Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Girl Store Here We Come!

Bella's cousin is turning 6 on Saturday, so we're heading down to LA to celebrate with her.

The venue?

The American Girl Store at the The Grove in LA.* If you've never been to one of these stores, they are HUGE and have shopping, a cafe (more on that later), a salon so your doll can get their hair done, and the Chicago one even has a theater if I'm not mistaken.

Now you may be asking - isn't little Bella a bit young for those dolls? And I would say "heck yes!", but it's a special occasion so we're making an exception. The memory will be so great for her, so we're just going with it.

My biggest concern, as I'm sure you can imagine, is the cafe. I wasn't sure what to think, so I went to their website and found their menu. Looked good - no nuts (at least none that were evident). So I called them. And I spoke to the nicest woman named Irina (I'm sure I butchered that spelling). She told me that they removed all nuts from their menu due to the rise in allergies (yay!). She then said that she would confirm with the manager and chef just in case there was anything that might have the risk of cross contamination (her words, not mine, could you just die????) and she took my number.

I honestly didn't think I would hear back from her, but lo and behold, on my machine when I got home was a nice message from her telling me that yes, everything on the menu was peanut free and made in a peanut free kitchen EXCEPT for one thing. They put Oreo crumbles on their desserts - those could have possibly be made in a facility that processes peanuts. So they could just not put those on the dessert at our request. Or we could have sorbet instead and skip the chocolate dessert altogether. Luckily, my niece doesn't like Oreos so we can just get the desserts without, and both will be happy to have the same thing.

My jaw just hit the floor due to the 1) incredible customer service I just witnessed and 2) that Bella could enjoy a 'normal' birthday experience without limitations.

I can't tell you how pleased I am that I wont have to give Bella the "there are things on the menu that you can't have speech".

I'll let you all know how it goes, but by the looks of it, we've come across a company that really gets it.

Yay American Girl!

*So the Grove is the mall that you usually see photos of stars shopping at in magazines like People and US Weekly. Maybe I'll be starstruck there!


Allergy Mom said...

I recently saw a post by Natalie at, which described a wonderful gluten free visit to the AG cafe in NY. It looks like they really do understand restricted diets. Now, if I only had little girl.... (My husband just gives me "the look" when I say I want another child!) Libby

Pez said...

Very cool! Not that I will ever have an opportunity to go there since my boys are just not into dolls (hmmm...are action figures technically dolls?).

A girl in my son's class was an American Girl model at a hospital fundraiser last month. She and her doll wore the same outfits. Very cute!

Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

That's so awesome! I'm excited for you and her! Have fun!

Jennifer B said...

Sounds great! I am very interested to hear how things go at the restaurant. Eating out with food allergies can be so nerve-wracking and it always nice to hear a good review from another food allergy family. Enjoy your visit!