It's hard to be a diner with a severe allergy. Half the time people think you're just finicky -- or worse, faking it -- and you could potentially end up in the hospital if you get something you weren't supposed to. In solidarity, Modesto Tapas (5257 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8272) has partnered with the St. Louis chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to launch an allergy-free menu on Monday, May 19.
Surprisingly, you can still have a Spanish-influenced menu while avoiding peanuts, gluten and dairy. "Although we offer allergy-free choices on our regular menu and are happy to make accommodations for those with food allergies throughout the year," owner Brendan Marsden said in a statement, "we are proud to promote awareness of AAFA in addition to raising funds for their life-saving programs during this week in May."
Four dishes will be nut-, gluten- and dairy-free, available from May 19 to 25. There's salchichas a la cidra, chicken and bacon sausages with smoked cherry tomato and cider sauce; merluza al Modesto, poached hake with oregano roasted eggplant purée; calabacitas rellenas, roasted zucchini stuffed with oyster mushrooms and grilled scallions with red chimichurri; and sopa de aguacate, avocado gaspacho with shaved cucumber and cilantro oil.
A portion of the menu sales will also go to the St. Louis AAFA. "May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, so this is an opportune time for this promotion to occur," AAFA executive director Joy Krieger said. "We are so grateful to Brendan, chef Carlos [Hernandez] and everyone at Modesto for recognizing the impact and severity of food allergies in addition to highlighting AAFA's work in the community."
Now you just have to convince your non-allergic friends to tag along. It's Modesto, though, so that shouldn't be too hard.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter: