Steak & Stein Does Pretty Good for a Family Restaurant

Visited On: February 18, 2011
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options:
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating: 1/2
Price Range: $10-$15 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

When I was growing up, my parents took us out to dinner two or three times a year. We always went to Steak & Stein, a family restaurant about 20 minutes from our house. My dad and I always got the Calgary steak, Derby style – a single for me, a double or triple for him. My mom and brother often chose something different.

Because of the fond memories, Steak & Stein has always been one of my favourite comfort food destinations. However, I haven’t been back since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, as I was fairly sure that their beloved Derby marinade contained gluten. Last night, I decided to bite the bullet and Mike and I visited their Portland Street location.

We got a table right away and ordered drinks, although we were moved to a booth before our drinks arrived. Our waitress took quite a long time before coming back to take our order. She apologized and said that she had been investigating ingredients for a customer with a wheat allergy. I laughed and said that that was quite a coincidence as I had similar menu questions!

She shared what she had learned: anything fried was out, anything with the Derby marinade was out, and the coleslaw was also a no-go. Fair enough – that still leaves many steak, chicken, and fish options, as well as a few side dishes. I ordered the single Calgary steak, charbroiled, with mashed potatoes ($9.49). She offered peas or carrots in place of the coleslaw; I chose the peas. Mike got the 1/3 rack of ribs with a Calgary steak, Derby style ($14.99).

Our food arrived quite quickly and mostly as we had ordered. Mike’s ribs had barbeque sauce instead of the honey-garlic sauce that he had requested, but he declared that they were quite good. They certainly looked delicious and falling off the bone! His steak was good, although a bit gristly (a common occurrence here – not surprising for a $5 steak!). He had the onion rings as a side, which he couldn’t finish. These were good, although a bit soggy.

Although I missed the taste of Derby marinade, my steak was done perfectly. The mashed potatoes were delicious: very creamy, they tasted like something my mom would make. The peas, sadly, were clearly from frozen and seemed to have been cooked by an alien laser, but I appreciated the gesture.

We were so full that we skipped dessert, although they are traditionally homemade and quite good. (Gluten-free options seemed to be limited to ice cream, which is at least reasonably priced at $1.49 for a scoop or $2.49 for a dish.)

Two beer for him, a glass of wine for me, plus our meals, rang in at just under $50. Not a bad deal for a decent meal out. I think we’ll be back sometime soon!

Steak & Stein Family Restaurant
620 Portland Street (Dartmouth)
Web Site:


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  1. #1 by Kim on August 29, 2011 - 5:06 pm

    Hi there,

    Just thought Id warn you that I visited the Halifax location this weekend and the waiter indicated that any of the Calgary, del monico or two/three of a kind options…even charcoal style should be avoided bc of the maranade used prior to cooking.

    • #2 by glutenfree4hfx on August 30, 2011 - 7:56 pm

      That is great to know. Although the charcoal-style steak isn’t supposed to be marinated, I imagine that they are worried about cross-contamination. It’s good to be warned!

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