Restaurant Goes All the Way to Make Sure Food Is Nut-Free: A Mother's Story
This article was written exclusively for PeanutAllergy.com by Amy Mogel, the mom of a 16-year-old son with peanut and tree nut allergies. She writes about her family's positive eating experience at a restaurant in South Carolina.
Recently, we took a family vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. One amazingly wonderful thing happened on our trip.
As all of you know, traveling with food allergies is a challenge. To be honest, I don't know what I was thinking in choosing a place where boiled peanuts are abundant and almost every restaurant has nut products on the menu, but the history and charm of Charleston called us there.
In looking for safe places to eat, I first searched online and, after several telephone calls to other restaurants, I found Halls Chophouse on King Street. Halls is a family-owned restaurant, and when I called to ask if they could handle my son's nut allergies, Billy Hall, one of the owners, spoke to me. He assured me that it would be no problem and that they have handled food allergies in the past and take them very seriously.
I made a reservation, and when we arrived and gave our name the fact that our son had nut allergies was in the computer. This immediately made us more comfortable. And when our wonderful waitress Sarah came over to our table, she quickly reassured us that she knew about Max's food allergies and that the kitchen was alerted to it but she would remind them.
All I can say is that everyone at Halls was so careful and the food was so good that we decided to go back for our last dinner in Charleston a few nights later. Normally we do not have dessert when we are out as a safety precaution, but everyone at Halls was so careful that when Max asked about having ice cream for dessert we said we'd check to see if it would be safe with his nut allergies.
Going Above and Beyond
Sarah went into the kitchen to check with the chef, and the next thing we knew Tommy Hall, an owner, came to our table with a container of ice cream and ices with the labels clearly visible on the containers. They weren't sure whether the ice cream they used was safe, so he left the restaurant and went to the market to buy safe dessert for my son.
We were beyond touched by their kindness and generosity. It isn't too often that people outside the allergic community "get it." We will never forget the Hall family and how wonderful they were to us. If you are ever in Charleston, eat there and tell them we said hello.