I have dealt with food allergies for such a long time now that I think I started to get lax when I go out to eat.
I was reminded of this on Saturday night. Luvy and I went out to eat at our favorite Thai restaurant as we were coming back from seeing Bobbi, Rylee, and Matt.
When my food was delivered, it was covered in gluten containing fried wontons. I explained to my waiter that I ordered it gluten free. He said he would take them off.
When they take them off, the residue is still there so I explained that I had an allergy and that wouldn’t work.
I thought the man was going to explode on me. He confronted me in front of the entire restaurant because I didn’t tell him that I had an allergy out front. He yelled at Luvy and I, causing a HUGE scene in the restaurant (which is no longer our favorite).
To his defense, he did come back and apologize and give us free tea. However, I was still mad.– maybe I need to write a post on holding a grudge??
This man’s actions were ridiculous and very embarrassing to me, however it sparked me to think maybe I have been too lax on explaining my dietary needs to restaurants.
So, if you or someone you know has a food allergy or intolerance here are some good tips for dining out…. ones that I won’t forget again anytime soon!
Tips for Eating Out with Food Allergies
- Call ahead and make a reservation. Inform the managerof your allergies when you call.
- Ask a million questions until you feel comfortable. Who cares what they think? It’s your life, stomach, and health at risk.
- Take your Epi-Pen with you. No matter how comfortable you feel or if you have eaten there before. Mistakes can be made.
- If it is a child, bring backup food. If you don’t feel comfortable once the food is served, you do not want a hungry and cranky child.
- Bigger restaurants usually have a allergy policy whereas Mom and Pop shops do not. However, if a smaller restaurant is slow, you tend to get more attention and they know everything that goes into the food.
- There might be language barriers. This happens to me all. the. time. With my southern accent, people have a hard time understanding me. Bottom line: if you don’t feel comfortable, ask to speak to someone else.
- When you are ordering your food, communicate your allergy well and watch out for red flags. Always remember you have the right to speak with the chef or the manager.
- When ordering, simple foods are the safest. Grilled, steamed, and baked are usually easiest. Also, be careful of seasonings and sauces.
- Be aware of cross contamination. Look at the menu to see how other items are prepared. If you are ordering french fries and are gluten free, be aware that they may be deep frying chicken with four in there too.
- Try to relax and enjoy your meal! Easier said than done now that I’ve just given you this huge list. However, if you can’t go out and enjoy- what’s the point??
Do any of you deal with food allergies?
What are your tips for eating out?
Favorite restaurants that are food allergy friendly? – mine tend to be Thai restaurants and Bonefish Grill