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Ursa Major

Found Two Safe Restaurants Today!

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I live in Alliston, a small town north of Toronto, and I haven't really dared going out here. Somebody told me about a new little restaurant in town, and that the owner's daughter has celiac disease. So, I went and checked it out today, and the mother is a nutritionist as well! They assured me that I can safely eat there, as the daughter (who is around 20) was VERY ill before diagnosed last year, and they understand completely about my food issues. So, tomorrow my husband and I will go there for lunch. And it will be the first time I'll feel completely safe going out since finding out about my celiac disease! The place is called Sonshine's Natural Country Cafe I think.

Also, next Saturday Ken and I are going to a concert with friend's at the Millpond Cafe here in Alliston, and they have the option of having dinner first (the theater is downstairs). So, today I went and talked to the manager, and he was most accomodating (I've eaten there quite a few times in the past, and he sort of knows me). We sat down and talked, and he told me it's no problem at all, the cook they hire for these special occasions was a cook in a hospital for 30 years and is used to people having food issues.

He told me what the menu is going to be next Saturday, and we worked around that, figuring out my special menu. We decided against the soup, so I'll have a salad instead, the main course is a Caribbean chicken stirfry of some sort on rice, so I'll have a chicken stirfry without peppers and without some of the spices, no rice etc., and instead of their dessert I'll have fruit salad. I'll actually have a delicious meal for a change, not just plain everything like everywhere else! I am soooooooo looking forward to that evening! And I'm sure the Celtic guitar music afterwards will be wonderful, too.

Just to let you guys know that there are some people out there in the restaurant world who truly care and take the time to make sure you're okay. :wub:

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I'm happy for you. It's the little things that really do count, and when people show just that extra consideration you just melt. Have a really great time!!!

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Oh ursula - that is such great news! Please post about your experiences. I'm hoping they'll both be good ones which will give hope to people like me. Eating out is a big part of my life and my husband and I travel a lot. I just don't think I can give that all up. I'll just have to take my own food when possible and plan ahead to eat at 'safe' places - menu cards in hand.

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Guest Viola

That's wonderful Ursula! It's like winning the lotto when you find a good restaurant :lol: We found one in Castlegar that has a cook who is also Celiac. It's so wonderful to know you can order something without going through every little caution.

Post when you've been so we can hear about your dinner out :)

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Well, here is the good and the bad news for today. Ken and I went for supper instead of lunch, and went to the little restaurant. The owner left just as we got there, and left a young man in charge. I explained to him in detail what I needed and what I was intolerant to, and he seemed to understand.

Unfortunately, they had no vegetables I could eat (only different kinds of peppers). So, I asked if I could just have salad with chicken strips, red onions and a raspberry vinaigrette. I couldn't have bacon bits, because they weren't real bacon. He agreed that it would be no problem. Ken ordered a chicken cesar wrap. He was pretty quick, and served us our food. I was about to eat some of mine, when Ken said, "Is that breaded chicken?" Well, I wasn't wearing my reading glasses, but put them on and looked, and sure enough, the chicken was obviously breaded.

I found the young man, and asked him if those were regular bread crumbs on the chicken, and he apologized profusely, admitting that he forgot that I couldn't have bread and said that they had run out of unbreaded chicken earlier.

I just about cried, because they had nothing else for me to eat. So much for that restaurant that I thought I would definitely be safe in! Ken admonished me for being upset, claiming it wasn't a big deal. Well, it might not be to somebody who can eat whatever he wants, and has got thousands of restaurants to choose from. But it was to me. I was not in great shape today to start with, as I got glutened (or dairy, whatever) two days ago, was in terrible pain yesterday, and today had diarrhea and felt really irritable and weird anyway.

We didn't get charged for the salad, and Ken packed up the food and we went home. Susie ate the salad.

When Ken asked me if I wanted to go anywhere else, at first I felt so discouraged that I was just going to make myself something. But then I decided to give the Nottawassaga Inn (a fancy hotel and resort) just outside town a call, and see if they could do better.

The girl who answered the phone told me that she'd call me back. Within minutes the assistant manager of their coffee shop (which has a buffet, and Ken loves it) was on the line. I explained my situation to him, and he told me that he had already talked to the cook, and they would do their utmost to make my evening safe and pleasant.

So, we went. What a charming, helpful young man! He arranged to have my food cooked in a separate corner in the kitchen, everything (plates, pots, pans etc.) rewashed, cook washing his hands and wearing clean gloves etc. He got me the menus from both their fancier restaurants, and told me to just pick and choose from any of their items, and they'd put together my meal.

So, I had a spring salad with bacon bits (they made them fresh from scratch just for me to be safe) and a raspberry vinaigrette, New York steak with red onions, mushrooms and broccoli, and for dessert a fruit plate. It was great, and I was made to feel special, not like a nuisance at all.

What upset me was, that when the young man said that he wanted to make sure I was safe, Ken said, "Well, it's not like it's life threatening, it's not that big a deal".

After the young man went to the kitchen to supervise my meal being cooked, I told Ken that I didn't appreciate him belittling my problems to helpful people like the assistant manager one little bit. And that it was life threatening in the long run if I kept getting glutened all the time.

He apologized and promised not to do that again. B)

So, the second positive experience made up for the first one. Now I know where we can safely go. It's now five hours ago that we got back, and I am not feeling worse than I did before we went to eat there. I guess they did exceedingly well.

I made sure that Ken gave that young manager a generous tip. He deserved it.

Of course, it was much more expensive than the buffet (which Ken had for $15.00, and that includes all you can eat salad, soup, several meats and veggies and dessert and coffee/tea). We paid $29.95 for my food. Meaning, that we won't go out every week any more, but rather once a month. But I can actually look forward to that, knowing I will have a good time and won't get sick.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences Ursula. I'm sorry about the first place. I don't think people really think about what they are doing half the time. Why would someone give you breaded chicken after you explain you can't have bread??!!! They don't do it on purpose but that doesn't make it okay.

Glad your second meal was such a nice and safe meal. I agree that Ken should not have said what he did. Men can be funny in that wy, in my opinion anyway. They don't like to put people out for whatever reason. But you have to stay the course and make sure people do go out of thier way to help you when eating out. I doubt Ken will make the mistake of the misleading comment again.

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Ursula--

well, i'm glad you had at least one good experience...and that your dh apologized :) way to perserve ! that is often what we have to do to get to a good experience!

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