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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
So we did it, we took our son out to eat...and allowed him to eat the restaurant food. :D
I called Boston Pizza (Ottawa) and talked to a manager yesterday. I asked what time/day would be best for us to come and went over our son's allergies. I also was thinking about if we did need to go to CHEO I would rather go at noon for 6 hours than at suppertime for 6 hours. :? The manager and I discussed food and fries are out of the question due to calamari as well as other items being deep fried in the same oil. Pizza seemed to be a safe option. The manager assured me they would use one cook for our son's food and they would cook his food using sterile utenils etc.. He welcomed me to bring/do any precautions I felt necessary such as lysol wipes for our table etc.. My fear has always been that an allergy book is talking about raw ingredients/sealed and untouched. Cross contamination of these ingredients is an entirely different issue. I felt from my first conversation with the manager and then with the owner in person today that all involved completely understood the cross contamination issue.

So we went today right at 11 before the lunch rush. The server immediately went and got the owner. We found a table out of the way of traffic, I lysol wiped the table and the seat which we were going to attach his own booster seat (with tray) that he would use. Our server brought out the allergy book and we figured that the pizza dough was safe (made on site) and they checked the sauce ingredients. The owner came over several times and assured me that they wipe down an area in the kitchen and that all sterile kitchenware would be used. He even assured me they would open a new sauce container and a new cheese package for the pizza to avoid any cross contamination. There was a purell dispenser on the wall coming out of the server area, before going to get our son's plate our server cleaned her hands with purell. I really appreciate all the little extra touches. I'm sure they do this in general but for the eagle eyes of an allergy parent we notice such small gestures.

Our son loved his first meal out. He was facing a TV with motorcycles on so that was a huge plus to help him sit still. Our daughter had packed a zip lock bag with a couple mini playdoughs and a mini fish game to keep him occupied. I could see the owner checking at the kitchen window several times how our son's meal was progressing and he came over within seconds of our son taking his first few bits of pizza to ensure all was well.
I had packed a fork and straw for our son....most restaurants have open ones, other than that I didn't need to bring anything but his sippy cup of milk. Our son normally eats two bites and is done, he has never eaten a proper size meal to date. Today he ate two slices from his individual size cheese pizza!!!! When I put the rest in a container to bring home he asked me all concerned "hey, where my pizza go'. :D
When we were leaving I thanked the owner and of course :roll: I teared up. This was a huge leap of faith for us. The food was great, the service exceptional, we will absolutely go back to this B.P. for family night out.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Wow! I am so happy for you. How nice that they were so accomodating for you. I have also good luck with Boston Pizza.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
What a great experience and what a great big sister, too! :mrgreen:
It's nice to see your world get a little bit bigger.

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Moderator
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 Apr 25, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
So happy for you and the family. :happydance

Re the tearing up after first safe meal - don't feel alone.
At AL, we hear a lot of that among allergy moms. It is a big deal.

It was brave of you to take this step.
Here's to more happy experiences ahead!

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 636
Location: AB, Canada
It IS a big deal!! And one which so many families take completely for granted. Congrats! :D

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver, BC
That's awesome - congrats! And, your daughter sounds like such a gem, packing toys for her little brother to play with at the restaurant!

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DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:42 pm
Posts: 18
Location: In a store reading the ingredients
I actually teared up reading your post. It reminded me of the first time we went to Boston Pizza for our first restaurant experience. We were so nervous but everyone there put our minds at ease (well almost).

If it wasn't for Boston Pizza we probably would never go out for dinner as a family.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 373
Location: Alberta
That's awesome! That truly sounds above and beyond. I've had a similar experince at Chili's, and Ricki's. Swiss Chalet wouldn't serve him due to the fact that perogies are deep fried in the same oil as the fries.

We used to go to Boston Pizza, and although they've always been great, we started to get scared only because my son's "main" allergy is to milk, and the whole cheese thing is kind of scary. But they always did chicken nuggets and fries for him and he never reacted, at any location.

It is possible! Maybe AL should have a Kudos and Criticism section in the magazine? This would certainly qualify as a Kudo! (What is the other name for that type of column ... I want to say something and arrows, but I can't think of it .. very brain dead today)


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 2:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 423
Location: Alberta, Canada
It is so great to go out to dinner and feel safe. So happy for you. I have had to hold back tears when things were so bad that we have had to leave a restaurant and I have also had to hold tears when someone has gone beyond the basic to be extra kind. This happened at a christmas dinner in Maui I did talk personally to the chef (he came out to speak to me) when he started to tell me about the desserts I said that was ok as I would stay clear of that. He went in the back to the kitchen an brought a separate plate of dessert items I could have out to me. The sad thing even with my extra, extra thank you's I don't think he can know how thankful I was. (and it was not about the dessert it was all about what he did).
Kudo's to Moxies in Edmonton west end. I have been there a few times including this eve. First of when my son was asking to with hold an item on his plate the waiter asked if it was an allergy or just a preference. Then when I said I wanted to have no nuts... kept away from my food due to an allergy he said They take allergies VERY seriously at that point a manager came out to speak with me to be clear on the request. (this happened the other times as well) They do have nuts, shellfish... on the menu but for me this place seems to have a policy and an understanding of allergies. I do not know if Moxies is in other locations than Edmonton? Also I do not know if the other locations in Edmonton are run in the same manner but I would think so. Anyways it is a place I would feel I could suggest.

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Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 7:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
It is wonderful to hear how many other restaurants go above and beyond when dealing with allergies. I sent a letter to B.P. thanking them. I especially thanked the kitchen staff. The front workers are the voice to relay allergy information but the cook, well he/she basically holds all the cards. They are the ones who we are trusting to clean surfaces, cookware, take the time to triple check everything and anything they use/touch. They are taken off their normal position and from their regular kitchen duties to prepare one meal. To keep this area allergy free even once cleaned I'm sure is a job in itself when within a busy kitchen. I assume their instincts are to work quickly as they are used to cooking multiple meals at once, yet they adjust to their new task and as with DS food he/she focused on just one mini pizza. I'm sure they have 100 other things they need to be doing before their shift is over and to keep the rest of the restaurant running smoothly so I really appreciate the time and extra efforts taken to ensure allergy meals are safe.
My only rule for going back is that we can not order anything that comes with fries. If he sees us eating fries and can't have them himself he will loose it. So for the time being, we will enjoy the occasional pizza night out. :happydance

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:43 pm
Posts: 75
Congrats! I have always loved bp! And they have such great pizza selections. I am actually surprised
at the praise that moxies' and chili's has gotten. Moxies ended up being very rude when they had to accomidate my fiance and the
menu is limiting if you have a dairy allergy. Chili's is great if you have a single allergy and they have great allergy info
but if you have multiple allergies you have to look over six different sheets and they are really unable to accomidate.

_________________
Moi: Pineapples, Turkey and Asthma.
Fiance: Ana. to Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts/Nuts and Horse. Also has asthma.


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 373
Location: Alberta
I'm thinking that the success of the experience probably depends on the manager on duty. At the Chili's we went to, he went out of his way to prepare something for my son that did not contain any dairy, or come into contact with seafood etc. He offerred up a plain chicken breast at first, but my son won't eat them like that, so then he offered to bread it with flour, and make them strips. They definitely weren't the standard chicken fingers that are normally served. I was really impressed, because we didn't really expect that. I have certainly learned to keep my expectations low when it comes to these things!


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:43 pm
Posts: 75
I totally agree it depends on which manager is on duty. I am glad that they were able to accomidate your son. Unfortunately though I find
that places are more willing to do that type of thing for families than for two childless twenty somethings. I
always feel it has something to do with fear of angry moms. Everyone should fear mom wrath.

:lol:

_________________
Moi: Pineapples, Turkey and Asthma.
Fiance: Ana. to Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts/Nuts and Horse. Also has asthma.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
You can always let them know that you are happy to share your experience with us moms... 8) (us moms/we moms...my grammar fails me :scratchy )

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Moderator
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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