Which one of these things is not like the other?
Do you see the Bonne Maman jar in the upper right corner of the frame?
Yup, that's mine, from home. It contains about 3 ounces of Lactaid milk for my tea. I'm lactose intolerant and I don't know one restaurant in New York that offers lactose-free milk. Skim milk, soy milk, sure; but lactose-free, not so much. So, I brought my own for this breakfast meeting at Le Pain Quotidien. [BTW: NOT a safe spot for anyone with a wheat or tree nuts allergy as it's all breads and pastries. As you can see I was having a soft boiled egg that was contaminant free].
You know what? Not one person in the restaurant questioned it. I thought I might get a stray look, a glance, maybe even an eyebrow raise but nothing. It was a non-event. Brilliant! If Lactaid only came in UHT packs I could carry some around with me all the time.
I wonder how many of you are not eating out because of food allergies and food intolerances? Between cross contamination, aerosolyzed protein particles, poor communication between the kitchen and servers and poorer food safety education, there are many very excellent reasons not to leave the safety of the home kitchen.
Yet, there are other equally good reasons to leave one's house and venture out and even if it's a non focused food event there's usually food with which one must contend. Movies, food. Bowling, food. Hiking, food. Skiing/ice skating, food. Art opening, food. College classes, food. Now they even let you bring food into a Broadway theater! Sheesh.
I wonder how many of you consider bringing your own dinner with you to a social food or non-food gathering? I've brought safe foods to social gatherings many times or I've eaten at home pre-event.
Bringing food into a restaurant? Even I have done that rarely, if ever. My sense is that generally restaurants don't like it when you do that. They charge a corkage fee when you bring your own wine and a plating fee when you bring your own cake, I wonder what would a restaurant charge if I brought my own entree--an entree-age fee?
What if a restaurant didn't feel safe accommodating me but I had to eat there for work or a unbreakable social engagement? I wonder what would happen. Could they deny me outside food? Hmmm, maybe I should trying bringing my tuperwared dinner just to see what would happen; it would be an interesting experiment.
Do any of you bring outside food in?