On vacation, you get to eat out a lot – it’s one of my favorite parts. I really like to eat. There are two problems with this that I run into pretty frequently. Firstly, I get overwhelmed by busy menus. There are so many choices and it’s such a challenge to pick something within my budget that sounds yummy and doesn’t require many (if any) modifications. Modifications bring us to the next reoccurring problem – restaurants often mess up my order. I eat really slow as it is, so when the restaurant has to remake my food when my dining companions already have theirs, a quick lunch takes a lot longer than they usually anticipate.
To combat both problems, I like to plan my meals ahead. I look at menus online and choose what I want to order before we go to the restaurant. It’s a stress reliever and it allows me to choose carefully and consider if I want to make modifications to my order. A side effect of this habit is my newly discovered uncanny ability to memorize menus and menu item descriptions. It’s fun…
Anyway, recently on vacation in Las Vegas my boyfriend and I went out without a plan and used yelp to find a restaurant late at night. We picked Fuku Burger because it was within walking distance from where we were and after quickly reviewing their menu on our phones, it looked like it had some interesting options and a small menu. When we arrived, we looked at the menu quickly again to confirm we were on the same page and ordered a hamburger thing that had some specifically tasty toppings including lettuce. I eat lettuce no problem and was excited to try the combination of flavors the restaurant was offering, but when we got it, the burger was topped with cabbage. I eat cabbage alright too, but it was late, I was hungry, and it wasn’t what I was expecting so my boyfriend took it back to the server to confirm we had received the correct order. The owner came out and asked what the problem was so my boyfriend pretended it was him with the dietary restrictions and explained that the fiber in the cabbage was difficult for him to digest because he had ulcerative colitis. The owners response was great. He asked my boyfriend about ulcerative colitis and wanted to know what kinds of things can be hard to digest. It became clear he was really excited to learn about something new that he could consider when developing new menu items. How cool is that?
It turned out, we did get the correct order – the lettuce didn’t make the burger look “fancy” enough so they’d replaced it with cabbage to make it look more full but, being a new restaurant, they hadn’t yet reprinted all their menus. They happily gave us the ingredients we ordered and we enjoyed a delicious meal and enjoyed being able to spread some awareness about ulcerative colitis.
Have you had the opportunity to spread awareness about IBD or your ostomy at a restaurant?