Friday, July 15, 2011

I Had to Leave a Restaurant Today.

Today was the first time I have had to leave a restaurant because there were no options available on the menu for my son to eat.  Except for the House Salad. Everything else contained gluten and/or dairy.  Here's what happened.

I met up with a friend and her son in Toronto today to let the kids play for a bit and then we took them to lunch.  I always pack food for Etienne, but today I packed more of a snack than a full-blown lunch because the area we were in is full of places to eat.  We decided to stop at a little pub-style restaurant for lunch.  The menu was pretty tiny, just one side of a laminated sheet of paper, and pretty much everything contained gluten or dairy. The server confirmed that everything is fried in the same fryer, so even the fries were off-limits.  From the Caesar salad to the hamburger patties and beyond, there was just no way to even adequately substitute in ways that were guaranteed to be gluten free. 

The server was friendly and helpful, and she apologized for not being able to do more, but in the end my friend and I decided it would be best to just eat somewhere else. 

We walked about half a block and decided on a Thai & Japanese Restaurant with an extensive menu posted on their door.  One dairy free mango smoothie and a mango salad later (can you tell he enjoys mango?) and my son had forgotten all about the fries and was eating a much healthier lunch!  I enjoyed some Miso soup, sushi drizzled with pumpkin sauce (a first, but delicious) and some of my son's mango salad.  Delicious, gluten and dairy free, and healthy to boot. 

I know that dining out GF can be difficult, but I guess because my son is still so young, we don't take him to restaurants frequently.  When we do, we generally scope out the place beforehand to make sure that there are enough options for him to choose from and that the restaurant avoids cross-contamination.  This was the first time that a spontaneous restaurant choice has resulted in needing to leave and eat somewhere else due to a lack of safe food for him to consume.  I think I handled it pretty well, but it reminded me that despite the wonderful and growing number of options, there are still many places I'll have to keep crossed off my list.

1 comment :

  1. It sounds like you made the right choice and I'd choose mango and sushi over fries any day!