I did it!!
I went out for dinner at a restaurant with my family, communicated my needs to the staff and was served a meal that was nutritious and appetizing. The meal seems to have been cooked according to my dietary needs – it contained certainly no diary, (no diarrhea!), no eggs and was FODMAP friendly. I felt great! It can be done… Eating out with IBS – success!
We arrived at Moxie’s early, because I know that serving staff and a chef who aren’t too busy are more likely to take the time necessary to hear, understand and follow my dietary requests. With a little help from The Husband, I managed to sit near the edge of the table so that I could talk with the serving staff without shouting across the table. I ordered a drink along with everyone else, but skipped looking at the menu (why torture myself?). When the drinks came, I was very please to hear the server ask if there were any dietary concerns at the table. I felt special, instead of a bother!!
I showed the server my Chef’s card, who then took it back to the kitchen to give to the chef. She came back later to ask if I’d like the fish or the chicken (I got a choice!), and let me know that the starch would be baby potatoes, and the veggies would be steamed broccoli. It might not be fancy, but it sounded safe and nutritious to me.
I know that I’m not getting an elaborate gourmet meal, with a complex combination of flavours. This is no longer my goal when I go out to eat. My expectation is to be served something safe and appetizing, enjoy the company, and to really enjoy not having to clean up after dinner. I want to eat safe food, and not stand out as ‘the picky eater’, among the people I’m dining with. If I can have this, I can have fun. A glass of wine helps too :).
My meal arrived with everyone else’s and we proceeded to enjoy dinner. I was served very generous portions and the chicken was delicious.
After dinner, it was a fairly natural thing to sit back and finish our drinks and wait for the bill. This gave my gut the 30 minutes it seems to need to decide if it’s going to get diarrhea from dairy. I was fine and really enjoyed having someone else take the dirty dishes away and wash them up! (a huge joy of eating out for me).
The next day is when I usually feel the effects from FODMAP unfriendly ingredients or egg or beef (those two seem to be really hard on my gut). But I’m so pleased to say that I woke up the next day with no unpleasant symptoms and carried on with my weekend just like everyone else.
The meal was very generous in portion size so I couldn’t finish it all – I ended up taking some home with me. If I was travelling, these leftovers would have been doubly valuable to me, but as it is, they still make a nice lunch for the next day.
One last thing about Moxie’s: they have nice washrooms (at least the location I was at did). In addition to being clean, the stalls were quite private, so if I had ingested a diarrhea-inducing ingredient, I would have been able to recover in relative privacy – the walls of both the stall and door came right down to the floor. I never used to notice this sort of thing but I do now!!
I give Moxie’s a 4-star and a thumbs up rating from me. Their approach to dietary restrictions really helped me feel comfortable with eating out. Eating out with IBS – Success!