Friday, October 23, 2009

What about my allergies?

Probably THE most frequently asked question on a regular basis is about special orders for breakfast. Because we have a small kitchen without commercial appliances, our policy is to make one dish for the whole house.

There are exceptions, however. Obviously we don't want to feed a guest something that would trigger an allergy or violate religious restrictions. We always ask both at the initial reservation contact and at check-in whether there are foods that guests can't eat for health or philosophical reasons.

As long as you give us enough notice, we will do our best either to modify the whole house menu or prepare a special dish for you. David has used rice flour for folks with wheat gluten allergies, soy milk for the lactose intolerant and has prepared kosher meals for one of our favorite regular families.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for a special menu was a wedding group of Vegans (strict vegetarians that avoid all animal byproducts of any kind). There were 20 people in the party and the only dish we serve with no meat or dairy at all was our coconut French toast. That worked fine with fresh fruit, whole grain bread and and diced, seasoned potatoes for one meal.

For the second morning, Seely did an exhaustive intenet search and found a vegetarian fritata that used polenta for the crust and combined a half-dozen veggies (black beans, sprouts, sun dried tomatoes, peppers) into what looked a bit like a pizza with everything on it. We served the usual fruit with hash browns on the side and even the guests that weren't Vegan found it "better than the usual stuff they eat."

Just one word of warning for those seeking special orders who don't make their needs known until they arrive at the table: Be prepared to wait. Finding out at 9:15 that someone can't eat the cheese in Asiago scrambled eggs, means that we have start your special order with no advance preparation, so it won't get to the table quite as fast.