|Visited On:||May 15, 2014|
|Gluten Free Menu:||Available upon request|
|Variety of Gluten-Free Options:||1/2|
|Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:||1/2|
|Overall Dining Experience:|
|Price Range:||$15-$20 per person, plus drinks, tax, and tip|
Our second place on our U.S.-bound road trip last week was The Tide & Boar, a gastropub in Moncton. Pubs can be tricky for Celiacs to eat at, but I was hopeful that this would actually be a gastropub, which typically focuses on fresh, local food.
We were off to a good start when I asked about gluten-free options and was told that there was a gluten-free menu. Michael ordered one of the craft beers on tap while I stuck with a Diet Pepsi since we still had the drive to Woodstock ahead of us. (They do have Mongozo beer and Magners’ cider, which are both gluten-free. The selection isn’t as nice as their regular beer menu but it’s nice to have some options.)
The waiter quickly came back with the gluten-free menu, which is just a copy of the regular menu with notations as to what can be made gluten-free. The waiter also explained that they do not have a dedicated fryer. This meant that many of the items marked gluten-free aren’t suitable for Celiacs.
The items that are suitable included:
- One snack item (P.E.I. mussels, served without toast and cooked in something other than beer)
- All three charcuterie boards (served without crostini)
- Three of the eight appetizers (two salads and sweet curry oysters)
- Seven of the 12 main items, including a few sandwiches and burgers (without bread or bun), roasted chicken breast, pork loin, grilled tenderloin, and roasted salmon skewers, all of which can only be served with a salad as the side
Michael opted for the boar poutine ($15), which is rumoured to be the best poutine in Atlantic Canada. I ordered the burger ($14) with the Tide and Boar salad on the side (the only gluten-free option as long as the granola is removed). As we waited for our food, I wished that I had brought a coat. All of the doors were open and the restaurant was getting pretty chilly – and like the rest of this spring, it was not a warm day. As well, our food took longer than I had expected to arrive. There were lots of staff on duty that evening but a lot of them just seemed to be wandering around, not doing anything. At one point, someone picked up Michael’s glass without offering him a new drink or asking the server to check up on us.
Luckily, when our meals did arrive, they were piping hot and the portions were pretty large. Michael agreed with those who say that the boar poutine is among the best in Atlantic Canada – it’s a must-try if you’re not gluten-intolerant. It features hand-cut fries, caramelized onions, chicken-boar gravy, and cheese curds. My burger was pretty good as well, with a handmade patty, dijonaise on the side, lettuce, tomatoes, and old cheddar. A bun and a bit more cheddar would have been really nice. (After all, there are several great gluten-free bakeries in Moncton, and even a dedicated gluten-free grocery store. It would not be hard to have a gluten-free bun as an option.) The salad served with my burger wasn’t bad either. It featured greens with a nice homemade dressing, fresh Parmesan, and some roasted root vegetables (which was quite different but nice, if you like turnip and that sort of thing). On the more minor side, the onions on both of our dishes were lightly fried and still quite firm, rather than caramelized.
After we finished our meals and our dishes were collected, we waited for over 20 minutes for our server to come back. We didn’t have time to even ask about dessert, but it seemed unlikely that their gluten-free options would be much better than with the main menu. Overall, our experience at The Tide & Boar wasn’t terrible, but if you have a choice, there are lots of places in Moncton with better gluten-free options. A few small changes, like additional gluten-free side options and a gluten-free bun for sandwiches, would go a long way to making The Tide & Boar a more exciting place for Celiacs.
Tide & Boar Gastropub
700 Main Street (Moncton, New Brunswick)
Web Site: http://www.tideandboar.com/