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. (www.bakerscoveseafood.ca/)
  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!


Anonymous said...

My husband and other celiacs were finding themselves ill after eating at Baker's Cove so someone looked into the matter and found out that the french fry oil was not fresh but recycled. They said they strained the oil and didn't realize that gluten contamination would pass through. Needless to say, we don't eat there anymore.

SafeCeliac said...

Yes, although I haven't been sick at Bakers Cove, I found this out recently too.

I wonder if we can gather enough Celiacs to lobby for fresh oil in their fryer.

They certainly seem to care about their Celiac clientelle, so maybe they'll listen!

I'll head over there sometime and inquire. Stay posted.

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