The meal pictured is a plain hamburger patty on oopsie rolls with Lettuce and tomatoes. Coconut flour sugar cookies from the “Keto Cookbook“, they happen to work great in a cookie press! A few raspberries, and the penguins are just black olives filled with cream cheese and pieces of carrot to make the feet and nose (I found this idea on Pinterest). A few syringes of oil was served on the side to make the correct ratio.
For Charlotte’s 6th birthday, Both grand-mom’s, myself and Charlotte took a trip to the American Girl Doll store. We planned to spend the afternoon picking out a doll and required accessories, then eat lunch in the restaurant. Having been a keto mom for nearly a year at this point, I of course called ahead to make sure they would be able to heat up meal for her.
The first red flag should have been that the individual restaurants do not have direct phone numbers. You have to call a centralized office to make all reservations. As I made the reservation, I explained that she was on a medical diet for epilepsy and would be brining outside food into the restaurant, not buying a meal from their menu. Well, the representative was super kind and assured me that there would be no problem accommodating Charlotte.
We arrived at the store, purchased her doll whom she named “Sally” and asked to be seated at our table. We sat, ordered our drinks, and looked over the menu. When the waitress came to take our order, she asked what Charlotte wanted first…..Charlotte happily exclaimed that “mommy brought me my special birthday meal!”
BLANK STARE from waitress……”UMMM OK, I’LL BE RIGHT BACK”…….she says. My stomach drops to the floor….
The CHEF comes to our table. For a second I think that this might turn out ok… wrong, wrong, wrong again.
The very nice, soft-spoken chef kindly tells me that per American Girl Doll policy, no outside food is allowed in the restaurant. They are able to accommodate any special dietary needs by having their trained chefs cook special meal requests.
OH REALLY??? Why did they not tell me that I could have the afternoon off and he would happily cook a ketogenic meal at a 4:1 ratio?
I’m not sure what my exact response was, but it ended with something to the tune of “have you ever even heard of the ketogenic diet???”
There was that BLANK STARE again…
Of course he had never heard of it! Are there we are, all four of us still sitting there, hungary, frustrated, ketones are dropping by the second in my mind, and did I mention frustrated? The icing on the cake was….he then said the most horrible thing of all… “the entire facility is NUT FREE.”
Seeing RED, I quickly thought about the meal that I had worked so hard on to prepare and make special for her birthday. There are about 2 meals in our entire collection of 400+ that are nut free….
I happily told him that this meal was indeed nut free,about how when I made the reservation we would be bringing outside food, ect… I was never informed of any of the polices that are apparently nation-wide, and that we would not be leaving. Charlotte wanted to eat lunch with Sally, after all it was her birthday and she really wanted the special meal!
In the end, since I had made every effort to alert them to our special circumstances regarding meals, we were allowed to stay, and they did heat up the meal for us…
at about 1000 degrees with the plastic wrap still on!!!!!! Seriously.
The hamburger patty was the size of a checker when it came back, with plastic wrap melted on the top like cheese. The “chef” put it on the table in front of me and smiled! If this had been in the very early days of keto for Charlotte, I would not have been as prepared. I just so happened to pack not one, but two hamburger patties. I have no idea why I did that, but someone else was watching out for me that day! After all of that, Charlotte ended up eating the cold hamburger patty and was just as happy.
1. Have a back up plan.
2. Just because you call ahead, does NOT guarantee you will be given the correct information regarding their policies.
3. Have a back up plan.
4. After double checking the American Girl web page again, there is no information stating that the facility is nut free (it would be equally as informative for those WITH nut allergies to know this). The only mention is a note at the bottom of the menu that instructs you to ask your server about allergy information.
5. Have a back up plan!
I showed this meal to my keto kid and he begged for the penguins. He loves them and has had them for after school snack with milk and oil everyday this past week. Thanks!