I could make this into another burger story because it’s partly that. But it’s also a story of how savvy restaurants are getting to the food allergic/food intolerant/celiac community. And how focused on food safety for their patrons restaurants are getting. And how fantastic all of that is for me, and you, and everyone we know.
Shari and I wanted to try somewhere new, on a Saturday night, in spring. Could have been a recipe for disaster but we choose wisely and went early! We went to Mercer street: a corner with two choices. One was Fanelli which I’ve been to before and was fine as a backup.
But the main event was Lure Fish Bar.
I know, I know: ack, fish!
And yes I had some fear but Shari is such a willing and easy allergic girl dining companion that my social fears were eased. It was she who suggested Lure Fish Bar knowing Fanelli was across the street in case Lure Fish Bar couldn’t accommodate me. The Lure burger had been highly prized by both the Eater boys and subsequently A Hamburger Today with nice burger pix a while back. (My burger did not look like that folks, but I’m jumping ahead.)
We sat at the bar, more direct eye contact as I’ve mentioned. And I wandered over to the host’s station to ask for the manager. Timothy stepped up.
I opened with, “I know this a fish restaurant; however, I have fish allergies and I’d like to have a burger.”
Timothy said, “That will be no problem. We get people we allergies all the time and the chef can accommodate you. We even have people with gluten allergies if you can believe that?!”
I said, “Well, yes I can. I can’t have any wheat either!”
Timothy went directly to the kitchen and returned saying that they do cook the burgers and the fish on the same grill even though they scrape between proteins. I asked if they would consider not grilling my burger but frying it in a clean pan? A quick trip to the kitchen confirmed that they would be happy to do so.
Our bar maid knew my order before I did and a plain burger, no bun, extra lettuce and tomato arrived, perfectly medium and fish –free! Timothy was efficient and helpful. Yay!
Was it the best burger? No, not really. (Keep in mind I didn’t order the Lure Burger which is their house specialty and comes with trimmings of all sorts and IS seen in this burger picture.). But the meat was bland, tasteless. I’ve had better recently at Shorty’s .32 and Porter House New York: well seasoned, perfectly cooked etc etc.
But here is the important part: they were completely gracious about the Allergic Girl situation. No eye-roll, no big deal. Easy. And it came out right.
As more of us with special dietary needs go out, venture out of our safe zones and educate restaurants about what we need and want, more and more of them are "getting it” and doing it!
Rock on Lure Fish Bar. If you can eat fish but have other dietary issues this may be a cool spot to check out.
Lure Fish Bar
142 Mercer Street