Gratitude vs. False Hope with Food Allergies

“Wow, that is helpful!  Thank you.  I’ll be right back,” the waitress said then disappeared around the corner with my Chef Card.  I turned to my friend who was sitting across from me.  By now she was used to the happy and generally relieved servers that would take my Chef card with gratitude.

That isn’t how life always was though and I feel thankful that things have changed for Allergic Reactors.  In the city I live, there has become a very basic understanding of food allergies and their severity.  When I go to a restaurant now, it is more common for servers to be accommodating and often overly concerned and vigilant.  Growing up it was a worse version of the opposite.  When I was in New York City a few weeks ago though, I still found that many restaurants were working on how they could accommodate Allergic Reactors.  I was visiting two of my best friends from growing up, and we were in search of Saturday brunch.  We went into at least three places before we found a restaurant that was willing to work with my allergies and find safe options for me to eat. I would rather have restaurants be honest. I don’t want them to pretend they are accommodating and then not be. There is now a law where I live that restaurants must have a sign posted that says to let them know if you have a food allergy.  I find this sign has both positives and negatives (like most things…).  In my experience, it has given me false expectations and hope that all restaurants will understand food allergies and be accommodating, however that is not the reality.

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