I have food allergies, so have always had to "custom" order at restaurants. I don't recall ever having had a server or chef make an issue of it - they've always been at the least cooperative, and more often very helpful about it. We generally let everyone else at the table order first, and tell the server that I am the "difficult one". I explain what my issues are, what dish I would like to eat, and ask them to check with the chef to see if that will work. I also tell them that I'm open to suggestions if there is something else that the chef would recommend that would be easier for them.
Since my main allergy is peppers (including white and black pepper - if it has "pepper" in the name, I'm gonna react!), it can often be quite difficult to figure out what I can or can not eat from a menu. Many restaurants marinate most or all of their meats, and it's pretty much guaranteed that the marinade will include some version of pepper or peppers.
I've had many chefs come out to chat with me over the years, recommending one dish over another, and suggesting a "special" version of a sauce served on the side. I've had a couple of times when they've said that the only thing that they can do is a salad (the marinated meat issue), but have been very open to creating a specialized one for me.
I find that it's all in the approach - I come in with the expectation that they want me to have an enjoyable meal that won't send me to the emergency room, and that they will be friendly and open to the idea of making the best possible suggestions. Often it has turned out better than expected, with the chef suggesting a much better meal than what I had originally thought of, and with a lot of great "foodie" conversation with the staff.
What I will note, though, is that I tend to go to local restaurants (not chains) and that we make sure that we go when it's not overly busy for the first visit or two. Once we're sure that they have something that I can eat that isn't too difficult for them, then we'll drop in when it's busier, but we do realize that accommodating my needs takes extra time that they won't have when it's super busy.
Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
| current weight: -6.0 under