I haven't had a severe reaction to peanuts since I was in third grade. I'm now 43. If I encounter peanuts I'm usually a little itchy, or maybe I get a sore stomach, but nothing major. Still, I can usually detect peanuts in food fairly well. My senses are just that evolved. But the Mercantile Restaurant on Broadway in Nashville fooled me and sent me to the hospital in the middle of a very busy and important convention.
I ordered a seared ahi tuna with a hoisin-wasabi sauce. All ingredients I've had previously with no problems. But after a few bites I realized I had ingested something bad. I called the waiter over and asked if the dish had any peanuts and he said, "Why yes, that's a peanut sauce".
"Then why isn't it listed!" I asked incredulously. Between the soy sauce and the wasabi I couldn't taste nor smell the peanuts and I'd been poisoned! He whisked away my plate and brought another to me that he said was completely peanut free. I did eat a little more of it, but my appetite was mostly gone. The severe itching in my mouth and throat had subsided so I figured I was home free and told my business associates who were also dining that all would be fine.
On my way out of the restaurant I had a friendly chat with another employee of the Mercantile and impressed upon her the importance of correctly labeling their menu. She asked if I was okay, and I still thought I was. But there was something odd about the way she was looking at me...
Half an hour later I'm standing in front of Big and Rich onstage at Bar Nashville and I realize I'm having trouble breathing and my eyes are swelling shut. One of the band's promoters comes up and asks me how I like the show and I tell him they're great, but that I really think he needs to call 9-1-1.
Next thing I know, I'm in the paramedic rig getting shot up with epinephrin and on the way to Baptist Hospital.
I'm not quite sure how to handle contacting this restaurant about that menu. I'm not looking to sue or anything, but just to impress upon them and their chefs that if a sauce contains peanuts they darn sure better list it. Maybe I should have asked more questions...but it's been some 30 years since I had an attack on this scale.
I wanted to post to warn you about their menu and to remind adults with the allergy to continue being vigilent even if you think you've outgrown it. It's been 3 days since the attack and I still feel lousy. Ruined my entire convention experience.