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Help with Diet Restrictions

o
OliverB Apr 11, 2012 04:58 AM

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!!

  1. Euonymous Apr 11, 2012 06:42 PM

    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. Robert Lauriston Apr 11, 2012 06:47 PM

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

      1. pikawicca Apr 11, 2012 06:59 PM

        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. o
          OliverB Apr 12, 2012 07:07 AM

          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. o
            OliverB Apr 12, 2012 08:00 AM

            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

            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            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
              Robert Lauriston Apr 12, 2012 09:24 AM

              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
                k
                karenjmiao Apr 12, 2012 04:29 PM

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

                1. re: OliverB
                  t
                  tjinsf Apr 16, 2012 04:07 PM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston Apr 16, 2012 04:26 PM

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

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      t
                      takuhead Apr 16, 2012 04:41 PM

                      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: takuhead
                        b
                        bayareagirl2001 Sep 4, 2012 07:46 PM

                        Calafia's grassfed beef is NOT grass fed. Read this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8423...

                        1. re: bayareagirl2001
                          t
                          takuhead Sep 4, 2012 09:52 PM

                          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
                            b
                            bayareagirl2001 Sep 4, 2012 10:23 PM

                            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!

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