Visiting Atlanta for the first time this past summer, I went out to eat three times. Two out of those three times, my allergies were put to the test. At diners such as OHOP, a.k.a. the Original House of Pancakes, I typically get pancakes, eggs, bacon, & juice. However this simple order wasn’t so simple. If my friend had not noticed that on PAGE 3 of the menu a small warning notice that mentioned the inclusion of peanut oil only in the pancakes, then I would’ve been a goner! Atlanta couldn’t stop me that time, buuuuut the next time it did.
El Taco is a lively, Mexican eatery where people have the potential to win menu items every hour. Before the meal even actually started, self-served chips and salsa were an option that my friends and I darted at immediately. There were only five or less ingredients in each salsa, and I read them all CLEARLY—so I thought. After about three minutes, I noticed maybe something wasn’t right, but I kept going. After a few more minutes I really was feeling sick. But with just chips and salsa in front of me, I could not put a finger on what was the cause of this awful feeling. After walking quickly to the bathroom, I asked a waiter if there were nuts in anything we could’ve been eating (thinking the chips were probably cooked in peanut oil). He mentioned there were peanuts in only one salsa. I’ve heard of peanut butter in chili to make it thicker and peanut oil in pancakes due to OHOP, but nuts in salsa was completely new! Thankfully Benadryl saved me again, but I’m curious why my allergy attack wasn’t more severe—I only felt like getting ill for 15min or less. Moral of the story: if you have allergies, READ THE INGREDIENTS at least three times. Just because food doesn’t seem like it has nuts doesn’t mean that’s true.