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sushipup1

Go elsewhere is you are a picky eater

sushipup1
9 years ago

A San Francisco restaurant posted signs asking the hard-to-please customers to just go elsewhere.

""So yes we use MSG. So we don't believe in organic food, and we don't give a s*** about gluten free."

Sounds like they had just had enough.

Here is a link that might be useful: stay away!

Comments (74)

  • tami_ohio
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I haven't seen the video so won't comment on it.

    I would, however,Ike to greet dbarron as a fellow garlic allergy. I can and do eat onions, tho they give me bad gas. Garlic gives me hives. Because I take 2 allergy pills a day to keep other allergens from causing upper respiratory problems, I do get away with very very small amounts of garlic but not much. Why is it that when the medical world says a herb or spice is good for you, all of a sudden everyone puts it in everything? And tons of it?

    Tami

  • mike1975
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My parents told me that I had an egg allergy as a baby but I've eaten eggs for as long as I remember so I'm assuming it went away. I did have something weird happen a few weeks ago. I was eating fried rice from a local Chinese restaurant. After a few bites it started to feel like my lips were almost tingling. I really didn't think anything about it at the time. I had the same meal a few days later with a friend and he ordered it without bean sprouts because he didn't like them. No tingling happened. I'm not a fan of bean sprouts so I usually just push them aside but I realized that I did eat a few that I didn't pick out. I wonder if I might have an allergy or a reaction to them?

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  • SusieinNC
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, as someone with Celiac and needing GF foods and wanting to continue to be social and eat out with friends -- I do thinks refusing to even discuss what is GF is rude. So many things are naturally GF that leaving out croutons in a salad is a simple way to make something GF -- so no house dressing, use oil and a good non malt vinegar or Lemon juice.

    I LOVE going to places that make everything themselves -- including their own stocks! Mostly because soup base doesn't NEED FLOUR!

    As for vegans, vegetarians and other picky eaters going out in a group can be challenging. For the past 4 years I have been close friends with 2 women -- 1 a vegan and the other that doesn't eat most veggies, had a gastric sleeve and minces up all her food. We tip well and have developed a few tried and true places that will take care of us because we treat them well in return.

    What I dislike is going out with other people and not having any say in where we go -- and being told to "make due" so as not to cause a fuss. What I try to do in those circumstances is call ahead and talk to the chef. We go over what can be modified to make eating there safe for me and when I arrive I mention having spoken to Chef Whateverhis/hernameis and I get the most wonderful tasty and eye pleasing meals! I truly believe that the professional chefs that I have dealt with appreciate the advance notice and that I respect their chosen profession to treat them with respect.

    Another friend of mine also has Celiac but with allergies to dairy, egg, corn and soy. She also calls ahead to verify what she can order from the menu and then supplements with things she brings along (like her own bread at a pizza place that she then coats with their sauce and veggies ) Is it something that everyone should do -- of course not! But, with a party of 20 or so at a celebration, the restaurant knows they will make a profit and that we will return because they have been kind to one of our group. She is also sweet enough to bring me extra desserts!

    Bottom line is that allergies or the need to be GF is not a walk in the park. When something isn't prepared right I can't just shove that to the edge of my plate. When something is cross contaminated, I will KNOW generally within 10 to 20 minutes with an extreme reaction. I respect the places that understand that for me it isn't a fad. I have raised a ruckus when told something was GF and it wasn't (or is listed as GF then has ingredients that certainly are no GF).

    In grocery stores when they label the shelf with a GF tag then pile non GF items in that spot I will pull the tags and hand them over to a store person -- I have had too many times well intentioned friends bring me things the "found" without reading the label -- sweet of them but an unneeded expense for them when it isn't GF but the shelf was mislabeled . . .

    But back to the sign -- rude! Why wouldn't a resturant want to discuss with a customer ingredients? Do they make everything in HUGE batches and serve reheated food? If not then perhaps with a little courtesy some things can be made GF? After all even Jimmy John's sandwich shop will do a lettuce wrap!

  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I truly believe that the professional chefs that I have dealt with appreciate the advance notice and that I respect their chosen profession to treat them with respect."

    This is where you're different than those about whom I was speaking. I know mine is short, but here's what was going on in my mind... it's the whole entitlement mentality I can't stand. It's reasonable and understandable if someone has allergies to accommodate them. Letting the chef/restaurant know ahead of time, shows how you are different. You care about how they feel, and realize that asking at the table is highly inconvenient. You give them a chance to do their job well and show off their skills. And, you have a true need. That's not necessarily true of others I have seen and been seated with at a table.

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, then, manners is a whole different thing again. The generation before mine learned good manners as a matter of course. They were taught in the schools and social groups, and enforced by all the elders. Sure, there were rude people--people are people--but there was a known consensus about the correct way to behave that was observed on all levels of society. There was an expression: It doesn't cost a thing to stand up straight and show your manners. That was already starting to slide with "new" parenting (Dr. Spock?) and the permissiveness movement, when I was a kid (somewhere between boomer and gen X).

    All of this is muddied by culture, as well. As Jkom noted, manners are different in Asia. In the U.S., we have a culture of "say it to my face". In China, one never contradicts those in authority, so the students don't tell the foreign teacher no, they won't be at the next class because they have a conflict. It's always good to learn the local mores, however, and how to deal with them. That teacher learned how to interpret affirmatives that really mean "no", and a business owner in San Francisco needs to learn how not to take what might be offensive in his native culture, but is the norm here, as an affront.

    All of us agree that if you eat the food, you should pay for it. The question is what happens if the food is unacceptable before that point. The norm in the American restaurant industry is that the host will remove it from the bill. It is not a "rule", but it is an industry standard. Again, from the clip we don't know what happened, and how it escalated. It seems pretty clear that the customer was very rude in the end, but was that because attempts at a polite resolution were rebuffed? We don't know.

    I agree that Susie's method is the has the greatest degree of tact, and it's forebearing of the restaurants they go to, to allow outside food in. What if you're travelling, however? Or with a spontaneous group after an event? Sometimes it's not possible to call ahead. It can still be managed politely. If you're kind and make a rapport with the server, and approach it as what can I eat, rather than wanting that one particular thing but your way even though it's already prepped and isn't suited to your issues, you'll usually get good service.

    I've found that friendliness and good manners has never failed me. Even when an airline had totally messed up my ticketing, and I thought I had lost all control and was using my "you stupid idiot voice" (something I am not proud of, but comes out after that nth nerve has been plucked), after I got it resolved by placing a phone call to an authority they'd listen to, I was complimented and thanked for being so polite and forebearing. I was appalled!!!! If I was polite, I shudder to think what those people must have to deal with. Probably shouting and curses. Which brings up another expression: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can see both sides of the issue. Some customers are horrible, but some restaurants are just as bad. One time, at an Italian restaurant, I ordered the vegetarian lasagne. It arrived with meat sauce, so I politely asked the waitress for the veg one I had ordered. Her reply: "Well, can't you just eat around the meat"?

  • amylou321
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I kind of side with the chef on this. Was it rude? yes. But i very much doubt that he was driven to such action by considerate customers with true food allergies. I also doubt that it was just one particular customer or group that drove him to this. Although I am aware food allergies are real and very serious, Gluten Free foods and diets are very trendy right now, and only a small percentage of the population actually has celiac disease. People are getting to be ridiculous in their demands on people in the service industry. I would not be surprised if he or his staff DID explain nicely to customers over and over about their use of msg and their lack of gluten free etc, and were probably cussed out or confronted in a condescending and RUDE manner over and over.

    My first job when i was 15 was at Subway. It was absolutley ridiculous how picky and mean some people were to us. We made their sandwiches right in front of the customers, and i will never forget how this one woman wanted all her veggies cut into quarters before i put them on her sandwich. I smiled and said "yes ma'am" and proceeded to do as she wished, but my knife didnt go all the was through that last pickle, and two quarters of that one pickle slice were still connected barely. Well that woman spotted that pickle and cussed my 15 year old butt out in front of my boss my coworkers and other customers. She called me filthy names and walked right over to the manager and went off on a rant. That was 15 years ago, and i still remember that. I will add that while most customers were not like this, customers that WERE picky with very trivial and frankly stupid demands were not and are not rare. The fact is that just because you pay for a meal, that does not give you the right to be mean to the people who make or serve it to you. If you dont like it, dont eat it and dont come back. Not using organic or gluten free ingredients is hardly the same as spitting in your soup. I worked there for four years before i moved on, and promised that unless i was facing starvation, i would NEVER work in food service again. It had been my dream since childhood to go to culinary school and own my own restraunt or catering service one day, and the experience i had with people at that job put me off that forever. It was a good reality check.

    This owner was making it clear, this is what we do, if you dont like it, take your money elsewhere. Frankly customers that are demanding that every establishment cater to their every desire or face a temper tantrum and a scathing online review that will damage the business are growing in numbers. This owner clearly had enough. That being said, I have food allergies myself,(im allergic to shellfish and eggs) and eat low carb and have for years. I like to cook for myself. When i do go out I absolutley do not expect every restaraunt to have a "low carb option" on the menu. Order a burger, take the bun off your darn self. You want organic gluten free msg free food? Restaraunts who offer such fare usually market these facts aggressively and they too, are growing in number. Go there. Or cook for yourself. You cannot realistically expect the chefs or owners of every establishment to make sure NOTHING has gluten, which is very tricky and in more things than you think, or create a whole section of a menu gluten free for a very small part of the population that actually has celiac or pay a premium for all their raw product to be organic. Not all owners and chefs can manage that financially.

    I very much doubt that the owner will miss the people who do not come there because of his sign. But he probaly will miss their money. It WAS rude and bad business practice.

  • westsider40
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I play canasta on Tuesdays with my old lady friends at a restaurant/bocce/bowling restaurant. Water with ice, water with lemon and ice, water with lime and lemon and two cubes, with lemon no ice and by the time it got to me, and I am another old lady, I was laughing at my order of water no ice no fruit. Our only beverage is the free water. But we tip very well. Whew.
    They offer a varied and good lunch special for $10 which is chosen by most patrons. We each tip 4 or 5 bucks. The young servers are wonderful and so we! Win win. We appreciate the use of card tables for us. There are many, maybe 16 tables for playing. Once we leave the restaurant area we are self sufficient, needing nothing. Tables are tucked in near the bocce ball lanes so the extra heating and ac isn't a big deal. Isn't that a swell arrangement? (Wedont have to clean our houses for company.). The grapevine rule is that you order lunch, no English muffins. When the server collects our paid bills, she/he smiles. At the tip, presumably. Volume business.

    And only one woman charges her credit card. The rest of us pay cash.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is more than a food/restaurant/customer problem.

    The USA is facing a very serious problem which is more fundamental, which is affecting all of us negatively, which is getting worst by the day.

    Nasty personality is nationwide, and pervasive.

    We are the second world wide in divorce rate, after Russia.

    We are nasty to each other; we have more lawyer than anyone else; four times more lawyers per capita than Britain, and 40 times more than Japan. Lawyers make live miserable, slow down economic progress, nothing gets done fast.

    dcarch

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Amylou, great post.

    I understand that there is a small portion of the population, something like 1%, that actually suffers from celiac disease. Another group that has an intolerance to gluten and, there are those that have either convinced themselves that they have an intolerance to gluten or they have jumped on the 'gluten free' bandwagon and now every restaurants is suppose to cater to their needs.

    The restaurant in question is an Asian restaurant. So I suspect that gluten free wouldn't be a problem for the most part. But I understand the Chef's frustration. I don't cook with MSG and would prefer that restaurants didn't. But I know that when I go to a Chinese restaurant that there is a very good chance that MSG is being used. So don't like MSG? Then don't go to a Chinese restaurant. Pretty simple. And very few restaurants use only organic ingredients because of the extra cost. So, I would think that if a restaurant is using organic they would advertise the fact on their menu. If for no other reason than to explain the high prices.


    ~Ann

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just read an article and a researcher named Martin J. Blaser, MD feels the overuse of antibiotics are contributing to the massive rise in allergies, obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers.

    He wrote a book that explores how our natural flora is being changed by medical advances and their overuse. I haven't looked into it yet, so I don't know what kind of research he did. I do know that gut health, in general, has been considered important for quite a while.

    When I worked at a children's hospital, antibiotic prescriptions were being written for colds. They don't do that anymore since resistant bacteria were linked to this practice. But lots of kids have chronic infections and are on one course or another several times a year. It will be interesting to see how it's addressed.

  • SusieinNC
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You are correct Ann about 1% of the population being Celiac and needing GF, I do not have the numbers for gluten intolerant. What I do know is that a few years ago the Air Force released to the medical community blood samples taken pre Gulf War I. They ran the blood panel and tested for Celiac. In that controlled but random sample -- based on all Air Force personnel who participated in Gulf War I 10 % were found to have Celiac! All were at that time undiagnosed as the Air Force at that time did not allow anyone with Celiac to serve in a war zone.

    But I do believe on topic that the Restaurant Owner was likely pushed too far -- but so many people believe that they CAN rant and be abusive to others, it is a new norm to be rude and forgo manners. This is not a good trend.

    For my job I deal with people, retirement and problems -- There are times it breaks my heart to hear the problems. sometimes I can fix things, sometimes not. I deal with elderly abuse and fraud against them . . . mostly from family. So if we treat family as disposable, or what can YOU do for ME. Just think of how these people treat outsiders! Almost worst is that the people I have to work with -- not the folks that talk to people but the ones in the back ground will judge and decide a widow who didn't get a payment since June did not deserve proper attention since the VALUE of the problem was no big $$ -- shoot to her it is!

    So, back to the start of the discussion -- you eat, you pay! You taste or see that it isn't right (for cause not whim) you should send it back and not be charged. But, with manners and consideration.

  • anotherlinda
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mike1975 -- Your tingling lips were most likely due to the restaurant's too-generous use of MSG. I experience the same symptom though I can tolerate small amounts of it.

    SOMA, location of SO, is quirky, supposedly that is part of its charm.

    Here is a link that might be useful: So's Yelp Reviews

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree with him, and with Ann_T, he could have phrased it better.

    But I suspect many, many people would have seen such a sign as an invitation to come in and try, and then complain, about his ingredients.

  • oasisowner
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I can understand his frustration, but he is in a customer service business.

    We had guests for dinner recently - 2 vegetarians, 1 vegan, 1 lactose intolerant, and 1 gluten free. I thought I would go insane planning the menu.

  • Pyewacket
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Honestly I don't blame the man. Self-righteous food nazis are really hard to tolerate, regardless of which side of the kitchen door they are on. And he did replace the sign. I think this is a tempest in a tea pot, not a sign that American society is falling apart.

    People always think "The Good Old Days" are in the past. We seem to forget that in the "good old days", a woman could be legally beaten by her husband, people of color could not enter "whites only" public places, children were legally the chattel of their parents (father actually) until the age of 21, and a host of other common societal practices that would be considered horrendous today. "I don't give a sh** about gluten free" on a sign put up for a few hours absolutely pales by comparison.

    Things have improved drastically since I was a child living in a town that was entirely segregated until I was in the 7th or 8th grade. In the north. EG no black people were allowed to live inside the city borders, period paragraph. And I was ostracized for wanting to go to college because girls were supposed to get married and have babies. Surface "manners" just don't make up for things like that.

    I'll take actual social freedom over phony manners pasted over deep-rooted bigotry any day. I can tolerate the occasional poo-tinged outburst a deal better than the polite smile that hides a knife in the back.

    THESE are the good old days, thank you very much.

  • jakkom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Any Asian restaurant that advertises as gluten-free would be rare and/or more expensive. Most soy sauce is made from a combination of soy and wheat, and therefore DOES contain gluten.

    MSG is one of the new "darlings" of Asian fusion chefs. Danny Chang of Momofuku adores MSG and uses it all the time. Kewpie mayo, a Japanese mayo in a squeeze bottle, is HUGE with young chefs, and many of you will have encountered in used on the increasingly common "wet" sushi rolls, usually in conjunction with a decorative squeeze of teriyaki sauce, to mix into a creamy dip for each slice. Kewpie mayo is heavy on MSG, virtually everything the Japanese make commercially has it as an ingredient.

    SoMa used to be "quirky", meaning slightly seedy. It is now the hippest part of SF, where million-dollar condo highrises are popping up like mushrooms after a rain (rain...hmm, haven't seen that in a while, LOL).

    As someone who dines out a great deal, we actually do not like returning food to the kitchen. I do it, more often than most people, but we dine out on average 4x or more/week. But it has to be inedible for me to do that; I returned a grilled fish last week because I could both smell and taste that it was going bad.

    If there is a dish we think needs re-thinking by the chef, we will talk to the waiter or preferably, the manager, and let them know AFTER the meal. It isn't uncommon for them to offer to comp us and without exception if we have eaten the dish, we insist upon paying for it.

    I use Yelp a lot; it's extremely helpful in many ways. But I don't like how they subtly are blackmailing business owners who don't advertise with them (somehow "losing" favorable reviews; a well documented complaint) while conversely, there are confirmed "trolls" who try to force businesses to give them something for free (like free drinks or even the entire meal) by saying otherwise they will give said business a lousy review on Yelp.

    There was an interesting article recently on how Airbnb and such services work. Trusting one another, proclaimed the author, was essential, and seeing such services being used was to him a good sign.

    All I could think of was, this guy must never have been a landlord. We got rid of a million dollar property because we refused to be landlords any longer. No thank you! Three years of it was enough to put us off permanently.

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, for heaven's sake, yes, Jkom!

    MSG is a major component in traditional Asian cookery as well as the new darling. I don't get the headaches unless it's way overdone, but many people do have a sensitivity to even a hint. There's really nothing wrong with posting that they use MSG, or politely saying they can't alter their dishes for those who can't tolerate it. It's not good business practice because you'll make a better living giving people what they want than you will thinking they're coming there to receive what you want to give them, but that isn't the part of the sign that most people find objectionable, I think.

    As one who said I'll send it back if it's bad, if I won't inconvenience the people I'm with, I meant that it's something I really won't eat, though I hold fine dining places to a higher standard. If it's a little over or under, I'll mention it to the server (how will the kitchen learn if you don't tell someone), but eat it anyway. If it's way under I'll let them finish cooking it. If it's a hockey puck, I'll send it back, but usually won't choose a replacement so as not to inconvenience my companions (and having already received proof of the lack of competence that night). Under poultry goes back, of course, as well as anything spoiled (ICK!!). But if it's fine dining, I'll also send it back if it's seriously below quality standards even if it isn't totally inedible.

    So, I was served a less than leukwarm cup of soup in a casual decor/fine dining kitchen kind of place. It was early lunch, and hardly anyone there yet. I asked to have it heated. Twenty minutes later, no soup. I asked the server what had become of it. It was lunch and we didn't expect to be there all day with no food. They could have heated my soup fast in a microwave, but didn't have one. Fine. They could have poured it in a skillet over a high flame, and heated it nearly as fast. No dice. They don't do that. They started a whole new cup of soup, which, from what the server said, I guess was made to order, from scratch. Or from mise, which seems to be the same thing for them. NO concept whatsoever of service because they were so focused on their own crap. I would have much rather had zapped soup than perfect soup, and the rest of the table would have loved to receive their lunches rather than having the whole ticket pushed back. The hotter soup, when it came, was no great revelation of a la minute perfection that would have lost its great subtlety and complexity if rewarmed. It was just soup.

    OTOH, I was at a mediocre chain restaurant by myself, while on a business trip. I had a decent entree salad in a big glass bowl. When I was nearly done, I think I turned the bowl. I noticed that it was chipped. A big surface chip, along the top edge. I told the server, because I figured they'd want to throw away the bowl. The manager then came, demanded to comp my meal and insisted on giving me a dessert as well. I had no inkling that there might have been glass in the salad. That kind of chip is caused by impact, but is hard to see, and probably happened in a bus tray or during washing. I felt I had eaten my dinner and was happy with it and should pay for my fare. He was so insistent, however, that I accepted the comp and dessert to please him. I understand that he was doing damage control. I could have easily been the type to cause a ruckus online. His level of perturbation far outweighed the fault, however.

    It's a strange world. I would never post a bad review about a restaurant based on one bad or unfortunate meal. The idea that some people leverage their power to disrupt someone's business to extort freebies is sickening. That's worse than stealing.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't eat out much but do know what good food is and know what to expect by the tier of the restaurant. I have been violently sick from restaurant food, several times, ( once I lost ten pounds from the food illness- so I wasn't too upset!) and while I did not go back to those restaurants for many years, I never complained to the managements.

    However, once, in a nice place, I ordered a seafood dish that had rancid toasted almonds and I did complain. The management treated me like crap- arguing with me that the almonds were indeed from a newly opened package- ( I did not want a free meal, I was just alerting them to the issue) but I haven't been back either and a few years later still have a sour taste in regards to that restaurant.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I was in a shopping mall. I was drawn into a store by the devious perfume of baking cinnamon buns.

    The store sold only cinnamon buns, nothing else. Freshly baked hot buns.

    "I like to have two please. And I like to have them without the icing."

    "I am sorry, The buns come with icing."

    "I know. The batch you are making now, just leave out the ice on two of them for me."

    "Sorry sir, I can't do that. These cinnamon buns come with icing."

    "You are a funny lady. I am not asking for more icing, and I am not asking for a discount for not having icing."

    "That's the way I have to make the buns, with icing."

    "That's crazy, what if i am diabetic?"

    "Then you will have to buy them somewhere else."

    "This is nuts! OK I will go elsewhere."

    I walked away. Then I returned and decided may be I should teach this crazy lady a lesson by complaining to her boss.

    "I would like to speak with your manager please."

    "No problem. Just a minute."

    The manager came out and I complained to him about that mentally retarded sales lady.

    “ Sir, believe me, we really want our customers to be happy, but we can’t give you buns without icing, that’s because in our franchise legal contract, we are not permitted in any fashion, modify the recipes of the buns, they all have to be 100% as specified in the contract or we will lose our business.”

    I learned a lesson that day.

    dcarch

  • susytwo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When we were in Greece, one night at a seaside taverna my husband asked for a Cretan salad, but asked whether they would hold the tomatoes. The waiter was appalled. "No, without the tomatoes, it is not a Cretan salad!" My husband explained that the rest of the salad sounded delicious and he just didn't like tomatoes.

    "No, it can not be eaten without the tomatoes. That is not a Cretan salad. I'll bring you something else"

    So, he brought us a big bowl of cooked greens!

    We still laugh about it.

  • jakkom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Update in the latest San Francisco news from EaterSF.com:

    Last week the furor was about SO, the Chinese restaurant whose chef walked out after a rant about picky customers. Now a Sonoran burrito truck, The Burr-Eatery, whose owner is proud of using high-quality ingredients and learning how to make an authentic Sonoran burrito down in Mexico, is being highlighted for his own declaration of anti-gluten independence:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Burrito Truck's anti-gluten-free sign

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, lordy! I don't know why anyone would expect gluten free or vegan burritos unless the name of the truck were Gluten Free and Vegan Burritos. Can you make a gluten free street burrito (i.e., in a paper wrapper at the most, not a dish)? Won't the tortilla fall apart and make a mess?

    GF and vegan are so popular in coastal California, that I guess I understand why people ask. This outfit would do well printing up a large attractive sign with the answer. :)

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Although I do not find the sign rude, as Plllog stated, an attractive sign might be better.

    But it is a food truck and apparently they do take pride in making authentic food. I don't blame them for not catering to special diets. Where does it stop?

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, Ann, if I read correctly, they do have vegetarian tortillas. Perhaps that is something traditional in their specific region, but, in general, tortillas are traditionally made with lard. At that point, if they wanted to just move the lines along and make an extra buck or two, they could easily make a GF bowl and a vegan bowl, out of their regular ingredients, and charge double for the bother. You have to understand that neither vegan nor gluten free is a "special" diet in San Francisco. It's as common as "no sour cream" or "hold the cilantro".

    The reason these places are making these signs is that so many people are asking that it has become an inconvenience. When there's demand, the wise businessman finds a way to meet it. You can be rigid like the people with the cinnamon bun contract (and the people who wrote it), and turn away custom, or you can make money and gain loyalty. It's a choice. Many a restaurant has failed by putting their own concepts before the desires of their guests, and many have succeeded by putting the guests first and doing anything they can to make them happy.

    A sign saying "we have no vegan and no gluten free" helps customers walk on by. If you're so busy that you'd lose other business by serving them, go for it. If you could have used another two tables, or half a dozen burritos to make your nut for the day, turning them away is boneheaded. If you're in between, well, good enough, hang the sign, be happy and don't complain when the kids need braces.

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well Plllog, if as you say, vegan and gluten free are common in San Francisco then customers have options so it isn't necessary for every restaurant or food truck to offer both.

    I see no problem with a restaurant letting customers know that gluten free or vegan, or whatever isn't available, giving customers a chance to go elsewhere.

    I would never expect or insist that every restaurant cater to my particular wants or needs.

    ~Ann

  • Islay_Corbel
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is there something different about californians? ;) ;) ;)

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yeah, IC, we're usually about five years ahead of the rest of the country. ;)

    Ann, I agree with you. There are plenty of places for those people to eat and not every place has to feed them. I'm the one who thought that if answering the questions was becoming too frequent and burdensome, they should print an attractive sign in large letters so people would walk on by. This truck, if it doesn't need their money, doesn't need to cater to them and the people they're with.

    All I was saying was that since there are so many of them that it's not "special" diets any more and caused a sign to be written right now with a box and markers, that it could be a good business decision to recognize an untapped market and make something to sell to those people.

    I'm not talking about a food decision, a food politics decision, a food authenticity decision, or any of that. I'm talking dollars and cents. If people keep coming to your truck/booth/hole in the wall/big establishment, asking for ice cream, at a certain point, instead of turning them away, you make/buy a gallon of ice cream and sell it for a premium price. Then five gallons. Then you buy a new freezer and trim your dining menu as you become the place to buy ice cream. But if that never happens, at least the people who wanted ice cream go home happy and keep coming back because you fed them what they wanted. You stay in business that way. Maybe you only wanted to make mochi like your granny did, but selling ice cream pays for keeping the tradition going.

  • amylou321
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pillog if only it were that simple. But lets talk dollars and cents.Gluten free and organic ingredients are more EXPENSIVE. And while people who demand such products are aware of this, and they are likely both willing and able to pay higher prices at these establishments, most of the average customers would not appreciate paying a premium for something they really don't give a hoot about. Would i like an all-organic hamburger? Sure. Do i want to pay 5 more bucks for it to be organic. Nope. That being said, i understand what you are saying about it being good business sense to cater to a wider audience. However, lets look at your ice cream analogy.
    You own a simple taco truck. You buy a gallon of vanilla ice cream, then five, just to please your customers. But thats not good enough, they want variety. They want 10 different flavors at least, and toppings, at least 25 different toppings to choose from, cause you never know when someone MIGHT just want those chocolate covered crickets on their sundae. That is more overhead, because these toppings have to be rotated out, and there is probably a lot wasted. Then it becomes "i dont want it in a cup, i want a homemade cone" Then, in California anyway, it will be " What do you MEAN you don't have 10 different flavors of homemade, organic,lactose free, sugar free ice cream made from milk from cows fed only grass from southern france that has been harvested one blade at a time by virgins and blessed by the pope?!?!!?!" Then you turn around and see that your simple taco truck that made high quality, delicious tacos has now been taken over by ice cream and toppings and waffle irons to make the cones...and you go "What happened." Ill tell you what happened. You let the food nazis bully you into doing something you had no interest in, and your regular customers suffer, because they are paying extra to cover the cost of premium ice cream and toppings, when all they wanted was a good taco. This sounds a little ridiculous, i know, but with all the online review sites and social media, it is very easy for a few sanctimonious food snobs to damage a business for no reason at all, other than their own trivial complaints. I mean really, so this chinese place doesnt use organic or gluten free stuff. Well,waaaahhh. oh, the owner hurt your precious feelings with his sign...well waaaahhh. Go somewhere else. Take your money with you, its either a win win or a lose lose however you look at it.


    Maybe the people who wanted ice cream should look at the menu, see that there is no ice cream on that menu...because its a taco truck...and go to a business that sells ice cream.

  • Islay_Corbel
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pllog, I meant are Californians more prone to allergies than any other American.;) ;) ;)

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In a food truck scenario, it may be more difficult to prevent a "cross-contamination" issue. There isn't a lot of working room in there and products would intermingle pretty easily. Someone with Celiac is taking a big risk.

    It's not necessarily for an allergy, but I know vegan/veg don't want their meal cooked right after a meal with animal products, on the griddle or prepared on the counter. Why would they even trust that? If it were me, I'd only go to a truck that specialized in vegan/vegetarian food, for assurance.

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Speaking of vegan/vegetarian restaurants, I doubt anyone would expect them to also have meat on their menu.

    I know when we lived in Vancouver, there was a Vegetarian restaurant in walking distance that had been around since the 1960's. The Naam. Matthew liked it, as did many apparently. It didn't do anything for me. But I would take him occasionally and it never once occurred to me to ask why then didn't have at least one meat option on the menu so that non-vegetarians could enjoy a meal out with their vegetarian friends.

    A restaurant can't be everything for everyone.

    ~Ann

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think this is remotely on topic:

    I remember sometime ago, a beauty salon was sued because they didn't take black customers. They could not, not because of race, it was because it requires special training and skills to work on black hair.

    The salon lost the case and had to pay a fine.

    dcarch

  • Acadiafun
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The owner of the restaurant was responding to the poor treatment he had received from customers. He has the luxury to treat people the way they treat him in his business. He may suffer the consequences of lost business, but I really believe that most of the customers he may scare away are the ones who believe that the customer is always right, even when they are not.

    Ideally I think he should just have banned the customer. Then place a nicer sign that specifies the food items served and states no refunds to customers who complain about these items. But that would not have given him the satisfaction of displaying his righteous indignation for the poor treatment that some of his customers have displayed.

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Edit:

    I've removed my reply. I was contemplating why I kept trying to say the same, easy going thing and getting jumped on, so responding and having it happen again. I finally figured out that the point of where this has gotten to is to blame the picky eaters for asking for what they want, and just saying that it's a good way to make money to please them is annoying people into intransigence. I'm sorry. I didn't understand before that it was supposed to be a customer bashing thread. Food service is a hard business with a lot of labor for not so much pay. Many many restauranteurs are struggling. Most don't last for more than three years. A common aphorism is "if you don't want to be hospitable, get out of the hospitality business". That leaves off the important part, which is "before you're forced out." That's the last I'll say on the subject, however.

    This post was edited by plllog on Fri, Oct 3, 14 at 17:08

  • jakkom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think this is customer-bashing, as it is just a question of "what do you think of this...?"

    We all know the customer is not always right. And that there are people who are happy to abuse the system. Witness the woman who rented out a condo on Airbnb and ended up being taken advantage of (Google Cory Tschogl for her story).

    On this forum there have been discussions of exactly how far a hostess needs to go to accommodate the ever-growing number of dietetic restrictions of guests, many of which are more fashionable than medical. There have been a couple of people who reported that guests brought their own food and expected the hostess to cook it!

    I'm all for courtesy on both sides. But sadly, there are too many people who do not play by those rules. "Hospitality" means exactly that...it does not mean a guest or customer is automatically excused when behaving badly. I wouldn't want such people in my home or business, and I'm sure others wouldn't, either.

    There are always limits, but some people just really get off on being able to push over those lines with impunity. They are not just rude, they are bullies, plain and simple.

  • User
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Plllog, I'm sorry, but I don't see anyone jumping on you or anyone else.

    It is just a matter of different opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own. I certainly haven't felt jumped on because our opinions differ.

    The joys of participating on open forums. Not everyone is going to agree. But I don't see anyone being nasty or jumping on anyone here.

    ~Ann

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Plllog, I hope my post didn't lead to your perception! I wasn't disagreeing with your take. Just offering a viewpoint I have heard from people with restrictions.

    I've had voluntary and involuntary restrictions over my short lifetime. But I've always just looked for an item that agrees with me instead of insisting a chef make something special in an environment that is, decidedly, not so accommodating to my preferred diet. There are plenty of eateries that DO cater to the customer. Kudos to them.

    One place that I was impressed with, as far as dietary accommodations, is Disney. I had NO IDEA that the chefs at the sit-down restaurants would walk you through the options, if it was a buffet, or come out and discuss the dishes that they could prepare for you. I discovered that they are known for it while planning our trip a couple of years ago. Of course they want you to, and give you, ample opportunity to contact them so that they can take care of it.

    I'm certainly not taking sides in the debate because you never hear the WHOLE story from either. I've learned that the hard way!

    I totally agree that it's a revenue opportunity. But some will find it more of a hardship whether attitude, skill, or basic trustworthiness factors into it. Others will take advantage and profit.

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jkom, no issues at all with anything you've said.

    Ann, I apologize. I didn't mean "jumped on" in a nasty way. No one was nasty here. People were jumping on what I was saying, not on me, and doing so in a civil way. I had responded to all the blame the customer comments I seemed to have provoked, and didn't like feeling so argumentative--I felt like people were getting annoyed by my posts--so I removed it once I figured it out, and offered an explanation instead, mostly because some time had passed and it might have been read.

    But, I don't really have a difference of opinion. I can hold more than one opinion in my head at once and see both sides. Yes, belligerent customers and bullies are awful. Yes, rude hosts are awful. Yes, some people can't be pleased. Yes, some in the service industries really don't have the temperament to serve. Yes, people use their bugaboos to bug other people. Yes, considerate people are kind and easy going when they ask for special treatement. Yes, not every need can be taken care of. Yes, you do better in the service industries if you try. All of these things are true.

    Edit: Alex, thanks for your concern. No, it wasn't you. I really didn't mean this as a hissy fit. It was the accumulation of what I felt compelled to respond to. I think I over-explained, which is a problem of mine. As I've been wont to say, brevity is not my long suit. :)

    What I would say to what you and Ann wrote:
    Some Celiacs, like my dear one, can eat from regular kitchens, though those who can't should never eat out unless there's a true gluten free restaurant. Vegans go to meat places because they're with meat eaters who don't want to go to the vegan places and are overruled. If they're religious, they accept the social isolation and go vegan or go home. Otherwise, they accept the possibility of cross contamination in order to enjoy the company of their friends and loved ones.

    It's a false premise to say that meat eaters couldn't order meat at a vegan restaurant, where they don't have meat and would be concerned about contamination. Many of the ingredients at a meat restaurant are vegan. They have the food. They just have to be willing to serve it the way the customer prefers. That often comes out as vegetables with rice or pasta, or kale and quinoa salad, which can be very boring, but far nicer than being told to scram.

    This post was edited by plllog on Fri, Oct 3, 14 at 20:54

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You are so right. A person with Celiac who can't handle cross-contamination is much safer not eating out. That's hard to give up in our society, isn't it? Most of us get so much of what we want that it's hard to deal with "no, you can't". Those Disney go-ers on a forum I read DO expect accommodation, even when they aren't able to handle any gluten exposure in their food.

    You are also right about meat eaters at vegan restaurants. They aren't worried about contamination, only personal taste-bud satisfaction! That's definitely NOT the case if forbidden animal products get into food meant for someone who won't/can't eat it.

    The population isn't into compromise these days. I don't know that we ever were but I see a dramatic increase of people getting their back up over very negotiable/solvable things.

  • annie1992
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Alex, my oldest daughter was just diagnosed as being Celiac. She has spent the past several years being diagnosed with IBS, with diverticulitis, with asthma, you name it. She has become more and more sick, made emergency room trips and had hospital stays. This summer was the worst yet, with multiple seizures. Everything she ate made her sick, her color was mostly gray, and everyone asked me "what is wrong with Amanda? She looks horrible." She did, and she told me that she just felt that she was dying, and didn't know what to do about it.

    Finally, she was diagnosed as celiac. With a change in diet, her color has returned, she looks better than she has in several years. Her digestive woes are mostly gone, her energy level has skyrocketed and she feels "better than she could ever remember".

    For now she doesn't eat out at all, because in our small community there is no such thing as a gluten free restaurant or bakery, nor is there a vegan or vegetarian one. She cooks or she eats at my house, and that's all for now, until we can get her system healed, then we'll try.

    She would never consider being rude, even though she has a documented and diagnosed auto-immune disorder, she simply chooses to not expose herself to something that could make her sick. Most of her family and friends have simply stopped going out also, choosing instead to spend time together. We have more family meals and friendly get-togethers as she learns what she can and cannot tolerate. Why is that? Because the company means more to us than the food does and because we know that many cooks/chefs are not amenable to doing anything special or outside of their limited view of what "should" be served and how.

    So, blame the customer if you like, but equal blame goes to the self-righteous "chefs" who would dictate how soft I eat my eggs or how rare I have my steak. I rarely eat out because I AM picky and want my food prepared the way I like it, not how someone else tells me I should like it.

    Regardless of how demanding the customer, that man was/is rude. I don't care if he was the best chef in the world, I'd still not go there because of his lack of manners. As I've said, meeting rudeness with more rudeness is unacceptable. Self-righteous, self-important, self-centered, all-knowing and inconsiderate chefs can cook their own way and either be successful or go broke, it matters not to me whether they end up bussing tables at Applebee's because of their attitude or become famous. It's my dollar to spend and I'll choose not to spend it there.

    So people actually go to school to learn to cook for others because they truly believe that I should be grateful for the opportunity to pay them to cook something in a manner that I don't care for and allow them to be rude and condescending to me?

    And as I've mentioned, I've been in the food service industry. Both my daughters worked their way through college waiting tables, and one went to work at 14 washing dishes, the other at 14 making pizza. I owned a bar and grille and drunks are even harder to please than other customers. We all managed to be polite and accommodating when possible, other than the one time I decked a customer for grabbing my rear. We certainly never put out signs saying that we didn't give a "s*it" about customers or their preferences. Of course, we didn't have Twitter or Instagram or Facebook to unload all our complaints with either, so when I got stiffed on a $100 steak order the problem was mine and not that of society in general.

    And that's my crabby rant for the evening.

    Annie

  • amylou321
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Bravo Annie. Pillog...i hope you did not take my exagerated hypothetical as customer-bashing, or jumping on you for that matter. I dont think, reading these posts, that anyone was getting annoyed by your comments. Everyone here has provided interesting points to furthur a discussion on a relevant topic.The fact is, i can see both sides. I guess you cou could say i am against food snobs on both sides of the kitchen door.

    I agree with you totally Annie. While my experience in food service was limited to my first job at 15 in a fast food place, it did not take me long to realize that being rude to rude people just makes things worse. Most people who are rude to service people for no reason other than they think that since they are paying for the food they have are entitled to be mean are miserable people anyway. Being rude back just validates that entitlement, if only in their own minds. But i also get equally irritated when someone tells me how im "supposed" to like my food. I like my meat well done.(gasp!) I want ketchup on my burger (how dare I desecrate your precious art right chef?) and even though i am in the south, and can make a mean homemade mac and cheese from scratch...Every once in a while, when i tire of the low carb lifestyle(or have a "Faturday" as i like to call it)....i will make (and enjoy enormously by the way) the stuff in the box with the neon orange powder. (for shame!)

    But back to the issue and how MY rants are relevant to the topic at hand....the chef was rude, but fell well short of some the condescending froo-froo foodies who are aghast that i would eat in such a way. This is why i prefer to stay at home and cook for myself...and encourage eveyone else to do the same as much as possible. No one caters to you better then yourself, and when you cook for yourself, you can put ketchup all over your well done steak with your side of from-the-box mac and cheese and enjoy without judgement. And while youre at it....Eat a twinkie for dessert. Froo froo food snobs hate stuff like twinkies...so they say.

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Annie, I wasn't "blaming" the customer in any of my posts. My "population isn't into compromise" statement was sweeping. Individuals who do make concessions seem rarer and rarer. The owner of the restaurant, the subject of the OP, is the one who got his back up over a solvable issue.

    I'm not sure why you feel I'm not supportive of those who abide by their health restrictions or, in any way, condone rude behavior by either party. If I were your daughter, I also would not eat out. The risk/benefit ratio leans too far on the risk side. There are some who want to eat out and get bent out of shape when a place can't insure their safety or offers unimaginative options.

    We don't eat out very often, so I'm coming from a place of ignorance where expectations are concerned, I guess.

    I apologize if I lead you to believe that I support the guy from the OP. He's a jerk. Customers who throw fits are jerks, too.

    Having tantrums when met with an impediment is more and more accepted. It's ridiculous. I've had so many more interactions that have involved over-the-top behavior in the last few years than I had in the previous 30.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A famous, classy, expensive restaurant here in NY, Stone Barns at Blue Hill, a hobby restaurant owned by David Rockefeller.

    I went there with a few friend, after a long wait for a reservation. I ordered a dish, special of the day, on the menu. When the dish was served, it was a very unique and delicious, but the meat was basically raw. It was not written on the menu, nor mentioned by the wait staff, that the meat for that dish was raw.

    An obnoxious dish served by impeccably friendly and well mannered staff.

    dcarch

  • jakkom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We dine out quite often (not only a hobby, but after 50 yrs in the kitchen, it's like a vacation when I don't have to be in the kitchen, LOL).

    You might be surprised to learn that it is the moderate-priced places (understand that "moderate" is a loose term in the high-priced SF Bay Area) who have told us, "No, I'm sorry, we can't make ANY changes in a dish because that's the way the chef makes it."

    I have some mild allergies, but two real medical ones: buckwheat gives me instant asthmatic wheezing, and because I take a statin I can't eat grapefruit.

    I have never encountered any problems at high-end restaurants. But I have gotten plates from some much-hyped, mid-priced CA bistros that were not at all what I was told they would be, when I had specified my allergies both when making the reservation and again when arriving at the restaurant in talking to the waitstaff.

    It tells me that their attitude is not just "this is the way we do it", but also carelessness (a good kitchen works closely with the waitstaff). As pointed out, not all allergies are mild or able to be ignored.

    I don't think it's possible for a stranger to tell which people are being merely picky, and which people are genuinely afflicted with serious and possible life-threatening allergies. It has become so fashionable for people to say "I'm not eating xxx and yyyy any longer, and I feel so much better!" -- but were they really allergic, or is it just that a temporary change of diet "reset" their metabolism?

    I think there are some people that deserve those signs that many restaurants post: "We reserve the right to refuse service". Bullies and those who try to weasel out of paying a bill are becoming more common, and it's a case of the bad apples spoiling the whole bunch.

    Running a restaurant is a high-stress occupation; I'm personally not surprised when somebody snaps and goes postal.

  • amylou321
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    These diners got off easy anyway..There is a local Mexican place that has security cameras in the building. If you walk out without paying or are especially difficult they post a still image of you right at the door when you walk in and write in big red letters what you did and while you are not welcome. I just went in there and saw a picture of a very sour looking woman with the caption "came to a mexican restaurant but does not like mexican food...no we will not make you a fried pork chop and mashed potatoes and mac and cheese." Sadly I was not surprised. I was rather shocked to see how many people skipped our on the bill though. Serves them all right. I would take it a step further and do some sort of customer shaming website for ignorant people like that.

  • annie1992
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Alex, only the first couple of paragraphs were in response to you, as you said your family member was also celiac. I'm sorry if my post conveyed otherwise. The remaining diatribe was simply a rant.

    I do believe that those who feel compelled to buy into the "health issue of the day" minimize the problem that people with true health issues have. Right now so many people are "gluten free" that it's simply become fashionable, and thus the very few who actually do have health issues are lumped in with the fadists who are merely following the trend, and so the health implications are not taken seriously.

    Annie

    This post was edited by annie1992 on Sat, Oct 4, 14 at 23:19

  • nancyofnc
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a gluten free bakery and jammery and sell at a farmers market. I don't use corn syrup, weird chemicals or artificial anything. Most of my customers have other allergies or intolerance's and I try to accommodate them for things like no sugar, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, corn, and the like that are easily done and most times have enough of a variety of baked goods to offer each week that they can have something right now. If not they can special order things at no extra cost per item but with a minimum $ amount to cover my extra time and effort, but still a sure sale that will make them happy. And, I do tell my customers, if asked, which products are from organic sources (or naturally grown without the piles of paperwork for gov't approved label of Organic). But, some people are off the wall with their, IMO and perhaps perceived, allergies to things like nutmeg or baking soda and some ask if there are any fish or seafood in my jams, pickles, and baked goods that would never be there normally anyway! All the ingredients for each item are listed on the labels but people do not want to read, just converse. It's like they have to share their aversion to justify them to themselves so I give them "grandma" answers politely and know that sometimes they just want to share, be recognized, to connect. Lonely maybe? Seeking to be unique in a world too full of people? Small price to pay if they go on their way happily and have a positive experience even if I have just an "I'm sorry" answer and offer alternatives. To be rude to those people means I have not respected them and therefore have not been respected, something sorely lacking in this world today, and that affects how they pass that on.

    On another note - about celiac disease: a new cookbook called "Nosh on This" gluten free Jewish-American baking said that one teaspoon of gluten flour in a bathtub of gluten free flour was enough to cause distress to a celiac (paraphrased). It is a real disease that has probably been around 50 or maybe 1,000 years ago but identification of it for all its widely varied symptoms has occurred only in the last 20 years or so and then only by serologic testing &/or biopsy. It is not as serious or as life-threatening as diabetes, for example, but still as valid as high blood pressure or arthritis and can be controlled by going gluten free. It is real, ask Annie_1992 about her Amanda. I don't think people with the disease are demanding special treatment at a restaurant, they just want something that won't make them sick. They are not asking for ice cream at a burrito truck but they do know that gluten cross contamination, even inadvertently, can make them miserable and have to avoid eating out. I sympathize with them. I can't eat spicy food (I'm old and my digestive system is too) and my friends all want to go to Thai or Mexican restaurants. So, I scan their menus and always find something to eat, even if it means pushing around a salad. It is the company of friends that is enjoyable and memorable, not necessarily what is consumed and forgotten a week later.

    I also suspect that the person posting the original sign did so from frustration. As one of the other poster's said, in effect, don't go to a steak house and expect the chef to prepare your vegan dinner as if you were the only one that he should personally cater to - there are others who are hungry and want what is on the printed menu that he has used his expertise to create. Respect that!

    Bottom line is: if you have a problem with certain foods on a menu, go somewhere else - as he said, or hire your own personal chef, or, learn how to cook for yourself, but don't be rude because they feed 99.9% of the other people who come in for that chef's food and you are only .1% and do not spread your rudeness and self importance to make everyone else unhappy.
    Nancy

  • plllog
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Nancy, some Celiac disease sufferers are that bad off. Some can eat half a cracker. Some people who are allergic to eggs can eat them in bread, pasta, meatloaf, cake, etc., but not whole, whereas I know a guy who got sick immediately from eating a coffee house Rice Krispies treat where there was egg in the marshmallow--too small a trace to show up on a label, but his body knew. He had asked if there were eggs in it, and as far as the server knew there weren't because they weren't listed on the sheet. Eggs only show up in the most gourmet of handmade marshmallows. The manager got in touch with the bakery (who I think may have had to ask a supplier) and learned that indeed there were eggs in them--at first their attitude was that it must have been something else he'd eaten.

    I totally respect your take on listening to people's woes, and respecting them, and receiving respect in return. I tell you the above story just to illustrate another reason why people may be asking you if there's fish in your baked goods. Who knows? Maybe bonita flakes are the secret ingredient! Just as one spoon of flour in a bathtub might be enough, one bonita flake could send someone who's severely allergic into anaphylaxis.

    I used ice cream as an example because, even when it's not on the menu, most restaurants have vanilla ice cream. Because people ask for ice cream. And many food trucks have some kind of ice cream or ice cream bar or other frozen treat in the Summer. It's zero prep, big markup, and people want it. It usually depends on whether they have the room for a freezer.

    I looked up Ruth's Chris and Black Angus because they're known steakhouse names, and chains have their menus online. Both are deficient on the vegan proteins, but have plenty of choices that can fill a vegan's tummy while he's dining with carnivores. Ruth's Chris lists a vegetarian entree that's basically choose three sides. Out of fourteen a la carte vegetable and potato dishes, six sound vegan, and there are some vegetables that could be made with oil instead of butter. They could also make a vegan salad but there isn't one that really lends itself, so the chef would have to be willing and not suffering from the Cinnabon contract. They do cook on site there, so it should be possible.

    Black Angus has a grilled vegetable salad. They also have baked potatoes and other vegetables. Again, short on protein, but there's something for a vegan to eat. They also have a guide to their gluten free items available on request.

    I'm not expecting a steakhouse to provide more than that, though they can be accommodating by perhaps putting the grilled veg over rice, or some other simple substitution. The better local ones usually have a quinoa dish or something, so there's a vegan protein.

    OTOH, my GF Vegan friend clued me in to black bean pasta. It's really good and has nothing in it but black beans (presumably it was made with water, but since it's dried, I guess that doesn't count as an ingredient). It's about a quarter protein! And really yummy! It's kind of ordinary plain, but with a good sauce it's extraordinary! And prettier than squid ink pasta, IMO. Any hostess faced with gluten free and vegan guests could easily make a dish of this with a tasty tomato or vegetable sauce and serve it as a side, possibly baked in a casserole, making sure the special needs diners got good sized shares to start.

  • alex9179
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh Annie, a case of reading a conversation rather than listening to one! Hahaha, my bad.

    Plllog, interesting pasta. I'll have to look for that since it's tasty. It's fun to try new foods and good to be prepared in case I cook for someone who would appreciate this.

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