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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sweet Tomatoes Is An Allergy Friendly Restaurant

Eating out with a dairy allergy can be done.

          I received coupons for free meals for my family to facilitate this post.

  Ever since I discovered that dairy was causing my asthma to be out of control, it has been quite a challenge when it comes to eating out. I am lucky that my dairy allergy is not life-threatening so I do not have to be ultra strict when it comes to my diet. If I eat dairy, I usually feel queasy for a couple of hours and if it is a large amount then I experience mucus and the asthmatic cough. So I may a small amount of dairy on occasion. So for now, I have been eating no dairy when at home and have a small bit of dairy when eating out. For me, that small bit of dairy means butter in a cookie or food that was sauteed in butter. I just stay away from the obvious like cheese on a pizza and ice cream. So when my family eats out, we choose places that are allergy friendly or serve vegan food. I am glad that many restaurants have menus online so I can be prepared when I visit their place. That way I do not have to be that pain that annoys the cooks with special orders. Also, it seems that special orders take longer. I remember the time when I ordered a specialty pizza without cheese and it took twice as long to make. The cooks are so used to making it one way and they probably had to remake my pizza. So by choosing a place that is allergy friendly, the cooks are used to special orders.

Choosing foods without milk

  I was happy to discover that one of my favorite restaurants is allergy friendly. My family and I received an invitation to check out Sweet Tomatoes and I was thrilled until I remembered that I could not eat dairy foods. Dairy seems to be in almost everything. So I went to Sweet Tomatoes website and discovered that they have an Interactive Nutritional Menu that I could view online. I love that I was able to personalize it to see what foods I could enjoy that did not have dairy in them. This feature had a list of nine common food allergies like peanuts and soy. So I could omit foods with soy also. For now, it is only large amounts of soy that bother me like tofu and soybeans. I am fine with soy in oils and sauces. 

You can personalize the menu for many health reasons

 The online Interactive Nutritional Menu could be personalized to more than allergies but also to dietary preferences like vegan and vegetarian options. One could also customize the menu according to nutritional things like calories, fat, carbs, protein, and more. This online nutritional menu allowed me to see what foods I could select before I went to Sweet Tomatoes. Knowing that I could eat other foods besides raw vegetables on the salad bar, made me quite happy. I do love veggies but a meal of veggies and bread can get quite boring as I found out a couple of weeks ago when I went to the Balloon Fiesta and had to bring protein bars to supplement my meals in the media tent.

What this dairy-free gal ate at Sweet Tomatoes

  My family, especially the boys loved going to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. The boys loved the pizza, ice cream, and brownies while my husband enjoyed the different pasta dishes. I loved all the variety of fruits and vegetables that were on the salad bar. I also loved that the salad bar had beans, eggs, and sunflower seeds so I was able to get protein in my meal. There was a couple of prepared salads that I could enjoy along with some dressings. I loved that could access the Interactive menu while I was in the restaurant so I did not consume any dairy. I was able to enjoy a baked potato and freshly baked bread from the hot bar. Since I can't enjoy butter when eating out, I have learned that dipping my bread in balsamic vinegarette tastes so delicious. At home, I am able to use dairy-free spreads on my bread.

I left Sweet Tomatoes with a full belly

  I felt there was plenty of foods that I could enjoy at Sweet Tomatoes but it was hard having to avoid their delicious cheese focaccia and ice cream. These are foods that I enjoy and while I am able to make pizza at home with dairy-free "cheese" it is hard to find pizza places that use this type of "cheese." I am glad that I had my favorite dairy-free "ice cream" at home so I was able to satisfy that craving once I got home.

 Do you struggle with food allergies?

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