Those of you who have food intolerances, sensitivities, or allergies know what it’s like to go to a restaurant. You try to avoid it as much as possible. Why? The fear of not knowing if there will be anything you can safely eat as well as not knowing how the food is cooked that stops you from enjoying a meal at a restaurant. The fear of the what if; what if I have a reaction…what if I think what I’m eating is okay, but it’s not?
My family met with some extended family members and friends at an Italian restaurant. One of the few times I will actually go out to eat just to meet with family and catch up with people we haven’t seen in while. Usually I would inform the waiter/waitress about my sensitivities in the moment, while we’re there ready to order. This time we decided to call the restaurant ahead of time. We talked to the manager, who was the manger that was there the night we went, and we told her about my sensitivities. She was able to put together a meal that would be safe for me to eat. Now I was able to walk into the restaurant stress and worry free having in mind what to order. I didn’t have to worry about making everyone else wait while going back and forth trying to figure out what I can eat because we already called and asked before arriving at the restaurant.
Then when we got there and was ready to order, everyone else ordered as I waited to talk to the manager. We confirmed the meal that we talked about over the phone and that’s what I got. I ended up getting plain grilled chicken with no sauces or oil or anything cooked on it, a baked potato, and steamed broccoli at an Italian restaurant. It’s not what you would think to get at that type of restaurant as you would think food items like pasta or pizza. It was also kind of bland and tasteless, but it was the safest option for me since I couldn’t get any sauces or oil on the grilled chicken, but it’s kind of hard to complain when there was something I could actually eat. The good news is that I didn’t have any stomachaches or reactions after eating the food, so I thank the manger and the chefs on a job well done on preparing a meal and making it special so I could enjoy. To make things even more special, my meal came out last and was covered, so I knew that that was mine and didn’t mind getting served last. It was a good night and I was able to enjoy a meal problem free.
If you have food issues and you want to/have to go to a restaurant for whatever reason, I defiantly recommend calling ahead of time, maybe even a couple days before you go, to make sure that there is food you can eat as well as put together a meal that would be safe for you to enjoy, so you already know what you will order. When we got to the restaurant, I didn’t even have to look at the menu since I already knew what I was getting. I didn’t have to pick out other options incase one meal wasn’t safe for me to eat. I didn’t have to go back and forth with the waitress and manager trying to find a safe meal. We already did all that ahead of time over the phone, so I was ready to go when we got there. Knowing that there is something I can eat, and that it was a stress free night, I wouldn’t mind going back to the restaurant to enjoy a meal.
So, if you’re afraid you or your child won’t be able to eat anything at a restaurant, feel free to call the restaurant before you go to talk it through with the manager and see what they can do to accommodate your needs. You might be surprised on what they can prepare for you to ensure that you have a fun and safe visit. It makes life a whole lot easier and you don’t have to worry about anything when you get there.