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Some people just have no idea!

Tonight I went for a few drinks and a meal with a friend in a well known bar / restuarant chain. I've eaten in a number of these restuarants but not this particular one but have always found their staff helpful with regards to allergies until tonight...

I chose a pasta dish from the menu and wanted to check the ingredients for the pasta sauce. When the waitress came to take our order I asked her about the ingredients. Her response was 'how would I know?' Slightly taken aback I asked if she could speak to the chef and find out, the response was 'well the kitchen is very busy tonight we had a large group booking arrive just before you.'

What I wish I had done was pay for my drink and leave and choose one of the many other restaurants in York. Instead I went very red and flustered and my friend who was rather annoyed asked if we could speak to the manager. Thankfully he was much more accommodating and gave us the informationg we needed, served us personally and gave us a discount off our meal for the upset that was caused. I thought I had got over my embarassment at asking about ingredients etc but it really isn't helpful when people respond with such blatant ignorance, thats where my embarassment came from in the first place!

Sorry for this little rant but I really think that some people just have no idea how difficult it is to eat out when you have complex food allergies. You would think however that restuarant staff would be experienced in this matter and be helpful and accommodating. I don't think I'll be eating there very often!

Sparkly Fairy

5 Replies

I often ask on the phone before going if possible now as It occasionally causes hassle & delays.

My biggest obstacle is going to be Italy Abruzzo area in May! Not very touristy and my sister says they probably won't know what I am talking about regarding allergies - Am allergic to egg which is found in a lot of italian dishes.

My sister is being a bit coy about it and BIL dismissive too, saying he can't take responsibility when I asked about an italian translation card I had cobbled together.

I think basically as we are quite remote from medical help and they know my asthma too well they are a bit scared of me accidentally eating egg.

Anyway , nuff of my woes! I will be fine - will live on olives, wine, peaches & tomatoes! LOL!



dietary card

The following food allergy translation card may be helpful, especially if travelling abroad:


Thanks Rachel,

I do have a translation card text from a web site but will check that one out.

The one I have, I had to amend the allergen and I need to check it makes gramatical sence in Italian!




I'm also going to Italy this May, first North to Lombardia/Milano/Lake Garda -area and then South to Naples. There is two of us travelling, and both of has have asthma, but that's not all.

I can imagine us go into a restaurant:

1.Check if there's any animals around.

2. Check, is there smell of mold, smoke or perfumes.

3. If not, ask for food without tunafish or any other seafood (loved by italians). 4. Ask for food without garlic (loved and much-used everywhere by italians)

5. Ask for food without lactose (not an normal issue in Italy, so no plenty of low-lactos/lactos-free products available as here in Scandinavia)

6. Ask for GLUTEN-free food ( the most important of these, and nicely tricky in the promised land of pasta and pizza of gluten-full wheat..)

I cannot help laughing when I think the face of the waitress in hearing these restrictions... poor thing, what can he possibly serve us to eat in an italian restaurant that has no fish, no garlic, no milk nor gluten? Mere lonely tomatoes on a silver plate, perhaps :D

It may be most fun for us to make the food ourselves and not try to eat out/at friends that much.. But yes, we are going to enjoy ourselves really, that's for sure! :)

Ps. if anyone happens to know of any allergy-friendly restaurant there, it would be nice to hear in advance.. :)


Eeeek, and I thought avoiding egg was going to be a nightmare! Anyway, sister is going to cook most of the time.

I can see our place settings already, knife fork, spoon and epipen!



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