Monday, August 13, 2012

Ooops, I Took a Bite

It’s the scenario we all want to avoid – accidentally eating a small amount of a food we are allergic to. In my case it happened while we were on vacation – and it happened to me rather than my food-allergic son.

It was brunch at a lovely cafe in Pasadena called Le Grande Orange. As I’ve mentioned, breakfast and brunch can be the most difficult meals when wheat, dairy, and eggs are not options, so naturally I was worried about what my son could eat.

It’s important at this point to note that the problem I encountered was entirely of my own doing, and not a reflection on the restaurant (which I rated very highly on Allergy Eats).

The menu had some great tortilla options – listed as corn tortillas. We grilled the server – are you sure they are really all corn flour? No wheat in them? What other ingredients? Butter? Eggs? They passed the tests, and we determined that the tortillas were safe for both my son and me. He ordered them. I, at the last minute, impulsively ordered the quiche, which I saw pass by our table and looked fabulous. I can eat eggs and dairy, and it had been months since I had quiche… maybe longer.

My plate arrived and smelled fabulous. I put the fork into the quiche and brought it to my lips, and then I realized – I can’t eat this, it has a wheat crust. To say I took a bite is not quite accurate; I ate less than a crumb. And I felt ridiculous. I called the server over, asked her to wrap the quiche for my other son to take home, and ordered the chicken tortillas (the same meal my food-allergic son had).

I thought I dodged the bullet, but a couple of hours later (while we were at the Dodgers game) I was very glad we were seated close to a restroom. I won’t describe the symptoms further, but it was clearly a reaction to the gluten. I was happy that my symptoms weren’t worse.

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