September 20, 2010

Everything is not Always Rosy - Struggling with Food Allergy Restrictions

I try to keep upbeat about my food allergy restrictions and I try to not drool over my companions AMAZING dish of cheesy pasta and foccacia sandwiches while I nibble on a VERY basic salad... but sometimes it's hard.. and it will continue to be hard especially in the name of research for Survival Guide but that's the path I have chosen so i try to remind myself how healthy I'm being and how horrible I would feel if I ate that - what is that?- deep fried cheese done up in spinach parcels?? ... sigh... but in all honesty - it pays off.
However, a recent expedition got me thinking that perhaps when I come across a difficult restaurant which don't have many options to work your food allergies around that I should share my negative experience as well (from time to time) so you know what you getting into and can be prepared if you are not the one choosing the venue.

Beshoff's Traditional Fish & Chips
chain throughout Dublin

From the time I first came to Dublin years and years ago I was informed that Beshoff's Traditional Fish & Chips was one of the best 'chippers' in town. Now, I have my own opinions about the best being Dino's in Terenure for chips and batter burgers, the Leo Burdock's chain for fresh cod and Aprile in Portobello for doner kebabs... but let's not even get into what food allergens are hiding away in those packets of evilness!
I have to admit that i have never actually tried Beshoff's. This is because I discovered very early on that all of their deep frying (which includes almost everything) is done in clarified butter. This of course means that even if you just try the seemingly safe chips that these are NOT dairy free and under no circumstances should a person with a food allergy to dairy indulge here.

Mayfield Deli & Eatery
Terenure Rd N, Dublin 6W

Recently I had been eyeing up Terenure's new Mayfield Deli & Eatery and was quite enthusiastic when the venue was suggested for a weekend brunch. The interior decoration is beautiful in that popular eclectic country garden fashion. The Parisian cafe songs in the background are perfect and the general atmosphere is completely uplifting. The menu also sounds lovely and there seemed to be one or two options which, with a bit of working around, had the potential to make a happy brunch for this food-allergy girl.
Unfortunately due to the square footage available, I discovered that the food is prepared off site making it difficult to customize the options on the menu. The salad was tasty no doubt. My food-allergy free (but vegetarian) companion's food was also very good so the verdict is that if the dish in question is naturally friendly according to your specific food allergies by all means indulge in the tastful beauty of Mayfield but don't count on making due with altered menu options.

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