When I was growing up, my mother was allergic to eggs, nuts, and chocolate. So eating out was always a little bit tricky.
Thankfully, it wasn't bad to the point where cross-contamination was an issue, but if she consumed either one of those three foods, it was bad news.
So we always had to make sure everything she ate was free of the big three, which really limited where and what my mom could eat.
I always thought that someone out there should open up a restaurant that catered to people with allergies... and today, more than 15 years later, I'm happy to see that this is a reality.
Montreal's Zero8 Restaurant (1141 Rue Belanger), located in Villeray, is a restaurant that prides itself on being free of the big eight allergens: gluten/wheat, peanuts, milk, nuts, sesame seeds, fish/shellfish/seafood, soya, and eggs. They also have a wide selection of vegan dishes.
They also make sure to responsibly prepare their dishes so that cross-contamination is as minimal as possible (although there always may be a very small risk of cross-contamination).
The restaurant doesn't just sell allergen-free food... it sells allergen-free food that's freaking AMAZING.
They've got duck "poutine", wild game hamburgers, bison flank steak, duck leg confit, and much, much more; all of this without any ingredient that might trigger your allergies.
Although right now Zero8 has their location in Villeray, they're looking to expand throughout the province with the help of crowdfunding - which is partially how they've funded their current location.
Which, honestly, I think we can all agree is a beautiful thing: living your best allergy-free life shouldn't be contained to just Montreal.