Dining Out with Allergies, How my Favourite Restaurant Has Let me Down for the Last Time

I sometimes wish that people would get with the program. I also think that a restaurant that actively advertises wheat-free and or gluten-free food is more dangerous to us than one that makes no claim of knowledge or policy. When you offer gluten-free food on your menu…you MUST train staff to know how the seriousness of serving people with allergies and intolerances. The cards are stacked against us already and being able to visit a restaurant where we trust the menu and the staff is a huge relief to us when they get it right.

I love the food at Food for Friends in Brighton, that being said they have a terrible staff. They are nice and friendly but they have almost sent me to the hospital for the last time. I will not return. I had to send my food back 3 times on my last visit. Firstly because I asked for the gluten-free option for my baby’s meal and they brought it out with wheat pita. Next, my main was the gluten -free option of a mushroom dish originally in a filo basket. They brought the item out in the filo and when I asked it to be changed, they just dumped it out of basket and back onto the plate. (I knew this because they brought the plate back within a few minutes) When I asked if it was the same food, they said they didn’t know and would go and check. I am HIGHLY allergic to wheat…to the tune of carrying an epi-pen. Had I just trusted them and consumed my meal, I could have ended up in the hospital.

I don’t want to have to pay a premium for gluten-free food and still have to educate the staff in the process. I also don’t know what other mistakes they were making with my food in prep. Were they cutting my gluten-free bread with the same knife as the wheat? On the same chopping board? Can I enjoy my meal if I don’t trust the staff to know what they are doing?

I am willing to pay for great food properly prepared with care and will spend all my time telling everyone I know all about it. Badly done Food for Friends, I am not risking my life waiting around for you to get it right….and I suggest anyone else who goes there to know that they could be putting themselves or their child in danger and paying a premium for it as well.


CATEGORIES : cuisine, Reviews, Wheat Allergy/ AUTHOR : Lo.

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American born Lobelia isn’t just your typical singer-songwriter. A multi-instrumentalist who worked as a studio musician for 10+ years, she has won multiple awards for her songwriting, has been featured in Billboard Magazine, and was one of the original Women of MP3.COM in the early days of the Internet. Now living in the UK after a 7 year stint in Montreal, she hosts several acclaimed songwriter nights at Tower of Song, Birmingham’s best small music venue. An advocate for sustainable touring, she travels the world performing at house concerts and small venues.