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Ask The Allergy Chef: Do You Eat Out at Restaurants?

Ask The Allergy Chef: Do you eat out at restaurants?

    Hi. I’m curious after reading your story. Do you eat out at restaurants?

    That would be a loud and resounding no. Gather round the camp fire for a story. Years ago we did what was called the Food Allergy Awareness Expedition. It was a 6 week tour around the US and we helped thousands of people with dietary restrictions at events all over the place.

    In the first week, the trailer that was carrying ALL of my food for the entire trip lost power for an extended amount of time and all of my food was lost. GONE. So much prep and money wasted. We had to scramble to get people back home to overnight ship food to specific addresses ahead of us, and I had to “pick what hurt the least”. Physically, I was miserable and in a lot of pain from that trip. Recover took forever as well.

    In New York, I found this somewhat pricey restaurant doing upscale and organic and thought maybe, just maybe I could get something to eat. I asked for a custom salad: lettuce and 3 tomatoes. Nothing else, just that. Waited more than 20 minutes for my salad mind you.

    The lady comes back and it’s covered in cheese, almonds, and other toppings I couldn’t have. Literally cried and walked out and told her to keep the food. It took me a while to get back to the truck and she decided to chase me down with a new salad and apologies. I just looked at her like she was an alien.

    She expected me to trust her after THAT?! Nope. I told her. There’s no way I can eat that. I can’t trust you, still in tears mind you. She pushed the meal into my hands and apologized, and we drove away. Karlton ate the salad.

    The point is, I don’t eat out at restaurants. When you have more than 200 food allergies and food intolerances, and you can’t drink most water, it’s just not feasible to expect a restaurant (or any food service) to be able to feed you safely. Instead, I purchase safe raw materials and make everything for myself at home.

    I’ll also add this. When you have to wear a respirator as much as I do due to airborne allergies, you can’t exactly take it off to eat at a restaurant.

    If I were to ever suggest HOW someone with a less severe version of what I manage could eat out, I’d say look for organic farm to table restaurants. Like, the kind that are $150+ per meal and you’re eating ON the farm. It gets you close to the ground and increases your chances of success.

    To read more about eating out at restaurants in general when living with food allergies, check out this free article that dives deep into the topic.

    Happy reading!
    ~The Allergy Chef

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