Café 101 Needs to Learn the Basics

Visited On: March 15, 2013
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options:
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:
Price Range: $10-$20, plus drinks, tax, and tip

Last month, a friend of mine was in town for a business meeting at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth. I agreed to meet him for lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Café 101.

I got there early and was quickly seated at a table overlooking the parking lot with the harbor just beyond. I asked the waiter about gluten-free options, and was excited when he told me that they had gluten-free bread. He suggested a sandwich with a side salad or the soup of the day. When I asked what the soup was, he said it was vegetable barley. I pointed out that barley has gluten in it and he replied, “Oh, I forgot.” My excitement started to wane at that point.

When my friend arrived, we decided on our meals. He ordered the chorizo and bacon poutine ($10) while I opted for the grilled cheese with smoked chicken and side Caesar salad ($12). Although we were enjoying the opportunity to chat and catch up, our meals took forever. The reason became apparent when the server returned with our food. My plate contained six small triangles of grilled cheese with the salad in a small dish on the side. My server informed me that they had had great discussion in the kitchen about the salad dressing and the end conclusion was that it probably contained wheat. I asked him to take the salad away and told him once again that I did not want barley soup. I ended up with no side dish at all.

While my friend’s poutine was great, the grilled cheese sandwich was possibly the worst one I have ever had. The bread used was Glutino corn bread, and it was barely toasted (almost cold, in fact). The “melted trio of aged cheddar” was actually quasi-warm processed cheese. There was no sign of grilled chicken or even any butter – it was incredibly dry.

The server was kind enough to take 10% off my bill for the Caesar salad failure, but I still spent almost $20 for an almost inedible meal. The worst part of the whole affair was that I most definitely got glutened. I came home, slept for a few hours, and vowed that that was my last trip to Café 101. Kudos for having gluten-free bread, folks, but not having any other knowledge about gluten-free ingredients and preparation makes it pointless.

Café 101 (Holiday Inn Harbourview)
101 Wyse Road (Dartmouth)


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  1. #1 by Dave on April 24, 2013 - 11:36 am

    When I asked what the soup was, he said it was vegetable barley. I pointed out that barley has gluten in it and he replied, “Oh, I forgot.”


  2. #3 by Ashley Craig on April 24, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    That is a pretty dreadful experience, definately won’t be going there myself after reading this. yikes!

  3. #4 by kirstenh on April 29, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Suddenly I am even more relived that we decided NOT to have the wedding there. That would have ruined my night and who wants to have a bad wedding night!

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