Archive for October, 2013

Gluten-Free Finds On the Road!

Last week, Michael and I went on a road trip to Toronto, and we stopped at a ton of cool places on the way! Although the language barrier was a bit of a challenge in Québec, I didn’t get sick at all and actually enjoyed the opportunity to try some different places.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the places we visited and what I ate.

Pump House Brewery (Moncton, New Brunswick)
Not a ton of gluten-free options, but they have the most amazing locally-made gluten-free pizza crust. The $4 upcharge is totally worth it.

La Captive (Amqui, Québec)
We had an amazing spread of local cheeses for about $12. Just ask for no bread!

Saint-Alexandre Pub (Québec City, Québec)
Their sole gluten-free option (Toulouse-style sausage with salad) is incredible, and they have Glutenberg Blonde by the bottle (although it is pricey).

Les Salons d’Edgar (Québec City, Québec)
We loved the old-style French feel of this restaurant, and the spontaneous ballroom dancing by guests! Although we didn’t eat here, the menu looked quite gluten-friendly, with items like grilled steak and quinoa salad.

Le Saint Bock (Montréal, Québec)
This pub has Glutenberg Red, American Pale Ale, and Blonde by the bottle. Extremely cool spot, especially during a Canadiens game!

Zero8 (Montréal, Québec)
This place is a must-visit for anyone with Celiac disease or food allergens. Their restaurant is 100% free of the eight major allergens: gluten, fish and seafood, all nuts, sesame, soya, dairy, and eggs. They also mark items with mustard and sulphites on their menu, and are happy to accomodate any other allergens. Watch for a review coming soon!

Shoeless Joe’s (Toronto, Ontario)
We were surprised by how gluten-friendly this sports bar chain is, with gluten-free pizza and burgers. There is a small upcharge for gluten-free pizza ($1.99) and no upcharge for burgers.

Il Fornello (Toronto, Ontario)
This Italian restaurant serves gluten-free pasta, pizza, and the most amazing chocolate souffle I’ve ever had.

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Gluten Zero Bread Hits the Shelves

Several weeks ago, a friend and blog reader told us that they found gluten-free Dempster’s bread (called Gluten Zero) in the bakery section of their local Sobeys! Last week, we found some in the Downsview Mall Sobeys, so we picked up a loaf of white bread to try. (It also comes in multigrain.) At $5.99, the price is comparable to brands like Udi’s and Glutino, although the loaf is slightly smaller. (We did get a coupon that brought the price down to $4.99). One of the nice things about this bread is that it is not supposed to be frozen by the retailer: it’s baked and delivered fresh within a few days.

Here’s what the bag looks like:

Dempsters GlutenZero White Bread

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The Old Triangle Welcomes Celiacs, Too

One of my first (and worst) gluten-free eating experiences was at The Old Triangle in Moncton, where they basically refused to serve me so I ate martinis for lunch. Subsequent visits to the Halifax, Charlottetown, and Glen Arbour locations, however, went much better, so I decided that it was time to review their flagship Halifax pub.

We arrived at suppertime on a busy Saturday night and were lucky enough to snag a table in the dining room where a local band was playing. A server greeted us right away and suggested Clancy’s beer for a beverage. I said that although that sounded like a great idea, I am gluten intolerant so it wouldn’t be my choice of beverage! She quickly pointed out their other gluten-free beverage options: Propeller sodas, several local ciders (including Bulwark and Tideview), and La Messagere beer. (They usually carry Glutenberg but are out of stock right now due to the trade dispute. It should be back by the end of the month, though!) I opted for a sparkling raspberry Tideview cider while Mike had a Propeller IPA.

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More Mainstream Options for Gluten-Free Crackers Appearing on Store Shelves

Gluten-free cracker options used to be pretty slim. My favorites were Blue Diamond Nut-Thins. Glutino also makes a ton of different cracker options, as do CrunchMaster and Mary’s Gone Crackers. However, all of these options are quite pricey, typically ranging from $4 to $7 a box.

Lately we’ve been seeing more mainstream companies offering gluten-free crackers at much lower prices ($2.50 to $3.50 a box). Some examples:

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Glutenberg is Coming Back to Town

Earlier this summer, we noticed a lack of Glutenberg beer at our local NSLC. We asked an NSLC employee what was going on, and we were told that it was being discontinued. In a panic, we tweeted at Garrison Brewing, who imports the beer from Quebec microbrewery Brasseurs Sans Gluten. It was all a mistake, they said. In fact, they were working on bringing another variety (in addition to the blonde) into Nova Scotia.

Fast-forward six weeks and the Glutenberg shortage got worse. In fact, it was taken off the NSLC’s website entirely, and as of today, it’s still missing. We tweeted at Garrison again and were told that it was some kind of trade dispute at the provincial level that was out of their hands. Since then, both Garrison and the NSLC have reassured us that Glutenberg will be back on shelves by the end of October.

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