, she insisted that they do not have a gluten free menu, but a gluten friendly menu. Also note that when you scroll over the words “Gluten-Friendly” on their website, the tool tip magically changes to say “Gluten-Free.” Confusing much?
When I asked what exactly that means, she said that it’s just “pretty much” free of gluten, only they include items that are fried in a shared fryer, and a “black squid ink PASTRY” that is possibly gluten “friendly” just because it’s not white in color? Couldn’t tell you.
There are also multiple dumplings that are on the “gluten-friendly” menu, but they couldn’t tell me why. Did they use a different wrapper? Was the sauce different? No one knew.
I wound up having steamed broccoli, bok choy, and rice – because that sounds like an incredibly filling meal, doesn’t it?
Bottom line: If you can’t provide gluten FREE meals to customers, don’t pretend you can.