Sunday, March 11, 2007

Eating out...

... can be a fraught activity. Planning is often essential, I usually carry food with me if I'm not sure what will be available. Calling ahead is not a bad idea.

If a quick cheap calorie hit is necessary there are few reliable options. The ham, cheese and tomato sandwich (or variations of the same) is a beauty, fresh or toasted. Hot potato chips are great, and fortunately for us they now get the thumbs up - could you believe there could exist a toddler that didn't like chips - yes I had one. Pies are to be avoided - I've yet to find one without an egg glaze. Be careful with to check that sandwiches don't contain mayonnaise (which might be egg-free - but must be checked) and that darn pesto stuff is still ubiquitous on salads, in sandwiches and the like. Battered fish can be OK, but always ask, we recently bought some (really nice) fish and chips on the beach at Mornington, and for the first time in my experience discovered that there was egg in the batter.

Pizza is usually safe too, but again always ask. Recently we were at a friend's wedding. By the time we got to the food at the reception Hannah was ready to pounce on everything. I'd had a glass of lovely wine, was relaxed and full of good will with the world and seeing the mini pizzas thought yay, perfect food for Hannah. Thankfully a waiter passed in front of me at that moment, I figured I should check whether there was anything else that might be suitable. The waiter got the chef, the chef went through everything with me, and believe it or not, the pizzas had egg in them. Scones are another food that sometimes unexpectedly have egg in them.

The really awkward moments come when you are in the sort of place that doesn't make it's own food. This seems to be becoming more common, it has happened to us a few times at lunch bars in the city. There is usually only one member of staff who knows were the ingredient information is kept, and by the time you have a clear idea what is and isn't safe you feel you've inconvenienced a bunch of other customers.

Our favourite fast food is the Lebanese spinach and cheese triangle. Sadly I've only encountered them on Sydney Road, it is a form of fast food that I'd love to see more freely available. Cheap (we usually pay around $2.60), very yummy, nutritious, and totally egg and nut free. How can you beat that. Fine dining, well at the moment with Hannah we don't. Top pick for a good meal is going out to I Carusi for some really fine pizza, (which has the advantage that the pizza making is on display and fun to watch which helps the young girl to pass that agonising time between ordering and receiving the goods).

I keep hoping this part of our lives will become easier, and in a way it is, as Hannah is prepared to eat a wider range of food. But as a parent, one can never become complacent and never assume a food prepared by somebody else is egg or nut free, just because it usually is.


Anonymous Joel said...

I'm glad you're willing to continue trying new things, dispite the inconvenience. I can imagine it would sometimes seem easier to just stick to the same food all the time, knowing it was safe, and deny your kid any culinary experimentation.

3:29 am  

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