First Experience Dining Out After Food Allergy Diagnosis

Posted by Wendy Neal Sunday, March 28, 2010 Bookmark and Share

If you've been following my blog, you know that a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with severe food allergies to dairy (from cow's milk) and egg whites, and moderate allergies to mushrooms, psyllium, alfalfa, and turmeric. And while I don't have an allergy to gluten, I'm evidently sensitive to it so I'm following a gluten-free diet as well.

My new diet had been going very well for the first few weeks - mainly because I was preparing all my meals myself and I could control exactly what was in them. I had not yet gone out to a restaurant since my diagnosis. That is until one day a bunch of coworkers and I decided to walk down to the local lunch spot just down the street from our office.

Let's just say that the experience was less than stellar. First of all, nearly everything on their menu contained wheat. So I ended up ordering a burger without cheese, and planned on not eating the bun. Also instead of the greasy fries that normally comes with it, I substituted chili (the only type of soup they had with no gluten and/or milk in it).

When I got my meal, the first thing I noticed was a big globby piece of Swiss cheese melted all over my burger. I told the waitress that I'm allergic to milk and therefore can't have cheese. She stated that she did not hear me say no cheese when I ordered. She took my meal away and finally brought one back without cheese.

After eating the burger without the bun and my cup of soup, I was still hungry. But there was literally nothing else on the menu that I could have ordered besides salad. And if a burger and chili didn't fill me up, a salad was certainly not going to. Since I substitued chili for the fries, that added another couple bucks to my lunch. So I ended up paying around $12.00 for my meal, and that included water for the drink which was free. So not only did I leave hungry, I also had to pay $12.00 for a piece of meat and a small cup of soup. Let's just say that I won't be going back there for lunch any more.

What I have learned from this experience is that I will probably need to be a little more choosy about where I go out to eat, and if possible, to know where I'm going in advance so I can check out their menu beforehand to see if they have any food allergy-friendly foods on the menu. And if I do find any good restaurants out there, I'll be sure to post them here.

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