This week my husband is going to Ireland for work, and I am going to pick him up from the Boston's Logan airport on Sunday. Last time he did this we stopped in Great Barrington for dinner on the way back. We found Baba Louie's Wood Fired Organic Sourdough Pizza in our guidebook and thought it sounded tasty. Scott wanted soup, and I wanted to split a salad, and we agreed to split a salad.
Scott: "Does that salad have nuts in it?"
Waitress: "No, just greens, balsamic dressing, red onions."
Scott: "Ok, we'll have that." Then we each ordered a pizza, and he ordered a beer.
Then, the salad came and he had a few bites and all of a sudden his mouth became as big as a football and as red as fire engine. "I think there may have been a nut in there", he said, running to the bathroom. He was in the bathroom throwing up for about half an hour. The waitress asked what was wrong and said "He did not say he was allergic to nuts".
Me: "Well, he did ask if the salad had nuts, and you said no. That was why he was asking."
Waitress: "Well the nuts are stored above the greens. One probably fell in. If he had said he was allergic we would have been more careful."
Me: "More careful in not putting in ingredients you said didn't belong there in the first place?"
I sat there as he was throwing up, and I got increasingly worried. We asked for directions to the emergency room. She brought the bill. She charged us for his beer he couldn't drink because he was throwing up and full price for everything else, including the salad. Now, I love servers. I was a server. And I know full well she could have made the beer that he was not able to drink or the salad that made him seriously ill disappear off of the check. She was not sorry at all. Sure, she didn't actually put the nut in there, but admit some wrong doing on behalf of the restaurant! Also, people have life threatening allergies and you guys store the nuts above the salad greens? Are you crazy? The fact that she thought it was all his fault for not making a bigger deal out of it (the man had just gotten off an overnight trans-Atlantic flight), when he asked "Does this have nuts in it?" and she said "No" still makes me mad. I tipped her, just because I know what it is like to rely on tips, and that's the kind of girl I am - but really I feel she should have shown some remorse.
So we went to the emergency room in Great Barrington. They gave him a lot of medication, told him he was lucky there was a hospital nearby or he could have lost the ability to breathe with his throat closing up. They told him he was the chattiest patient ever, which was funny. I just kept saying "You should have ordered the soup! I was the one who wanted to get a salad!! We should have gotten soup!!" We ended up getting home at like 2 am. It was awful. I think he had to cancel class the next day. Now deciding where to eat dinner on Sunday night I think we are going to go to the Castle Street Cafe (the restaurant Ruth Reichl told me could not possibly be good). It seems like testing fate too much to go back there.
I might add that the pizza was actually good when I ate it the next day. Also, that the nurse at the hospital said "Yeah that place has a lot of nuts". But I will also say he is able to eat at lots of Chinese restaurants that serve cashews in things and has never gotten sick at any of those. I don't know, here is a tip: if there is something that people have life threatening allergies don't store it above one of the most commonly used ingredients.