Ross, from Triumph Dining, was good enough to send me two sample dining cards (Mexican and Thai). I am not sure that I am in the best position to judge them because I have never used a dining card, and I have not tried these ones, but I think I will.
The cards seem to contain more information than other cards, although the only ones I have really seen are the samples printed in the back of Against the Grain, by Jax Peters Lowell.
The cards are laminated and can be folded to wallet size. English is presented on one side, while the language of the cuisine in question is printed on the reverse. I think it is safe to assume that the translations are accurate. Although there is quite a lot of text, the company states that most chefs can read the card in about one minute.
The cards include a listing of foods and ingredients that cannot be eaten, those that should be checked, and things we can always eat. A statement about contamination is also included. Clearly, there was much research carried out in preparing these cards. As an example, here is a section from the FAQ:
24. Why isn't rye on the Indian card?
The grain rye is almost unheard of in India. Multiple authoritative English-Hindi dictionaries indicated that there is no direct Hindi translation of rye. (Hindi is the official language of India.) Rye was defined only as a "type of wheat." In fact, our 3 Ivy-League educated translators and editors, all natives of India, were unfamiliar with rye as a grain. We also consulted with multiple Indian chefs, grocers, and food distributors, and no one was familiar with the grain rye in Indian cooking. NOTE: Please be careful not to confuse "rye," the grain, which is practically nonexistent in Indian cooking with "rai" the spice. Rai (also spelled "rye") is a small round mustard seed used in Indian cooking. The spice rai is gluten-free - though the name might suggest otherwise!
The Triumph Dining site indicates that Thai is the most celiac-friendly cuisine. I have heard that from other sources as well. Oddly, I have had a hard time finding gluten-free Thai food in Toronto. Recently, I was told I couldn't eat anything at a Thai restaurant on Bloor Street. Another local place has only one dish that is GF. I have yet to find a Thai restaurant in Toronto that uses wheat-free soy sauce. In New York last year, I was turned away by a Thai restaurant, because all of the dishes had either wheat-based soy sauce or were thickened with flour.
I think I will make a trek to that restaurant that turned me down with the card and see if it makes a difference. Maybe I was not clear enough. After all, I recall going to extreme lengths to describe my dietary restrictions to a Maitre D in a restaurant in Houston, only to hear him recommend a deep fried monte cristo sandwich! I went somewhere else.
The cards look professional, well-researched, and useful, but I will post a follow up after I try the cards.