Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Dairy Free, Nut Allergies, etc.
We've heard it all. Or I think we have until someone says "I can't have _____; is it in the _____?" What do we offer for our non-omnivorous customers? We can mostly accommodate you...
Gluten Free: yes, usually there is a GF item or two or three or an option to make it GF on the menu. We don't serve gluten free bread and buns. Why? Because we haven't found any that are worth eating! Yes, there are great GF bread and buns of all shapes and sizes, but only at retail (high) prices, and that doesn't work for our little business!
Vegan: yes, there is almost always a vegan option. I'm going to tell you a sad, but funny story...
There is a woman in our community who seems very nice. But ... we call her the Angry Vegan because she has come to Orca Eats three or four times and yelled at us about not having any vegan food that she likes! We explain as politely as possible what the vegan options are, and we ask what she would like to eat, and she only wants tofu sandwiches. We don't have tofu sandwiches on the menu. Tofu is wonderful. Sandwiches are wonderful. But I haven't had a wonderful sandwich with tofu in it, and I don't think one will be popping up on our menu any time soon. Sorry, Angry Vegan. And yes, I always suggest she go to Pure, the vegan raw foods cafe on Bank Road, or Anu Rana's on Vashon Highway in town. She snarls at me when I make the suggestions. Poor dear; she is so angry!
Vegetarian: yes, there is almost always a vegetarian option. That's easy.
Paleo: people don't request paleo, but sometimes I see the wheels turning in their heads and say "what can I help you with?" and it comes out that they eat paleo. They usually end up eating GF, as that meshes well, skip the dairy.
Dairy Free: yep, most of the time! We have two extended family people who are DF, so we get this one too. Vegan is DF, so that's always an option if the nonvegan item(s) are dairyfull.
Nut Allergies: Oh my! We had a near miss last year when a customer ordered her food without nuts and the message didn't get through to the staffer serving the food. Fortunately, she saw the nuts. We felt bad. We made it up to her. She comes by almost every week for a bite. We love her and her cat, who comes along, too.
•There's the nice woman who can't eat bell peppers.
•The man who eats no nightshades (peppers, potatoes, eggplants).
•The woman who always wants to know what the sweetener is in the desserts (sugar or honey most of the time).
•The family who goes happily nuts when we have sweet potato soup on the menu because they can all eat it!
•Onion-guy is tough, because lots of good tasting food includes onions in the earliest cooking stages, so they can't be pulled out. But he's so nice!
•The customer who only wants a light, fresh salad because she's just come from her yoga class and doesn't want anything heavy. No problem!
Because our food is real and made from scratch, we know what's in each recipe; just ask! We get it! Just let us know how we can help you to eat whatever works best for you. We try, although we can't always accommodate.