First, a confession: We don't go out to eat with the kids very often for a variety of reasons, one of which happens to be avoiding food allergy hassles. And by "hassles" I mean both cross-contamination risk and the hassle of having to talk to restaurant staff about allergies. There, I said it. I am not very practiced at it, and so I still feel...shy? Embarrassed? Like I am bothering them?
I know it's important for us to go out, and to model proper food allergy behavior for Georgia so that she can grow up to one day handle all of this on her own without a second thought about it. I get that. I'm just admitting here that I do not love it, and it is something I am having to force myself to practice.
So anyway, that's a little bit of background, but tonight I have a success story to report. Georgia and Joe went out for their first ever daddy/daughter dinner date, something we've been trying to incorporate in order to give each of our kids a little more one on one time with us, their awesome parents.
Joe called ahead to the restaurant, Dunlay's on the Square, to ask what kind of oil they use for their french fries and to confirm that the same oil was not used for frying fish, since Georgia has both nut and fish allergies. Whoever he spoke to on the phone assured him no fish were fried in the french fry oil.
Fast forward to the restaurant. Joe brought our little laminated chef's card along and handed it to the server while mentioning Georgia's allergies and placing her order. The server returned momentarily to the table, apologetically explaining that it turns out fish had been fried in the french fry oil earlier. What a great catch! Ah, the power of communication.
So, I guess the lesson here is: yea for chef's cards! And also: suck up any feelings of embarrassment over being a high-maintenance customer, and always communicate! (To his credit, Joe is really better about this stuff than I am.)