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Montague, MI
Dog n Suds
Montague, MI

8/27/09
Patron allergic to milk.

Review sent in by Maureen.
Just wondering if you are interested in
posting info about a food allergy
*non-friendly* restaurant that I
encountered on vacation a few weeks
ago.  

My son is 9yo & milk allergic.  We eat
out about once a month or so, on
average.  We eat out more often,
obviously, while on vacation.  This was
a camping vacation, though, so we
managed most meals 'at home' at the
campsite.

My older sisters had worked at a local
Dog n Suds when I was little, though &
I had fond memories of the chain.  We
had been talking about them amongst
us sisters a few weeks before
vacation & I was excited when I
googled & found two Dog n Suds
restaurants within 30 minutes of where
we were staying on vacation in
Michigan!  Additionally, the info on
their website and Facebook Fan page
made it clear that they took pride on
serving meals 'cooked to order'.  
Heaven for a milk-allergic family!  

So, one day, we drove 30 miles from
our campsite to pick blueberries and
then eat a late lunch at the Dog n Suds
in Montague, MI.  We had talked it up
so much that the kids were excited
about the meal, too.  

I stopped a passing employee, when
we got there (they are all 'carhop'
service & I wanted to talk to someone
face-to-face regarding the allergy
before ordering), explained the allergy
& asked if I could read the ingredients
on the hamburger buns.  She was
friendly, polite, understanding &
wanted to help.  She walked me up to
the main building & went inside, after
explaining that only employees could
go into the building.  

She came out a minute later,
embarrassed, shaken, nervous & said
that the owner had told her to tell me
that he was too busy to help us & that
we would have to eat somewhere else.

Well, we had been looking forward to
this meal so much and had been in
situations before where ingredients
were not readily available, so we went
to our 'Plan B'.  I went on the speaker
& ordered food for our family, then
ordered my son a plain hamburger
patty, no bun, no condiments & asked
that they wipe the grill before cooking
it, to make sure there was no cheese
or butter there.

A few minutes later, the owner found
time in his busy day to come out to the
parking lot and aggressively chastise
me for going ahead & ordering after
he had told us to leave.  He refused to
serve us.

After we ate a boring (but safe!) meal
at Burger King, we went back to the
campsite.  We found internet time the
next day and in researching the issue
discovered *another food allergic
family* who was treated rudely by this
same man at this same restaurant just
a few days before our encounter with
him.  This family also had a similar
experience the year before, but was
hoping that it was just a 'bad day' that
make the owner so rude when dealing
with food allergy substitution &
information requests.  

It would seem that this restaurant & it's
owner have a history of being rude to
patrons with food allergies, if they
serve them at all.  It is a tourist town
and the restaurant itself is a tourist
attraction, so I would guess that a
large portion of the people who are
treated badly when eating there don't
bother to file a complaint and are not
important to him as customers even if
they do.

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