Another terrific dinner at the Six Mile Pub!

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We don’t eat out much with all my food allergies and sensitivities to gluten and dairy, however the Six Mile Pub is a place we will keep going back to! Seriously, if you have allergies and want to go out for say a birthday dinner with friends or date night, consider giving them a try! You will not be let down!

Sometimes you wonder if the great service is just a one-off. Like if you just happened to get a great server who understood how serious your allergies are. After going back a second time, I assure you, they take food allergies and gluten sensitivities including celiac, very seriously! This time, I called in around lunch the same day to make a dinner reservation. I mentioned all my allergies and the waitress mentioned she had made a not in the reservation and that the staff would talk to me upon our arrival to make sure I had a good, safe dinner.

Sure enough, we were seated and the waitress brought my handwritten list of allergies to the kitchen immediately. Before even getting us drinks! It was great! Just that simple action relieved any anxiety I might have had about dinner. The waitress came back with the chef and he knew right away that I had been here before and said “you wrote that blog post about us, right?”! I smiled :) They remembered me. The manager came over after as well, to check-in and introduced me to the sous-chef incase I were to come a night when the head chef is not in.

I had another delicious meal with no stress and looking at my plate, no one would have known I had any food allergies or sensitivities! Presentation was yet again, an A+.

Thank you Six Mile Pub for making dining out with food allergies less worrisome. It’s great to know a restaurant 100% genuinly understands the risk of cross-contamination.

A great dinner at the Six Mile Pub with food allergies!

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Tonight my boyfriend and I went to the Six Mile Pub for date night. We had heard from family and friends that they had many gluten free options available and were very understanding.

This afternoon, knowing that we were going there for dinner, I called to make a reservation and to talk to them about my food allergies. Over the phone, I told them I had severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, soy and all legumes (peas & beans) and was also gluten and dairy sensitive. The woman I spoke to was very understanding and confirmed the allergies to be certain she had written them down correctly in the reservation itself. She also mentioned that the kitchen and staff are all extremely aware with food allergies and that they always take every possible precaution to ensure a reaction does not occur. This first contact was very reassuring for me.

When we arrived at the pub, the owner, David came to speak with me right away. He confirmed my allergies again and I gave him my card with the list of my allergies. He told us he was going to the kitchen to speak with the chef and would be right back. What happened next reassured me even more! Out of the kitchen came the owner David, and the chef, Jeff. He helped me figure out what I could have for dinner and substitutions we could make so I had a well rounded meal. WP_20150327_002

Our waitress took the order and checked in a few times to make sure everything was ok and I had what I needed. Dinner was delicious! Presentation was an A+ and I had a safe, tasty meal. Great date night thanks to wonderful, caring staff. We also had a great conversation with David, about how they manage food allergies in their kitchen and I was very happy to hear all the steps they take. David mentioned that the minute a customer tells the waiter/waitress that they have an allergy, the owner gets notified and then the kitchen. They have strict procedures in the kitchen to ensure there is no cross-contamination, including hand-washing, cleaning utensils, and surfaces.

If you, a friend or loved one has food allergies I HIGHLY recommend the Six Mile Pub. We will be going back. More than once! Food was delicious and I was not at all worried.

 

A whirlwind of a week – cross-contamination and a severe allergic reaction

In the last 6 days I have had one insanely close call with cross-contamination at a restaurant and a severe allergic reaction yesterday afternoon. It’s been quite a week. And my trust in labels and restaurants has dropped drastically.

I am so fortunate to have family and friends who have helped me through both of these incidents. The first incident occurred last Friday, at a family-friendly restaurant here in Victoria when I almost ate a chickpea that was in my Greek salad. I had taken as many precautions as I possibly could have, and the kitchen messed up. Here are the precautions I took:

1) Called the restaurant ahead of time to discuss my severe food allergies – They assured me it should be just fine, we have people in with allergies quite often and accommodate, and that all I would need to do was talk to my waiter. After that response I felt comfortable eating there.

2) Told the waiter the minute he came for our drink order – I told the waiter immediately when he came to the table for our drink order that I had life threatening food allergies and his response was, “ok, I’ll get that later when you order your food”. Not too reassuring, however when he took our food order he did go back to the kitchen with my list and reassured me everything in the Mediterranean salad – with no feta or bread would be ok.

3) Wrote a list of all my food allergies and gave it to the waiter –  I always give a list to my waiter with all my food allergies. I wrote “deadly” next to the 4 things (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, legumes – peas, beans) that could send me to the hospital. And wrote “sensitive to: dairy and gluten” so as not to confuse them.

Now, everyone’s meals arrive together and another waiter or staff (not our waiter) places a salad in front of me with feta cheese on it. I call our waiter back immediately and say “I told you I cannot have feta”. He says “yes, I am sorry the kitchen made a mistake I will get you a new one right away”. I feel comfortable enough that the next time everything will be safe. Well… The next salad came and everything looked ok. No feta on this one. I tested the salad dressing to make sure I didn’t react to it (as soy is often found in dressings) and it was fine. So I started eating. The salad was good and we were having great conversation, when all of a sudden, I realized there was a chickpea in my salad. I was terrified! They called the waiter back immediately and we told him about the chickpea and I told him that I had specifically warned him about my life-threatening allergies and that this chickpea would have sent me to the hospital. The manager spoke to the kitchen staff and sorted it out. They made a brand new salad from scratch and made a new chicken breast for me and didn’t charge us for the meal. The whole car ride home, I worried about a delayed reaction from the fact the chickpea had been in with the salad that I had eaten. I took antihistamines and stayed up for a few hours with my boyfriend in case I would have had a delayed reaction. I didn’t.

I am now scared to trust restaurants with my food. It has traumatized me. How could such a thing happen when you take so many precautions? I don’t plan on eating out for a while.

Have you had any close calls?

 

 

Which restaurants would you recommend on Vancouver Island?

Hi Erika

We will be vacationing on Vancouver Island this summer. I have a 5 year old son with anaphylactic food allergies to peanuts/some tree nuts/fish/shellfish. I found your site while looking for restaurants that might be food allergy-friendly in the area. Love your site! If you have a minute sometime and are aware of any restaurants in Victoria, Nanaimo or Vancouver that may be allergy conscientious, we would very much appreciate your insight.

Take care,

Would you happen to have any recommendations please?

Hi Erika.

How are you?

From a Google search, I see that you are living in Victoria with food allergies. I started my research into safe places to stay, visit, and dine either in Victoria or Vancouver. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and chickpeas (and possibly other legumes that are yet unconfirmed).

We are planning to finally see some of your beautiful province of BC this summer (either July or August).

Would you happen to have any recommendations please? Any hotels, restaurants, activities that stand out to you as being extremely accommodating to those with life-threatening allergies? We’re actually think we might be safest in a hotel with a kitchenette so we could stock some safe foods; however, it would be nice to have a true vacation and get away from most, if not all, cooking. :)

Any suggestions or leads you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance, and best wishes! I really like your website.

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Hi,

Ok, here are a few starters for restaurants in Victoria, BC

The Old Spaghetti Factory – Also in Vancouver… I have eaten here numerous times. The kitchen manager and staff in Victoria are well trained with allergies and take special precautions. I believe the only nuts they have are almonds which are in one of their salads and a pesto plate. If you ask to speak to the manager, they will accommodate for you.

Bard & Banker – They are extremely understanding of food allergies and take it seriously. I believe the manager has a child with allergies, and the staff is well aware. Calling ahead is great. If you look at the menu ahead of time and call them to explain the allergies, what your daughter might like to order, they will make a special plate for her.

My blog post: Hands down best attention from restaurant staff yet! Bard & Banker is the place to go with food allergies

Cabin 12 – Does manly breakfasts and lunches and they were “Allergy Aware”

Fifth Street Bar and Grill – I was planning a christmas event here and they seemed understanding of my allergies and willing to work with me. I have not eaten here though. We had our party elsewhere.

Whitespot – Have eaten here on multiple occasions. I always ask for the manager and discuss my allergies and they have a whole allergy binder too! With which foods contain what allergens.

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A really good bakery, that is entirely peanut free (caution, they do use other nuts) is:

Broadmead Bakery & Comments from others

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As for activities, there is the museum and IMAX theatre here in victoria, double decker tour buses, sea kayak excursions or rentals, paddle board rentals, and several nice beaches. There are also a lot of parks to visit, for hikes and a day at the lake.

I can come up with more places to eat and places to stay. I need to call it a night though.

I will come back to you with more tomorrow.

If you would like me to assist you with organizing your trip further than the brief suggestions I will be providing you; speaking to the restaurant staff before you visit and finding fun, safe activities to do, let me know.

Sincerely,
Erika