For all of my allergy-afflicted kin, these are the biggest tips and tricks that I learned over the past week to enhance your experience as a diner.
- Do your homework. If you have allergies, information is the best way to protect yourself. That means going online and reading the menu beforehand, and calling the restaurant ahead of time to tell them about your specific dietary needs.
- Allergies vs. Preferences. Every chef I spoke with lamented over the people who say they have allergies, but actually don’t. That’s because preparing food for people with allergies takes a lot of effort in the kitchen; we’re talking new pots, pans, cutting boards, knives, the whole nine. So when it turns out a person not allergic and is just avoiding the food, that translates into a lot of wasted time for the kitchen staff. So, bottom line: if you have an allergy, say so. If you have a preference, say so. They’ll happily accommodate both.
- Get out and explore: Maine is a fabulous state for foodies-- and every single place I went to was not only willing, but eager to accomodate my food needs. They want your experience to be just as good as any other diner, and will do what they can to make that so. So, take the state by storm and try all the great food!