We did end up checking out Montana's for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and felt like the experience was a positive one for us. As soon as we met with the hostess, I explained DJ's allergy and asked to see the allergen-chart for the menu items. I had already checked it out closely (at work!) and knew exactly what I was going to order for myself and had picked two nut-safe options for DJ. both of which I knew he would enjoy. I find that looking at the allergen chart before hitting a restaurant is the best way to reduce stress. I can take my time looking at the chart solo, without tending to interruptions from my sweet preschooler. That way, I'm sure not to miss anything. Still, I checked the chart again, and made sure to discuss the situation with the waitress, who assured me she would pass on the information to those working in the kitchen.
Years ago, the food snob in me would have shunned eating at Montana's. But now, we're happy to have options like this available to us. The best part was that the restaurant even offers a peanut-free dessert - individually wrapped, peanut-free bear claw cookies. That DJ would be able to eat dessert in a restaurant (even though we didn't that night) is something rare indeed. Most of the time now, I don't even bother looking at the desserts on the assumption they won't be safe.
By the way, a reader was kind enough to send in the allergen chart of Kelsey's that I wasn't able to find online. Clearly, I didn't look hard enough. Still, after taking an initial look at it, we'll still be taking a pass. There are simply to many menu items that contain actual peanuts and nuts. Given the possibility of cross-contamination, the risks at Kelsey's simply seem to high.
Talking Asthma with Dr. Bansal
3 weeks ago