I don’t have food restrictions, but my family does. So, when I go to plan a trip for my family, I sometimes forget about these restrictions.
For example, this past weekend we took a trip to Savannah. Prior to the trip, I reached out and got lots of restaurant recommendations. Some of these restaurant recommendations also looked exciting to me. So exciting that I went ahead and added these restaurants to our itinerary.
Being excited about our upcoming trip, I emailed the people in our party the scheduled itinerary. Everyone in our group was thrilled with my all of my recommendations, except for the restaurants. The other group of people traveling with us were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to eat at an option that I suggested. Later, my wife was also concerned that I hadn’t thought about whether or not our family would be able to eat at the restaurants that I chose as well.
So, I went back and looked at my choices. Although very exciting and original choices, not having the people that you are traveling with able to eat with you at those restaurants is kind of a big deal. After further review, 2 of the 3 restaurants that I chose for the weekend were not a good fit for the group that I was traveling with. Luckily for me, Savannah is known for having amazing cafes. These cafes happen to be able to accommodate everyone in our group. Or so I thought.
I had our first new restaurant option as an option right by our trolley tour stop. When we walked in, again, my wife was concerned that there was nothing for our family to eat at this restaurant as well. This cafe also didn’t seem as if it had many children frequenting it as some of the people in the cafe seemed very surprised when we were bringing in children. So, I learned a valuable lesson that even though on TripAdvisor a restaurant lists itself as a friendly to guests that have dietary restrictions, they may not be as friendly as you might think they are and so in the future I better look at the menu.
I quickly searched, on Google Maps instead, for a place in which everyone in our group could eat, Kayak Cafe http://www.eatkayak.com. We found it and it even had the perfect food for everyone in our group! Plus, it was delicious!!
On the second day, I learned my lesson and my wife and I picked out the restaurant that our family would eat at. So, in order for everyone in our family to not have to worry about food allergies, we typically have to eat Vegan. We were at Tybee Island, which didn’t have any truly Vegan options. So, we improvised and ate dinner at a sushi place called Raw Ingredients. Our children didn’t eat much sushi, but they loved the sides of edamame and cucumbers that they could eat. Plus, our hidden gem for the evening was that there was an ice cream shop right next door that had Vegan ice cream!
It’s a good thing that I worked with my wife to find where we were eating the 2nd day, because the cafe that I chose for our 2nd day didn’t have many options. So, I’m learning. My children have had these food allergies their whole life, but my wife has only been plant-based recently. With all of the food allergies and dietary restrictions our family has, it is a good thing that I am a travel planner as sometimes places to eat can be hard to find. But, every time we found our restaurant, we ate up all of our food and everyone was happy. Though it was hard to find a restaurant that can accommodate everyone, seeing them happy before, during and after eating was worth it.