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5 Reasons It’s Okay to Ask a Lot of Questions When You Go Out

Anyone with a food allergy is familiar with the hazards of eating out. You never know exactly what might be in a recipe. When it could be a matter of life and death, you always ask. For alcoholics just beginning recovery, it is essential to avoid alcohol but it may feel awkward to ask a lot of questions about the menu before ordering. Sometimes the server has to check with the kitchen staff, everyone has to wait a little longer, and you feel like it’s all your fault. Despite the potential for inconvenience, you should always make sure you know what’s in your food.

A lot of food has alcohol in it.

Contrary to what you probably believe, not all of it evaporates. As much as two thirds can remain after cooking. If a recipe calls for a cup of wine, that could be quite a bit. If alcohol is added late in preparation, most of it will probably remain. People typically don’t notice the alcohol because it is balanced by other flavors, but if you have been sober for even a short time, you will definitely notice and it could be a problem.

Some common foods that contain alcohol are, braised meats, marinara, flambeed foods, bananas foster, tiramisu–and many other desserts, actually–and stews. Menus typically indicate wine sauces, but you should be aware that bearnaise and bordelaise are made with wine.

Even the smell of alcohol can be a trigger.

If you assume most of the alcohol has evaporated, there still remains some danger. Smell is a powerful trigger and wine has a distinctive smell. You don’t want to accidentally order the chicken and cravings.

The staff won’t mind.

The vast majority of restaurant staff only want to keep you happy because they know it’s the best way to get you to order a lot of food and leave a big tip. If your server can make you happy by asking the chef a question or two, then he really won’t mind. The only thing servers hate is a rude–or creepy–customer. If you feel like a terrible nuisance for asking a lot of questions, just tip a little extra to assuage your conscience.  

Your friends won’t mind.

Asking a few questions may hold up ordering a bit, especially if the server has to check on anything. Don’t worry–your friends will understand. People rarely go out with the goal of spending as little time as possible at the restaurant. An extra minute won’t matter. Also, they know a small inconvenience now is better than bailing you out for a DUI later. You should be spending time with people who support your recovery, even if it entails the slightest possible inconvenience.

Your life is at stake.

You wouldn’t think twice about being very sure your food had no peanuts if you had a peanut allergy because you would know that peanuts could kill you. It’s really no different with alcohol, except that alcohol might take longer to kill you. When you consider all the work you have already put into recovery and everything your family and friends have had to endure, you will realize it’s silly to worry about asking as many questions as you need to satisfy yourself that your food is safe.

If you need help for addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We offer medically assisted detox and we are equipped to treat dual diagnoses, including depression. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.