Thursday, December 20, 2007

sorry, waiter guy

Yesterday we finished up some Christmas shopping. And then we felt inspired to go out to lunch. We were down by N. County Fair, and there's a Macaroni Grill there. I've only been once, nearly 10 years ago, and liked it a lot. D has never been.
"We should treat ourselves!" I said. We don't get to Escondido that often, so it was our chance to sample authentic chain food!
Anyway, for those of you that don't know, Lucy has had major problems processing dairy in the past. I eat a cube of cheese and she doesn't sleep for one night. So I avoid milk/cream/cheese like the plague.
I'm not sure why Ithought Big Chain Italian would be good for someone avoiding a staple ingredient. But I thought--surely I can just get the cheese on the side--with pasta, or something. Italian bread is usually dairy-free, from my experience at Trader Joes.
After our nice waiter guy set a steaming loaf of rosemary bread on our table, I told him I had a dairy allergy, then asked, with naivete, which of two (seemingly dairy-free) entrees I could get.
(And no, I don't have a dairy allergy; not even, really, dairy intolerance. My daughter does. But it's hard to explain the mechanics of breastfeeding/food intolerances on the fly in a restaurant to a 20-year-old guy.)
He went to check with the kitchen, and came back with bad news. "My manager says there's really nothing I can recommend except for this salmon dish and this chicken dish.
They were the two options marked "sensible choices" that I'd been ridiculing a moment before. Who wants sensible choices (ie: dry, flavorless pap) at Big Chain Italian?
"What about this bread?" D asked.
"No, not the bread, either," he said. "Butter, you know."
I ordered some soup and salad, which they left the dairy off of.
And then the bread was calling to me.
Dyami told me it couldn't possibliy be enough to get to Lucy.
And then Lucy grabbed a chunk of the bread and ate it.
So I tore off a hunk and enjoyed myself.
Of course, the waiter guy chose that moment to come back and ask me whether I wanted my soup and salad served together.
I had to answer him with a big chunk of bread in my mouth. Bread I'd told him I couldn't have.
This is when I appreciate the "Smile a-nd nod" customer service. But I'm sure he was back at the drinks station saying, "See, these food allergy people, they're so full of crap!"
Sorry, waiter guy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, it is Romano's Macaroni Grill, so in a way, they were warning you: we put cheese in pretty much everything! Oh, and pasta as well! :)

(And this is Todd, by the way -- I'm exploring the exciting options of logging in using OpenID. Ask Dyami.)