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Old 07-30-2013, 05:59 PM   #1
clanmcculloch
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Disneyland & Los Angeles dining with lots of food allergies

I figure this is still Disney related even if it is Disneyland instead of WDW, so this is a good place for this, right? I'm just going to do a single thread for all of these reviews. I didn't take nearly as many pictures of food this trip so some of this will just be text. You'll all survive. If you don't then I'll miss you.

Anyway.....

We were in Los Angeles July 10 - July 23. We were in Arcadia until July 17 at which time we moved to across the street from DL.

Here's our list of allergies. I'm not going to repeat them in each review so if you want to match up allergies to somebody's meal you'll have to look back up here.
DD15: gluten, milk, eggs, citrus (citric acid is ok), yeast, msg, peanuts (minor - cross contamination not a concern)
DD12: gluten, milk, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, ,sesame, hops, peanuts (minor - cross contamination not a concern), blueberry, cranberry, raw carrots, lima beans, raw fruit skins besides grapes, citrus (citric acid is ok), soy products other than Tofutti and Follow Your Heart (soys not the problem but we havent identified what ingredient in Silk and other soy products cause Oral Allergy Syndrome)
me: gluten, milk, sesame, hazelnut, peanuts (minor - cross contamination not a concern), pork (cross contamination not a concern)"

At DL we were celebrating DD12's 13th birthday which is this coming Saturday. I asked the dining folks to include her birthday as a celebration when I booked the ADRs as well as when I emailed the special diets department. Nobody mentioned it at or during our meals. I did mention it at check-in a couple times and they wrote it down (it wasn't in their notes so I guess the dining folks ignored my request). Just an FYI when booking ADRs.

I'll try to remember as they come back to me to update this first post to include a list of the locations at which we ate.

On with the reviews.......

Non-Disney dining
Residence Inn Arcadia - post #2
Tropicana Inn & Suites - post #3
The Derby (Arcadia) - post #4
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company - post #5
Natural History Museum - post #6
In N Out Burger (Arcadia) - post #7
California Science Center - post #8
Hugo's Tacos (Glendale Blvd) - post #9

Disney dining
snacks - post #26
Ariel's Grotto - post #12
Storyteller's Cafe (lunch) - post #21
Steakhouse 55 - post #22
Goofy's Kitchen (brunch) - post #27
Redd Rockett's Pizza Port - post #11
Plaza Inn - post #18
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7

Last edited by clanmcculloch; 08-06-2013 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
clanmcculloch
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Residence Inn Arcadia

Residence Inn Arcadia includes hot breakfast and light evening food Mondays - Wednesdays. I called the resort before our trip to find out if there is any way to get allergy safe food (I gave more info about what I meant when talking to the girl on the phone but you get the idea). She put me on hold to talk to her manager to find out. When she came back she said that they have no way of ensuring no cross contamination. She said that I can talk to their chef in the morning and that she may be able to do something for us but that they could not promise anything ahead of time. I expected this so I wasn't disappointed but I figured I had to ask. We had a full kitchen in the suite so it wasn't a big deal.

DH brought back some fresh fruit, coffee and apple juice for the 3 of us every morning. These are always safe options and they were a nice supplement to what I had in groceries in the room.

Something that I absolutely loved at this resort was their grocery service. As long as you give the front desk your grocery list before 9am, they will go grocery shopping for you and bring the food back to your room. Frozen items will be placed in the freezer, cold items will be placed in the fridge and everything else will be on the kitchen counter or table. The only charge is what is on the grocery store receipt. This is a free service that the resort offers. The first day they couldn't find the allergy specific brands but the next day I specified on the list if an item would most likely be in the health food section or the freezer of the health food section and they found them no problem. They were very good about not replacing brands when I specified brands and getting whatever was cheapest when I didn't specify brands (this is important with allergies). It was great! They did the shopping at Ralph's (big chain in the area) but also said they'd go to a nearby Trader Joe's if I wanted them to. I never asked. I actually emailed my grocery list to the customer service person I spoke with the day before we arrived and the food was waiting for us in our room when we checked in (we got in after midnight and wanted to be able to cook breakfast in the morning so I wanted it there already). It went perfectly.

Something I learned is that I am very glad I've got good quality frying pans. The stove was a glass top radiant heat stove. If your frying pan is not completely flat, this doesn't cook well. The first couple of days the eggs I cooked for me and DD12 were cooking really unevenly because only the middle of the pan actually touched the stove top. I got used to it and just used more Pam (something I ordered in my first grocery order, it's not there in the room) and cooked at much lower temperature. It took longer but the eggs turned out better. I really appreciate my cookware now.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
clanmcculloch
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Tropicana Inn & Suites Anaheim

The Tropicana Inn & Suites offers a morning continental breakfast. I knew from online reviews that it was only some baked goods so I knew there wouldn't be any food there we could eat. I was right. Knowing this ahead of time though I was prepared. I booked one of their 2 family suites which includes a full kitchen. It was great having the kitchen but boy was it an experience in that kitchen.

We ended up losing a bit of the food because there was some kind of leak in the fridge and everything was drenched. I can't believe that the eggs didn't fall when I pulled them out of the fridge since the cardboard container was falling apart it was so drenched (not an exaggeration; I had to hold it carefully for it to stay in one piece). Most of the stuff was in some kind of plastic wrapper or was fresh fruit and vegetables or was drinks so not much was affected but we did lose some leftovers (not a big deal but not something I was happy about). Luckily the fridge and freezer seemed to still keep things cold though at one point, once everything was already drenched, the fridge got colder and started freezing some things. A maintenance guy came to take a look and said he never saw anything like it and had to talk to his manager about it. We never heard anything back about it.

There was no baking sheet or cookie sheet or anything else for putting into the oven in the kitchen so my plans for cooking became more complicated. I ended up frying the french fries in small batches in a frying pan on the stove but had to do so on a small burner because the big burner didn't lie flat so the oil was pooling to one side of the pan (that's once I got the burner reconnected; it wasn't originally hooked up). I put a large pot in the oven even though I don't think the handles were oven safe just because I needed something. It didn't seem to burn the handles so maybe they were oven safe but they looked plastic to me so I doubt they were. The pot didn't say oven safe on the bottom.

I had to rewash dishes every day because I could see food still on some of them. This is a big deal when some people in the room are eating non-allergy food.

There is a small convenience/grocery store on property. The only safe things for us were a few big name drinks (no milk products but I didn't expect them to have them) and fresh fruit. They had a bunch of cereals and cereal bar types of foods but not a single one was safe for us. It's a good thing I had groceries from before we got there and hadn't planned to get anything there as that just wasn't an option for us.

I was surprised that the morning breakfast didn't have apple juice as an option. The only juice option was orange juice and since my kids are allergic to oranges that wasn't an option for them. There was apple juice for purchase. I thought that odd but I had read about this kind of thing at the Tropicana so I wasn't overly surprised. I knew that the milk they offer is something they charge for. We had drinks in our room so not a big deal for us.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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The Derby, Arcadia

Since it was right next door and steak houses are usually pretty good bets for having something we can safely eat, we decided to give The Derby a try. The Derby is more of an upscale style steakhouse.

Sorry, no pictures.

When the waiter came out, we started discussing our dining options. He said that they could make just about any of the proteins without the sauces and that we could have just about any of the non-starch sides (no potatoes or rice). He confirmed this with the chef and then double checked our specific orders with the chef before the chef began preparing our food.

The meal begins with a really good looking garlic bread. DH and DSD really enjoyed it. The waiter asked if we wanted it before bringing it to the table (my first indication that he actually understood cross contamination concerns). He asked us if the location he would put it down was ok before placing it on the table. Again, really good.

DD15 and I both got the seared tuna. We asked for it really rare. It came maybe medium. It tasted good but was definitely NOT a rare tuna steak. I told the server that DD15 only likes spinach when it's only lightly sautéed so that the leaves still retain their shape (she's fussy but at least she'll eat it). It's always served with sautéed spinach and artichokes so the chef just did a simple sautée of them without the sauce. It was a bit more wilted than DD15 likes but I quite enjoyed it. We both enjoyed our artichoke hearts. It was also served with steamed broccoli. It was perfectly steamed to al-dente which is how I like it so I thought the veggies were perfect.

DD12 is not a huge steak and seafood fan. She'll eat steaks but generally that's not her first choice. She loves shell fish but only plain. She ordered an appetizer sampler which includes shrimp cocktail, steak wrapped asparagus and I think a cold seared tuna. These were served without the typical sauces. The shrimp were huge. Unfortunately she said they tasted weird. I ended up eating them. They tasted fine. It was just her. She loved the steak wrapped asparagus even though she actually expected pieces of steak wrapped in asparagus rather than thin slices of steak wrapped around asparagus spears. The tuna was just ok in her opinion. It definitely looked different than what DD15 and I got. It looked more like a typical rare tuna steak with the center looking like sushi.

DH and DSD also really enjoyed their meals which did not need any customization. DSD got a chicken dish and DH got a steak. They both said they were cooked to perfection and tasted wonderful.

They did a really good job and we wouldn't hesitate to go back. It is pricey so it's definitely not an every day type of restaurant.
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Me DH DD(16) DD(13) DSD(32) DSSil (40) DSD(30) DGS(4)


Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

Before heading out to CA I tried researching dining options at Universal Studios Hollywood. I couldn't find much that looked safe until I ran across the gluten free menu at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. When I looked it up, the reviews were all pretty good. I showed to my girls and figured that there was at least one thing on there that each would eat so I figured that would be our lunch option.

Short version is that we ended up eating at another Bubba Gump later in the trip. They were AMAZING!!!

Universal Studios CityWalk location

We walked in for lunch around 12:30. The place was practically empty which is what we like. I was told on the phone that they don't take reservations but that there typically isn't a wait until later afternoon and there definitely wasn't. I asked for the gluten free menu when being seated and looked it over. I asked our server about other items on the menu like the steak to find out if that could be made safe or not. He figured they probably could but got his manager to be certain (good, no guessing). The manager was really knowledgeable about the menu and about cross contamination. She mentioned things like fresh pans and frying instead of grilling to make sure of no cross contamination (this info was offered, I didn't even have to ask so I was feeling pretty good).

DD12 was being fussy and didn't like the look of the menu at the moment. She ended up deciding on a shrimp coctail. They did make a mistake and put a lemon on the plate but she can handle tiny amounts of lemon so I didn't bother saying anything. Lots of places mess up with the lemon on the plate but I just always confirm that they didn't put any in or on the food and it's fine. Like at The Derby, she said the shrimp tasted funny. They didn't, it was her. I ate them and enjoyed them. She later ended up ordering a steak which was cooked perfectly. It came with jasmine rice which she gobbled up.

DD15 is usually pretty easy to please. If there's a steak on the menu then she'll usually order it. This meal was no exception. Her steak was also cooked perfectly and she loved the rice. The sliced green onion on it really pleased her. She ordered a second helping of the rice as she liked it that much.

I ordered directly from the gluten free menu. I got the Accidental Fish & Shrimp without the lemon butter sauce. The mahi mahi was cooked absolutely perfectly (moist and flaky) with light but complimentary seasoning and the shrimp had a nice little kick to it. I agreed wiht the kids that there was something really good about the rice.

DH and DSD ordered directly from the regular menu and also really enjoyed their meals. DH ordered the Shrimper's Heaven while DSD ordered the pear & berry salad. They both got a lot of food and were really happy with what they orded.

The waiter was really friendly and knew the menu well as did the manager. The waiter joked around with us a lot and we had a lot of fun with the Forest Gump trivia and even juggled for us. My kids love the movie so they really enjoyed trying to answer the questions. They got most of them right. The atmosphere was fun as well. There's all sorts of Forest Gump movie stuff all over the restaurant. The music is from the time range in the movie. When you want your waiter to come to the table to you flip a sign on the table from RUN FOREST to STOP FOREST (made from blue and red license plates) and the general atmosphere is made to feel like I guess Louisiana crab shack (I'm guessing but that's what it was like to me and my lack of knowledge of Louisiana crab shacks).

Long Beach location across the street from the aquarium

Like I said, we enjoyed Bubba Gump so much the first time that when we were at the aquarium and saw it across the street we decided to go there for lunch that day.

The biggest difference between the two restaurants was the volume. This one was much louder. DH was getting a headache so this was bothering him. Otherwise it was just as good.

The manager came over to discuss our options with us. She was just as knowledgeable about allergies and the menu as the manager at the other location. She told me that they could cook up any of their proteins to be safe. YAY!! Even the stuff that was normally steamed with beer and/or other stuff could be steamed with water and whatever seasonings we wanted.

By this point in the trip, DD15 was getting tired of steak. She really wanted shrimp but with her autism she can be fussy. She HATES to have to peel shrimp and will go hungry rather than do it. They were able to use some of the already peeled shrimp and sautee them with some tasty seasonings and served it with a couple sides of rice. She was really happy with this and ordered more shrimp and then also ate some of my rice.

DD12 is a huge shellfish fan. Her favourite is lobster claws but will eat crabs, clams, shrimp, etc. I noticed the steamed shellfish on the menu and discussed that with her. She really liked the idea of the lobster claws. I figured it sounded good to me too so we both ordered this and I gave her my lobster. The manager gave us an extra order of rice each since we couldn't have the bread that came with it. I thought that was really nice since most restaurants don't give something to make up for bread not being served to us. I did give her my lobster claw which she loved. They steamed it all with water that had a bunch of garlic and fresh herbs. It was really tasty. There was I think around a half dozen shrimp, half dozen mussels, half dozen clams and a half pound of snow crab plus two small bowls of that yummy jasmine rice. I barely got any of my rice by the time the girls each took one of my bowls but I got plenty to eat since I had my bucket of shellfish minus the lobster plus DD12's clams, mussles and half her crab. She just didn't feel like eating them, there was nothing wrong with them.

Our waitress was just as much fun as the one at the other restaurant and was very happy with how we did on the trivia. She couldn't stump us. She got talking a lot with DD15 about DD15's art (her area of obsession) and DD15 shared her deviantart.com info with her so the waitress could see more of her art as it seems that she has a passion for art herself and finding new artists. I don't know if this was true or not but she really had us convinced and really made DD15's day.

Summary

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company has now been added to my list of restaurant chains that I feel good about when we travel. I love having places like this that I can find in cities all over the country. I sure wish they had one in my neck of the woods. It'll be somewhere special to eat when we travel. They do have one in Orlando.
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Me DH DD(16) DD(13) DSD(32) DSSil (40) DSD(30) DGS(4)


Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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Natural History Museum

I hadn't been able to find out info before our trip about dining at this museum though I really didn't look hard. How unlike me. I knew that there weren't any restaurants that seemed to be able to handle our kinds of allergies really close by so I figured we'd give the cafeteria at the musuem a try. I figured if nothing else they'd have some snack foods that could tide us over until dinner. We ate a late breakfast before heading off and planned to leave by 2:30 to beat the rush hour traffic heading back to the hotel.

Boy was that a mistake (the cafeteria, not the departure time).

The girls and I ended up eating chips. That's it. Chips. There wasn't a single hot food item we could eat. Almost all of the packaged snack foods were unsafe. There was limited fruit but it looked like it was sitting around for a long time and wasn't appetizing to look at. So we ate chips.

If anybody with allergies plans to visit the Natural History Museum (great museum BTW) then definitely pack some food.
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Me DH DD(16) DD(13) DSD(32) DSSil (40) DSD(30) DGS(4)


Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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In N Out Burger

I've read a lot of people who have talked about how great the burgers are at In N Out Burger so I decided to look up their allergy info before our trip. It's always nice to have a fast food place as a backup plan when travelling.

It seems that the only thing they fry in their fryers is french fries and the fries are free our our allergens so I was excited by the knowledge that we'd be able to safely eat the fries. YAY!! The burgers are 100% beef. Another good thing. I did read some mixed allergy reviews regarding cross contamination depending on location so I was prepared with questions should we decide to eat there.

There was an In N Out Burger a couple minutes from our hotel. Of course we ate there.

My first reaction to the place was that I was shocked there was no indoor seating. I don't know if they all work that way or not but this one in Arcadia sure did. We decided to just get our food to go and bring it back to the hotel. We were tired and it was later than we normally eat so DD15 was starting to melt down. The comfort of our hotel was our best bet.

When I got up to the window to order, I started off by asking about where they cook the buns. They have separate grills for the buns and meat so that was a good thing. I explained about our allergies and asked that whomever prepared our food to please change gloves. The person ringing in our order had called his manager over already to answer my question about cooking surfaces so he's the one who agreed about the glove change. Great. I placed all of our orders and waited.

When our number was called I went up to get our food. Keep in mind that DD15 was bordering on total meltdown so I probably made some bad decisions here. When I checked the food, they had placed DH's regular burger with a bun in the same box as our allergy burgers (DSD wanted a bunless burger too so his was the only one with a bun). The burgers are only wrapped half way so that means the bun could have easily touched other burgers. If she wasn't melting down I would have sent them back but it didn't look like it was actually touching the other burgers so I made the stupid move of just asking for another bag to put it in and took it out myself so I could do it carefully and not touch the other burgers. REALLY stupid, I know. I was tired, DD15 was melting down. I plead insanity.

The fries were all in a separate bag so I know those were safe.

When DD15 went to start eating her burger, she saw something at the very edge of the patty. She's rather paranoid about anything that looks a bit off so I figured it was just a piece of fat. I took a close look and realized it was cheese. It must have been touching a cheese covered patty on the grill. UGH!!!! Here comes stupid move #2. I tore off the bit with cheese and let her eat it. Yes I'm INSANE and it was VERY VERY WRONG. Gluten and milk are not life threatening allergies for us. They'll just make us sick. I don't normally do these kinds of things. I'm admitting to a lot of bad parenting here. Please don't judge me too harshly but I thought I should let people know about the reality of the cross contamination concerns and figured full disclosure was better.

My burger was the only one with the "sauce". They don't put ketchup on but rather just give you ketchup packets. They don't put mustard on and it wasn't something I had thought to ask for. It did all taste good but honestly, I don't know what the hype is all about. I've had better burgers and the fries tasted like frozen fries to me. It was just eh and IMO not worth the cross contamination risk. If we're travelling and pass an In N Out Burger I may go through the drive through for some fries as a snack but I won't try the burgers again.

In case you were worried, nobody got really sick. I'll avoid TMI but it's a good thing there were 2 bathrooms in the suite but that's the worst we dealt with. It's also good that we were already treating DD12 for pain so her cramps weren't too bad. DD15 has a high pain tollerance (it's an autism thing) so for her it was just discomfort. She was already melting down so it's not like she wouldn't have without the burger (one of her many gluten symptoms). Sigh.....
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
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January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Great dining report! Sorry about your experience at In and Out, but if you ever give them another chance I always order my burger protein style so that it's wrapped in lettuce. I don't eat the lettuce but it protects the burger from touching any other burgers in the box. The downside to this is that the burger gets colder faster so if you don't eat it right away it's meh. Almost all In and Outs have indoor seating. I have been to quite a few in both Northern and Southern California and Nevada and have yet to see one that didn't have indoor seating. I also have never gotten sick from one since going GF. I also hate when I don't research and have a plan in place for eating-it has caused disagreements because I get cranky when hungry and then I beat myself up when I don't know where to eat and end up with just chips. It must be incredibly difficult with 3 that you have to plan for!
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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All but one of the burgers was ordered Protein Style with the explaination of our allergies. They were wrapped in lettuce but they only wrapped them maybe 2/3 of the way up. The one regular burger was placed in the middle of the rest plus we ended up with a tiny bit of cheese on the edge of one of the protein style burgers.

If we had them in our area I might consider trying another location but I'd question them a lot more before ordering and make sure that they understand about cross contamination and I'd be prepared to walk away based on the conversation, and I'd be prepared to carefully inspect all the food before leaving and send it back if I don't feel comfortable.

I've read lots of really good reviews but I have also read some other reviews like mine so I should have known to be more careful and just sent the food back to be remade. From everything I've read, location makes a huge difference as some seem to really "get" cross contamination while others don't.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for a very detailed report. Our family really appreciates it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for your trip report, perhaps the most helpful one I have ever read! I have three knew restaurants on my list of places that we could eat at on our trip next month and that is great for our family!
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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Y'all are making me blush. Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy writing these up and I'm glad to hear that they're helpful.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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We have a few by us with only outdoor seating but the protein style does work.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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DL: Plaza Inn (lunch)

On our last park day I didn't make any plans for lunch since I didn't know what we would be doing that day (it was a day for doing the stuff we had missed or wanted to do again). I figured I had a few CS options figured out so we could go with one of these. Well, DH wanted to eat indoors. We were in MK doing some shopping on Main Street before our 20% off before 1pm coupon expired so I figured we could go take a look at the Plaza Inn's menu. I didn't have any info on it because for some reason I thought it was TS all day. It's only TS for breakfast I guess.

Plaza Inn doesn't open until noon for lunch. I didn't realize this. We typically eat early. On this day it was around 11:40 which is later for us. I figured by the time we got somewhere else and decided what we want it would be noon anyway so we decided to look over the menu. At least we were covered by the awning out front and there was a menu right there. Looking over the menu I realized it wasn't a big menu. I was hoping that they would have gluten free pasta and allergy safe chicken. I was really hoping for allergy safe fried chicken but I didn't get my hopes up.

We were first in line which was also nice. Around 11:50 the CM told me I could take DD12 in her wheelchair over to the ramp on the side to head up towards the front doors (there are stairs leading to the doors).

When we walked in I was surprised to see it set up cafeteria style like Redd Rocket. Because we were first inside, I was able to walk up to any counter to ask to speak to somebody about allergies. The chef came out in only maybe a minute or two. It seems she also has a lot of allergies so she really gets it. That doesn't mean we had a lot of options, but it does mean that I had a really good feeling about the safety of our food.

Our options included gluten free pasta with either marinara sauce or bolognese (meat) sauce or baked chicken (I knew there wouldn't be fried but it was worth asking). DD15 and I both chose the pasta with bolognese sauce though DD15 wanted her sauce on the side and I wanted mine on the pasta. DD12 wanted a kids chicken meal which according to the menu was a chicken leg with vegetables if I remember correctly. I asked the chef if there was anything at all available as a dessert. She said unfortunately no. DD15 asked if they had any chips and the chef said that she would include a bag for both of us since we couldn't have the bread that normally comes with the pasta. Sweet! She asked me where we would be sitting so I told her. She told me what to tell the cashier to ring up and that she would then bring our food out to us. Again, sweet! I grabbed drinks and went to the cashier to pay for our meals and sat down at a table to wait.

I didn't pay attention to time but I think it was probably around 20 minutes (it takes a while to cook GF pasta and the laws of physics don't change at DL even if sometimes it feels like they do).

I was really surprised by how much food DD12 got. She got 2 chicken legs plus a large pile of green beans. She enjoyed it and was comfortably full after that (she did have enough room for her craved popcorn but she'll eat that no matter how full she is). She said the chicken tasted good and she ate most of her green beans even though she usually only wants to eat a bit of those. DD15 and I got similar portions of pasta as we got at Redd Rocket. It was the same super sticky angel hair pasta. The sauce was better than the marinara at Redd Rocket. I like lots of sauce so I didn't find there to be enough, especially considering just how sticky the pasta was, but DD15 didn't use much of hers so I just poured half of hers on my pasta and that took care of it.

Overall, it was a pretty good experience even if our options were limited. I think the limited options is something we would have experienced no matter where we might have gone for a CS meal so I don't see that as a strike against this place at all.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7

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Old 08-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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DGC: Storyteller's Cafe (lunch)

On our DTD/resort day, I had booked a latish lunch at ADR for 2pm at Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian. Before our trip I got a call from a chef which is where I got a bunch of my brand info. I knew ahead of time that there would be bread and pizza crust options for DD12 but not for DD15 (DD15 doesn't have these options anywhere outside of our own home so this wasn't a surprise). I was disappointed that there wasn't a dessert option besides sorbet but the chef said he'd talk to the pastry chef at the resort to see if he could come up with anything. I wasn't counting on it but I was hopeful.

We arrived about 15 minutes before our ADR time and it was nice and quiet. We were seated fairly quickly. There weren't many occupied tables around us which was nice and it remained that way the entire time we were there. By the end of our meal there was nobody else on our side of the restaurant.

Our server introduced himself and I made sure he knew about our allergies. He said he would get a chef for us and took our drink orders. The chef came out within a couple of minutes. He was very friendly and went over our options with us. I confirmed that they didn't have any non-dairy cheese and asked about the bread options to confirm what I was told by phone.

I hadn't mentioned the pizza crusts to DD12 because I didn't think she'd want one without cheese. When the chef mentioned it, she became torn about what to order. She really wanted the pizza crust but also wanted a hamburger. The chef came up with the perfect solution. He said he would send out pizza crusts as our bread since they serve bread to every table. Boy was she happy about that. We ended up ordering seconds and when the chef came out later she asked if she could get yet another order. The chef asked if she wanted it for the restaurant or to go and boy did she light up at that offer. So, the chef brought us another plate plus a to go pizza box with another one. It really was yummy. The chef heated it I think by sprinkling with oil and frying it. So good!


They don't have a dedicated allergy fryer so the chef offered to heat up some oil on the stove to cook fries for the girls. They were both happy about that. DD12 was excited about the huge burger listed on the menu. It was so big that she couldn't get her mouth around it without squishing the bun. Sorry I forgot to take the picture before she ate half of it.


DD15 was the one I was worried about for lunch. Knowing she can't eat the breads, I was wondering if there would be much she could have since it was mostly sandwiches. If I recall they had a steak on the menu so I thought she might like that. She didn't. I saw the seared tuna and pointed that out to her figuring she usually likes that. She was nervous that it would be overcooked like at the Derby so we discussed it with the chef. He said he'd make sure it was really likely seared so it would have that really rare texture. So, she ordered that with rice and fries. Boy does she like her rice and fries. When it was brought out, it was on a bun. She can't eat the buns. I hadn't realized that it was a sandwich or I would have said something. The server brought it back and the chef prepared her a new one. The tuna was good but it wasn't as good as what she likes to get at Japanese restaurants. Plain which rice and fries were the big hit. She later ordered another order of french fries. Thank goodness the chef hadn't dumped the oil yet so it didn't take nearly as long as the oil was already pretty warm when he started heating it.


When looking at the menu, I saw the salmon with the artichoke tapenade. I love tapenade and I love artichokes so I asked if it would be safe for me. It was. YAY! I couldn't eat whatever starch normally came with it so the chef offered white rice. That was fine by me. He actually asked how like the sauces served and I just said to serve it however it's normally served as long as it's safe. I hadn't realized that it also comes with a roasted red pepper sauce. It was all delicious. It was cooked perfectly. Even the broccoli was perfectly cooked al-dente. I was very happy with my meal. Sorry again about partially eaten meal pictures. Looking at the picture, the tapenade looks kind of gross but in person it looked really good and tasted even better.


After our entrees, the chef came out to discuss dessert options. There were 2 sorbets. It seems no mention of the conversation I had with that chef by phone happened. The kids weren't really in the mood for sorbets so that's when they ordered the extra bread and the extra fries. While talking, the chef said he would go check with the pastry chef about what they might be able to come up with. Here's what he brought out: chocolate mouse. It was REALLY yummy. So light and airy and chocolaty! DD12 couldn't finish hers because she was so stuffed but I enjoyed polishing it off. He made it using cocoa powder and rice based whipped cream. He had me review the label on the whipped cream before making it and it was safe.


I hadn't realized it until heading to the bathroom, but they have this pizza station where kids can stretch their own dough. I'm glad DD12 didn't see it. She would have been disappointed by not getting to do it. Ignorance is bliss.

Overall, it was a really good experience. I wouldn't hesitate to eat lunch here again.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7

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