Jay Fox's Dining Guide

FOX: FOOD ALLERGIES ABOUND EVERYWHERE

“‘Dinner theater’ a way of positively guaranteeing that both food and theater will be amateur and mediocre, which means unthreatening and therefore desirable.” — Paul Fussell

IT’S ALMOST SUMMER TIME and time for muh favoritist of all foods: ice cream. But only good ice cream. Or gelato. Or frozen custard. Actually, it’s always a good time for ice cream, or gelato, or frozen custard or frozen yogurt. But in the warm weather G and I take the grandkids for treats. We try not to take their parents but sometimes we get stuck with them also.

Unfortunately, G and several of our kids and grandkids are allergic to certain foods, mainly nuts. The very real and sad answer is that they can’t have ice cream in the local ice cream/gelato store. I talked to GM Isaac Maestas at the new Paciugo store in Belmar who is well aware of the problem. Check ‘em, out at www.paciugo.com. The unusual word, meaning “messing concoction,” is pronounced pah-CHOO-go. G luvs the gelato, but I’m crazy over their coffee cake. The gelato is perty good too. More flavors than Carter has liver pills.

Anywho, the issue is really not resolvable. Fortunately, this store has a sign posted that essentially sez if you are allergic to nuts, don’t order any of our gelati. Even tho the machines are thoroughly cleaned, and servers use a different scoop for each flavor, the nuts are there. The particles of nuts remain in the air and in the machines cuz standard cleaning doesn’t always get rid of them. The dust from the nuts can cause severe allergic reactions and you shouldn’t take the chance. Every website on the subject sez, when in doubt, don’t. If you do have food allergies you should carry an epipen or at the very least some anti-allergy medication.

Several major brands of ice cream disclose enuf information on their packaged product to tell you which flavors have nuts or other allergens, Bryer’s, and Ben and Jerry’s. Blue Bunny has the info on their website www.bluebunny.com/Products/NutritionGuide.aspx. There doesn’t seem to be reports of allergic reactions to certain flavors of these brands.

The same issue occurs in restaurants and you have to be smart and alert. We took GD#1, Emma, to a top end steakery several years ago, and about the time dessert came her face ballooned to double its normal size. While management did everything they could to find the source of the allergen, we decided that it had to be in the salad. She had ordered a Caesar salad, but the restaurant offered other salads including a nut-infested Waldorf salad. Apparently the salad person didn’t change gloves when he or she made the different salads. It should never happen.

If you have allergies, you need to be aware of what’s in every dish you prepare at home and every dish you order in a restaurant. If the W isn’t sure, ask for the chef. Meanwhile, you should carry an allergy medical card and a list of your allergies.

For more information, go to the FAAN website. That is The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (www.foodallergy.org). This is THE source for everything you ever want to know about food allergies. Get on their “e-mail alert” list and when a product is recalled or there is an allergy issue with some food item, they will send you an e-mail. I get several every week.

HAPPENINGS AT BELMAR. I can’t tell you enuf about muh favorite shopping center, Belmar, or muh favorite deli. Delaney’s East Coast Style Delicatessen (7007 W. Alaska Dr., Lakewood, 303-936-3354; www.delaneysdeli.com) is going strong, with new summer hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, and til 4 p.m. on Sunday. They will soon be offering breakfast items daily, including their unbelievable corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, and a variety of breakfast sangies. They still serve the absolutely best roast beef sangie in town, but the pulled pork and the brisket are closing in. Watch for them to offer dinner specials soon.

A few doors east of Delaney’s, Las Margaritas closed its doors forever. The patio was always jumping, but that was boozing. The food was disgusting. Even G wouldn’t eat it and she eats darn near anything Mexican. The hand-written sign on the door sez to visit their sister eatery at 17th and Downing. Why bother? Bad food is bad wherever they go.

The not-really-European-inspired-farmer’s-market is about to open for the season, and while I don’t think its inspired by Europe or anywhere else, it’s a fun place to trundle out and visit Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Check out their website at www.belmarcolorado.com.

Sure wish some maavelous ice cream/hot dog/burger joint would take the space next to the movie theater at Belmar. It’s been vacant since Johnny Rocket vacated what seems like a zillion years ago. If I had dough, I’d open there in a heartbeat. The place is crawling with folks, particularly teenagers with $ in their pockets, every nite, even when the weather is bad. If you haven’t been to this theater, the Century Cinemark Lakewood Belmar 16 is terrific. There are 17 eateries and drinkeries (a word I just made up) in Belmar. It’s all here. Didya know that the bowling alley directly across from the movie theater has terrific grub? Too bad cell service sucks there. You could even buy a place to live.

Cya.

Well, we now know where to find Mr. Fox when we’re trying to reach him — at Belmar, of course! We’ll make sure he comes into Denver every once in a while to taste our food. You can probably get in touch with him at Jay@jayfoxcpa.com.