Before I get into the restaurant round-up, you can read a Q&A by The Nut-Free Mom on the site Food Allergy Assistant today. I really appreciated being featured on this site--it's a great resource written by a mom who has a lot of experience with food allergies so be sure to check it out!
And now, as promised, I've got some more restaurants recommended by blog readers. I thought I'd offer some pizza joints since lots of people with nut allergies rely on pizza (including my family) as a safe go-to food when dining out. The only thing you need to be careful of is "gourmet" pizza since it often contains pine nuts or things like pesto sauce. Keep it simple seems to be the best pizza policy for nut allergies.
I received several nut-free pizza recommendations from readers, so here are the top 4 mentioned: Pizzeria Uno, Papa John's, Aurelio's Pizza and Girodano's. Aurelio's and Giordano's and Pizzeria Uno also have gluten free menus available.
Coincidentally, I just received my latest issue of Living Without magazine and it had a feature story about dining out with food allergies with a sidebar list of restaurants with gluten-free menus. The magazine suggested that a place that offers gluten-free food usually will be able to accommodate other food allergies and sensitivities. Since nuts are often a big part of a gluten-free diet, I'm not sure I agree completely with that, but it's a good sign if a restaurant already anticipates customers with dietary restrictions.
With summer travel in the near future for many families, I also want to mention two kid-friendly restaurants that you will find in Chicago and other big cities as well. Weber Grill Restaurant offers a gluten-free menu and will accommodate nut allergies. Of course, please check each item when you get to the restaurant, but it looks like their menu does not contain a lot of nuts or peanuts. I've heard good things about this restaurant from other nut-allergic diners.
For those of you with young daughters, you won't want to miss American Girl Place Cafe. They go out of their way to accommodate food allergies. In fact, when you call for a reservation, they even ask if you have anyone in the party with allergies. Along the way they will point to each menu item and tell you what's safe and what isn't. We've been there several times and my daughter was in hog heaven. They really treat food-allergic diners well. I know the store can be a hit to the old wallet, but the Cafe is really a treat and the food is generally very good.
Please always ask about ingredients and carry your medications when you visit any restaurant and know that in dining out there are no guarantees. I feel like I have to say that because I don't want anyone letting their guard down! Still, it's very encouraging to see restaurants branching out and trying to satisfy all types of diners. I hope this continues.
Of course, please let us know your stories! Thanks.