This month’s blog is the start of my new bi-weekly series.
I am creating this series for all the food-allergy-stricken foodies living in sunny San Diego, or any travelers that dream of dining in paradise. If you want the inside scoop of how restaurants cater to people with food allergies, read on!
Stacked is a full-service restaurant with an innovative approach to ordering. Using an electronic tablet, a customer controls the order experience and pay-and-go freedom without the wait; and gives you the option to ask for a server at the touch of a button. It is located in the heart of the Fashion Valley mall in Mission Valley, San Diego. Stacked offers customizable pizzas, salads, hamburgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, & desserts. It’s a great place to dine after a long day of shopping or meeting up with friends or family.
When you first walk into this restaurant you will notice that the venue is always filled with people, and every table will have their own tablet sitting on top. I came to learn that the management and kitchen staff of this restaurant go above and beyond for those with food allergies, intolerances, or diet restrictions. Besides the wide variety of allergy-aware options, Stacked sits at the top of the list as one of my trusted places to dine.
THE MENU TABLET
- You can put your order in whenever you want and in whichever order you want (drinks, appetizers, entrees, etc.) This is valuable because if half of your party is ready to order and the other half is still looking, there is no rush - anything can be ordered whenever you please and without waiting for a server to arrive at your table.
- You can take your time to customize everything that is being sent to the kitchen through the iPad. Whether you’re ordering pizza, hamburger, salad or macaroni and cheese - you can “stack” your own entrée so it fits your palate and dietary needs - and the iPad has a feature to show whether or not each item is gluten free or not (other allergens would be nice, but with time I remain hopeful!)
- Every table has an assigned server and is called upon at the push of a button on your menu tablet. It’s at this point that I hit the button to start a dialogue between the server and myself about my food allergies. After I give my allergy card to the server, he or she then shows it to their manager, who then shows it to the kitchen staff to ensure the kitchen is prepped to handle the food order properly.
I give this place 5/5 stars.
My food allergies have always been taken seriously and the staff always reassures me that my food will be prepared safely when I tell them my laundry list of allergies (sesame seeds, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy and red wine).
Added bonus to this place - If you suffer from gluten and/or nut allergy/intolerance you will be able to enjoy pizza, Mac ’n’ cheese, hamburgers and french fries!
And lastly, as I mentioned above, this restaurant also allows you to customize your own dessert. Although I am not able to partake in that fun, they do offer a gluten-free rice-crispy treat. It may contain a little dairy, so I enjoy it with a lactase enzyme digestive pill, which helps me digest any diary present. I will say that most occasions I eat here I am a bit bloated - there could be a small amount of cross contamination of gluten, or it could be the fact that my body can’t handle greasy foods like french fries, hamburgers and pizza - but every now and then I cheat and want these foods, as I am sure most of us do! It’s always worth it!
The service here is mindful, kind and reassuring. Not every server will be food savvy, but at least they are trained to give allergy cards to their manager and kitchen staff. I have dined here multiple times and keep returning because I am able to eat customizable pizza, salad, fries, and hamburgers.