Monday, November 27, 2006

Let's discuss what the allergic diner likes to refer to as "the panera problem." I have visited different panera locations half a dozen times in the last 3 months. When I visit, I often inquire as to whether the chicken salad has celery in it. Every location gives me a different answer. Don't chains have a standard ingredients list? They show me "the list." The list does not appear to vary. Do they leave it out on the days they tell me no? Very confusing.
More perplexing is when the cashier tells me, politely, that she doesn't know if celery or celery seed is in the food. When I ask him or her to get the list, it is usually accompanied by an eye roll or at least a sigh (neither on behalf of the allergic diner). Am i being rude in checking so that I can make sure my epi-pen stays put in my purse?
I have had one or two nice interactions with cashiers, and one or two sandwiches that were made to my specifications. All in all? Avoid panera if you are an allergic customer...even if they can get you the info you need, they make you feel bad about asking.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

smells no more!

The allergic diner wishes simply to thank People Magazine. It has been brought to my attention (so that I might bring it to your attention, dear readers) that subscribers of this publication who suffer from chemical sensitivity can call and have the perfumed ads removed. I find this to be a welcome change from the usual attitudes of large corporations. Kudos to People! We appreciate you!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Beware the evil pizza wheel

Your allergic diner has a deathly tomato allergy (among others). My in-laws have a long-standing Friday night tradition of getting pizza from their local pizzeria (which, for the time being, will remain nameless). When we visit, your allergic diner has a delicious white pizza pie with mushrooms and garlic which tastes like cheesy garlic bread. I was very much looking forward to my pizza this past Friday, and when ordered, my husband included the "please do not cut the pizza" instruction.
We have learned in the past that a pizza wheel, put through a tomato pie first, then put through a white pie, brings tomato sauce onto the white pizza. This direction has never been a problem for us.
This place forgot and cut the pie, rendering your allergic diner with an allergic reaction. (sometimes when a pie is cut the wheel is rinsed off in between so as not to transfer the ingredients, usually it is not a problem)
Your allergic diner was distracted, and she paid for it dearly. Allergic consumers beware - make sure your directions are followed to the letter!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Most recently, your allergic diner and her non-allergic husband had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. When I informed the waitress that I would need my crab steamed "without seasoning, and without butter in the pot or on the plate," not only was she gracious, but the meal came as requested. My husband had ordered an appetizer of a dip that came with garlic toast. When our waitress brought out the meal, she had included plain bread for yours truly, explaining to me "well, i figured if you didn't want the dairy on your meal, you wouldn't want it on your bread either." Score points for eating at Joe's! Your allergic diner was so impressed she purchased a "got crabs?" t-shirt on her way out. We will definitely be returning. Great food, relaxed atmosphere, excellent ability to handle special requests!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Wegmans supermarkets
As your unbiased reviewer, I went last night in an attempt to find something for dinner that had no dairy, no oil, no tomatoes, and a list of spices so I could determine if they used any that I am allergic to. Right away, I spotted the sushi counter, but there was no sushi chef who could make anything for me at the time (I was told by wegmans customer service that they were there but on break. When I returned a 1/2 hour later, I was shocked to see still no sushi chef!)
I went about my food shopping during that half hour and was very impressed to see labels on everything that is Wegmans brand promoting allergy information such as "L" for "Lactose free" or V for "Vegan." More impressive was the "G" for Gluten free. I'm thankful not to count that as one of my allergies, but its nice to know that there are a range of products available.
After my unimpressive return to the sushi counter, I spotted the hoagie station, where I had a sub made to my exact specifications (no oil, no cheese, etc). Not only was the man accomodating, he even offered to let me check the sandwich before he wrapped it! I finished my food shopping and was on my way with my premade dinner. An added bonus to anyone with a latex allergy? Wegmans employees wear vinyl gloves to prepare the foods!
All in all, Wegmans is pricey but highly recommended by the allergic diner!


Allow me to introduce myself. I'm the allergic diner. Simply put, my food allergies put major restrictions on my ability to eat anywhere but in my own kitchen. It becomes a difficult experience, rather than an enjoyable time.
This website will review food establishments and educate readers as to the best and most accomodating places to eat if you have allergies. This is not a starred-review system, just a place to learn which restaurants, supermarkets,vacation spots, etc. accomodate special requests, and the ease and comfort level they allow the patron while doing so. I am constantly on the health, fitness and recipe websites in addition to being an avid chef, and I hope to provide a service which I see lacking in today's internet reading. Enjoy, and I welcome your comments. Hopefully my experiences will assist those of you who also have difficulty eating out!