We had a nice health food store/cafe/deli open in our town recently, and I knew it was the perfect place to start hanging out.
It was perfect for our unique "eating out" requirements
1. Small and quiet. Not busy and hectic. Great for food allergy focus.
2. Sold safe, prepackaged foods. Many from our tried and true company favorites.
3. The manager was accessible for permission to bring in safe food for the kids.
4. The deli was perfect for a mommy treat. Chicken salad, here I come!
5. Espresso! For mom, of course.
Upon our first visit, we met the manager and explained our situation. Turned out his son has a severe peanut allergy so he totally "got" us. He was happy to accommodate by letting us bring in whatever food we needed. Then we purchased everything else we could for lunch. In this case, we needed to bring in our own "meat" for the boys because we don't trust deli meat. But we were able to buy veggie chips and drinks for the boys along with a box of Enjoy Life cookies for dessert. For mom, I bought everything. Chicken salad, drink, and a latte. Happy Day for all!
So this is how we "eat out". Low-risk but fun. It takes some creativity, communication, planning, and work. But we love it as our best and safest option right now.