Saturday, September 1, 2007

Kitchener-Waterloo's Worst Restaurants for Celiacs

Well, I've mentioned my favourite restaurants in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. But which ones should you avoid? Here are Kitchener-Waterloo's worst restaurants when it comes to gluten-free options.



  1. East Side Marios - what a disaster. There's almost nothing on the menu that is gluten-free. The last time I went for lunch, I had a chicken salad, hold the marinade on the chicken, and hold the dressing. (yes, that tasty salad dressing they have is NOT gluten-free). So basically it was plain chicken on a bed of lettuce. My mother (who also has Celiac disease) went to another East Side Marios, ordered a simple steak and got sick. Not cool.
  2. Boston Pizza - along the same lines as East Sides. I think the only thing on the menu that's gluten-free are their ribs, which are not very good. If you want ribs, try Montanas as their Texas Bold BBQ Sauce is gluten-free.
  3. Kelsey's - is along the same lines as East Side Marios. I ended up with a salmon salad, with oil and vinegar dressing.
  4. Barley Works at the Huether Hotel - when I asked the waitress about gluten-free options (after an explanation of what it meant to be gluten-free), she chuckled and said: "Good luck". She was nice enough mind you, and checked with the kitchen staff - but in the end she told me that pretty much the whole kitchen is based around wheat. The end result? A very plain steak without spices or marinade, with boiled vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower - yuck). At least they tried, but I wouldn't go back.
  5. Tim Hortons - I wouldn't really expect much, but being such a large chain and so prominent in Ontario, I'd expect at least something on the menu for Celiacs (well, besides coffee of course!). Even chili at Wendy's is gluten-free, but not at Tim Hortons.

Seems like a pretty common thread: low-cost dining and pub food is tough for Celiacs. Although I'm not surprised, it's such a shame because you can make many simple foods without wheat and have them taste good. And with so many people suffering from Celiac disease, you would think that these large restaurant chains would start thinking about more gluten-free options.

But besides Tim Hortons and other obvious ones like pizza places, many fast food restaurants have options that are gluten-free.

  • Wendy's - chili and salads (taco salad)
  • Harvey's - some salads
  • Subway - salads
  • McDonalds - fries, hamburger patties, salads

Have your own 'worst' restaurant? Feel free to post your own comments.

51 comments:

Niall R said...

Hi SafeCeliac,

My wife and I operate a restaurant guide for the Tri-Cities area (www.onlife.ca) and one of our search options is for Celiac Friendly restaurants.

We would appreciate some help from you and your friends to give more restaurants a push to list with us and therefore give more information and help to those of you who are struggling to find places to eat.

Thanks a lot and hopefully we can help each other out in the future.

Niall

Anonymous said...

Hi
thanks for the blog. King street trio on university in waterloo offers all pasta in a gluten free option. I've also had great luck with the keg and sole on erb street.

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Why don't you stop eating in generic, garbage restaurants? You honestly expect the staff in roadside dumps like those mentioned to be the slightest bit interested or knowledgeable? think about it...you're eating in the restaurant equivalent to Toys R Us.
find a quality independent who may actually know what you're on about for a start.
Just a thought....

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Anonymous said...

FYI: McDonald's fries are NOT GLUTEN-FREE!! They are being sued because they advertised their fries as gluten-free and are actually not.

Anonymous said...

I understood Tim Hortons chili to be gluten free (may contain thru cross contamination) Other websites claim it is safe. I tried it today... How freakin embarrassing. Who would think Chili would be thickened with flour.

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