Thursday, January 30, 2014

Red Robin Restaurant in Millbury, Massachusetts ~ Going the Extra Mile for Food Allergies

Given the difficulties we have encountered with the boys' food allergies, it is an absolute thrill when we find a place that can feed our sons.   On our drive home from the Higgins Museum in Worcester, my husband made what was supposed to be a short pitstop at the Red Robin restaurant in Millbury, Massachusetts.  A quick restroom break, a snack for us and we’d be on our way home.  As usual, the boys had eaten sandwiches and snacks that I had packed for the day due to their food allergy issues. 

When I informed the hostess we didn’t need kids menus because of the food allergies, she asked what specific allergies and handed me several ‘food allergy menus’.  I was shocked.  While I know some restaurants do accommodate gluten free customers and can generally deal with a seafood or nut allergy, the combination of dairy, egg and nuts has been almost impossible to deal with.  Many times when we go out and mention the allergies, the servers and managers don’t even attempt to try and accommodate, they just let the kids eat the food I bring with us. 

After a lengthy conversation with Jim, the manager on duty, we ordered salads, burgers and fries for the boys.  They couldn't eat the buns as there were eggs in them, however, next time we eat here, Jim said we were welcome to bring our own buns.  The boys ate two hamburger plates each and a nice big garden salad with Italian dressing.  Jim was in the kitchen to make sure the proper precautions were taken to avoid any cross-contamination risk. 

Food allergies have become so much more common and it is reasonable to assume that restaurants would want to be able to serve this clientele, but many don't.  Given the risks, I don't really blame them.  But Red Robin in Millbury certainly goes the extra mile.  Our waitress told us she had several families that come in on  a regular basis and they have mentioned that no other restaurants in that area make the accommodations that Red Robin makes. 
It is such a joy to be able to go out and be able to grab a bite to eat with the boys. We all love burgers and the menu at Red Robin is quite extensive.  We are looking forward to visiting Red Robin again in the very near future.

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