Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nashville Gluten Free Restaurant Review: Boscos

It's been a while since this dining experience but it left me feeling so negatively about a place I previously loved for 10 years that I had to write about it.
My experience at Bosco's is not the worst or most uncaring service I've ever had but it was surprising. I've been going here for over a decade, ever since I moved to Nashville 11 years ago. It's one of my favorites and I've always loved their food and bar.
This was the first time I had been there since realizing I was gluten intolerant. It was a group work function for a dual baby shower of two coworkers. I thought surely, they would be a good choice and would be able to handle my dietary need. In an effort to not be the difficult one in a large group of people, I walked to the hostess stand after everyone was seated, and asked if they, by chance, had a menu marked with gluten free items. The hostess gave me a blank stare (which I am now used to, and many of you can sympathize with). From her stare I assumed she had no idea what I was talking about so I let her know what ingredients I needed to stay away from. What she said next really made me laugh. She shrugged her shoulders and said "Well... there's always lettuce. We've got lettuce so you can definitely have that!" She was really proud of herself....
I quickly gathered that she was the wrong one to talk to and ended up letting my server know of my intolerance. He had no idea what gluten was either BUT I was perfectly content when he gave me the professional answer that "I'm not extremely familiar with this but I will be sure that the kitchen is aware and I can confirm your selections with them." That's all I needed to hear. Managers need to take note: don't just train your servers on allergies... Include your hostesses. They are the first impression of your restaurant and if they get a question they can't handle about an allergy it doesn't make people feel awesome to hear "There's always lettuce". It's actually a joke now among my friends and family.
In all, the kitchen redeemed the experience even though there was virtually nothing on the menu and I did get sick later that afternoon from the salad I ate (Gorgonzola pear salad). I don't honestly expect all restaurants to be perfectly safe and completely accomodating, but I do feel that they should treat people with allergies with an awareness and respect. I wont be going back to Bosco's anytime soon and that truly makes me sad.

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