Have you ever had to watch other people eat when you’re hungry? This weekend I went to a popular West Hollywood bar/restaurant and upon presenting them with my very detailed and slightly intimidating allergy card, I was told that I could not be accommodated. There was no malice or lack of wanting to help, but the restaurant simply didn't have the products or the capacity to make a meal that would work for me. It’s already uncomfortable and a little awkward to have to present an allergy card, so it doesn’t make it any better when you get turned down, especially on an empty stomach as you watch others in your party eat their saucy hot-wings and Parmesan cheese and garlic-covered fries. I will admit here that their orders had already been placed before I found out there was nothing on the menu for me. But still, the struggle was real! No one wanted to see me go hungry, so we had to figure out what our next move would be. We called Houston’s in Pasadena. The hostess immediately explained how seriously they take food allergies and that I could absolutely find something. My insides were singing hymnal songs of joy!
Once at the restaurant, both the manager and chef walked me through what I could eat on the menu and how some items could be altered. They also commented on how helpful allergy cards are when preparing food for allergy suffers. For those of you with multiple allergies, I would highly suggest making yourself a card on the Food Allergy Research and Education website.
So, after basking in the glory of multiple food options to choose from, I decided on the prime filet, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. When I say it was the best dish I’ve had in a long time, this is no understatement. Dining with food allergies can be difficult, unsatisfying and often end in disappointment, but Houston’s was everything I needed it to be. Check them out!