My husband is severly allergic to nightshade peppers. This means buying food is difficult, and eating out together nearly impossible. We'd been able to eat at Carrabbas in the past, so while out shopping we decided to go get dinner.
We do the "Hello waitress, horribly inconvenient food allergies, so, yaknow, it's going to be a pain, but everything needs to be checked and rechecked." dance. She goes "One of our managers is our allergy expert, I will get him!" We're very happy with this because generally anyone who knows about food allergies has some idea how serious they are.
We explain, he's all " I know the menu inside and out! Let me list off everything that would be safe and wouldn't." Going through each item one by one, even as my husband tries to interrupt a few times to just ask about the item he's interested. A little rude, but not bad. Finally my husband goes "Ok, the pasta with the artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes, are they marinated in spices, or just plain?" "Oh they're just plain, we don't use any of the marinated ones with the spice mixtures in the liquid" "Is any salad safe?" "The Italian is made in-house with blahblahblah and no red or green peppers of any kind! I've made it myself so I know, no peppers."
So he orders salad and pasta, I order, salad comes, he takes one bite, freezes, fishes something out and hands it to me with "Is this a tomato or a pepper?" I taste and go "... I'm... not sure?" I had just taken a bite of my soup and bell peppers can be fairly mild, so it was hard to tell. So we ask the waitress, she asks the chef, oh yeah, the Italian dressing is totally made with red bell pepper chunks! My husband quickly takes two benadryl for the bell pepper he bit into.
We ask "Could you double check the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts?" and she goes, gets the jars to show us. Marinated In Spices.
She offers to take his meal off the bill and says she already asked the kitchen to make plain pasta with olive oil and cheese. We say we just want the food to-go.
And then another manager comes over and with the smuggest tone possible explains to us.
"I'm sorry we couldn't accomidate your allergy, but when cooking food from scratch, excellent food, there's a lot of spices used and you can't really control what goes it. We look forward to you coming back."
We're just sitting there with our mouths open because really? REALLY? First, cooking from scratch is what lets you control the ingredients! And second, we saw the jars! That is not cooking from scratch, that's assembling a final product.
We did tip our waitress excellently because she really worked so hard trying to get him safe food, but we won't be back. If I'm in the mood for some Carrabbas, I can just open some jars myself.
ETA: It's a very minor one, but after everything as we're walking out the hostess barely glances at us and just goes "Have a good night, ladies." Which was just... wha?