Friday, August 31, 2007

Verses Restaurant (Amazing gluten-free bread)

A few weeks ago, I went to Verses as part of Kitchener-Waterloo's Summerlicious. Most high end restaurants know about Celiac disease and the importance of a gluten-free diet. Verses was no exception - the service was wonderful and the food was great.

However the real highlight for me was their gluten-free bread. Most restaurants serve bread at the beginning of a meal, but I can't think of too many restaurants that offer gluten-free bread for their Celiac customers. Verses goes the extra mile and has gluten-free bread!

And here's the kicker: I've never had gluten-free bread that tastes this good. It was absolutely incredible! It was a cheese bread, and didn't taste at all like any other gluten-free breads I've ever tried. It didn't fall apart, had good texture, and really just tasted like 'normal' fresh bread. Quite amazing.

After asking the manager about it, she informed me that it's made by a lady at the Kitchener market. I haven't investigated more since, but I plan to.

In the mean time, if you know any more information about this lady at the market, feel free to leave a comment.

For more information about Verses, see I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Restaurants You Thought You Couldn't Eat At

Here are a few restaurants in Waterloo, Ontario that I never would have imagined I could eat at being on a gluten-free diet.

Although some of these I frequent often, it's always important to mention to your server that you have Celiac disease and that you need to have a meal without any gluten. Recipes, techniques or kitchen personelle can change at any time.

Feel free to comment on this list if you have any favourite restaurants or good tips!

  1. Bakers Cove Seafood Restaurant - I believe the owner has a friend that is a Celiac, and is well versed in preparation techniques to avoid contamination. Although I'm a sucker for good french fries (and they cook them in a separate fryer from the breaded fish), their grilled fish sprinkled with rice flour is incredible as well. Fish and chips for a Celiac - gotta love it. (
  2. Ennios Pasta House - Last time I was there my server was a Celiac as well! They may not mention this on their menu (I can't quite remember), but they do indeed have rice noodles so many of their pasta dishes can be modified to be gluten-free. Ask them to make the sauce from scratch - I had the alfredo last time I was there and they prepared it without wheat flour.
  3. Mongolian Grill - if you ask your server, they will give you a list of all the sauces that do and don't contain wheat-related products. Also, when you go up to fry your creation, mention to the cook that you are allergic to wheat products and they'll clean the grill area for your stir fry very well, and take extra precautions against contamination from other meals around you. There is always a risk of contamination at restaurants like this, but I definitely have been impressed with their effort.
  4. Subway - Often I need a quick meal, and some of Subway's salads are indeed gluten-free. I've researched their ingredients and the Subway Club salad and Subway Melt salad (including the Kraft dressing packets) are gluten free. Depending on the Subway you go to, they can be very clean and will change their gloves and knives for you if you mention it to them. The Subway in Uptown Waterloo is one I frequent regularly.
  5. McDonalds - Ok, this isn't a "Best of Waterloo" series (wait for an upcoming post), but again if you need a fast food fix McDonalds does have some options for you. The meat patties are gluten-free (so you can order a burger without the bun) and the fries are cooked in a separate fryer as well. Now whether you want to go to McD's is another topic altogether...

Ok, that's it for now. More to come soon!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Welcome to SafeCeliac

Welcome to SafeCeliac - the place to find information about restaurants for individuals on a gluten-free diet.

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2003, and have found one of the most challenging aspects is eating out. Many restaurants don't have gluten-free options, or don't know much about making gluten-free dishes that are palatable.

However, when a restaurant does provide a gluten-free meal that tastes great (and also comes with a dessert!), it's such a great dining experience.

So - this site is targeted towards reviewing restaurants...but not in the traditional sense. SafeCeliac is tailored towards individuals with Celiac disease, so restaurants are reviewed based not only on the quality of food, but the knowledge of the staff about the gluten-free diet, the menu and its respective gluten-free options, and the ability for the restaurant to tailor dishes to meet a gluten-free diet.

I'm based out of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, so most of the reviews here are from this area. (Although I do often travel outside this region, especially to the Greater Toronto Area)

Please feel free to leave comments related to your experiences as well!