Out to Eat with Food Allergies in Argentina

I glance at the meal that the server brings out, and although it looks and smells incredible, there is a dark, heavy sauce that has me questioning if he actually understands my food allergies.  I have already asked him multiple times about the ingredients (after giving him my chef card, which he brings to the kitchen), so I decide I will go straight to the food source for ingredient clarification. I walk right up to the kitchen counter and start to explain in my mixture of Italian-Spanish. Luckily for both of us, he speaks some English. I show him my chef card again and ask if he can explain what is in the sauce on my chicken. He lists off the ingredients with ease, all of which are safe, looks at my chef card again, then reiterates everything is fine. He has made it all from scratch and I have nothing to worry about.  The chef gives me a kind, confident smile at my assertive ways and I feel a lot safer.  Now satisfied, I stroll back outside to my seat in the sun, ready to try my lunch. My friend and I are at a Mediterranean style restaurant that has rave reviews. It is my first opportunity to try something other than steak, and although steak is delicious, after having it a few nights in a row, I am ready for a little variety! I take it slow at first, then with no reaction, clear my plate.  Another successful meal in Buenos Aires!

I had no idea what to expect when going out to eat with food allergies in Argentina.  I was impressed with how simple the process was for me.  Not one server did a double-take when looking at my chef card or refused to serve me. For a country with few common dietary restrictions (with the exception of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance), I found it surprising how accommodating restaurants were.  Sometimes it can be exhausting to explain yourself at every meal, but I was delighted to find that I did not experience this feeling once throughout the trip!


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