Went for a quick bite of beans and rice at David’s Café near Lincoln Road during my South Beach holiday. After using my lame Spanish and trying to ask our friendly server if the beans were vegetarian (I started small) and basically getting nowhere fast (except smiles and “Que”?), I asked for a manager hoping for the best.
Mr. Friendly Manager came over and told me the ingredients of the beans in English (onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, spices, oil and water). When I asked about nuts and fish (I rarely take it for granted that a dish is exactly as it appears,) he said, "No fish, no beef, no pork and no 'noots' of any kind." He explained that in spanish the word for "noots" is actually seeds and that one has to ask about a particular kind of "noot" like almond, walnut, etc. Interesting. I didn't know that.
Then he told me something even better: his brother has allergies! (not great for the brother but great for someone with allergies to find a manager who really gets it). He went on to tell me that they have to do the same thing when they go out, ask about the ingredients in dishes. And that I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask him the ingredients of anything. No embarrassment here!
I love when that happens: finding an allergic ally. They are everywhere.
Where did you find you last allergic ally?