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Nicole Glassman's Profile

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How Do I Keep an Adult Friend Who Has A Very Limited and Unhealthy Diet

People should be aware that gluten free does not mean healthy. Yes, often the starches used tend to be a bit healthier (chestnut, garbanzo, soy flour, etc) but a lot of it is just that; starch (tapioca, corn, etc) with almost no health benefits but all of the carbs and calories. My fiance used to be addicted to gluten free pizza and gained a LOT of weight last winter! Another thing to keep in mind is that because it is still a "specialty" food, gluten free often means "a LOT more expensive!" That being said, a lot of people may be gluten sensitive who may not know it- if you're having stomach problems for a long time you may want to test yourself by eliminating all gluten for two weeks and see if you experience any positive changes.

Do You Trust Your Restaurant to Honor Your Special Request?

Who ever said anywhere in these posts that the restaurant is responsible for helping a customer get over a food phobia? All I ever said was that if a customer makes a request and the waiter says the request can be done, well, ideally it shoud be done. I don't see why my dad should have to avoid all italian restaurants for the rest of his life as some posters have said- completely unrealistic and highly unfair, especially as his request is simple!- no cheese. Someone please tell me how asking for no cheese is such a big deal? :} [And I assure you that his "freak out" only happpened once!] I should add that even Mario Batali believes cheese should not be added halfhazardly to any ol' dish- in Italy and his restaurants cheese is never to be seen with seafood- almost a cardinal rule. That's why I find it interesting that so many people even on this board assume that cheese and italian food cannot ever coexist separately!

Do You Trust Your Restaurant to Honor Your Special Request?

Exactly! It is MY fault if I order a dish with an item I do not want (such as cheese) if the menu states clearly that cheese is an ingredient in the dish. However, if cheese is indeed in the dish but is not mentioned anywhere in the item's description on the menu, it's the responsibility of the restaurant to fix it. I understand that cheese is a ubiquitous item to many Americans which is why some restaurants don't see the need to list it as an ingredient on a menu....which is why I always ask. I feel bad for you though- if that customer had one bad experience out of many good ones, he should have come back.

Do You Trust Your Restaurant to Honor Your Special Request?

I can understand your logic if my father had a deadly allergy, but thankfully that is not the case. Should my dad have to never eat in an italian restauarnt for the rest of his life? Somehow that does not make any sense, especially when the worst case scenario is perhaps a funny story and/or some frustration. My dad has a very good sense of humor about his phobia- if he didn't that would be a different story. But seriously- I've heard this logic before when it comes to people with allergies. Why go out to a restauarnt when you don't have to have any worries if you stay home? Well- if you stay home all the time you miss out on LIVING. Should my dad let his phobia of cheese control his life to the point where it dictates where he can and cannot eat? (Keeping in mind this would affect my mom who has severe dietary restrictions as it is) And by the way- I've been to Italy as well as Italian restaurants around NY. If you know what to order and how to ask, a cheese hater can have many options, Of course there will be times when your requests are not honored because in life, **** happens, which is why I'm writing on this board:} But I would rather have to vent on CH than to never step foot into an Italian restaurant for the rest of ny life- don't you think so?

Do You Trust Your Restaurant to Honor Your Special Request?

I do not believe that anyone should have to live their life in fear. Unfortunately that means understanding that you can not put your faith in restaurant 100%, especially when it comes to allergies. My fiance has a gluten sensitivity; he won't die if he consumes wheat, barley or oats but he will be in agony for hours on end. We are always careful to emphasize the "agony" part and usually the waitstaff is very accomodating! But with the cheese thing....it's funny because I hate cheese as well as my dad! (Though I don't have a phobia nor get nightmares!) I remember once at an Olive Garden in college I asked for no cheese on my pasta and out comes pasta with parmesan on top. I ask the waitress why she put cheese on it when I asked her not to and she replied "But it's just a garnish!" I try to look at the bright side; I can always send it back and I have one more story to tell! But it's hard to think like that when you're starving, everyone else is eating and you HAD the gut feeling that somehow your order was going to be messed up because it's happened so many times before.

Guy Off the Hook

Did you get that from Bourdain? :}

I agree though! I do like Diners Drive Ins & Dives; his personality suits the environment. However, I'm just tired of American themed shows that focus more on the "over the top" personality more than the food. I feel the same with the Neely's; while I'd love to have dinner with them, I just don't want them teaching me to cook on my TV.

Do You Trust Your Restaurant to Honor Your Special Request?

My father has a cheese phobia, That's right! Not an allergy, not a dislike but a true phobia. Whenever we go out to eat Italian, the first thing he will tell the waiter is that he positively cannot under any circumstances have cheese. A few weeks ago [I wasn't there so I unfortunately only heard this secondhand], the waiter brought out his dish alongside my mom's. A second waiter came by immediately with a small dish of parmesan and proceeded to sprinkle it on my father's pasta without asking. My father began to scream in sheer feer "CHEESE! CHEESE! IT'S CHEESE!" My mom and the waiters had to calm him down!

The funny thing is that my parents are regulars at this restaurant. Their service is overall good and believe me; by now they know that my dad has a cheese phobia. You would think that despite this previous experience and my father's continual request to leave off all things cheese that we would have nothing to fear. UH UH. We had takeout the other day and after a lengthy discussion with the waiter about how my dad has found "hidden" cheese in things like pasta sauce....you guess it. The marinara was chock full of cheese. [My mom confirmed it]

While these 2 incidents were funny, at the same time it can be very frustrating. Quite frankly, I've stopped trusting most restauarnts to honor special requests because mistakes happen too many times. Thankfully no one in my family has a deadly allergy (though I'm sure most restaurants take allergies more seriously or I would hope so!) though my fiance is gluten sensitive and could end up in pain for hours if a waiter or chef made a mistake about wheat. Do you trust restaurants to honor special requests?

Does chow not taste as good with unchowish friends?

I actually like the Cheesecake Factory! (Though ironically I don't like their cheesecake) From what you described it was more the conversation/atmosphere that spoiled the night than the food.