People with dietary restrictions often have trouble going out to dinner.
Even with more and more restaurants becoming more accommodating to people’s allergies and beliefs, most restaurants still don’t offer these people a wide range of choices.
Sometimes they might have to settle for the one dish they can eat, while other times there might not be something they can eat on the menu, resulting in their needing to make a special request to the kitchen.
Redditor Loquacious-Box8284 followed a strict diet which most restaurants in their hometown seldom accommodated.
As a result, the original poster (OP) took matters into their own hands for their sister’s rehearsal dinner.
Resulting in a major inconvenience for the restaurant, and an unexpected surcharge for their parents.
Concerned they may have stepped out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for lying about a food allergy?”
The OP explained the measures they took to ensure they would get a meal they could eat at their sister’s rehearsal dinner, and all the trouble it caused.
“I’m vegan, have been for over 5 years.”
“I’m lucky to live in a major city with a plethora of entirely or partially vegan restaurants.”
“But, when I visit my family in rural Pennsylvania, my options become nonexistent.”
“Attitudes toward veganism here range from ignorance to outright hostility.”
“I try to avoid eating out with my family when I’m home, at ALL costs, but sometimes it simply isn’t avoidable.”
“For example, my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner.”
“My sister had her dinner at the foremost ‘fine dining’ establishment in this town.”
“It’s a big old tavern that bills itself as a ‘French-influenced steakhouse’.”
“Menu fare is every imaginable cut of steak drowned in butter, with some chicken and fish drowned in butter, plus sides of veggies and mashed potatoes that are, yes, smothered in butter.”
“The one or two vegetarian dishes are buttered and drowned in creamy sauce.”
“Given that my little brother used to wait tables here, I know that they frown upon substitutions and don’t use much veggie oil for the sake of ‘quality’.”
“I’ve had two negative experiences here, too.”
“I tried to explain my vegan diet my first time here, in-depth, yet my sad little plate of steamed Broccoli was drizzled with butter and my iceberg lettuce salad came with ranch.”
“The second time, a chef came out personally and promised me that his tomato pasta dish was vegan.”
“Only for me to find that they’d swirled parmesan cheese into the red sauce to disguise that they’d accidentally sprinkled it on top.”
“That incident broke my trust completely.”
“For my sister’s dinner, I called ahead and told the chef that I have life-threatening food allergies to meat proteins, dairy, including butter, and egg.”
“Finally, they took me seriously.”
“I was served a dish of plain pasta with salt and pepper with fruit, which sucked but I appreciated the consideration.”
“For those allergies, though, they had to scrub down the entire kitchen, clean the fryers, check the ingredient lists of their products, etc.”
“That prep apparently cost them an extra 2 hours, and, I didn’t realize this, they charged my parents, who are paying for the rehearsal, an extra several hundred for their time.”
“My sister and parents are LIVID.”
“I already sent my mom the several hundred needed to cover the extra cost, but they’re upset at me for lying and humiliating the chef and restaurant, with whom they have close ties.”
“My sister’s wedding is this weekend and something tells me that it’s gonna be tense.”
“Personally, I think that if this restaurant is gonna continue with their ignorance and inconsideration, they got what they deserve.”
“AITA for ensuring my needs are met?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The OP received little to no support from the Reddit community, who felt they were pretty clearly the a**hole for lying to the restaurant about having allergies.
Everyone agreed that there were several other ways the OP could have handled the situation, with many stressing that their lie undermines people who do actually suffer from life-threatening allergies.
“This sort of attitude is what makes many people hate vegans.”
“It’s a steakhouse in an area where you admitted that veganism isn’t considered a big thing.”
“They probably don’t have easy means to make a vegan meal and don’t get many requests like this.”
“You even said when they tried it wasn’t that great.”
“Since you’ve had previous issues with this place, you could have called them in advance and been really blunt about what you can/can’t eat, ask if they couldn’t accommodate you, or if you could bring your own food as this is for sister’s rehearsal dinner.”
“Lying wasn’t the way to go about it.”
“At all.”- cpop616
“Bring your own food.”
“This is not a vegan restaurant and you cannot expect a steakhouse to cater to vegan requirements, meanwhile now you’ve created more kitchen staff who won’t take allergies seriously.”- Fainora
“YTA for lying and for saying they got what they deserved.”
“They are a steakhouse, not a vegan restaurant.”
“Not every place is responsible for your dietary restrictions.”- JudgyUnicorn
“People like you are why people with real, life-threatening food allergies aren’t taken seriously.”-Unique-Calligrapher8
“There are people with severe allergies and when people falsify allergies because of dietary preferences or dislikes, it makes it harder for people with legitimate allergies to be taken seriously.”
“Also, if you can’t eat the food, just eat something beforehand or afterward, or skip the dinner and explain why.”
“I’ve had to pack a protein bar to eat before at an event where I couldn’t eat the main course because of allergies.”
“I made that choice though.”
“Could I have skipped going?”
“Sure, but it was also a time to visit with some people I hadn’t seen in years and was happy to see, and it was one meal.”
“Was easy enough to hit a drive-thru afterward.”- shortnsweet33
“You could have just asked for a garden salad with dressing on the side.”
“Jesus Christ, you give us vegans/vegetarians a bad name.”
There were a few, however, who while they didn’t condone the OP’s behavior, felt that it was wrong that the restaurant couldn’t accommodate their vegan diet.
“There’s several other things you could’ve done rather than lying about having life-threatening allergies.”
“Explained to your family that this particular restaurant has refused/intentionally ignored your dietary requests in the past and you won’t be going.”
“Go anyways, but eat beforehand.”
“Go and be insistent about your dietary restrictions and every time they do it wrong send it back.”
“Every. Single. Time.”
“Until they finally do it right.”
“I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could’ve done, but the right option is never going to be ‘lie about life-threatening food allergies’.”
“My friend actually is deathly allergic to dairy.”
“She’ll die even if her food is prepared on a station that had dairy on it previously and hasn’t been cleaned.”
“And it’s people like you that make it so no one takes her seriously.”
“It’s the same as people who put a vest on their dog and say it’s a service dog when it clearly isn’t”
“YTA for that.”
“However I’m gonna say ESH cause the restaurant should’ve been able to accommodate you in the first place.”
“It’s not that hard and they’re jerks for messing it up several times before, which caused you to lose trust and choose to lie about allergies.”- Swampman5000
“Hi someone with an actual food allergy, lactose, and potentially gluten, please don’t use a condition that can and is life-threatening to make your life easier.”
“Also their job 10X harder.”
“The restaurant shouldn’t have lied but you shouldn’t have either.”- Budget-Ad56
“Eh, I’m on the fence here.”
“My partner has specific dietary needs due to a chronic illness but they would never lie to get their needs met.”
“Especially knowing the way staff has to prep for certain things e.g. serious allergies.”
“When her needs cannot be met, she works around it herself.”
“It sucks but these things will not always be easy.”
“But also the repercussions in this story were wild.”
“The extra cost really should have been mentioned beforehand by the restaurant when you told them about the ‘allergies’.- tnahrp
It must be frustrating, to say the least, for the OP to constantly have to search long and hard for food that aligns with their vegan diet.
Even if the restaurant should have likely had at least one vegan dish, the OP should have thought more carefully before telling them such a serious lie.
Regardless of whether or not they knew they would have to go to so much trouble.
One can only hope the OP won’t make the same mistake at their sister’s wedding.