Today I want to raise the issue of restaurants.
I feel it is getting harder and harder to eat out, enjoy eating out and eating out with ease.
Restaurants can brand themselves as 'gluten free' but that doesn't solve the issue of catering for people with dietary requirements.
Gluten free for one does not mean wheat free. Wheat is the grain, gluten is the substance that holds the grains and the other substances ( dairy, fats ) together to get that stretchy consistency. Many people are intolerant to gluten but celiacs also can't eat wheat. So instead of offering gluten free pasta dishes or simply gluten free pizza bases. Think outside the box, lead the way and purchase wheat & gluten free pasta, or create a pizza base without wheat, put on more sweet potato & rice dishes.
It is also getting silly in the sense that the simplest way to cook products - veg, potatoes & rice by boiling them is now in restaurants a massive issue. Everything is pre-made in oil, or oil, butter is added, veg is marinated, or sauces have been pre-made and applied to the potatoes, rice and veg already. There never seems to be a supply of veggies that aren't pre-prepped! No fresh veg, or anything that hasn't been pre-made. I get the same answer when asking for boiled veg - 'Sorry, we can't. Our veggie are already coated in butter and baked.' Or something a long those lines. How hard is it to simply store some fresh veg, simple mushrooms, broccoli and peas. It isn't difficult and shouldn't be a problem.
When you are already embarrassed about only ordering side dishes already. Getting the eye - 'That is why she is so skinny.' Is embarrassing enough without having to argue about asking for what I see as simple dishes - boiled rice ( 7mins cooking time ), boiled veg ( 6-8mins cooking time ) it doesn't take 20-25minutes like cooking a main dish would take.
It seems you have to cause a riot at the table to get heard and turn a no can do to a 'let me see what we can do for you.' Why should we have to get to that stage causing even more embarassment and feeling more uncomfortable than ever.
You can see how a happy, exciting, fun social event can turn into an embarrassing, uncomfortable mess. You are already having to eat something you wouldn't choose if you could have anything, you are watching your social circle enjoying all the things you want and you are trying to enjoy yourself as much as you can but with so many obstacles a what is seen as a chilled, easy activtity turns into an embarrassing nightmare.
Eating out is my number one fave social activity. However all these troubles are getting me to the point of not looking forward to social events, panicking, looking up the menu- trying to remove stress by knowing what to order so I don't have to look down the menu and envy the pizza and pasta dishes I would order. So when my simple requests of boiled dishes can't be created it is upsetting and it does get to you.
Gluten free, vegan menus and dishes are great additions but simply aren't enough these days. I know it's easy to have these menus because these requirements are more common and there are more products, pre-made dishes and foods that you can easily add to your menu. There are more intolerances, allergies out there that also needed to be catered for. At this point we aren't asking for anything wild and special. However, we have a right to be able to get something substancial to eat! I am all for healthy eating but there is only so much salad, veg & fruit you can eat and it doesn't fill you up like starches do.
Many times I have taken soya milks to have risottos made, pizza bases for chefs to use and now it is getting to the point I may even have to start carrying rice around with me to simply get boiled that haven't been caked and left in oil. However, another red flag is at times I have taken ingredients to use to help create me a dish and it has been rejected by restaurant staff & chefs. Being told that they are unable to use my ingredients in their kitchen. As it has been brought in from the outside. Leaving me with no options left - what more can I do? I am trying to make their lives & jobs easier and they are making mine 100x harder.
I shouldn't have to do this. Especially when I supply most of the ingredients and get charged the full price of the dish. It's - well disrespectful. Many a time I watch my family and friends have a full plate of food - burger, chips & salad, a 12 inch pizza, chicken, potatoes and veg and their food comes to cheaper than my three side dishes of chips, veg & salad.
It is getting to the point that I don't enjoy eating out anymore. The thought of the stress exhausts me and the thought of having to eat something just because that's the only thing I can eat is often deflating. I shouldn't feel this way nor should the people that are accompanying me have to help fight my corner, get annoyed, take on the stress and cause embarrassment for themselves. Let's make it easier and bring the excitement back.
Again this is a worldwide issue not just a niche issue only happening and stemming from our restaurants and food outlets, is is worldwide! Making travelling harder than ever before. Another hobby of mine being affected by this issue. There is no reason why we can't lead the way and begin the trend of catering more & better for all dietary requirements not just the known, more frequent ones.
Do you know or use any restaurants / food outlets that cater to your allergies and intolerances well?
Have you witnessed or being a part of any dilemmas whilst eating out making your eating out experience a stressful one?
Let me know!
Please reach out as I feel this is an important issue.
I hope to raise this issue further in my book. 📚 As it is one very important issue for people struggling with intolerances, diertary requirements, allergies and underlying-health issues.
Have a blessed day💫.
Love and peace.