Sunday, June 21, 2009

puffballs and the Bonefish Grill

So, my parents have puffballs. Not those weeds that grow on their lawn, but two pint-sized adorable balls of fluff that may one day grow into dogs. They're puppies, and they're adorable. (They're just so darn TINY!)

However, this presents a fabulous allergic problem. I'm allergic to dogs (it may have been mentioned in this blog before, no?). I don't begrudge my parents their decision at all, in fact, I'm really happy that they got the puppies. We have an understanding that my visits inside their house will be limited, and thankfully, with Atlantic City next door, it's not like we don't have anywhere to go out for a good meal, or candy(!), or shopping, or a movie, etc. Summer makes this allergy easier, as we can sit outside on the deck for the better part of the day.

This is Father's Day weekend, and what my dad wanted more than anything was an afternoon of card playing and a good ole' BBQ (allergic-diner friendly, of course). Well, mother nature had slightly different plans (seriously, if this keeps up, I'm purchasing a canoe! Good grief!). I Benadryl'ed up, we spent a couple hours in the house playing cards, and then we went out for an early dinner to Bonefish Grill.

We had a 5:30 reservation, of which they had no record, which might have been an ominous start, but they simply apologized profusely and seated us immediately. I'd been there once before with my family, and we knew they could accommodate my allergies.

So we placed our orders, Atlantic Charr for the allergic dad, fish and chips for the allergic mom, chicken marsala for NAH, and salmon for me "the absolute plainest you can possibly make it. No butter, no oil, no seasonings, not even parsley to make it look pretty." Not a problem. I was impressed.

I was MORE impressed, however, when 5 minutes later one of their CHEFS walked out of the kitchen, over to our table, and introduced himself, then spent a few minutes talking to me about what I needed from him. He offered to cook the fish on the grill in a non-stick pan to prevent cross-contamination, and then promised not to put a single thing in the pan (usually would use a non-stick spray, etc), if I promised not to be upset that it didn't look as nice as it normally would if he could play with it. I really liked this guy.

The food came, perfectly, and we had a lovely meal. I highly recommend Bonefish Grill to any allergy-affected patron (well, unless of course your allergy is to fish. This may not be the place for you). It was a fantastic evening!

To my allergic dad, and my non-allergic dad-in-law, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Thank you, Bonefish Grill,

Your Allergic Diner

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Atlantic City

So Atlantic City is hurting from the economy, my friends. With a complimentary stay at the Tropicana, allergic mom and I decided to do what we could to help boost their economy.
I must say, I love Atlantic City not for the boardwalk, or the casinos, or the ocean, but because of the candy store! Naturally, the pier at Caesars was our first stop, for a visit to IT'SUGAR. Oh, how I love their wall of jelly beans.

The one thing I don't have to do, when I'm visiting a place I've been previously, is allergy-obsess. I didn't need to pre-determine where we would eat our meals. In a city that caters (ALOT) to the elderly, chances are good I can have anything I want anyway I'd like it.

We had a lovely lunch at Cafe Roma (Caesars' coffee shop), and I'd like to give a shout-out (my former students would be so proud of me) to our waiter, Orlando. This gentleman made me so comfortable, allergy-wise, that I'm contemplating having my birthday dinner there. Yes, allergic mom, you read that a coffee shop!I asked as to whether the egg salad or chicken salad had the dreaded evil green stalk, and he assured me that it didn't. I placed my order of a chicken salad sandwich and french fries, and allergic mom placed her order (yummy lobster salad sandwich and potato chips). About 10 minutes later, Orlando returned with my mom's sandwich, he said to me, "I was wrong, there is celery in both salads, I think you need to place another order." He handed me the menu, and waited with me and answered all my questions. I was blown away! He even arranged it so that I could have french fries with my egg white omelet with mushrooms. It was the best meal I had all weekend!

Dinner at the Tropicana (roast turkey dinner at the Seaside Cafe) was delicious and uneventful, as was breakfast there the next morning. It was a lovely, fun, active 24 hours. Thanks allergic mom!