Picky eater?

Being coeliac, I like to think I'm sympathetic towards diners with food allergies.
However,its always a good idea to let us know in advance if you have a detailed list of allergies.
This is beneficial for both parties.
1.It allows the kitchen to prepare.
2.It will allow you as a diner to enjoy an increased range of options rather than a very limited one.

This example a couple of weeks ago was bad enough:
(sorry had a photo of this but cant find it,new phone et al.I miss my BB *sob*)

Gluten free
Dairy Intolerant
No red meat or fish

Notice the 'likes chicken' notation at the bottom of the check.
The fact that this diner likes chicken is of no relevance whatsoever given that there was no chicken on the menu therefore non available in the meat fridge.
Guess what?
If its not on the menu we don't bother to buy any in.This may come as a surprise but strangely we don't buy in a whole range of off menu ingredients just on the off chance a random diner might fancy any of them.
Throwing a weekly shed-load of unused ingredients in the bin wouldn't be doing our GP any good would it?
Last Friday night,however,ones patience was stretched to the hilt.
The following list of food intolerances was passed to the kitchen on a busy Friday night service,with no prior notification.

At best this is inconsiderate and at worst plain stupid.
Twenty four items including wheat,dairy,eggs and a plethora of other everyday ingredients.
 Here's an exact transcription:

Mrs Gibson's(I've changed the name to protect anonymity) food intolerances

Chilli(dried and fresh including chilli paste)
Herbs(both dried and fresh with the exception of fresh coriander)
Olive oil
Vinegar(including balsamic)
Seeds including sesame seeds
Onions and shallots
Lemon/citrus fruits

Chef shook his head in despair.
When the order was taken the lady with the dietary problem ordered the following:
Feta and watermelon salad with toasted pumpkin seeds(but no pumpkin seeds please).

'and presumably no dressing either' said Chef.'And what about the feta?Its says dairy intolerant on the list'
This caused a heated debate.Is the milk of any mammal considered dairy?Or is it just cows?The point is she didn't check to see if it was a goats cheese feta.Personally if I had as many allergies as this I would have been making absolutely sure everything I was served was ok.
A quick check back to the table and apparently she was 'fine' with feta.
Main course:
Grilled Coley with brown shrimp butter,new potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli..
A glance at the out of bounds list ruled out both the broccoli and the butter.And any olive oil or pepper to cook or season.
The fish was steamed and served with some alternative green vegetables.
We wavered over the brown shrimps.
I checked the list.
'No there's scallops on there but no mention of shrimps or even prawns come to that'

In an effort to make the dish look a little bit more interesting Chef scattered the brown shrimps over the top of the fish and sent it out.
A decision which  later proved ill advised.
Minutes later it was returned to the kitchen.
With the handy check-list grasped in my sweaty little paw, I steamed over to the table .
I enquired as to the problem with the dish.
'I cant eat shrimps'
Holding up the list I say:'We checked your list to see if shrimps were mentioned,see'(pointing at list and nodding encouragingly)'no mention...'

Reader,please brace yourself for the response.

'Oh... that list isn't exhaustive, its merely a guideline to the more commonly used ingredients which I'm allergic to..'

Trying desperately to rearrange my facial features so as not to convey my utter disgust,I retired to the kitchen to impart the bad news to Chef.
Sometimes the public are as difficult to read as a fecking James Joyce novel...

Later that night at Cutlery Corner,we were still discussing the absurdity of it all

Blonde: I cant stand picky eaters.
Blonde:I had a boyfriend once who was a picky eater.I had to get rid of him because of it.Well actually there were two problems with him.The eating was one of them.Basically all he ate was bread,meat and chips.
Blonde:I mean,when I cook my man a nice meal I want him TO EAT IT.Not just sit there and pick out all the peas and beans..
Self: God yes.

We polish the cutlery in silence for a few minutes.

Self:What was the other problem?
Blonde:What Problem?
Self:You said there were two problems...With the boyfriend?
Blonde: Oh yes......His dental hygeine wasn't good enough.
Self:Eww.Probably a side effect of his bad diet...

As we polished the last of the cutlery I wondered what level of dental hygiene rendered the standard not 'good enough'..


fattmatt said…
I bet if you had asked what would happen if the customer had eaten anything on the list the alergy would be a few more farts and the next morning pebble dashing the toilet bowl

Whats happening to the second Pub? I hope you are ok as you have mention GP in the last 3 posts
fattmatt- hehe. Hadn't realised Id mentioned GP in the last 3 posts,must make an effort to be less one dimensional,though to be fair we always have a close eye on our GP.
Have focussed my time over here hence all stories relate to here.Alls well (thanks for asking) busy as ever.Hoping to find time for a trip away soon:)
I would have been sorely tempted to send out a glass of warm water, saying that "this is the only item in the entire bloody kitchen that we're pretty sure is safe for you to consume."

PS What's the BB?
TSB-Unbelievably I omitted to mention Chefs initial reaction to the list which was 'the best thing you can do with her is send her home with a glass of water'..
BB-Blackberry.It died and Ive upgraded to an I phone.My sausage fingers miss the comforting BB buttons:(
Young at Heart said…
if I didn't know she is now living in USA I would say I know that woman....seems there's more than one...the American had put the block on her boyfriend eating everything and anything too but when she was away he could be found at dinner parties gorging himself on cheese and wine and pudding!!!
Thanks. Tell Chef that great minds think alike.
Nicky said…
Diner overheard at lunch yesterday: "There's no sandwiches. Can you just give me some of the beef from the roast in a bun, no butter or mayo or anything." Waitress: "I'll ask the chef." Moments later, waitress: "Yes, it'll be served pink." Diner: "In that case I'll have the soup."
Expat mum said…
As someone whose child is mildly lactose intolerant I suppose I should be more sympathetic but how can anyone have THAT many allergies? Seriously. If you were allergic to that many food items at the very least, (because we know there are more) would you even bother to eat out?
I suspect that the person has a few other "issues" along with the alleged allergies. Like being off their feckin' rocker.
Nicky:-*GUFFAWS* I wondered why that sarnie didnt go ahead!!!!
Top eavesdropping marks!!
Nicky said…
Steve was rolling his eyes and sniggering :)
Wally B said…
I've met her before. She came round for dinner a few years ago, but didn't give me the list. She's only been once.
They should be branded on the forehead so they can be barred at the door.

favourite posts