Friday, August 29, 2008

Mr. Blue Lagoon waiter, I sincerely apologize

Another beautiful photograph by NAH. Morning on Kaanapali Beach.
Maui became even more interesting, allergically speaking, the night we went to the Blue Lagoon. Not the movie, mind you, but a restaurant in Lahaina on the main street. It looked inviting, had a decent menu, and was relatively uncrowded, which was a rarity. We sat ourselves near one of the koi ponds (They're everywhere in HI, and these aren't small koi. They look like they could eat you if you fell in!), and read over the menus.
A college-aged kid came over to take our orders. I started. I showed him my med-alert bracelet and said "I'm very interested in having a piece of fish, but I'm showing you this because I need you to understand that when I ask for it to be cooked plain, no oil, no seasoning, no nuts, and not touching any of those things, it's REALLY IMPORTANT. I Have terrible allergies." (I freely admit that I was a tad condescending, but it's my life, my body, and this kid had the party-boy look, and he was young). He looked straight at me, and said, "Before I take your order, let me talk to my chef and make sure we can accommodate you."
Boy, was I impressed (and feeling a tad guilty). I was even more impressed when he came back to the table, extremely apologetic, and explained that his chef didn't speak English as a first language, and he (the waiter) was VERY concerned that the cross-contamination would be a major problem. He even suggested a place or two we could go where he thought I'd be safer eating, AND APOLOGIZED ON BEHALF OF HIS RESTAURANT. I in turn, apologized to him, and thanked him profusely.
Off we went in search of another restaurant (there are probably 50 on the main street alone), but relieved to have heard an answer like that!
Thank you for your honesty, Blue Lagoon.
Your Allergic Diner

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This was the view from our balcony at 7 a.m. I never ended up taking pictures of the food and restaurants I'll be blogging about, so with each blog post I will share with you some of NAH's superior photography skills.

I traveled 11 hours (10 of flying with a 1-hour layover at O'Hare, Chicago) to Hawaii, so for my first post I think I will write to you about Mr. Sub. Mr. Sub (?), I hear you asking, while you cringe...but yes, Mr. Sub. Work with me here.

See, Hawaii food was difficult for this travelling food allergic diner. Everything was macadamia-nut encrusted, or barbecued, and while the restaurants and food were of the highest quality, I was halfway across the country and concerned about allergic reactions and cross contamination problems. So we improvised. I'm not much for fancy food (which I secretly think NAH loves about me) to begin with, so not eating at Maui's finest restaurants was not a problem. One of the days we were there I had the worst hankering for a tuna salad sandwich (sans celery, of course). We walked to nearby Whaler's Village, an outdoor, well, village, which had numerous restaurants and shops. It also had a teeny, tiny food court on the lowest level, and in that teeny tiny food court was a stand that harbored two restaurants at one counter: Mr. Taco/Mr. Sub.

Now, there was a McDonald's (that served Portuguese sausage with breakfast!), and a pizza place (guaranteed death), but I needed a tuna sandwich. I spoke to a woman whom I'm assuming was not Mrs. Sub (she was wearing a "Go Seniors" t-shirt, maybe she was daughter Sub or daughter Taco?), who assured me there was not only no celery in the tuna, but in anything they made. I tasted the tuna salad, which was made with relish! It was very unusual, and quite good. Not only did I like the tuna, they'd given me an idea as to how to put crunch back into my tuna salad. I had my delicious tuna sandwich, no tomatoes, on a freshly-baked onion roll, and then NAH and I walked off to enjoy another spectacular sunset. Maybe tomorrow I'll post one of those pictures. So many to choose from!

Thank you Mr. Sub,
Your Allergic Diner

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The vacation of a lifetime....and another state out of 50 crossed off the list!

Well Allergic Diner fans, I must bid you adieu for a little while, as the Non Allergic Husband and I are heading to Maui, HI!!!

Even though I keep threatening my coworkers that I am leaving, never to return (the idea of no computer and no need for a cell phone is just unfathomable, and yet so exciting), I will be back. I will most likely start posting again at the end of this month. 7 days of multiple meals out will make for quite a few restaurant reviews! Until then, stay allergy-free and healthy!

Oh, and NAH, if you're reading this, Happy EARLY Anniversary! I love you!

~Your Allergic Diner

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sometimes taking care of yourself first can be really difficult...

Recently, I had the following conversation with a friend who has two cats and a dog, who just bought a new place with her fiance.

her:When are you going to come see it?
me: Honestly, I don't know. My allergies are really bad right now, and I may have to wait until the weather cools off....
her: You're still having problems with that?

Seriously? I've known this woman for almost 20 years, and I've always had these allergies (used to be just to cats, but my pet allergies are getting far worse as I grow up). People wonder why I get so gosh darn defensive.

The worst? She really didn't mean anything by it at all. She just doesn't understand. I can't put myself in that position and ignore the fact that I'm going to have a really severe reaction (ah, blowfish syndrome, how I love thee). I also can't have the reaction just to make a friend happy, but she truly does not understand why I haven't seen her new place yet.....Life gets complicated.
Your Allergic Diner

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bears on the beach!

I really like my coworkers. I'm not saying that because I think they read this blog (a few of them found me back during that whole Hannah & Mason's debacle). I'm stating it because it's true. I've been meaning to post the above picture for awhile. A few weeks back, I hosted several of my coworkers and their families for a summer barbecue. NAH and I had wanted to share the house with everyone, but weren't interested in a housewarming party. This seemed like the perfect answer.

I let them know about the party, and was overwhelmed when each of them offered to bring something. Not that I was surprised, they're all good people, but help is always welcome when you're entertaining! The photo above is of the most adorable cupcakes I've ever seen. Bears on the beach! The sand? Graham cracker crumbles. How clever!

As for the allergy-relatedness of this post? Well, outside of the 7-layer dip and stuffed tomatoes, I could eat EVERYTHING at the barbecue (it certainly helps that I was the host). All-beef hot dogs, whole-wheat buns, coleslaw, fruit salad, potato chips, etc. We all had a wonderful time together outside of work (and it was really nice being able to EAT with everyone else!)

~Your Allergic Diner