Restaurants I have Eaten At
The Red Water
Gorgeous food - serves Care Bakery Bread and so that's awesome too. Really good service. Price point a little high but worth it.
Craft Beer Market
Very safe place to eat. Lots of great options and lots of knoweldge about Celiacs. Fantastic place - wish I could bring the spawn there but kind of thankful that I can't.
The Ochre Grill
Fantastic place with tonnes of Gluten Free options and great policies on Celiacs. I highly recommend. See my many blog posts on it.
Yesterday, we went to Jack Astors for lunch. They have a colorful, descriptive gluten free menu that the hostess brought with a smile. Our server Stu, had great food knowledge and a sunny disposition. I had a burger with no bun and he said that they had standards for cleanliness to avoid cross contamination. It also said in the gf menu that their fries were gluten free. This is a major annoyance for me as most restaurants use the same fryer for breaded items and spuds. YES potatos are gluten free but not if they have been cooked in the same fryer as a chicken finger. When I challenged Stu on this little tidbit, he was quick to inform me that they have a fries only fryer. NOTHING has ever been cooked in that frier but fries. Very exciting. So I had a cheddar bacon burger, no bun and fries. It was good and hot. They put all the toppings for the burger on the side so I could mix in the lettuce and onion as I saw fit. They really tried to dress up the plate so that it didn't look lame and I appreciated that. The price point is good and the service was excellent. We will be back as Jack Astors soon.
Kelsey's blows. I'm sorry to be blunt here, but they just suck. We went there the other night for a family dinner and the quality of their food is just shit. First off, I called ahead and talked to the manager who said they had an allergy menu. So when we get there, I ask for said menu and the hostess disappears, only to return with a lame, laminated, dirty excel spreadsheet which she hands to me while I was standing at the door. I wondered how many other customers had to carry their own menus to the table. The spreadsheet just lists every ingredient on their menu and has the calories, fat content, and whether it contains wheat. Of course I did not even bother getting into them about the fact that no wheat does not necessarily mean no Gluten. The hostess doesn't even give me a regular menu to use as a reference so I have to keep stealing Trevs. The server comes and I tell her I Celiacs and she replies, "So do I but I eat what ever I want." This terrifies me because there is no one so blind as she who will not see. There is danger behind the Celiac who doesn't even take care of their own body, what could possibly be my expectation of her taking care of me? Basically though the spreadsheet tells me that I can eat one salad with no dressing or their steaks. Lame. So I order the steak and it is just awful, the quality of the meat is grizzly and thin, the mash potatoes were obviously old and the vegetables were limp and cold. It tasted like hospital food and the price point was as much as Earls or Moxies which is just obsene. Even the kids pizzas were obviously frozen pizzas. The service was just ok, the food quality was crap and the only good thing was the treasure chest for the spawn. Don't go to Kelsey's, Celiac or no, it blows.
Earls has it's own GF menu which is really helpful. I used to work at Earls back in the day and in my opinion, there are not very many restaurants with it's level of fresh food. Earls doesn't freeze anything but it's french fries so all the produce and the proteins come in three times a week fresh for prep. I think that is really extraordinary for a mid-level restaurant. It's lost a lot of the personality that I think it used to have, and a lot of the hominess but the food quality is not to be matched. I had the Rocket Salad and I inhaled it! It was awesome. They also have steaks and Chicken on their GF menu which again, will be fresh, high quality meats so it's worth the price. The server was really prepared for my questions and even came back after talking to the chef to clarify how my meal was going to be modified. I was really impressed. Earls will always be one of my favorites.
So Shelby and I went to the Dairy lane today for lunch. It was awesome. Its very small so people were waiting for tables but we got one on the patio right away. On the menu it says the options for gluten free but the server knew what I could or couldn't have. She didn't know if I could have the yam fries but promised to check and that's always nice. I had the grilled cheese (guyere and sauteed mushroom) on gf bread with the yam fries and it was aweosme! Shelby had the stuffed french toast and little Julia had french toast and bacon. Everything came out quickly and hot and it was delicious. We loved the Dairy Lane and will be back!!!
Ok so, if you have been diagnosed (by a Doctor, not by some quack friend) with Celiac Disease, you can ALMOST kiss your quick meals on the go goodbye. You just can not ensure that your meal has not come in contact with Gluten when so many people have handled it on so many levels. Plus, the fast food industry has a bigger turn over, especially in the kitchen so the training on allergies doesn't even come close to a mid to upper level restaurant. BUT there are a few things you can have in a pinch. I am in no way an expert and I am sure these lists are not complete. This is what has worked for me and what I have eaten and not gotten sick.
Wendy's Baja Salad is gluten free and it is premade so the chances of getting cross contaminated are down. I have had it many times and never had a problem.
Their chili and the baked potato are Gluten Free.
The fries should be but most places I have been to share a fryer for their breaded items.
Technically, you can have just a burger without the bun but really, why would you.
I usually only get the fries from Mc Donalds IF it is a larger location. Smaller locations (like those in a Walmart) may use the same fryer for chicken nuggets and fries.
I guess you can have their ice cream but I've never really liked their ice cream.
You can have a chicken dinner without the bun and with a baked potato. You can have their ribs too. The Chalet Sauce is gluten free which is awesome if you are craving something that is borderline NOT food... lets be honest, we all do. I love the Chalet.
Stay away, they bread the mushrooms for the love of God.
They bread a lot too so I just stick with the Dilly Bars... yummy!
Taco bell/Taco time
You can have the hard beef tacos and they say you can have the mexi fries but I dont believe them. I like it because there is one in the mall usually so if in a bind, it works.
You know, you don't hear about the Phoenix Grill all that often but you should. The service is always great and the prices are pretty good too. They also have a separate Gluten Free Menu, which is a nice touch for me. I like having my own menu to look at, it narrows the choices for me and helps speed the process along. Trev and I met some friends there for dinner last night and again it didn't disappoint. The GF menu has a pretty good variety but I usually have the same thing; The Almond Baked Tilapia, it's awesome. Tilapia is usually not my favorite fish but The Phoenix Grill does a great job. The dish is supposed to come on a bed of spinach but I always just ask for their seasonal veg instead because I HATE spinach. It has this gorgeous red pepper hummus and basil aoili on top, so good. It also comes with Yam fries which is a HUGE treat. I could just eat that really. I have eaten there 4 times now and not gotten ill and that is really good odds. So the Phoenix Grill is a great Gluten Free place. Give it a try.
Last night the gals and I hit up Joey Tomato's, one of my fave restaurants. It and Earls have always has strong allergy policies. They also serve a majority of fresh not frozen food so that means less random Gluten could be hiding in preservatives from some factory. Joey's goes a step further and add a little GF symbol beside the dishes that can be made Gluten Free. It's a great feature and really helpful. However, I didn't really feel like any of the items that they listed. So I just put together a couple of sides. I ordered a side of grilled prawns and their seasonal vegetables. It was great and fairly cheap. Because the shrimp are grilled and the veg is cooked in a saute pan, the chances of cross contamination are small. The server was busy but good and wrote down everything I told her about my Celiac's - very refreshing. It was great! Joey Tomatoes in Chinook gets my vote. We will be back!