Dairy-Free Eating at the Macaroni Grill?

Yesterday evening, I went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill with a friend for dinner. I’ve been to the Macaroni Grill before-although it’s been well over a year since my last visit, and in my experience, Mac Grill is reasonably safe for me. It’s not P.F. Chang’s or any of my favorite Middle Eastern joints. But it was a central meeting point for us, they serve Italian food, and I’ve never had dairy issues there before.

Well, that was a poor decision on my part. Feel free to check out their menu. Butter. Cheese. Goat cheese. Looking over this menu, the only safe thing (within my budget) for me to have eaten would have been “Create Your Own Pasta.” Instead, I ordered the chicken scallopine, which does contain lemon butter, but I really hate going to an Italian restaurant and not eating pasta. It’s like going to Thanksgiving and not having spaghetti. (FYI: My family DOES eat spaghetti on Thanksgiving. It’s a nice prelude to the turkey.)

Anyway…I went to Macaroni Grill, and I ordered the chicken scallopine. I didn’t want to spring for the pork/beef options because of the prices. So I ate a meal with lemon butter. I’m fine for the most part. Yeah, I had trouble breathing last night, but it wasn’t the biggest or worst allergic reaction ever. It was butter, which isn’t the worst thing that I could eat. I didn’t drink a gallon of cream. I just ate a piece of chicken coated with butter. (Oh, and they served it with spinach instead of pasta, which really didn’t sit well with me because the spinach tasted off to me and I wanted pasta.) But it wasn’t terrible. It was just hard to find the meal within my price range with the smallest amount of dairy, and I really disliked that.

In short? I won’t be going back to the Macaroni Grill unless they restructure their menu in the future. And I would never recommend it to people who are lactose intolerant or have dairy issues.