So a few minutes ago, making plans for the weekend, a friend suggested we try somewhere new for dinner Friday night, either Rayuela or their little sister Macondo. Sounded good.
I looked at Macondo’s menu, lots of nutty things but also some cheeses and arepa [which traditionally are GF]. So I did what I do, which is call ahead. A cheery woman answered the phone and this is how it went down.
"Hi. I’m thinking of coming in to dine and I’m allergic to nuts and fish and I’m wondering if the kitchen feels comfortable handling that?"
"So, you’re vegan? I mean, vegetarian?"
"Uh, no. I’m *allergic* to nuts and fish. They could kill me."
"Ooooh. So you’re allergic to penis?"
"Uh, excuse me?"
"I mean, peanuts?"
Hmmm. Not a great sign.
Question is: Should I judge a restaurant's allergy awareness (and command of the nut vocabulaire) solely by the person who answers the phone? Probably not.
But here in NYC, there are too many restaurants whose reservationists get it to fiddle around with those that don't.
Needless to say, I’m neither allergic to “penis” nor dining at Macondo anytime soon. But it was worth calling just for the giggle!