Twitter Pinterest Instagram Facebook


Dining Out: Applebee's Restaurant (Bellingham, Washington)

One of the goals we had at the beginning of this year was to travel somewhere, outside of the province with our peanut and tree nut allergic son on an overnight trip. We decided to achieve our goal in baby steps.

At the end of June, we drove to Woodland Zoo in Seattle for an overnight stay at my sister-in-law's cabin in Marysville, Washington. We had brought our own lunch and relied on my sister-in-law for two meals.

This past Sunday, we ventured down to Seattle again and this time, we stayed at the Westin Bellevue using my husband's Starwood Preferred Guest points. The preparation for this trip was much different as we had three meals (two dinners and one lunch) where we relied on restaurants to accommodate our little man's food allergies. I had performed extensive research on allergy aware restaurants by asking members of a local food allergy group I belong to and checked out the websites of recommended restaurants.

One of the three restaurants we tried on this trip was Applebee's in Bellingham, Washington.

Applebee's in Bellingham, Washington

For those of you not familiar with Applebee's, they are an U.S. restaurant chain that specializes in casual fare. My husband and I have dined with Applebee's sporadically over the years; mostly at their Burlington, Washington location.

This was our first visit to Applebee's Bellingham location and our first visit to Applebee's as a family with a food allergic toddler in tow.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by the hostess, Jasmine. We informed her that we have a child with a food allergy and wanted to know if they could accommodate us. Jasmine was kind and patiently answered our questions. My husband then asked to speak to the manager, Adam, who came promptly, armed with a food allergy menu.

Adam provided phenomenal service. In the 17 months since our son's diagnosis, we have only been taken care of this well once. Yes, you read that correctly. Once. That other time was at Red Robin in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Adam discussed at length how they prepare food for diners with food allergies: clean gloves, special handling of food with supervision from him, all to minimize cross contact. Moreover, he went over the food allergy menu with us (which has a three months effective date) and discussed at length which items were safe for our little man. Adam recommended that we avoid ordering anything deep fried as they do not have a dedicated fryer which may be cross contaminated with nuts. We were so impressed by Adam and his professionalism that we happily asked for a table.

Safe food: two mini cheeseburgers, broccoli and milk.

Once we sat down, we were greeted by Morgan, our server. Adam had gone above and beyond and informed Morgan that our little man has food allergies. Morgan was equally amazing, as he recommended safe substitutes our own meals: bread sticks instead of tortilla chips (which are deep fried fresh in their kitchen) for our spinach and artichoke dip and baked potato instead of french fries for my husband's rib dinner.

Riblet Basket: ribs and baked potato.

Throughout the meal, both Morgan and Adam followed up with us to make sure we were happy. I felt like a rock star as a result of their exceptional service and breathed a sigh of relief that I have found a safe restaurant for my little man to eat at. Applebee's turned out to be a great choice: allergy aware, affordable and delicious!

Fiesta Lime Chicken

Prior to my little man's diagnosis, we did not understand the difficulties faced by families with food allergies, especially when dining out. We have discovered that once your child has a food allergy, you gain a deep gratitude towards those who are willing to accommodate and help keep your child safe. In return, you remain a loyal customer to their place of business and spread the word to other food allergy families.

A huge thank you to Adam, Morgan and Jasmine at Applebee's Bellingham for your exceptional service! We look forward to our next visit.

1069 E. Sunset Drive
Bellingham, WA 98226

**Please note that ingredients and menus can change. Always inform the manager/chef/server of your food allergies prior to ordering.**

No comments:

Post a Comment