When you’ve lived your entire life unable to eat anything with dairy or eggs, you have a tendency to rule out numerous restaurants as unsafe. It’s nothing against the restaurant itself, just the fact that everything they serve looks bonafide delicious. Far too delicious to possibly have food allergy friendly options!
Boy, was I wrong when I assumed that about the Cheesecake Factory!
First off, before I even get to the food, I have to commend the servers. Every visit to my local Cheesecake Factory has always been a pleasant and non-stressful experience. I’m sure I frustrated one kind lady who kept going back to the kitchen to check on safe options for me to eat, because they were no longer serving my usual safe meal choice. I always make a point to be as polite as possible to servers, especially with my allergies. It’s not something I can change about myself (trust me if I could eat chocolate or cheese I would!) but I realize it must be stressful having to worry about someone who could literally die from a plate made incorrectly.
Long story short? Let’s appreciate waiters and waitresses, especially in this pandemic. Tip them well!
Now, back to the food. (Also check out The Cheesecake Factory’s awesome interactive allergen menu here: https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/allergy)
I Can Actually Eat This? A One-Act Tale
My go to at the Cheesecake Factory had been a modified version of their Pork Sliders. I discovered to my horror the most recent time I visited that the sliders had been taken off the menu.
Commence my desperate search for a new “Kat-safe,” (as my friends call my allergen friendly meals) dish. Kudos to the angel lady server who not only discovered that I could have the absolutely incredible Hibachi Steak (with French fries instead of mashed potatoes) but I could also eat their dangerously good pita chips and hummus appetizer.
I always experience a moment of hesitation before trying something new. Is this too good to be true? Am I going to have to stab myself with my Epi-Pen? Was the hummus worth it? While I always try to be super cautious while eating out, I’m even more so now because I want to avoid having to go to the ER at all costs.
A Happy Ending
As you can probably already tell, I did live to eat every bite of my delicious meal without having to make a quick emergency room exit. I certainly wouldn’t choose to have food allergies if I had any say about it, but there’s a certain magic when I discover something I never thought I would be able to eat safely. Kudos to The Cheesecake Factory for not only having consistently great service, but also having options for people like me who are allergic to everything,
Please keep in mind that what’s safe for me isn’t always safe for everyone with food allergies. They are not a one size fits all sort of health condition. And remind your servers to make sure your food isn’t cross-contaminated!
I give The Cheesecake Factory five out of five food allergy friendly stars. Now if only they could make some dairy and egg free cheesecake slices…