This past summer, we made a last minute decision to go up to Åre and hike due to the lack of warmer swedish summer temps. We found a cabin on blocket(Craigslist) since we need a kitchen to cook safe food in for our oldest with tree nut and peanut allergies. Our first night there, we made a safe meal at home. On our second evening after a day of hiking, exhausted, we decided to try to find a safe restaurant and get a pizza(pizza is usually safe, because pizza joints generally don’t have other foods on the menu that increases the risk of cross contamination). The first pizza place we found, we experience a little bit of a language problem with the staff(norwegian), and the establishment just seemed unclean. That always sends off warning signals for me, to me that means a not attentive and serious kitchen – if the dining area is not clean, imagine the kitchen. And that can mean everything to a person who cannot tolerate possible cross contamination(even if the risk is low when there are not many elements in this particular establishment that can cause cross contamination, I don’t like to take the risk with my 8year old). So we moved on… found a restaurant that served pizza… but also served other finer dining food. My natural instinct of scanning the menu before we sit down, looking for nuts in other entrees, begins before the hostess reaches us. Then I give her the usual list of questions concerning their handling of food allergy guests…. Moments like this are key – if the first person we meet at the restaurant creates any kind of hesitation – we leave. But she passed – reassuring us there would be a clear line of communication between us and the kitchen, and seated us. Seated, we immediately question the server before they can begin placing bread etc on our table – after initially informing the server of our daughters severe allergy and risks involved in dining out, we do relax, a little. Our daughter has the pizza, as do the rest of us. Long story short, the staff was so helpful and reassuring… we ended up eating there 5 out of 7 evenings(not in our initial budget) but when the head chef made a special meal for our daughter consisting of filet mignon with balsamic sauce and freshly cut fries on the second visit there… our daughter was in heaven. After that, the activities during the days were fun – but all she begged for everyday was to go back to the restaurant.
For a child that rarely gets to enjoy dining out, and if she does – the only safe places are McDonalds and pizza places in Sweden, experiencing a REAL meal at a restaurant thats made especially for her(its important she feels confident and safe too with the chef)is priceless. Of course we caved and let her enjoy this milestone moment, over and over again at our little summer getaway… our pot of Gold in Åre, wersens.se.
Thank you to all the knowledgeable and service minded staff at Wersens… your attentiveness to our special allergy needs dining experience made our visit to Åre the most memorable, almost more memorable than kissing a moose ;).
If you are in Åre, make sure to add Wersens Bar & Grill to your dining pleasure. Delicious entrees, and beyond amazing staff!