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Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 7:38am
Mom2K's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007 - 09:00

Jennifer, do you mind sharing what info you got?
OK, I just called the three I frequent the most to double check.
Norwood - the manager told me that there ARE peanuts in the cheesecake (made offsite) AND the PESTO. I'm surprised to hear about the pesto, he didn't seem that sure of what he was talking about. I called back to talk with the "carry out" area and asked if the pesto had any nuts/peanuts in it and they said no.
West Roxbury - The manager checked the pesto ingredients and told me there were NO peanuts or pinenuts in it.
Needham - The manager told me that the cheesecake has peanuts but the pesto has NO nuts/peanuts.
ETA: Atrium Mall - best response yet, manager sounded very confident and knowledgable. He said the only item that has nuts is the desserts, made elsewhere and most dont have nuts but could be cross-contaminated (sounded like he understood). He said the pesto is pinenut free. Red sauce only has soybean oil.
Now I'm a bit nervous. If I go again, I'm going to ask to see the pesto ingredients. I scanned the menu and don't see any peanuts or nuts specifically mentioned on the menu (salads etc.)
I've felt really safe there in the past (eat there at least once a month) and I hope it's still OK, I'll be double checking when I go in.
I always mention the nut allergy and the servers never really say much about it. They definitely don't have the same procedure as other places (having manager speak with you etc.) but I sort of felt it was because they don't really have nuts in the kitchen based on previous discussions. I'll have to quiz them again when we go (incidentally we were planning on it tonight but now I'm still nervous - we were going to go to Norwood).
Anyway, I guess this stresses the fact one should always check themselves!

Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 10:22am
BestAllergySites's picture
Joined: 03/15/2009 - 21:46

I think this entire thread goes to show you that there is NO such thing as a safe restaurant. The only thing you can do is try to make a best choice and be sure to discuss your allergies with the wait staff. ALWAYS discuss your allergies and never assume regardless of whether a restaurant (like Blue Ginger) is known for being safe.
That being said- a lot of people do not know what pine nuts are or that they are in products so you really need to double check on that one.
Lastly-while you can make pesto without pine nuts-many, many recipes call for pine nuts.
Oh-and we have gone to Tomasso's too and love it! But not with the kiddos often-it's more of a night out for DH and I. :)

Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 11:02am
Mom2K's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007 - 09:00

I agree 100%, definitely check EVERY time you go somewhere.
On another note we went to Joe's American Bar and Grill in Dedham tonight. We had a great experience.
We informed the waitress of DD's peanut/treenut allergy. She sent over the manager who went over what she recommended DD could and couldn't eat. She brought me the ingredient lists of the bread they serve at the table (in the breadbasket) no nut warning on it.
DD really wanted fries. The manager checked with the kitchen because she felt that so many things go into the fryer she doesn't recommend the fries. The chef offered to fry DD her own batch of fries in a clean pan with fresh oil.
The manager steered us away from grilled cheese because she said the sliced bread all says it's made in a facility with nuts present.
I felt they were very knowledgabe and careful. The manager brought her meal to the table.

Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 11:03am
jenniferbfab's picture
Joined: 05/04/2008 - 12:43

I am sorry, I cannot find the email from Bertucci's! So frustrating, because I remember thinking how uncaring the response was. I may have deleted it out of sheer frustration. The response was something to the effect of Bertucci's not being able to guarantee the safety of anything. I felt it was curt and seemed uncaring.
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to email again and see if we get a different response...
Jennifer B

Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 11:18am
Mom2K's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007 - 09:00

Thanks for checking. I'll send an e-mail via their "comments" section and call Corporate this week.
The response I got from the Norwood manager was disturbing but inconsistent with others so I'm going to call again this week and ask and see what they say.
I wish all "chain" restaurants would have the same training etc so the responses would be consistent. It's frustrating and nervewracking!
I'll post what I find.

Posted on: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 12:06pm
Mom2K's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007 - 09:00

Here is a link to an article regarding the Bertucci's law suit due to a death of a woman who ate the pesto and was not told it contained nuts. Because of this incident, one would think they would be better at food allergy issues.
ETA: The incident was in 1994

Posted on: Thu, 06/25/2009 - 6:25am
Mom2K's picture
Joined: 09/06/2007 - 09:00

I've spent way too much time talking to Bertucci's ;)
I called Norwood again today and spoke with a different person who seemed much more knowledgable than yesterday's individual. He stated the cheesecake contains nuts and all the desserts "are at risk for being contaminated" with nuts since they are made elsewhere in a "facility that processes nuts". Pesto is definitely nut free. No loose nuts in the restaurant.
He also told me that I could request that the server use a "sanitized" cutter to cut our pizza.
I called Corporate and spoke with Jody (I think). She confirmed that all Bertucci's use the same ingredients. No nuts in the restaurant for salads but the desserts may contain nuts since they are made elsewhere. The pesto is nut free. She did say something like, "we can't guarantee the restaurant is nut free because of the desserts". I felt that was sort of a CYA comment. We don't eat the desserts there so I'm not too worried about those.
Just to be 100% crazy, I'm going to send them an e-mail asking about their "nut policy"
So I feel a little better about Bertuccis. I'll continue to grill them everytime I go there and push the issue even if I sound like a broken record.
DISCLAIMER: I encourage anyone considering to eat at any restaurant to ask EVERY time about allergens you are concerned about since it could change from restaurant to restaurant or time to time.

Posted on: Thu, 06/25/2009 - 2:06pm
jenniferbfab's picture
Joined: 05/04/2008 - 12:43

Oh, those CYA statements. I remember one time when we ate at McCormick & Schmick in Philadelphia, the chef came out and spoke with us and said (in essence) "I will personally make your son's meal and supervise it from start to finish myself. I can assure you it will be safe. It will not contain any peanuts or peanut products or come into contact with any." I'd like to get that kind of reassurance instead of "We can't guarantee anything." I know that is asking a lot, but...it sure does make the dining out experience much less stressful for me!
But getting back to Bertucci's, you should feel good--you've certainly done your due diligence. All we can do is ask and then assess the answers we get. Sounds like Bertucci's is staying on the safe list!
Jennifer B

Posted on: Thu, 12/31/2009 - 9:12pm
TracyC's picture
Joined: 11/01/2009 - 08:31

We eat at Bertucci's a lot, no problems so far.
We also eat at the Border Cafe on Rt 1 in Saugus frequently. I feel comfortable enough eating there. I tell them our allergies (PA, TA and shellfish) and they tell the chef.
They certainly don't guarantee anything, but we've had no problem so far.
Those are about the only two places we go to with the kids. That, and we get a lot of takeout pizza from a local pizza place place that uses nuts on top of one of its salads, but we've not had any problems.

Posted on: Wed, 12/29/2010 - 1:16pm
Laifong's picture
Joined: 07/12/2004 - 09:00

I wanted to add an update about Bertucci's. They now have a dessert with hazelnut that is baked in the brickoven. My family has been to many Bertucci's and the best so far is the one in the Chestnut Hill Atrium Mall. The manager has personally prepared all our entrees for us to ensure it was safe for my son who is allergic to all nuts and shellfish.


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