Today’s post is not as fun, but I’ve got to rant. So rant I will.

Remember how I had that headache the week before last? It went on and on? Well, my migraines are sometimes triggered by food. And one of my triggers is cheddar cheese.

I know. It’s heartbreaking. But that’s the life I live.

In celebration of a friend’s birthday, we went to Uncle Julio’s, a fancy-ish Mexican restaurant. I ordered something that I didn’t think had cheddar. I admit my cheddar guard was down; most traditional Mexican restaurants don’t use it, they use Chihuahua cheese, which is fine.

Well, you know where this is going.

The waiter took away the obviously-covered-in-cheddar dish, and I emphasized I needed an entirely new plate. He said he understood.

And then, minutes later, he returned with the plate and said that the manager said it wasn’t cheddar, it was “yellow velvet cheese.” You know that situation where you’re skeptical but don’t want to make a fuss? Yeah, this was it.

So I try a tiny bit.

Obviously cheddar.

I asked to see this manager who sent this dish back to me assuring it was safe to eat. He still denies it’s cheddar; he claims now it’s “American cheese.” I said to him you and I both know there’s cheddar in that dish.

Finally he says, well I told him there wasn’t any in the sauce. But there is cheddar inside the enchilada.


I asked him who can possibly not eat something when it’s on top of a food, but it’s fine when it’s inside it?

He said “he understood.” Clearly he did not.

I tried to emphasize how dangerous it was to lie to people about ingredients with which they have issues. I told him he could kill someone with an allergy. I could see it went nowhere. He looked at me from his happy place behind his eyes, waiting for me to stop talking.

I will survive a migraine, I’ve done it before. But what galls me is instead of just getting me something else, he tried to “trick” me into eating the food I made clear would make me sick. It was insanely dangerous.

So much for not making a fuss.

A fuss was made. Oh was a fuss made.

Please be careful when you’re eating out if you have issues relating to food. Be your own food police.

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Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

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31 thoughts on “Sensitivities

  1. What a slimy thing for that waiter and manager to do. In today’s litigious society that restaurant is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Eating out is always a risk, but really. Hope you’re feeling better now.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadly, this is not unheard of. A lot of staff have no clue how something is made, what lurks beneath the outer layer, and many, sadly, don’t care. Order, eat, pay, get out. They don’t care about your social time.

    If this is a chain, send a letter to a district manager, or above. As with what happened in Starbucks, the manager isn’t always checked on best practices until they get caught with their pants down.

    Yes, I worked 15 years in the food industry. brrrrrr

    Tale Spinning

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I did, along with the corporate headquarters. And I filed a complaint with the county public health department.

      I don’t fault the waiter; I fault the alleged “general manager” who knew the cheddar was in the dish but lied about it and tried to get me to eat it anyway. He clearly shouldn’t be in that position as he had no understanding how serious or life-threatening that could be.

      I’ve had things brought to me that had something I couldn’t eat before, but they just take it away and bring something else. It was the attempt to get me to eat it anyway that was so disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. SeemaMisra

    Hope you have recovered from the migraine.
    ‘He looked at me from his happy place behind his eyes, waiting for me to stop talking.” – I would have felt like screaming or punching him!! Talk about being pig headed.
    The behavior of the hotel staff is strange as they are in the customer service industry and have to be more empathetic. And, of course, be honest.

    Do stop by my #AtoZChallenge post for S and share your thoughts:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughter has a tree nut allergy and had a reaction at a wedding in the country. We called the ambulance which took a while as we were a long way from the nearest hospital. She was slightly better when they arrived. I remember they dismissed it as a case of her having too much to drink and were very off hand. They took her to hospital reluctantly to be checked out. Since then she has always carried an epipen but has had two more serious reactions, each one stronger than before. In retrospect I should have complained to the ambulance authority but it was early days in her allergy and we weren’t sure what we were dealing with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s terrifying! Especially given that they’ve gotten more serious. Allergies like tree nut allergies aren’t to be trifled with, they’re very serious.

      I’m glad it was identified though. But how shocking of the ambulance service!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry! (that it happened, but also that you can’t have cheddar!) I have learned to watch for what I can’t eat. When moving to China, I learned certain food words before even coming here. I’ve had some intestinal issues but never traceable to a certain food. And eating foreign foods, who knows what might disagree with your stomach that you won’t know until you’ve had it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I really so miss cheddar, it’s a tough one.

      That sounds so risky! And absolutely, everything could be different, and even something that seems familiar can be a different variety. Hopefully you’ve managed to navigate. I think translation programs must help these days.


  6. @breakerofthings

    1st thought – it’s quite sad that the best allergens/nutrition information is available from McD and BK. This is important for far too many people.
    2nd Thought – I wonder what it is about cheddar specificaclly…? Is it removable and still cheddar?
    3rd thought – wow…lots and lots of story ideas here.

    In all seriousness, it’s bad enough when cross-contamination or a dash of something means you can’t have a dish, but when some idiot puts your life or health at risk for their own convenience, that is NOT ON.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! I did end up with a headache.

      If you could solve this cheddar question, I will create a science prize to give you. It’s hard, aged cheeses (but not all of them; Parmesan is fine). And get this: while in England, my dad (who also has the cheese trigger) had English cheddar (accidentally) and it was fine!

      There’s no coloring (possible source; the dye they use is made from wood, and wood resin seems to be an issue) and it’s aged differently, in cloth rather than in wax.

      Go to it, science man!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. debscarey

    I tried to give up dairy once and expected to grieve over cheese – only to dream about yoghurt – I mean! I feel for you over cheddar but if @breakerofthings can work his scientific magic – hey hey! And red wine too? Oh you poor darling. I do hope that the cheddar migraine is subsiding and I look forward to hearing how you make them squirm (you are going for that right?)

    A-Zing this year at:
    Normally found at:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t it be amazing??? I’d love to know what it is, and if English cheddar is safe to eat! Because that would be fantastic.

      I’d miss all the dairy! I don’t eat much meat, so I’ve got to get my protein somewhere.

      Nope, no red wine for me, but at least I still have white. And chocolate! Chocolate would be very, very rough.

      Liked by 1 person

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