Out of the Box

Out of the box…
I have a few tips for dining out when you have food allergies.  One of my most favorite is to eat at restaurants during their non-busy times.  I like to eat at breakfast places, super early, before their breakfast rush.  If I’m going to eat dinner out with my family, I try to make it a late, late lunch or early dinner – a “Linner.”  This provides me with an opportunity to make sure that my dining out experience is safe.  Sometimes I may be one of the first patrons for dinner; the kitchen is clean and the chef is not hurried.  I know that the kitchen staff can take a little extra time to prepare my meal.  It’s possible that the restaurant manager may come to speak with me and the service staff can take the time to really make sure that the meal is free of gluten.  I can ask questions and probe without feeling guilty that I am taking up too much of the waiter’s time or taking time away from other diners.
My husband and I have several nights a week where we dine out for business.  We eat out a lot!  To avoid embarrassment and long explanations and discussions, I simply CALL AHEAD!  I usually call the day before or even up to an hour before and let the manager know that I will be coming in and do they have anything on the menu or something they can prepare for me?  It gives me a chance to inquire about the salad dressings, and certain menu items, so that I can keep it brief when ordering my meal.  People who don’t have allergies, don’t always understand the importance of making sure that the meal is prepared allergen free.  I recognize that the lack of compassion is a simply a lack of knowledge.  I have been in situations where I feel uncomfortable.  Checking with the restaurant prior to arriving limits any awkward dinner conversation.
-Juli La Porte

About Can I Eat Here? Blog

President & Co-Owner CanIEatHere.com
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