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Looking for Advice on Restaurants that will happily modify food for dietary restrictions

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Hello,

My folks are coming into town this weekend and we'll be looking for multiple places to eat.

My dad has some dietary restrictions (nothing cooked in butter, no animal fats all together).

I was wondering if you all knew of a place that would be willing to meet this request. I know asking for things not to be cooked in butter (though olive oil is okay) may not sounds that bad, but sometimes places are really irritated by the request.

I'd appreciate some recommendations. Boston or cambridge locations preferred (but we will have a car). 15 - 35 entree price range for dinner. Nothin fancy necessary for lunch. Probably looking for 3 dinners and 3 lunches. Brunch and breakfast recs would be good, too.

Seafood options always a plus.

Thanks a lot!

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  1. I'd be thinking asian as butter just doesn't get used. My ultimate fallback for dietary restrictions (most of my friends keep Kosher, but will eat vegitarian in non-kosher establishments) is a Thai place... at a good one, the assumption if you go veg is that you're a practicing Buddhist - and won't go near meat.

    Just a thought.

    1. The one and only time I ate at #9 Park, during a restaurant week lunch, thy actually made me a portion of their cioppino with no sausage in it (I don't eat meat, but eat fish). I've never forgotten that, and if they cater to a diner during a RW lunch, I can imagine they'd be even more accomodating if you were paying full price!

      As others have said, Asian is it. Especially Thai (Dok Bua and Khao Sarn will do anything for their guests; it always seems to speak of the amazing reputaion for Thai hospitality).

      1. EVOO in Somerville, near Inman Square and Harvard, is a very YES kitchen; the nicest most accomodating chef I know.also one of our top fav restnts. large super menu, generous portions, local seasonal produce etc. Handsome comfortable room too and not too loud for good conversation. easy parking as well.

        1. As a former line cook I can say it really depends on how the kitchen is set up and the food is prepped. Sometimes the butter or fat is not removable. It also depends on how busy it is and the chef's mood (as well as how intricate the dietary request is). Most chefs will accommodate for health diets.

          Be sure to inquire about soups too - many (even clear broth soups) begin with bacon fat for flavor.

          That said: Thai is probably the easiest way to go with a guarantee of many animal fat-free options. Or you could call ahead and ask to speak with the chef (managers will make promises that might not be able to keep). Best time to call is between meal 'rush' (after lunch, before dinner: 3-3:30pm)

          1. ChefKat has a good point -- you are probably better off thinking of restaurants with simple preparations. I have been to a number of high end restaurants with a vegetarian friend in tow, and there have been a good number who have bent over backwards to be accomodating but in the end couldn't do very much -- because everything depended on stocks or sauces that contained meat.

            In other words, think about how the cuisine in question is prepared, and steer away from anything sauce-heavy. Even the difference between, say, northern and southern Italian can be significant in that respect.

            1. I believe that there are many choices at Legal Seafood that have no butter and they certainly will prepare to order.