For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."
Recently, I was in Chicago, dining at a seafood restaurant that was quite plainly a seafood restaurant. After all, the word "fish" is in the restaurant name.
As we dined al fresco, along the sidewalk on an absolutely gorgeous autumn evening, a two-top arrived and was seated directly behind and I overheard this conversation between a diner and the server:
Diner: "I am allergic to shellfish."
Server: "Thank you for letting me know, I will be sure to alert the kitchen staff."
Diner: "Seriously, if a pair of tongs so much as touches a shrimp or scallop and then my food, we’re dialing 911."
Server: "Yes, ma’am, I will make sure they know."
I take food allergies seriously. A child in my kid’s class has a peanut allergy and when it’s our turn to provide snack, I spend a lot of time reading the ingredients carefully. It’s serious business. I get that for sure. And it can’t be easy for anyone with dangerous food allergies to dine out.
Is it worth the risk for someone with a shellfish allergy so dangerous that even glancing contact requires immediately emergency ambulance response to select a seafood restaurant for dinner? Especially in the heart of downtown Chicago where there are often two or three restaurants of all kinds to a block. Because you can be as mad as you want if those tongs touch and you can threaten to sue, but you'll be the one in the ER.
In the end, of course, a diner has a right to choose. What really grated on me, however, was the tone of bitchiness in the diner’s voice when addressing a server who had been responsive and courteous; a tone that said, "you’re guilty of something already." I'm the kind of person that's convi…Read more...