Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

All About Gluten-Free Edmonton, Alberta (Part 2)

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Early in December, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenifer Christenson, the executive director of external relations for the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation. She has celiac disease and is incredibly well-informed about resources for gluten-intolerant people in Edmonton and the surrounding area. She’s already shared the names of some local restaurants that do a great job with gluten-free, and now she’s provided a list of where to shop in Edmonton, too.

In addition to the stores below, there are two sites that Jenifer also recommends highly. One is the website of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Edmonton Chapter. Another is www.edmonton.com, which provides information about what to do and where to stay while you’re in town.

Thanks again for all of your help, Jenifer — it’s very much appreciated!

JENIFER’S REPORT ON GLUTEN-FREE SHOPPING IN EDMONTON

Bosch Kitchen Center [address] 9766 – 51  Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-437-3134 [web] www.barbskitchen.com
This kitchen shop carries all sorts of gadgets, cookware and baking supplies. You will find most types of gluten-free flour, xanthan and guar gums, and some bread mixes.

Ed’s Gluten-Free Specialty [address] 9303 – 34 Avenue, Suite 117, Edmonton [tel] 780-465-1118 [web] www.edsglutenfree.com
The store carries only gluten-free products from all major gluten-free manufacturers with their main focus on Canadian suppliers. Many products are yeast-free, dairy-free and egg-free. Open seven days a week.

Kinnikinnick Foods [address] 10940 – 120 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-424-2900 or 1-877-503-4466 [web] www.kinnikinnick.com
A totally gluten-free store and bakery, which carries a large variety of baked goods, baking supplies, commercial cereals and soups. They accept special orders including wedding cakes, case lots and mail orders.

Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods, several outlets (check www.nutters.com for details). They carry a lot of gluten-free food and flours, including Kinnikinnick, Celimix, Kaybee and Nutter’s Corn Pastas. Locations in the Greater Edmonton Area include:

  • 4720 – 51 Avenue, Leduc [tel] 780-986-1257
  • 5218 – 50 Avenue, Wetaskiwin [tel] 780-352-4555

Planet Organic Market [address] 7917 – 104 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780- 433-6807 and Planet Organic North [address] 12020 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-452-4921 [web] www.planetorganic.ca
A knowledgeable, helpful staff sells natural organically grown foods, health aids, cleaning and personal care supplies. They also carry gluten-free baking mixes, flours, gums, frozen breads, snack foods, cereals, bouillon cubes, pastas and energy bars.

Sweet Tweet Sugar Free Shop [address] 4345 – 50 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-462-2010 [web] www.sweettweet.ca
A low-carb, sugar-free shop carrying some delicious gluten-free treats. They also stock pure oats.

Photograph provided courtesy of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

All About Gluten-Free Edmonton, Alberta (Part 1)

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

EEDC_Images_Economic_Development-1

A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune to speak with Jenifer Christenson, the executive director of external relations for the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation. She has celiac disease and is incredibly well-informed about dining gluten-free in Edmonton and the surrounding area. She wanted to share the names of many restaurants that either offer gluten-free menu items, or that are happy to accommodate gluten-intolerant diners.

If you’re planning a visit to Edmonton, Jenifer recommends that you first stop by the website of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Edmonton Chapter. It’s an invaluable resource that lists restaurants, with dining notes from association members who’ve visited them (it’s also updated on a regular basis). If a restaurant offers gluten-free pasta or whips up a special off-the-menu dessert, it’s noted there. The site also lists restaurants in other parts of the province of Alberta, including Calgary. For more general trip-planning information — including what to see and do and where to stay — see www.edmonton.com.

Jenifer provided me with so much information that I’ve divided it into a couple of posts. Here are some of the places where celiacs can dine safely in Edmonton. For many, many more, check out the CCA’s Edmonton Chapter website.

DOWNTOWN EDMONTON

Blue Plate Diner [address] 10145 – 104 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-429-0740 [web] www.blueplatediner.ca

The Creperie [address] 10220 – 103 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-420-6656 [web] www.thecreperie.com

Louisiana Purchase [address] 10320 – 111 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-420-6779 [web] www.louisianapurchase.ca

Normand’s [address] 11639A Jasper Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-482-2600 [web] www.normands.com

Skinny Legs and Cowgirls Bistro [address] 9008 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-423-4107 [web] www.skinnylegsandcowgirls.com

WEST END

Café de Ville [address] 10137 – 124 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-488-9188 [web] www.cafedeville.com

The Dish & The Runaway Spoon [address] 12417 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton [tel] 780-488-6641 [web] www.thedishandspoon.com (Note: The Dish is a restaurant and The Runaway Spoon is a catering company; both have gluten-free options.)

Ernest’s Dining Room [address] At Nait School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, 11762 – 106 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-471-8678 [web] www.nait.ca

Matahari [address] 10108B – 124 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-452-8262 [web] http://matahari-asiandining.com

SOUTH SIDE

Blue Chair Café [address] 9624 – 76 Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-989-2861 [web] www.bluechair.ca

OPM Asian Bistro & Lounge [address] 1820 – 99 Street, Edmonton 780-989-5898 [web] www.opm.ca

Pizzeria Prego [address] 5860 – 111 Street, Edmonton [tel] 780-439-7734 [web] www.pregopizza.com

Unheard of Restaurant [address] 9602 – 82 Avenue, Edmonton [tel] 780-432-0480 [web] www.unheardof.com

Photograph provided courtesy of Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Reader Reports: Gluten-Free Paris and More

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

dscn0975

I often get questions from readers looking for recommendations about where to dine gluten-free in destinations that I haven’t visited (or, at least, haven’t visited since being diagnosed with celiac disease). I make the same suggestion to all of them, which is to check out the Gluten-Free Guidebook Group on Facebook. The great thing about this group is that it has a discussion board where people can ask questions and share recommendations. I’ve been impressed by how helpful people are, and I’m grateful to everyone who has contributed their time to the group.

One popular destination that people often ask about is Paris, a place I haven’t visited in the past five years. Fortunately, reader Ellen Maycock has, and she shared her very helpful suggestions with the Facebook group. She was enthusiastic about one Parisian restaurant in particular:

I’m just back from Paris. I highly recommend a totally GF restaurant, in Montmartre! It is Des Si et des Mets, located at 63, rue Lepic in the 18th. Metro stops Abesses or Blanche, phone 01.42.55.19.61. I had two excellent meals there. What a treat to be able to order *anything* from the menu! Our waitress one evening said she was a celiac. I don’t know if they speak English, but they were extremely friendly. (You might want to bring a small dictionary to translate the menu.) The *entire* restaurant is gluten-free, so you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination. The prices are moderate for Paris — you can get a very nice 3-course meal for 26 euros.

Ellen also had some helpful general recommendations for celiacs who visit Paris:

If you have any cooking facilities, you’ll be in good shape. There’s a great organic market every Sunday morning on the Blvd. Raspail. I found GF items in the Monoprix (major grocery chain), and in some health food stores. I was told about good bread in Naturalia, but didn’t try any.

I was anxious about dealing with GF in Paris — my first trip there after my diagnosis in January — but I felt very well (better than in the States).

Other readers have written recently to share their gluten-free discoveries. One couple, Lynne and Ernie, passed along a terrific recommendation for the Niagara region:

Cafe Amore (211 Martindale Road in St. Catharines, Ontario) is our favorite restaurant. They have rice pasta and all the sauces are gluten-free. They have gluten-free desserts and amazing dinner rolls. They are all very aware of cross-contamination issues and are more than helpful when it comes to ordering a safe gluten-free meal. This is a place that is worth spending time at while visiting the Niagara area.

Another reader, Nadine, wrote to share a couple of discoveries she’d made:

I have a recommendation for a restaurant in La Jolla, California: George’s at the Cove. I had a fish taco that was out of this world delicious. It was one of the restaurant’s specialties and my server told me it was gluten-free. Also, there is a bakery in the small town of Bristol, New Hampshire: Cornucopia Catering and Bakery. It bakes gluten-free breads and pastries. It’s the only bakery for miles and their products are worth the trip. I’ve had their cinnamon buns and a pecan bread, which were fantastic.

One more recommendation came from my friend Danyael Halprin, a journalist who lives in Calgary. She told me about a dedicated gluten-free restaurant called A Tasty Menu. Its offerings include plenty for vegans and vegetarians, and the lactose intolerant. There’s also a special menu for kids.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed suggestions and recommendations. Please keep them coming!

Roundup: Gluten-Free Summer

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

lake_boats

I’m always grateful when the Gluten-Free Guidebook gets coverage in the media, and so it was a thrill when the site got a mention in the July issue of the JourneyWoman newsletter. If you travel solo, for work or for pleasure, JourneyWoman is an amazing resource (and while some of its tips are certainly geared towards women, many apply to men, too; just sign up on the site to receive the free newsletter via e-mail).

I heard from several people as a result of JourneyWoman’s coverage, and wanted to mention a tip I got from Barbara Collins, who had a fantastic experience with Holland America:

I read about your site in JourneyWoman Newsletter.  I recently got back from a cruise to Alaska with the Holland America cruise line.  When I signed up for the cruise, they had the possibility to indicate special dietary needs.  In fact, I am not celiac, but do have a severe allergy to wheat and a lesser intolerance for gluten.  But I am even more complicated in that I am also allergic to dairy and eggs.

Holland America took this very seriously and every day gave me the menu for the following day from which I made my choices.  They then prepared that menu specially for me not including any of the ingredients to which I was allergic or intolerant.  In fact, I was surprised one evening when I ordered something Asian and my dining partner had the same thing, but hers had a drizzle of soy sauce and mine didn’t.  It was then that I found out that soy sauce contains wheat!

They had quite a good selection of gluten free products as well (bread, muffins, pancakes, etc.). I would definitely recommend this cruise line for anyone with any special dietary needs.

In other news, GF Patisserie, which I’ve written about before, turns one this month. I haven’t had the chance to visit this dedicated gluten-free bakery in Cochrane, Alberta, but I’ve heard only wonderful things about it. If you happen to be in the area (it’s a short drive from Calgary), you’re invited to the bakery on Saturday, August 8th for some celiac-safe birthday cake with founder Victoria Edlinger and her husband, Peter (who writes the Celiac Husband blog).

If you’re in Los Angeles, you might want to check out the SunPower Natural Cafe in Studio City. It’s an organic, vegan raw-food restaurant where all of the desserts are gluten-free, including the tiramisu, cookies, and the “un-cheesecake.” And if you’re near Hackettstown, New Jersey, stop by the Donaldson Farms roadside stand, which my friend Charlie just told me about. The stand is open daily from 8am to 6pm from May 1st to November 26th, and its offerings include fresh fruit, fresh-cut flowers, and fresh-baked gluten-free treats.

Do you have a favorite spot that I should include on the Gluten-Free Guidebook? Please let me know about it.

Mail-Ordering Gluten-Free Groceries

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

turtles1

Finding gluten-free food while traveling is an obvious challenge, but I’ve been hearing lately from readers who are having a tough time eating at home. One reader in Canada was appalled when she began to place an order at the online Gluten-Free Mall and discovered that it would cost $34 just to ship a one-pound parcel to her (unfortunately, the Mall doesn’t post its shipping charges on the site, so potential customers are sometimes in for a shock when they reach the checkout stage).

Living in New York means having lots of options, since grocery chains such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods carry plenty of gluten-free products, as do independent stores such as Natural Green Market. In other parts of North America, it can be tough to find gluten-free baked goods, pasta, and other essentials. For those who depend on mail-order to get their gluten-free groceries, here’s some advice:

  • Find manufacturers that ship products to customers directly: A few companies, such as Shabtai Gourmet, make this incredibly easy. Shabtai, which makes cakes, cookies, and other treats that are gluten free, lactose free, soy free, and casein free, ships its products anywhere in the continental US — for free. Kinnikinnick Foods ships its celiac-safe bagels, breads, donuts, and other products to Canada and the US; as you order, a tally of charges, including shipping, adds on the upper right corner of the page, so there are no upsets at checkout.
  • Remember to comparison shop: Gluten-free products tend to be expensive in North America, and there are no government subsidies for celiacs, as there are in countries such as Italy and Turkey. I’ve found Amazon to be a great place for deals on basics such as gluten-free pasta. Amazon is a bit like Costco, in that you have to buy in bulk, so instead of purchasing one package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix, you need to buy four; in the case of Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals with Rice Bran, you’d need to purchase a pack of 12. However, when you compare Amazon’s prices to certain sites that market themselves to gluten-free consumers, Amazon’s are great deals. Also, “Gluten-Free” is a major category in Amazon’s grocery department, so products are easy to find — and shipping is free on orders of $25 or more.
  • Read product reviews: It can be tempting to order treats that you’ve been missing, but we know that not all gluten-free products are equally good. In fact, some have the consistency and flavor of cardboard. Unfortunately, with products for delivery, you usually can’t send them back if you don’t like them. Before you order something new, be sure to check out sites such as Gluten Free Food Reviews; Amazon is also useful for its product reviews, even when you’re not ordering from the site.
  • Know that some restaurants do mail-order, too: New York’s Risotteria immediately comes to mind. Have you tried the Fudgie yet? You really should. My favorite local bakery, Babycakes, delivers, too. (By the way, Babycakes has its first-ever cookbook coming out; click on “Recommended Reading” to see it.)
  • Check out the great lists of gluten-free retailers that have already been compiled: Gluten-Free in SD has a great one, and it’s not just for people who live in San Diego. The Celiac Handbook has links to an exhaustive list of companies that ship gluten-free products. A listing isn’t an endorsement, but it’s still a great place to start.
  • Shop locally when possible: Some American companies won’t ship outside of the continental US. However, Canadians have the option of shopping from Toronto’s Specialty Food Shop, which I’ve written about before. The SFS will even ship frozen foods. In Hawaii, Sweet Marie’s (which reader Liisa wrote about here), delivers locally and internationally.

*               *               *

Just a reminder: there’s a Gluten-Free Guidebook group on Facebook, where members are posting fascinating news, such as the attempt by Australian researchers to develop a vaccine for celiac disease (thanks, Bruno!). Also, I’m now on Twitter, and if you’d like to follow me there, I’m @hilarydavidson.

Roundup: Gluten-Free Bakeries

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I tried all of the gluten-free baked goods I could find… and I wasn’t very happy with what was out there. I remember rice breads that crumbled into bits with the first bite and pastries that seemed to have a substantial styrofoam content. Now, five years later, I’m amazed by how much the quality has increased and how much choice there is. (I’m speaking primarily of what I see in New York and Toronto, and online; I know that there are plenty of places where it’s hard to come by gluten-free baked goods.)

Several bakeries that offer gluten-free treats have contacted me — and some readers have forwarded suggestions — so I wanted to pass along the information. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit any of the spots below, so I would love to hear from any readers who have tried them. For the record, I am a fan of Babycakes in New York City ([tel] 212-677-5047 [web] www.babycakesnyc.com). I’d love to hear about your favorites.

Bewitching Elegance: San Francisco-area artist Diane Rinella specializes in wedding cakes, which are available in gluten-free, vegan, and diabetic-friendly versions; [address] 1170 Broadway, Burlingame, California [tel] 510-469-6976 [web] www.bewitchingelegance.com

Cinderella Sweets: I’ve never used this company’s free mail-order service, but I have purchased their gluten-free Passover treats, sold under the name Shabtai Gourmet, at supermarkets in New York. The selection includes traditional almond macaroons, sponge cakes with raspberry filling, and delicate “lace” cookies topped with chocolate. The products are also free of dairy, casein, and soy, and they are certified kosher; [tel] 516-652-5671 [web] www.cinderellasweets.com

Coffee Plant: There are two Coffee Plant cafés in Portland, but one is entirely gluten-free. The husband-and-wife team who run the business bake the fresh muffins, scones, cookies, cakes, quiches, and breads on a daily basis; [address] 5911 SW Corbett, Portland, Oregon [tel] 503-293-3280 [web] www.coffeeplant.net

GF Patisserie: This dedicated gluten-free bakery set up shop last August in Cochrane, Alberta, a short drive from Calgary. Owner Victoria Edlinger told me that they started by offering three types of quiche, but their product range now includes cream puffs, sacher torte, Italian flatbread, and butter tarts; [address] 122 3rd Ave West, Cochrane, Alberta [tel] 403 990-9565 [web] www.gfpatisserie.com

Rose’s Wheatfree Bakery: This Chicago-area bakery and cafe is entirely gluten-free, and it also offers dairy- and egg-free options. Rose’s bakes up everything from snickerdoodles to chocolate-cherry-hazelnut biscotti, and from breads to pizzas; [address] 2901 Central Street, Evanston, Illinois [tel] 847-859-2723 [web] www.rosesbakery.com

Swirlz Cupcakes: Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Swirlz offers gluten-free cupcakes in flavors like chocolate grasshopper mint (I’m not sure what that means, but I’m curious); [address] 705 West Belden, Chicago, Illinois [tel] 773-404-2253 [web] www.swirlzcupcakes.com

Triple Oak Bakery: This dedicated gluten-free bakery opened in Virginia’s Rappahannock County in the fall, after owner Brooke Parkhurst found that demand for the treats she was baking in her home kitchen just kept growing. Offerings include carrot cupcakes, mocha dream cake, and cream puffs, and they are also available at The Natural Marketplace in Warrenton and Better Thymes in Front Royal; [address] 11692 Lee Highway, Sperryville, Virginia [tel] 540-675-3601 [e-mail] tripleoakbakery@gmail.com.

Roundup: With a Little Help From My Friends

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

It’s always a pleasure to get restaurant recommendations from readers. But I need to acknowledge another group that has been sending a lot of great information my way: my non-celiac friends. Blessed with eagle eyes, they are sharp when it comes to picking up gluten-free news, and thoughtful when it comes to passing it along.

My friend Leslie, author of The Ladies’ Room Reader Quiz Book: 1,000 Questions and Answers About Women and the Things They Love, has a particularly keen eye. While researching a story on Tampa, Florida, she discovered that the Lee Roy Selmon’s restaurant chain (named for the first Tampa Bay Buccaneer enshrined in the National Football League’s Hall of Fame) has an extensive gluten-free menu. Another of her finds is Café Formaggio, a Long Island, NY, restaurant that serves gluten-free pasta, pizza, brownies, and beer. Her most unusual discovery so far has been Chiarelli’s Religious Goods, also on Long Island, which makes gluten-free Communion wafers. Leslie also discovered the impressive Gluten Free Diet Center on Eating Well’s website, which includes extensive information about the diet, many recipes, and a Q&A with the executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Another friend — Yvonne, author of The Everything Family Christmas Book: Stories, Songs, Recipes, Crafts, Traditions, and More — told me about a new cafe in Calgary, Alberta: Primal Grounds Cappuccino Bar & Eatery. It has two locations and a broad list of gluten-free meal options that includes curry pineapple chicken, shepherd’s pie, and beef lasagna, as well as sandwiches that can be prepared with rice bread.

Jenna, who co-writes The Haiku Diaries, found out that Firefly restaurant in Washington, D.C., offers a glamorous menu for gluten-free gourmets, and that Panzano, an Italian restaurant in Denver, bakes gluten-free focaccia. Both properties are owned by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Stephanie, who lives in Toronto, passes along the names of celiac-friendly restaurants she hears about from a co-worker who has celiac disease. She was the one who told me about Four, which I wrote about in June. One spot she told me about recently is Mio RistoBar, which is located in Toronto’s Financial District and offers gluten-free pasta and entrees.

Some of my friends find gluten-free spots even when they’re not looking for them. Ellen was taking her kids to the optometrist’s when she passed an Italian restaurant offering a gluten-free menu. It turned out that the restaurant, Sambuca, was one I’ve dined at but haven’t yet written about for this site; it’s an institution on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

As I was finishing off this column, my sister-in-law Michelle e-mailed me about gluten-free recipes from Gourmet magazine, including one for chocolate chip cookies and one for lemon layer cake. The recipes are from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts, a book that has just been reissued. That reminded me of all of the help I’ve had from certain family members… but that will have to wait for another time.

*          *          *

I’m leaving for Turkey tomorrow (November 6th), so this blog will be quiet for the next two weeks. But I will be back after that to share my latest finds.