As I glanced into a mirror checking my 1950’s black and white patterned dress I wondered if I should grab a snack before going to dinner. I know it seems odd, but I grab a pre-funk snack often, especially when the meal is going to be a somewhat set menu. I knew this Saturday evening was going to be a treat and challenge all rolled into one. My boyfriend Brandon, his father, step mom and I were going to Teatro ZinZanni!
Unfortunately, there was no snack for me before leaving. I had ran out of time as I, a natural faced girl, tried to put on some 1950’s style make up. Food was the least of my concerns at that moment in time. I was just lucky I had managed to leave looking better than a circus clown at the end of a long hard tour. I was ready and off we went!
When it came time to be seated the hostess walked through the isles in the 100 plus year old circus tent towards our seat. As we walked through I noted that at each place setting at every table sat a nice appetizer, a beautiful piece of cheese with some gently toasted crostini. I was drooling, yet knowing my pre-set tasty treat would be handed directly to a smiling Brandon. Yet when we arrived at our table the hostess turned and said “Now who has the allergy” Of course our whole party pointed at me and I raised my hand (why the heck do I still raise my hand? Okay no the point, I digress) She said “onion or wheat?” I answered and was seated in front of a lovely red charger plated with a nice polenta covered in a gluten and dairy free tapenade. It was fantastic. Brandon had requested a meal excluding both my allergies, what a sweet man.
After a moment of bliss pondering the tasty yet belly pleasing treats I would enjoy later that evening, suddenly, another wave of fear struck me. What if they assumed I ate anything outside of wheat and dairy? What if they picked my main course and it was my least favorite meat, Salmon! Oh no! Granted I would not be ill on my belly, but boy does that stuff gag me. Fairly soon after I had this concern, the waitress appeared at our table gripping menus. I immediately asked what I would have for my main course. She smiled, “Oh you can have anything on the entrée menu, we’ll just explain how we will prepare it and see if it’s to your liking.” SCORE! I was able to have a steak with double veggies. I had to pass on the mashed potatoes riddled with cream. And for dessert, I got a nice raspberry sorbet with a side of fresh pineapple! It was a fantastic meal, a very entertaining show but most of important, a worry free evening. Well worry free once I learned I was going to get a great meal!
I suppose the lesson is that it’s okay to request what you need. Brandon had ordered the tickets and was not at all embarrassed to request a special meal for me, yet had I ordered them I would have requested one at most. Why? Because, I don’t want to be a considered a complainer or a difficult diner. But I guess the fair question then is, aren’t I a bigger pain in the tush when I’m doubled over in pain not even able to watch the show? Maybe this is the beginning of seeing that many restaurants actually do want to help you have a fantastic experience! We shall see!