Eating out with allergies, can it be done? All kind of thoughts run through your head after being diagnosed with food allergies. Do I toss everything in the house that has an ingredient of my food listings? That was one of my biggest questions after being diagnosed with 6 food allergies and counting. How will others treat me with my food allergies? Is dating something that can be done by going out to any venue that has food there? Will I be seen as high maintenance? Those were just a few of those questions that ran through my mind.
Can it really be done, will anyone have the patience with me when we go to a restaurant to find if it can be done and walk out with me if they can’t work with me on my allergies? If I do go out, will I only options be salads and that having to be modified as well with no croûtons or eggs or soy (in the dressing}?
Well, I can tell you the first part about “anyone”, was a date and we had gone out multiple times and he didn’t blink twice or roll his eyes when I started on the questions with the wait staff. There was one time that the menu item (salmon) was changed that ended up looking so good that the wait staff was even noticing it as it was being brought to the table. Another time a chef was at a table behind us and overheard the conversation and even shared a recipe for later use. Questions about what you are eating from a stranger and a strange place should be a normal thing for those that have medical needs to know what is going on with their food.
That conversation got into a little more detail about how things are done in the kitchen and that is where we learned that when restaurants use peanut oil they do so because it doesn’t transfer the taste of the previous food. So, the restaurant could cook fish in the oil and then do french fries and the taste of the fish would not transfer to the fries. That, really was an interesting topic the chef had shared. Now, I really won’t think twice of asking a server or a chef when they say the item is cooked in oil, what type of oil, usually they say vegetable oil, I say what vegetable and they usually have to go and check, I have to ask.
So, back to ‘anyone’, when the salmon came out and he saw how they cooked it, he wanted to try it and I gave him a bite and he liked it too. He was amazed at the helpfulness of the wait staff at the places that we had gone too. Including the interesting conversation that we have with the staff at restaurants that would have never happened otherwise. I tried explaining to him that my willingness to try these places is that I knew that he would be willing to leave if they couldn’t or wouldn’t accommodate my allergies. Plus, I knew he had my back if something was to happen and he would not doubt me, and also take the steps needed to ensure my safety.
So, if you are newly diagnosed or have had food allergies for awhile, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what you are eating, you are the one that suffers with the results of eating something that you shouldn’t be eating. If, the person(s) that you are with give you gruff, with an eye roll, not talking to you, think you are high maintenance, just simply treating you different for it, do you want them in your life… along with so many other questions that you have to answer about your new path.