Do You Automatically Avoid All Chinese Food Restaurants? Why?

Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 12:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, not having had Chinese food for several years now, and having just eaten some stir fried rice (my version thereof), I'm wondering how many people automatically avoid chinese food?

Do you know, I've almost forgotten why, but not quite. I know that pb *can* be used to seal egg rolls.

The last time I went into a Chinese food restaurant, it was when I was living in Stayner, so within the last six years, but probably close to the beginning, so six years ago, closer to diagnosis.

We asked what we thought were the right questions and we actually didn't order Chinese food - we ordered a regular breakfast. But what I found there was that there was a huge language barrier - the people were Chinese and did not speak English well at all.

I do remember shortly after diagnosis, when we were still living in Toronto, we did order Chinese food for some type of celebration we were having at home. And I do believe I asked all the "right" questions then. I also know that while still in Toronto, I called The Mandarin (a chain of Chinese food restaurants) and to me, it would appear that they were PA safe (at that time, many years ago).

In Belleville, I didn't even try because I thought of the language barrier again. But now that I'm back in Toronto, I'm wondering if this is now a possibility or if I should continue to make my own fried rice.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img][/img]


Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 12:48pm
cooper's picture
Joined: 12/20/2002 - 09:00

Count me as someone who routinely avoids Chinese restaurants. Once in awhile when my son (PA/TNA) is on a sleepover, my husband and I will order Chinese and then scour everything down after. mmmm, we really do enjoy it tho. But, just seeing the menu with the peanuts in the dishes, and then ordering - definitely a language barrier, I never felt like I would take my son for Chinese.
I did buy a Chinese cookbook about two years ago, with great intentions. But when it came down to buying ingredients, I chickened out. Not sure what oyster sauce is, do I really want to use sesame oil, I think water chestnuts are ok - but not sure - these are the kinds of questions that stopped me. Guess my motivation was not so great.
I'm curious if other people have found Chinese places they trust.

Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 12:49pm
srujed's picture
Joined: 09/05/2003 - 09:00

Hi, we avoid chinese food because we have heard that some of the food is made with peanut oil, and that pb is used in some eggrolls. I also remember pre-PA that there were several dishes that contained peanuts at the chinese resteraunts we used to go to. Since the PA diagnosis though we have not tried to eat at any chinese resteraunts to I have never asked about all of this stuff myself...probably best to investigate your personal place of preference and see what they use! [img][/img] Best wishes

Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 5:31pm
mmgshih's picture
Joined: 05/09/2002 - 09:00

I have been allergic to peanuts and treenuts since the age of one. I frequently eat in Chinese restaurants and have lived and traveled in China and Hong Kong numerous times. While I am not Chinese I do speak Mandarin and my husband is from Hong Kong and speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin. When I eat out I always tell them what I am allergic to. I have run across a few other people in Beijing who are nut allergic they all take the same precautions I take and are fine. Peanut oil in China is not used very often-they prefer to use what they call salad oil (soy or corn oil). I haven't run across many restaurants in this country that use peanut oil either. I am a vegetarian-I don't know if that has helped in this situation though many of those I mentioned earlier are not vegetarian. Let me know if you have any questions. I do avoid thai food though even though I have eaten it a few times without a problem I just don't like to eat in Thai restaurants.

Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 11:07pm
Kathy L.'s picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

We avoid Chinese restaurants too. They have dishes that have peanuts in them. Therefore, so the woks and utensils are contaminated. Not worth the risk to me.
I make stir-fried broccoli with soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil. My pa dd loves it.

Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2004 - 11:27pm
jami's picture
Joined: 09/02/2004 - 09:00

We have always avoided all Chinese restraunts- with our son, we figure the cross contamination would be too great. With peanuts, almonds, peanut oil. Maybe someday- but for now that is where We go for date night when Alex spends the night at grandmas.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 12:52am
SpudBerry's picture
Joined: 07/23/2002 - 09:00

Ditto here - we go there on our date nights - meaning a couple of times a year if we are lucky. I asked at the Thai place I love so much. The owner said very politely that he would try very hard to make a dish safe for my Michael, but then he looked me straight in the eye and said but if it was really life threatening, he wouldn't risk it if it were his child. I was very grateful for the frank answer.
As far as the Chinese place in town, they claim to not use any Peanut oil in the building, but I've always assumed that they get at least some of their products pre-packaged. And here too, there was a language barrier - so I never got that warm & fuzzy feeling.
So we eat Chinese & Thai food out when we don't have the kids with us. Or I cook it at home - I got that cook book from Costco a few years ago, and I've gotten pretty decent at a couple of simple dishes.
I miss Drunken Noodles! I should try to find a recipe to cook it at home.
Mom to 4 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not.
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 4:02am
Codyman's picture
Joined: 08/14/2002 - 09:00

We avoid Chinese restaurants because of the cross contamination. Many chinese restaurants use peanuts or almonds (or other tree nuts) in the dishes. I don't particularly like chinese food so it is no bother to me.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 9:04am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Aaah, the thing I miss most, more than ice cream or bakery goods.
Between the peanuts, cashews, walnut and almond cross-contamination, and the fact that DS is also sesame allergic, Chinese food (as well as Thai and Vietnamese for that matter) are totally off limits.
There is this great little Vietnamese restaurant near my mom's that is very reasonably priced. Sometimes while my kids are at school my mom and I go there and just totally pig out. Sheer heaven!

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 10:11am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

For a while....we did. At one place. I mean, we heard all [i]the right stuff[/i] from the owners and staff. The chef who prepared the food we would eat came out to check with us. We custom ordered.
The last time we went in, I saw a big ceramic covered dish styled in the shape of a peanut for sale in the display case by the register. We left. I took it as a silent message from where-ever. Too Creepy.
General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 10:19am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]For a while....we did. [/b]
just clarifying, after reading the replies, I thought the original question was pertaining to whether or not we ever ate at a "chinese restaurant". (oops)
anywhooooooooo just read the thread, and found it timely since tonight I had made my version of "chinese food". (I think I do a *good job*. [img][/img] )
mmmmmmmmmmmm. I love making and eating fried rice sticks. love it when they poof up.
hint: we crunch them up with a paper napkin before eating them.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 10:52am
pgrubbs's picture
Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

We avoid...which is a deep and painful scarifice (haha)! However, DDs last reaction was a contact, cross contamination reaction from something at the restaurant.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 2:00pm
Naer74's picture
Joined: 11/03/2003 - 09:00

We used to occasionally eat at a Chinese restaurant but we would always take along my son's 'safe' food.
The owner of the restaurant, whom we were VERY good friends with, had a seafood allergy and guaranteed that he could prepare something safe for my son, but I never would allow my son to eat it.
I have heard that most of the time they don't truly clean the woks out between meals as they like the oils and seasonings to penetrate deep into the woks. Now, I am not sure if this is accurate or not...but I can understand the reasoning behind it.

Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2004 - 3:14pm
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

We avoid Chinese restaurants when Jason is with us, but he's anaphylactic to shellfish and tree nuts and allergic to soy, sesame, and egg, as well as peanut allergic. Not worth the risk.
We do pick up take out Chinese occasionally, but we never let him eat it, and we use disposable plates and utensils to eat it with.
edited to add: we do take Jason to Vietnamese noodle houses (Pho) though. He's only allowed to order 1 item off the menu, and the rest of us make it a point not to order shellfish or peanut bearing items.
[This message has been edited by solarflare (edited October 15, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 10/15/2004 - 1:26am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

We do eat at a few different Chinese restaurants. We're careful what we order, and that's about it. This has worked out fine for dd, fortunately.
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Fri, 10/15/2004 - 8:30am
jeancbpugh's picture
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

We never take our PA son to chinese restaurants. When you consider how little most people understand PA, add english as a second language, it makes sense to skip.
However, my PA son absolutely loves potstickers. He's been eating Safeway brand Chicken & Pork potstickers for years with no problem.
I haven't successfully made any chinese dishes at home. I worry about imported ingredients and the potential for cross contamination. Anyone know of safe hoisin?
I'd love any recipes you all have had success with.
"Man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion."
- Much Ado about Nothing

Posted on: Sun, 10/17/2004 - 3:40am
Kathy L.'s picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Kung Pao Chicken = PEANUTS
Sesame Noodles = Peanut Butter
Cross-contamination risk too high!

Posted on: Sun, 10/17/2004 - 6:47am
travelplus's picture
Joined: 04/18/2004 - 09:00

Jeepers! Eventhough I have no food allergies I get this weezy feeling after eating the Cashew Chicken even without MSG. I'm sensitive to their god dammned perservatives and other s--- they add. I can't prononuce half of the entress. Try saying Mu-Shu chicken or Yang Tang's chicken. And how can you trust the waiter since it can be hard to understand what they are saying.
I don't mean to be racists in anyway. I like Asian People,and will go to a select few restaurants given they spell out what the heck makes me so tired and then I get hungry right away.
Plese accept my appologies if I have offended you but this is my opinion.

Posted on: Sun, 10/17/2004 - 1:14pm
mae's picture
Joined: 07/12/2002 - 09:00

travelplus - if you are apologizing within the post- more than once...why bother posting.
I dont usually repsond to posts like this, have offended, once again. Thats all I have to say.

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 10:06am
travelplus's picture
Joined: 04/18/2004 - 09:00

Im sorry

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 1:13pm
NutlessinNJ's picture
Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

We avoid all Asian food due to my son's PA,TNA, Shellfish, Seafood, Sesame and Soy allergies. I would assume that there is at least one if not all of these cross contamination hazzards in all Asian type restaurants and food. That is not to say that we don't miss it dearly but I love my son dearly more!!! Be well.

Posted on: Tue, 10/19/2004 - 1:06pm
Gwen 5's picture
Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

We do not visit any ethnic restaurants anymore [img][/img]
Too risky with my dd being allergic to PN/ all tree nuts and sesame seeds!
I want her to grow up without these types of restaurants in her life. It is way to risky to visit Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian restaurants and others I'm sure.
As our children get older, I feel more scared than I do now since I can control most everything.
I remeber reading many posts here about young adults that have died as a result of eating some sort of ethnic food that they thought was safe- usually when being in an unfamiliar restaurant.
I am scared to death for my dd. If we don't go to these restaurants now and as she is growing up she will hopefully continue on with what we have taught her-
I don't really feel that we have a choice- especially due to the cross contamination between her TN allergy and sesame allergy- we would be doomed in this situation!
When my dh do go out, we tend to do ethnic foods as we do miss them ourselves!

Posted on: Sat, 10/23/2004 - 4:47am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by California Mom:
[b]We do eat at a few different Chinese restaurants. We're careful what we order, and that's about it. This has worked out fine for dd, fortunately.
[img][/img] Miriam[/b]
Hi Miriam,
I eat at Chinese restaurants frequently as well and have not had any problems. However, I do ask questions when I arrive, just as I would do at other restaurants. [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 10/23/2004 - 7:59am
mama2aidan's picture
Joined: 07/09/2004 - 09:00

We do like many of you & eat it when aidan's not around. He is allergic to seafood, peanuts, pork & eggs so it is not worth us taking a chance with him. But I wanted to let people know that alot of rest. marinade their meats in eggs. So be careful for egg allergies. Hope this helps [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 10/27/2004 - 1:57pm
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

We haven't and never plan to eat at an Asian restaurant with my PA 3 y/o dd. My husband and I have it only when we are not with her. Just not worth the risk in our book!

Posted on: Fri, 10/29/2004 - 10:31am
kylaC's picture
Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

My parents used to take us to a chinese restaurant when I was a kind and they didn't realize how serious my PA was (and tree nuts). Luckily, by just ordering dishes that obviously didn't contain peanuts or other nuts, I never had a reaction. We went there so often though that I wonder if my parents knew the manager well enough that he ensured my safety. [img][/img]
I haven't eaten Chinese food since I was about 12 though (I'm 35 now). I have heard too many horror stories of people who died from cross-contamination. I've just decided it's not worth the risk. I am hoping that someday...somewhere...there will be more restaurants that are peanut and tree nut free in the future...since more and more people have this allergy now.

Posted on: Fri, 02/04/2005 - 4:55am
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

One of my DD's first "phantom" reactions before her diagnosis was to Chinese food. We called them "phantom" because she would turn red after eating and we couldn't figure out a common ingredient in anything. I never considered peanuts because I had never give them to her -- or at least I thought. When she had her first bite of PB cookies (which she snuck during a playgroup) she had a reaction serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. After I educated myself I realized all the phantom reactions were due to cross-contamination; cc that was all sensitizing her to peanuts.
From what I understand, peanuts are used often in Chinese cooking as is peanut oil. They often use utensils & frying pans for many dishes. I can recall waiting on line at Chinese place for takeout and watching them use the same utensils to pack my order which had several different entrees. I also would see them use pans for different meals as well. This practice is not limited to Chinese restaurants of course, but they do have many dishes which use peanuts and tree nuts. (I avoid tree nuts as well)
Here's a sample from a local chinese place:
Kung Pao Chicken: A Szechuan classic of diced chicken stir-fried with peanuts, red bell peppers and chili peppers.
Diced Chicken with Hot Pepper Sauce & Peanuts
Shredded Pork with Hot Pepper Sauce & Peanuts
Jumbo Shrimp with Hot Pepper Sauce
Jumbo Shrimp Sauteed with Peanuts Bedded in Broccoli with Hot Pepper Sauce.
In my area there is a definate language barrier as well.
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA
Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

Posted on: Fri, 02/04/2005 - 4:56am
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

I just wanted to add this for those who might not find it in the Media folder:
Shot could have saved teen's life, doctor says
10:32 AM EST on Thursday, January 27, 2005
CONCORD, N.C. -- A teenage girl left behind the medicine that may have saved her life. Doctors say the girl suffered from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in Chinese food.
Gina Marie Hunt died Saturday after eating lunch at the Concord Mills food court.
The girl's family told a local newspaper that Hunt had severe allergic reactions to peanuts. She could not even be around people who ate peanut butter.
For full story/thread, go to:

Posted on: Fri, 02/04/2005 - 7:46am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

The reason we counseled our son to avoid all Chinese food is the number of ingredients in each dish. There are so many different things in each dish and so many different spices. PLUS there are often peanuts in their cooking, a good reason to need to avoid possible cross contamination.

Posted on: Sun, 02/06/2005 - 12:51pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

There is one Chinese restaurant that is VERY allergy aware. It is PF Changs. I am not sure if it is just in California. Their waiters are taught to ask at each table when they take the order if anyone is allergic. They do not use peanut oil at all. They only have peanuts in a couple of dishes, and they have special woks for pa people, woks that have never seen a peanut or a tree nut. They are also very allergy aware about other allergies. I have a very tight comfort zone with restuarants, and my 9 year old daughter just had her very first restaurant meal in her life! ( I am not counting a plate of fruit in a restaurant or a plate of french fries at the food court in the mall). She is also allergic to milk so that is why my comfort zone for restaurants is so tight. Anyhow, the managers at PF Changs are so allergy aware it is unbelievable. They totally understand cross contamination. The manager even told me that the woks for people with pa/tna are in a separate part of the kitchen, because otherwise food could splatter from one wok to the next. I was blown away.

Posted on: Sun, 02/06/2005 - 1:30pm
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
[b]that they have very few dishes with peanuts[/b]
Quote:The manager even told me that the woks for people with pa/tna are in a separate part of the kitchen
What about the knifes & serving utensils?
They also have a salad with peanuts on the Web site menu. What about the salad bowls?
It seems like a lot to keep separate.
While I commend the restaurant for such a thorough job, this is still not within my comfort zone.
I will teach my daughter to never eat Asian food. I'd rather her think all Chinese food has peanuts then have her try to figure out on her own, as a teenager, what is ok and what is not.
[This message has been edited by ElleMo (edited February 06, 2005).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2005 - 1:14pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by ElleMo:
[b] I will teach my daughter to never eat Asian food. I'd rather her think all Chinese food has peanuts then have her try to figure out on her own, as a teenager, what is ok and what is not.[/b]
I eat Asian food all the time. On the weekend, we had dinner at Prince Sushi restaurant (Hurontario and 401, Mississauga). And I have found several Chinese restaurants that are safe (for me.. I am only PA, not TNA).
One thing to remember... Western restauarts can be just as dangerous as Asian restaurants. A lot of western restaurants serve peanut butter sandwiches, or toast with peanut butter, etc.. and a knife used to slice a grilled cheese sandwich could have previously been used to slice a peanut butter sandwich. Dangerous.
My decision whether to eat in a restaurant is to ask questions and determine whether I consider it safe, and if I question it, to eat elsewhere.
Not all Chinese restaurants are safe.. just as not all western restaurants are safe. Just recently I saw an Italian restaurant that had peanut sauce as a pizza topping.
So you always have to be careful at all restaurants [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2005 - 1:25pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
[b] I eat Asian food all the time.
just be careful mister!

Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2005 - 2:05pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by momma2boys:
[b] just be careful mister![/b]
yes.. I have been so careful, I am 39 now and never had a reaction at an Asian restaurant. [img][/img] hehe Although I don't eat at any restaurant if I have any doubts at all.
I am very careful at restaurants. [img][/img] I always ask. ask. ask. Always carry an epi-pen. And I am lucky I have some friends who speak Cantonese, which can make it much easier as well [img][/img]
Fortunately, some Chinese restaurants in Toronto do not use peanuts. They all use tree nuts, and cashews are quite common, although I am fortunate not to be TNA (although I don't eat tree nut dishes anyway). If I was TNA, it would be very difficult to find a safe Chinese restaurant.
p.s. I have found all Japanese restauarnts safe.. so far, I have never foudn a Japanese restaurant that uses peanuts

Posted on: Mon, 02/07/2005 - 8:16pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

YES we avoid Chinese. To risky and not worth it to Chris. He is fine without trying that. He loves seafood and gets plenty of that instead.
One thing that always scares us with chinese is they don't understand half of what we say and pretend they do.
Take care claire

Posted on: Tue, 02/08/2005 - 2:03am
CatSchmidt's picture
Joined: 12/10/2004 - 09:00

My daughter's very first violent reaction to ANYTHING was at 4 months old. I ate Chinese food on a Friday night and nursed her the following morning twice. By that afternoon she was vomiting violently with hives and eczema all over her body. It was the one and only time I ate Chinese food while nursing and it never happened again.
I will never take her to a Chinese restaurant and don't eat it in front of her either. We get take out occasionally (handful of times a year) and we ALWAYS eat it after she is in bed.

Posted on: Tue, 02/08/2005 - 2:37am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

yes, there can be a definite language barrier at times
as an example, when I was recently in Beijing, China, I only ate McDonald's and hotel food, as I was not able to communicate to any restaurant staff due to the language barrier so it was too risky to eat at any of the restaurants
however, I did eat frequently at restaurants in both Hong Kong and Singapore and had no problems finding safe places to eat
if you want to see a place with lots of peanuts, check out a Thai restaurant - I never eat in Thai restaurants as the majority of dishes contain peanuts or peanut sauce
Quote:Originally posted by Claire:
[b] One thing that always scares us with chinese is they don't understand half of what we say and pretend they do. [/b]
umm .. ok .. I would have stated that as "One thing that always scares us with chinese restaurants is [b]that some of the staff[/b] don't understand half of what we say and pretend they do"
(some Chinese people actually do speak English)

Posted on: Tue, 02/08/2005 - 7:08am
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by erik:
umm .. ok .. I would have stated that as "One thing that always scares us with chinese restaurants is that some of the staff don't understand half of what we say and pretend they do"
(some Chinese people actually do speak English)
I do have to agree with your post; however, language barriers do exist at many Chinese restaurants, as they do at many other ethnic restaurants. And comments about speaking English may not be as racist as they appear.
In my area (NJ/NY), most Chinese restaurants that aren't chains are owned, run, and/or primarily staffed by immigrants, so I do worry about communication issues. Larger restaurants are not as big a problem, there is always an American or bilingual chef or manager around; but smaller restaurants or take-out places may be entirely staffed on a particular night by immigrants who do not speak English well.
The main issue for me, however, is what is on the menu. In every menu that I have looked at recently, there is at least one entree, if not more, with peanuts. That is not within my comfort zone. I do not allow my daughter to eat at any restaurant that serves peanuts, peanut butter or most nuts, regardless of what language is spoken at the restaurant.
We also avoid Thai and Mexican food and most salad bars.
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA
Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."
[This message has been edited by ElleMo (edited February 09, 2005).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/08/2005 - 7:46am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

I think it is safe to assume that unless you live in an area where there are not a lot of immigrants, that there is going to be a language barrier. Here in California, a lot of kitchen workers are Hispanic, and may or may not speak very good English. I remember a visit to Applebees a couple of years back when the people next to use ordered a gluten free meal and the kitchen staff screwed it up, and the manager told the couple that he was having to train new people since INS had cleaned them out a couple of weeks ago!

Posted on: Wed, 02/09/2005 - 2:05pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Boy, isn`t that the truth! I`m in California too. But at P.F. Changs it is an upscale chain of gourmet Chinese food, and I have never seen a waiter there whose native language is not English (they are all Anglo/caucasion/ or whatever the proper term is). I would not take dd to a mom and pop Chinese restaurant because of the language issue. But PF Changs is nothing like that.
My rule in restaurants is if someone has a thick accent, I just have to assume they don`t understand what I am saying. I cannot take the chance that they act like they understand and they really don`t. So if someone has a thick accent, we just move on to another restaurant.

Posted on: Wed, 02/09/2005 - 2:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Haven't read the whole thread - will later.
However, Carefulmom, you make a good point. If someone has a heavy accent and it's quite obvious that they aren't going to understand your English and therefore your questions very well, we don't go.
In Stayner, it was a Mom and Pop Chinese Food restaurant and really they could not understand what we were asking.
I thought about this last week when DH and I went out and had lunch at a Lebanese restaurant. We both had Falafels. Now, I'm fairly sure that all of the food in the restaurant is PA safe and also, the particular one we went to (Jane and Bloor in Toronto), the people did speak very good English so I might (notice, might) take Jess there.
But the Lebanese restaurant at Yonge just south of Bloor, much heavier accent, basically the same menu, and no, I probably would not take Jesse there.
The same can be said for just a regular greasy spoon depending on how well the staff speak English. I've spent 6 years living in places that weren't terribly multi-cultural, but now that I'm back in "the big city", I know that although some opportunities will open up as far as restaurants (as erik has posted), some will also close if the people do not speak English well.
Oh, and another Lebanese restaurant Em and I went to. No way, no how, Jess would have gone in with me. Just off Yonge Street, just north of Dundas.
So, it's not just Chinese food, but could be all restaurants really.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2005 - 3:15am
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Yes, we automatically avoid all Chinese and Thai restaurants. We are teaching our son that this is a reasonable limit since peanuts and nuts are so prevalent in these cuisines and cross-cantamination is likely. I love Chinese food but we have learned to buy frozen varieties from reputable companies that we trust labelling and I have learned to cook some so that I may satisfy my cravings. My brother goes to these restaurants with friends for special occasions but drinks only tea and water and eats before or after. He is not bothered by odours of nuts.

Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2005 - 4:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathyrn, as I always tell you, great to see you! [img][/img]
Care to share some of those recipes? I have stir fried rice down okay and a meat stir fry, but that's about it.
I love Chinese Food. But if I recall, it was one of those things that you always felt empty after eating it a couple of hours later.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2005 - 7:00am
kkeene's picture
Joined: 10/20/2003 - 09:00

I won't go in any with our son!!!

Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2005 - 7:58am
SusieT-R's picture
Joined: 09/25/2002 - 09:00

I am so glad this topic is being discussed!
Just a few days before the sad news about Gina's death was announced, my daughter was invited to a birthday party at at Chinese Restaurant. ALL OF HER CLOSEST GIRLFRIENDS ARE GOING. It is the first time this has happened.
We have never allowed her to eat from a Chinese, Indian, Thai etc establishment (PN/TN) (yes, land ike so many others it is mine and DH's secret date night haunts!)--but how should I respond to this situation?
Should I allow her to go and take her own food? Do I go in and bring the darn pan and cooking utentils? The kids really want to watch the chef do all the fancy stuff at the table--sort of like Benihana (sp?). The thought of her sitting at home on the night when all the others is out is so heartbreaking! Even if we were to take her out and try to make a special evening for her, I know she would be feeling so alone and rejected. Please Advise if you have faced a similar predicament!

Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2005 - 10:03am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

I may be WAY off base here with this idea...but I'll give it a shot. Any chance you could show the article about Gina's death to the birthday girl's mom and see if they could change the restaurant? If these are her closest friends, maybe they just need to be reminded of its dangers to her?
If the restaurant has peanut products, I'd be scared for her to go, but we're just starting to venture out to restaurants any they all seem scary right now.
I'd also be a little concerned about if she safely eats at this one, will she let her guard down somewhere else?
Hopefully I'm making sense here [img][/img].

Posted on: Fri, 02/11/2005 - 5:40am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Carefulmom:
My rule in restaurants is if someone has a thick accent, I just have to assume they don`t understand what I am saying. I cannot take the chance that they act like they understand and they really don`t. So if someone has a thick accent, we just move on to another restaurant.[/b]
My grandmother, who is Japanese, has lived in the US for 56 years, and speaks (and understands) English fluently. However, she does have a heavy accent.
Most people who learn a second language as an adult end up speaking with a heavy accent. It's not something that is easy to "unlearn".
Just because someone can't make the language "sound" the right way doesn't mean that they don't understand it.

Posted on: Sun, 02/13/2005 - 4:28am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

That is definitely true. On the other hand, if I don`t know the person, and my child`s life depends on knowing if they understand what I am saying, I of course will not take the chance. Better to be safe than in the ICU.

Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2005 - 2:45pm
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

The points that I'm trying to make, unsucessfully so far, are that a) Don't assume that because someone has a heavy accent that they don't understand and b) don't assume that since your server speaks English, that the kitchen staff will understand. I live in an area with a lot of restaurants, and I've noticed that many of the line chefs are immigrants from Central America.

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 12:22am
ElleMo's picture
Joined: 06/19/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by solarflare:
[b]The points that I'm trying to make, unsucessfully so far, are that a) Don't assume that because someone has a heavy accent that they don't understand and b) don't assume that since your server speaks English, that the kitchen staff will understand. [/b]
I think "accent" is the wrong word to use. I think you need to pay attention to the what & how the waitstaff/kitchen staff is saying things, basically their overall communication ability. "I have spoken to the chef and we don't use peanuts here" would make me feel more confortable, regardless of accent, then "no peanuts here."
The first statement would definately make me more comfortable than the native speaker who told me they use "granola" oil.
Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA
Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2005 - 1:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, I just wanted to be clear, as I'm sure some other people are feeling as well. I think I said when I was dealing with a person with a heavy accent who very obviously could not understand English well, I was not comfortable having my son eat in the establishment.
This is not a racist statement at all. If I said that I wouldn't go to any establishment simply because the person was an immigrant with a heavy accent, then that is racist (and I think that has been said in this thread actually by one person). What I think, again, I clearly said, was if it was obvious that the person could NOT understand English well.
And, as we discovered in our conversation re Chinese food restaurants, this doesn't simply pertain to Oriental restaurants, but as I pointed out, even Lebanese (Middle Eastern) ones.
Or as others have pointed out, perhaps Mexican establishments where the staff do not speak English and we don't speak Spanish.
As an extension of this, understanding that *most* people in the Province of Quebec are bilingual, but tend to speak French first, I would be hard pressed, since I don't speak French, to feel comfortable traveling through Quebec and eating in any restaurants there unless my sister (who is bi-lingual and lives in Montreal) was with me or unless I had a person I felt was able to speak English well enough to answer my questions sufficiently.
Again, this can be said of ANY language that is not our "native" tongue and I don't think people were saying that as soon as they heard a "heavy accent" they avoided the food. I think they were saying what I said, if there was a heavy accent involved along with a clear NOT understanding of English, then the restaurant was not okay to go into.
Since posting about the Lebanese restaurants I've gone to since my return to Toronto, I've actually taken both children into the one at Jane and Bloor and would have felt quite comfortable letting both children eat there - try getting Jess to eat a falafel though [img][/img]
But also, DH and I, with both children, went into another Lebanese restaurant right on Yonge Street, and again, I would not have let the children eat there, or Jesse at least.
I am sure this can also happen in Italian, Greek, Polish, etc. restaurants. And I really do think one gets the sense whether another person understands English well enough to understand what you're asking them.
I don't write people off because English is not their first language. But I will write the restaurant off if it is clear that their understanding of English, especially when it comes to questions regarding food and peanuts, is not what I need/want/expect.
Heck, that can be said for regular greasy spoons and English speaking people not truly understanding your questioning.
I just felt the need to come back and post this because I felt as though one member thought we were being racist because we had said "heavy accent", but I am positive, except with regard to one post, that that is not the case. It is a combination of factors which leads us to choose whether or not to eat at an ethnic establishment.
The neighbourhood I live in right now is Eastern European mostly - a lot of Polish, but then a lot of other recent immigrants. Even in walking the dog, it is quite clear to me whether people understand English or not.
Now, it would be great to be able to do a lot of ethnic cuisine at home, IMHO, and this eliminates any risk, KWIM?
California Mom and erik, love your answers and they do give me some hope, but obviously I haven't run out to find a Chinese food restaurant yet! [img][/img] I've stuck with chain restaurants so far - Swiss Chalet (oh, yes, Momma Bear just thought of you now [img][/img] ), McDonald's, Harvey's, a greasy spoon down the street from me for fries only for the kids, and several different Lebanese, but so far, for DH and I only, although the children were with us.
Can I tell a story about my falafel obsession?
So, moved out of Toronto six years ago. Lived three years without a falafel in sight. Moved to Belleville and the first night I was there, I found a falafel place. I thought, great! They were really allergy aware (the hummus - pre-made said "may contain"), but honestly, they made the worst falafels on the face of the earth. I mean, not traditional falafels. I enjoyed them, but they weren't the real thing.
Got back to Toronto and could hardly wait to have one, although I think it was a few months before I did. Was going to one area of the city on a regular basis and I would go into McDonald's and get a Big X-tra. Then, I remembered, holy cow, there is one of the best, IMHO, falafel places a few blocks west. What the heck am I doing in McDonald's when I could be having a falafel?
To me, that is my treat, my enjoyment. And I haven't had a lousy one upon my return and I've gone to a few places now. I am most pleased. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]


Peanut Free Store

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