As mentioned in my guest blog post on Yo Dish’s site, this Allergic Traveler loves to eat out. There are many reasons for this. It could be the variety, it could be the love of being pampered, the importance of bringing awareness to the food allergy community, or quite simply the pure joy of it. Whatever the reasons, after years of eating out, I have found certain types of restaurants that I love and certain ones I hate. Yes – hate! I know hate is a strong word, but its how I truly feel.

I don’t like nor frequent fast food or chain restaurants. I don’t like the set menu, the processed garbage, not even the employees. (I know this is a generalization, however often times I have found employees are simply not educated on the ingredients nor the preparation methods of these restaurant’s dishes.) I understand these restaurants have made millions with their formula but it just does not work for me. While trying to cater to those with food allergies, it is imperative that you can change your menu and your behavior. When I walk into a restaurant and they are not willing to help me or serve me, it does not create a sense of loyalty from me. In contrast, the mom & pop type restaurants do the opposite. They are willing to accommodate. Frequently I meet the owners or the chefs, they will talk with me and they are always very receptive to my Allergic Traveler cards.

On our way to Key West

On our way to Key West

My recent trip to Florida proved my theory true. We ate all over the state, from the Florida Keys to Jacksonville. My absolute favorite and most successful dining experiences were always at the smaller restaurants, even those that did not speak English! This country is full of so many cultures and the fact that we can be exposed to so many of them through foods is a luxury that many countries don’t have. Here is a list of some of my favorite restaurants from this trip. Every restaurant was happy to serve me as well as alter meals for me.

Roasting Jack Rotisserie, Brunswick Ga. Recently opened. Privately owned restaurant, southern charm and inexpensive.

Latin American Cuisine, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Authentic south American food, inexpensive and delicious. Meals were quite large.

Enjoying a meal at Pinchers

Enjoying a meal at Pinchers

Pinchers, Key West, Fl. Great atmosphere, on the main drag (Duval). Lots of options, great drink specials.

 

Snappers, Key Largo, Fl. Waterside dining, great views and delicious fish. Probably the best meal I had on this trip, also the most expensive.

 

Wherever you are – go eat!

 

Author: Tarah Jakubiak

After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 24 countries and 26 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.