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Help with Diet Restrictions

Hey everyone,

I'll be back in the Bay Area for a couple of weeks next month and will be dining out with a friend one night who has had all sorts of health issues (mercury poisoning, etc!) and am looking for a recommendation that is organic, cooks in olive oil, and serves grains like quinoa and millet, etc. She can eat meat, as long as it's organic. Would like to try and find a great place that would accommodate her dietary restrictions without sacrificing anything; ie. not a vegan/vege menu and no granola hippie eateries... just a great restaurant option that can fall under any cuisine while meeting these requirements. Mid-range priced best.

Thanks so much!!

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  1. Your requirements aren't very specific. Can she eat wheat or does she just prefer quinoa and millet? Can she eat rice? What is restricted besides non-organic meat?
    I'm sure any place will cook in olive oil if you ask them to.
    What do you consider mid-range priced?

    1. Berkeley's probably the best place for picky eaters. Gather, Origen, and Divino are particularly accommodating of special requests.

      1. Wow, this is a first. I've never before seen a request for a restaurant rec that would not poison me with mercury. I don't really understand this. Is it a search for restaurants that serve low-mercury fish?

        1. I never said anything about mercury restrictions... I said she'd had mercury poisoning before and has had severe health issues. As a result, she only eats organic and is very careful about what she consumes in restaurants. I don't know the extent of her dietary restrictions, so perhaps this post was a bit premature. I've asked her several times and she was not very specific; only mentioning what I relayed above. Regardless, I've discovered that my favorite SF chef is preparing a vegetarian degustation on the 5th with his Lazy Bear bi-monthly popup, and that is surely where we'll be as it's consistently among the most thoughtful and creative menus in town with unique prep and wonderful atmosphere, and I think ranks top value in the whole Bay Area. I'm excited that they are doing a vegetarian dinner on this night, as it gives me a serendipitous excuse to return with my friend and seems to be tailormade for our requirements - market fresh and organic produce, interesting use of infusions with unique herbs and spices, beans, grains, farm-fresh and raw veges, etc. I'm sure she'll be fine with this.

          1. Just got this email update from her:

            I have to AVOID:
            - gluten
            - lactose
            - glucose (this one is a little tricky because it includes sugar, fruits, beans, vinegar, most sauces and starchy veggies like eggplant or potato)
            - raw foods
            - fish
            - mushrooms
            - oil (except olive oil, thankfully I can have olive oil)

            It sounds so complicated, but it really isn't that bad... just very plain, bland, simple foods seasoned only with sea salt and herbs

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            Looks like I'll be doing Lazy Bear alone with my gf the night before and just cooking at home with her... Unless anyone can recommend some place thast would cater to such specific dietary restrictions. Doesn't sound likely, at least without pissing off the chef!

            8 Replies
            1. re: OliverB

              It would probably be easier to list what she will eat.

              That's quite a challenge, but the three places I mentioned above might rise to it.

              1. re: OliverB

                I'd second Gather and also recommend the Plant Cafe Organic (several locations in SF). http://www.theplantcafe.com/

                1. re: OliverB

                  I would suggest a steakhouse, maybe Epic. You will easily avoid lactose, gluten, glucose just check what kind of sauces or marinades they may use.

                  1. re: tjinsf

                    I don't think any of SF's steakhouses have organic beef.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Calafia in Palo Alto could be a good fit - we like the filet steak there - grass-fed - we ask for no sauce or mushrooms on the kids order - they split it and love it! It comes with braised kale w/vinegar (we ask for plain with salt) and cauliflower mash (kids prefer extra kale no other veggies) - but they are super at substituting - happy to do it - good service - delicious steak
                      They also have cooked non gluten grains on the menu...she could pick and choose what fits -

                        1. re: bayareagirl2001

                          That is so disturbing bayareagirl2001 - I am going in there tomorrow to confirm.,,that just sickens me that they are purposely misleading their customers..and now I have lost another place to eat - we often order that filet because I thought it was grassfed and finished - not just given grass when it was quite young
                          IMO there is no such thing as a cow being mature enough to handle grains - they are ruminants and their stomachs are not suited to grains at all...

                          What a huge disappointment...

                          1. re: takuhead

                            Yes I agree, it is a huge disappointment. Report back what they tell you tomorrow.

                            Surprisingly a restaurant called Lyfe which is connected to a former macdonalds ceo might actually be truthful about their grassfed claim. I called tonight and was told they get their beef from Hearst Farms which seems like the real deal according to their website. But i still feel skeptical since other restaurants have dissapointed me so I would need to confirm the Hearst Farms claim with several sources before I go. The only trustworthy grass fed is a Panorama Farms ribeye from Whole Foods cooked at home. And it wouldnt be as expensive as going out!