Allergic reaction at lunch — What would you do?
Had a lunch meeting with some new friends this week at a well-known restaurant in North Jersey. One of our guests had an allergy to mustard.
It's the first I've heard of a mustard allergy, so of course, I asked a lot of questions and may have mentioned that her allergy would likely be a show topic on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it was more than a conversation.
After asking about the ingredients of the salad dressing, we were confident that the food was allergy safe. First of all, the food was very good, any meeting that starts with raw oysters is likely to be a good one. When our lunch arrived, she took a bite of her salad and you could tell something was wrong.
My new friend asked me to taste the salad and see if there was mustard in the dressing. Not being a germaphobe (credit hot yoga) so I dug in. Although I have a relatively decent palette, I wasn't sure when I tasted the dressing. So of course, I went in for another bite. It was delicious.
Back to the story, we called the waiter over and asked him to confirm with the chef. Meanwhile, my friend jumped up and bolted to her car where she has no fewer than three EpiPens.
Two things crossed my mind. First, would she make it to the car or would I need to deliver the shot? And two, how awful a mustard allergy would be! Mustard is a key ingredient in my potato, chicken, and egg salad. I've used mustard for slow-cooked beef and ribs. It's our go-to when our friend Amy serves crabs, a simple mustard and mayo dipping sauce. Plus we love Kielbasa sliced and fried with mustard.
Anyway, my friend was fine and the restaurant apologized and comped our lunch. Of course, our other friend pulls out cash and we decided it was the right thing to tip the waiter on what the price of the meal would have been. As you know, I don't carry cash so I deferred to my lunch partners. The cash thing is a whole other discussion. Later this week.
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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.