We drove past a Panda Express two days ago on our way to Target, and it reminded me that I wanted Chinese food. So after a quick search for their allergen menu (I found one at http://www.projectallergy.com/documents/AllergyInformation.pdf ), I decided to stop there and get cake and I some lunch. Since we avoid milk and nuts, he had plenty of choices. (Note: he hasn’t had any major issues with cross contamination at most restaurants). I got us chow mein and chicken with mushrooms to share and some orange chicken for myself (we avoid orange and citrus with Cake). I also bought 3 potstickers to share. Cake loved the pot stickers (he has never, ever liked pot stickers any other time I’ve gotten them for him), thought the chow mein was “okay”, and didn’t like the chicken and mushrooms.
Even though there’s a likelyhood of cross contamination, I’m glad I was able to find a Chinese food place for us to go to.
There’s a Greek festival in our area today and tomorrow. Apparently there’s tons of homemade Greek food, and tons of dessert treats. It’s a very popular festival and they have parking lots to park in then you ride a bus to the event.
I love Greek food. I love Greek desserts. Cake loves buses, and has been asking to ride on one for about 2 years, basically since he could talk.
Will we be going? No. It’s too risky with Cake’s food allergies. No Greek lunch, no yummy treats, and no bus ride.
There wasn’t really anything for a 3 year old to do there except eat and dance, I guess, so he would’ve gotten bored after an hour or so if he was able to eat anything there.
On the positive side, I found another festival for next weekend that has rides and games for kids in addition to food. Maybe I’ll bring Cake to that one (and pack our own food or go before lunch or something). Still no idea on a bus ride for him, though.
So we have a membership to a few local places. The farthest one away is an hour drive away, at the California Academy of Science. Cake, Bear, and I go up to San Francisco (‘the city’) about 4-5 times a year just to go to the Academy of Sciences. It’s pretty cool – there’s a 4 story rainforest, an aquarium, an African Hall (with stuffed zebras, lions, etc) and a toddler play room (which we avoid most of the time). They have cool programs for toddlers and preschoolers, change up exhibits often, and sometimes have cool live animals like reindeer or baby ostriches. Anyways, one of my favorite parts is getting lunch there.
They don’t have an ‘allergy menu’ because a few main allergens are noted RIGHT ON THE MENU! Specifically, if a dish is milk free it has a D next to the item, if it’s gluten free it has a G, vegan has a green V, and vegetarian has an orange V. Cake has lots of options for what to eat! We’ve eaten tacos, chips an guacamole, fried fish, fried chicken, French fries, and pork buns there. And it’s awesome that I don’t have to worry about asking the manager of the restaurant about specific dishes. It seems so easy to do this to the menu – I wish other restaurants would do this!
Sorry one of the pictures is fuzzy. Kinda what happens when you have 2 hungry kids with you! Cake is eating some fried fish and French fries in the picture.
We tried a new Mexican restaurant today. I ordered Cake a chicken taco plate after discussing his severe milk allergy with the cashier. She knew the ingredients of the tortilla, rice, beans, and chicken. I reminded her of the milk allergy again.
Yet his refried beans came with cheese on them. Great.
We found a new allergy friendly restaurant in our area! 🙂
Eating out is always more complicated with a food allergy. We were in a nearby downtown and decided to get dinner. The restaurant we usually eat at has one meal that I know we can eat (& Cake doesn’t like it) so we tried a different restaurant. I’m glad we did – they had a few different items Cake and I could eat!
The first restaurant we tried was a fail. I told the hostess that we had a severe milk and peanut/tree nut allergy and asked if their bread had milk in it (it was a burger place). The two hostesses looked at each other and said,”um…..I don’t know. Do you know?” And “ummm….maybe it does?” I asked them to go check in the back with the chef. To which they responded, “ummmmm….well….the bread comes in big bags, I don’t think they know the ingredients.” At that point I left. I hate it when I get excited about trying a new restaurant then it is not an option.
At the restaurant next door, I told them about the severe allergies and asked if their French fries have milk in them. French fries are kind of our gateway food…..if Cake can have French fries, he is happy. If he can’t have the fries, we don’t bother with the restaurant unless it’s take out. Anyways, one of the hostesses went to the back and came back telling me, “yes, I checked and the chef says the fries are milk/milk product free and so are some other things on the menu. We don’t use peanuts or tree nuts in anything here.” WIN! We sat down and I found three different foods to ask about, hoping one was milk/milk product free. It was a Greek restaurant so I asked about gyros, an eggplant dip, the rice pilaf, and the skewers. Both the rice pilaf and all of the skewers were milk free – which gave me enough options for dinner. As a bonus, they had a kids meal with the skewers, meaning Cake could actually eat a kids meal (a rarity!)
Cake got shrimp skewers and fries, and I got seafood skewers and fries. It was a big, loud restaurant so Cake could be loud if he wanted to (he wasn’t – he was really good!) and we were able to walk to a coffee ship that has some dairy free sorbet for dessert.
It’s always a little scary trying a new restaurant – I watch Cake for allergic reactions the whole time we are there and after. I’m really glad we tried this one and will be going back soon!
And of course I only took two pictures while there, one was blurry and the other Cake had his eyes closed.