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 Post subject: I'm so sad...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I just got an email from the restaurant where we dined in late August - the one that took things so seriously and where we had such a nice time. I had emailed them to say thank you, and that we would be coming again for special occasions, and they have replied that they feel they can no longer accommodate us.

I guess I'd rather not go somewhere that doesn't feel they can safely feed my kids, but frankly I'm confused and sad. :(

Just when I thought that aspect of our life was looking up. I really feel like crying.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:25 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6471
Location: Ottawa
Did they give any reason?
I thought it had all gone so well.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
They said something along the lines of this:

- As they prepared for our meals, they became much more aware of the challenges we must face every day to ensure our boys are safe.
- Although it was a privilege and pleasure to have our trust placed in them, after reflection they regretfully feel they cannot accept the responsibility of a similar event.
- Although the boys' meals were perfectly safe when we dined there, a restaurant kitchen is such a complex place that they feel unable to generally guarantee the level of scrupulous non-contamination which they undertook for our last visit and feel it is irresponsible to make such a commitment to us.
- They hope we understand their decision because it is taken with the deepest sense of concern for our boys, not because they would not love to welcome us all there often.

--------------------

And the problem is that I do understand. I"m not even surprised. But I'm sad.

My youngest has been talking about the chicken and fries ever since then, and has been planning his birthday dinner as well. And now I have to tell him that we can't go.

I HATE ALLERGIES!!!!! :evil:

Sigh...

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I'm so sorry to hear about this! Epi man and Epi man junior will probably be very disappointed when you break the news to them. I'm impressed with this restaurant's email to you, though--it sounds like they thought everything through carefully--and that they really did prepare food safely that one time. It really does sound like the restaurant industry isn't ready for multiple severe food allergies . . .

I wonder, though, if they might be willing to meet you half way. i.e. would they be willing to make *one* safe dish for your little guys (the fries sound like they were a hit) and allow you to bring the rest of the meal to the restaurant? I can see how they might feel that they would need to assign a chef for your children's meal alone in order to avoid cross contamination . . . but it might not be as onerous to cook *one* thing safely.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Sorry to hear that. It sounds as though they don't want the liability, whether you bring your own food or not.

I know it's not the same but perhaps you can recreate the restaurant experience at home (now that they know what it's like). You can print up a menu and have the kids order a few days ahead of time. Then set up the table like a restaurant.... with some of the details they had there. You can have a friend or relative pretend to be the waiter/waitress. Just an idea... a small consolation, I know.

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16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
A big hug to you Karen. I'm sorry to hear your news. It will probably be harder on you - it is hard to see disappointment in the eyes of your children. I think the idea of asking the restaurant to cook one item might be worth a try. Hang in there.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
So sorry to hear that Karen, just when you thought you had found a place!

It's totally frustrating.

They're right about restaurants being totally insane though. Years ago, when he was young and single, my husband worked in a 5-star hotel in Switzerland. It was extremely intense. The chef could swear at the staff in 5 languages!! And when they drop an expensive cut of meat on the floor, you think they throw it out? No, it gets cleaned (if that) and served! :shock:

Kidding apart, it does get very, very hectic, so maybe it's for the best as far as safety is concerned.

But I sympathize with you and with them.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:38 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Ahh, Karen, I feel for you. Really too bad because it was such a positive experience for your guys.

Some better news for you - I'm actually finding more restaurants in Toronto these days willing to accommodate my allergies. I don't have as many to contend with as your boys, but I have enough to be a concern.

I hope that, with all the work you and others do to raise the profile of allergies, restaurant options will improve for your boys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks guys. I appreciate all your comments and suggestions.

I had a little cry last night and another one this morning (at 6:30 when I woke up thinking about it) and I will live. I do agree that they were very nice and obviously did it out of concern. So I don't hate them - just allergies. I've also worked in restaurants and I know it can be crazy. I guess it's hard because we gave them lots of opportunity to say "can't do it" ahead of time, but they wanted to go for the challenge. And now the kids have had a great experience... and we have to tell them it'll never happen there again. :(

Anyway, I still have to break it to Epi-Man Jr., and that will be rough because he's talked about the restaurant multiple times and had his birthday dinner all planned out. I'm going to give it some thought on how we handle it. I don't want him to feel too rejected... although I'm not sure how I can manage that. I actually toyed with the idea of telling him the restaurant has closed... but I don't like lying to my kids.

As for bringing their food... I did think about it, but for the prices they charge, I'm not doing that. It just wouldn't be the same thing - especially with regard to taste!! But I have also toyed with the idea of doing a home restaurant experience and might try that. Or have someone come into our kitchen and cook safe food for us there. That might appeal - we could drink and not drive! LOL. And at least we have much less risk of cross-contamination that way.

Anyway, ironically enough, a very vigilant friend of mine whose little guy has the same alleriges as my youngest is very happy with Swiss Chalet these days, and perhaps we will give that a try.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
wow that's a rough blow!

you might be onto something have someone cook for you, like make the dinning room into "chez epi-man jr" for the evenining, and have the whole thing be different from what it's like every other day, with mom not cooking, and people brining the food to him, and maybe even make menus up on Word and then he can chose what he'd like off of that night just like at the restaurant, it's not the same but it sure as heck would be super special for him, and then when gets older he'll be like wow my mom really went to all that trouble for that birthday. i think it would be a pretty sweet and touching memory for him

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Karen, I'm so sorry to hear of your disappointment. It was such a treat for your family, and so disappointing that you cannot repeat the experience. Food allergies take the wind out of our sails once in awhile, don't they?

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
So sorry about the disappointment for your family Karen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
Karen, so very sorry to hear about the disappointment.
There must be a silver lining in this somewhere.... it will show up at some point.
If I was in Hull(?) I would make my home a restaurant for you guys for the day. You might have to prepare the food in advance yourself, to feel safe (sigh), but we would still be a restaurant.

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6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks Catherine - that's very sweet of you. :)

And dustytiger - I love your idea of "Chez Epi-Man Jr." (although now he's adamant that he's not "Jr" anymore). That's so cute.

We actually bit the bullet on Thursday - my older son wanted pizza for HIS birthday so we had to get something for the youngest too - and, with the encouragement of a hyper-vigilant friend whose son has the same allergies as my youngest, ordered chicken from Swiss Chalet. It was awesome!! I guess my favourite seasoning is "I didn't cook it". LOL.

Anyway, thanks again all for your sympathy. It helps more than you will ever know.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Nova Scotia
So, what were some of the comments from your youngest about the Swiss Chalet? He must be ready to order it again soon...
So good to hear you guys had a good time and a good new experience!

_________________
6-yr old son: anaphylactic to peanuts; asthma
1-yr old daughter: No known allergies


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