Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I'm Back! Summer Vacation Allergy Adventures Edition

Wow. Would you look at that? It appears that the blog took a summer vacation.
(That's my story and I'm sticking to it).

So, what did you do on your summer vacation? We took two trips - a Caribbean cruise and a short weekend in St. Louis.

Managing Olivia's allergies on the cruise was pretty easy - we had an amazing head waiter in the Main Dining Room (on Oasis of the Seas) and he went ABOVE AND BEYOND to make sure Olivia was safe every night at dinner. Heck, he even cut her steak each night (LOL).

The one negative on our cruise was when we visited the ship's ice cream shop and the crew member told us that they "don't serve people with allergies." Um, 'scuse me? You 'don't serve' people with allergies? How about if you EDUCATE YOURSELF about food allergies and actually offer something that would be safe - or even TRY to make an effort to help passengers find an answer when it comes to allergens in the ice cream.

And then, St. Louis. We had some good and some bad. Let's do good first.

Since we were visiting St. Louis I decided we HAD to eat at Imo's Pizza - the home of the 'St. Louis-style pizza.' I emailed the company and told them we needed to avoid peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds and within a couple of days I had an email in return! They assured me that the crust was safe but to avoid the sandwiches as the bread contained sesame seeds.

My review: pizza was great! We'd definitely go back - they made sure to note Olivia's allergies when we ordered.

Then the not-so-good - Angelo's Taverna in St. Louis. We decided to stop here for lunch since it was connected to our hotel. As we were being seated I noticed that the rolls were covered in sesame seeds so I knew those were off limits!

I told the waiter about the allergies - peanuts, tree nuts, and SESAME - and he assured me that he told the kitchen. We ordered calamari - but not before asking the waiter to again ask the kitchen if the breading was safe and free from allergens. He left the table and came back with an assurance that it was safe.

Olivia ate a piece of calamari and then she saw them - sesame seeds IN THE BREADING. Yes, seriously. She immediately stopped eating. When the GM stopped by our table I told him about the calamari and he said "there's no sesame in the breading." Then he checked with the kitchen and GUESS WHAT? They use their day-old bread that is COVERED IN SESAME SEEDS to make ALL the breading in the restaurant.

I told him he's lucky I didn't need to Epi-Pen my kid in the middle of the restaurant.

Seriously - train your wait staff to understand the severity and seriousness of food allergies.
Total fail for Angelo's.

On a brighter note: we also stopped at Culver's on our way to Missouri and they were WONDERFUL when it came to Liv's allergies. They actually type in the allergies as you order and Olivia was able to enjoy chicken tenders and fries. She didn't feel comfortable with the frozen custard - which was OK with me. I was just happy to find another spot that takes allergies seriously.

I hope you had a safe and allergy-free summer too!