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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I can't eat in restaurants due to multiple food allergies. On the rare occasion that I do go out to eat, I generally call the restaurant in advance, explain the situation and ask if I can bring my own food. Some places will say no, so I tend to stick to Swiss Chalet, although I do offer to try to find alternative places in case my friends get tired of going to the same place.

This *one time* I didn't call because we made lunch plans at the last minute. We went to the Swiss Chalet on Yonge St. just north of the Eaton Centre. I arrived first, and I explained the situation to the waiter, who seemed okay with it.

I asked for a plate (I had intended to put my food on my plate), and the waiter brought back a very small plate...I didn't bother sending him back for a dinner plate because I didn't want to be too much of a bother. I just ate my food out of my plastic containers, which probably did look a little conspicuous.

While we were in the middle of lunch, our waiter returned to explain that his manager does not allow patrons to bring in food, although it was okay for that one time.

It's a little disheartening, because it is not an easy thing to find a restaurant that will let me eat there. At least the Swiss Chalet near the St. Andrew subway station is still an option (as far as I know). I've also eaten at Bar Mercurio a few times on Bloor and St. George. They were great about the allergy situation...and I didn't have to ask them for a plate LOL! But I get the impression that dinner there is expensive (not sure about lunch.)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Wow, I've never had a problem with bringing my daughter's food. I usually advise them of the reason and often ask them to heat her food as well.

You had already advised the waiter of the situation...I would have been happy to have spoken to the manager. :twisted:

Perhaps you'd like to contact their corporate head quarters to see if they have a policy regarding dining groups with people who have food allergies.
http://www.swisschalet.com/contact_us.php

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Thanks, Susan. I should probably call the restaurant first to give them a chance to change their minds.

I'm torn on the issue. On the one hand, I can understand why restaurants would not allow outside food. But I also see it as an accessibility issue. I don't think that people who are able to eat in restaurants always appreciate how important food is socially. Sitting there and not eating is an option, of course, but that just makes everyone feel uncomfortable.

What do people here think? Are restaurants justified in saying 'no outside food' when ordering food isn't an option?

BTW, I also had a bad experience at Fresh on Bloor and Spadina. Ironically, a couple of friends wanted to eat there because they thought a vegan place would understand my dietary restrictions. The staff was convinced that I must be able to eat *something.* I went, but I wasn't able to bring in outside food, so I just sat there and watched my friends eat.


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