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Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

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California
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Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

Hi there. We are headed to Monterey this coming weekend. Our daughter has a severe peanut allergy. I was wondering if anyone knows of "allergy friendly" restaurants in the area. We are staying downtown and will most likely be hitting up the touristy spots/restaurants. Wharf/cannery row area. Any ideas?

Pacific Grove...
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1. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

Hi. These days, many restaurants handle all sorts of issues--vegan, gluten-free, etc. But I don't specifically know of any that are nut-free. Obviously, you'll want to avoid Asian restaurants since they use peanuts in many dishes. Other than that, I really don't know. One thing you can consider is having a lot of picnics. We have a Whole Foods Market and numerous small markets (Grove Market in Pacific Grove; Bruno's in Carmel) where you can buy great picnic foods. Good luck. I hope someone else will know more.

San Francisco, Ca
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2. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

Out of curiosity, how do you handle restaurants at home? I'd suggest the same strategies in Monterey. I can't think of any types of restaurants that wouldn't have ANY dishes with peanuts.

While you can ask about ingredients in order to avoid specific dishes with peanuts, I suspect the danger of cross-contamination is high, and I don't know how you'd avoid that. I mean, if someone uses a knife to chop up peanuts for an ice cream sundae, then uses that to slice your daughter's steak, there will be a problem.

Hmmm, now that I'm thinking about it, if the allergy is "only" peanuts (not pine nuts, pistachios, etc.), then maybe European foods would be "safer"? A quick look at Wikipedia mentions peanuts being used in South America (especially Peruvian food), Asia, Israel, Africa, and we know American food (mostly desserts, but still a risk...). So maybe French, Italian, or German restaurants would be safer?

As PGdenizen mentions, restaurants are very aware of the more common requests - vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc., but that won't help you, other than perhaps they would be more alert to the issue when you explain it.

California
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3. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

Thank you for your replies. Cross-contamination is our biggest concern. We are very careful at home and have several "safe" restaurants that have been able to accomodate us. Steak houses and Italian restaurants are generally a good place to start. Restaurants that understand how to avoid cross-contamination with gluten will likely be able to help us. We also use "chef cards" explaining my daughters allergy and how to safely prepare her meal.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

We have the same issue and have spent a lot of time in the Monterey Pacific Grove and Carmel area with our kids and we have taken the kids to many restaurants but make sure we speak with the wait staff and ask them to double check ingredients. Now that they are almost teens they ask the wait staff when they order and double check .

At times it may be hard if the wait staff in an ethnic restaurant has English as a second language and we either speak with the chef or we may avoid such places -- We have had no issues in any of the good restaurants such as 1833, Passionfish, La Bicylette, and so many others. Any seafood, italian, french, chinese and even Mexican restaurant is ok. The kids have eaten at the Aquarium a few times.

Cross contamination is an issue and there is really no "safe" restaurant as the OP puts it. Most restaurants will try and prepare something that does not have nuts. If you go to the Touristy chains aka Bubba Gump they should ( I think but I don't know) have menus with ingredients listed

Edited: 10:43 am, October 23, 2012
Pacific Grove...
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5. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

You've gotten some good suggestions. As I mentioned, though, I think you should avoid Asian restaurants--but I'm sure you already kno all about that issue. The other thing is that places like Bubba Gump's fry most of their foods, and I don't know if they use peanut oil at all. If Mexican works for you, try Michael's Taqueria and Grill (extremely casual) or Pepper's Mexicali Cafe (good food but bad acoustics, so noisy), both in Pacific Grove. There, too, though, you'll have to aks about peanut oil.

6. Re: Allergy friendly restaurants for peanut allergy

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