Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eating out With Food Allergies - Macaroni Grill

While hoping around on our whirlwind of a vacation, we also made another eating out find. A friend of ours in Southern California works for the Macaroni Grill, and convinced us to come by. She said they have allergy menus for the top 8 allergens, and the only obvious peanut products she has seen are on a cake shipped into the place from an outside source with peanuts already on them.

I looked into this new and exciting eating out option, and discovered that the Macaroni Grill belonged to a chain of restaurants owned by a company called Brinker International.

Brinker International Restaurant home page

This company appears to be quite allergy aware, and all the restaurants except for Maggiano's have top 8 allergy menus similiar to the ones at Red Robin.

Macaroni Grill Allergy menus

Chili's Allergy Menu

In The Boarder

With all this allergy awareness ozing around me, I decided we should check out the Macaroni Grill. Thankfully here, there was Macaroni and Cheese that was egg and nut free, so Conor actually ate something besides ice cream and french fries. He was able to have raspberry sherbet for desert that came with his kids meal, and was very happy to be able to eat exactly what everyone else was. Everyone enjoyed their meal, and there was no cartoon mascot to be seen.

Our experience although wonderful was greatly helped by our family friend who helped us out during the entire meal. When we showed up she had the allergy menus ready, and had already read through them to see what was safe. She oversaw our waiter and checked in the kitchen on our food preparation to make sure Conor's food was prepared separately. She even took all the little ones to check out the kitchen and see how things are made.

If you do not have an insider though, I do not know how allergy aware they would be if you walked in unknown. It is certainly worth a phone call, to see if it is in your comfort zone. Also, any company that takes the time to make up and maintain allergy menus deserves a big YAHOO!! and is certianly worth a look into.

I have also not tested out any of the other restaurants owned by this company with allergy menus. I had heard a rumor that Chili's used peanut butter in the chili, and I have no clue whether or not this is true. I would certainly need to check it out before we went in person.

If anyone knows about any of the other restaurants please let me know, because I HATE calling!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am very happy with "Macaroni Grill", that they are food allergy conscious. My 2 daughters and I are anaphylactic to all dairy products and my 2 daughters are also, anaphylactic to peanut products. I was happy to see that my children could enjoy a nice meal without worrying if there food was contaminated with a dairy or peanut product. All restraunts should do the same. Thank you!