Monday, January 16, 2012

Allergy-Friendly Restaurants

We all know that eating out with food allergies is not exactly a care-free event, and in some cases it is impossible. However, in my quest to help my girl live a more 'normal' life, I have found that more often than not restaurants will have either an allergy menu or at least provide a list of ingredients to help you make wise and safe choices. I prefer an ingredient list over an allergy menu because I want to see for myself what ingredients are in certain items. For tips on eating out with food allergies, read this post. Below is a list of restaurants that we eat at or have come across with an allergy-friendly menu. Keep in mind that this list is a work in progress and will be added to as necessary.  You can find this list in the sidebar on the right under 'Pages' and 'Allergy-Friendly Restaurants'.

Check out these restaurants for their allergy menus and/or ingredient lists:
  • Fatz Cafe - located in SC, NC, TN, GA and VA. This is one of the restaurants I've had the best experience with. We took the allergy menu with us to the restaurant and showed the waitress what we wanted to order for our daughter. She took it to the manager who came out to our table to find out himself exactly what her allergies were and assured us that her food would be cooked on a separate surface from all the other foods being cooked. They get an A+ in my book!
  • Chili's - Click their link to find their allergy menu information. Great resource! We've never had a bad experience there, so we continue to go back.
  • Red Robin - I haven't tried this restaurant in the allergy realm of things, but their website does list a menu for the wheat/gluten allergy or you can email them to find out about other specific allergy lists in their menu. Check it out!
  • Chuck E. Cheese - Click on this link to find info about allergens in their foods. If you don't find what you're looking for, they invite you to email them and they will get back with you.
  • Taco Bell - Click this link for a list of all the menu items and what allergens, if any, they contain. Great resource!
  • McDonald's - Click this link for a list of all menu items and their ingredients. If you have a milk allergy - CHECK OUT THE FRENCH FRY INGREDIENTS! In the U.S., the fries contain milk. In Canada, they do not contain milk.
  • On The Border - Click the link for the allergy menus for this restaurant. If you'll notice near the top of each menu, it gives a date that you can expect the menus to be accurate until. So, be sure your allergy menu is up-to-date when you order off of it. If the date has expired, I would definitely have the waiter double check the ingredients.
  • Rita's Italian Ice - Yes! They have an allergy menu! Check them out!
  • Salsarita's - Allergy Menu now available!! One of my favorite places to eat! **Just be sure the preparer of your food puts new gloves on before touching your food. Cross-contamination is also very dangerous for some of us!
  • P.F. Chang's China Bistro - They have only a vegetarian or gluten-free menu in addition to their normal menu, but they do not list ingredients.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse - Offers a gluten-free menu.
  • O'Charley's - Offers a list of common allergens and lists all the foods on their menu that contain those allergens! Great resource!
  • Chick-fil-a - They have a list of their products naming the allergen/s in each food on their menu. Click the link to read their allergy statemtent. *Be advised that they do use peanut oil, but it has been noted that peanut oil does not necessarily cause an allergic reaction in individuals with a peanut allergy.* I haven't personally put this to the test because my daughter can't eat anything there due to other allergies.
  • Johnny Rockets - Click the name to find a list of all the ingredients in each menu item along with each common allergen listed in bold at the end of each item. Very helpful!!
  • The Lady & Sons Restaurant - Savannah, GA - This is an allergy statement from this restaurant. Everything is fried in peanut oil. There is not a list of menu items and the allergies they may contain, so eat at your own risk. Their statement is to talk to your server about any allergies you may have.
  • Outback Steakhouse - This is a link to their statement on allergens. Specifically peanuts, dairy and gluten.
  • SteaknShake - This is a link to their allergy statement and ingredient list for each item on the menu. Great resource!

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