Gluten-Free at Ste. Anne’s Spa

Back when I worked for Frommer’s, writing travel guides about Canada, Ste. Anne’s Spa was a favorite day trip. Just ninety minutes east of Toronto, in Grafton, Ontario, this luxurious retreat is surrounded by some 400 acres of scenic countryside. Those grounds include an apiary, rolling hills where cattle graze, and extensive gardens filled with herbs, greens and vegetables. All of this farm-to-table bounty made the spa a popular destination for gourmands, and I’m delighted to learn that Ste. Anne’s Bakery has just been given the official seal of approval by the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).

This is not to say that Ste. Anne’s only recently started baking sweet gluten-free treats. For the past four years, they have offered gluten-free cakes (such as lemon cheesecake, Devil’s Food, and Opera cake), cookies, pies, jams, chocolates, fruit butters, and butter tarts. (The Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour — yes, there really is such a thing! — includes Ste. Anne’s as its only gluten-free stop.) There’s also a savory quiche of the day as well as a long list of breads (including basil focaccia, lavash, cinnamon raisin, and five-seed bread). What’s new is the GFCP’s certification, guaranteeing celiac safety. The bakery is 100% gluten-free, so there is no risk of cross-contamination.

I always thought the main attraction of Ste. Anne’s was its elegant spa and hotel. But the next time I visit, I’m making a beeline for the bakery!

 

 

Dining on the Book Tour

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My first standalone thriller, Blood Always Tells, just came out in paperback. (It’s actually my fourth novel, but it’s the first one that isn’t part of the mystery series I also write.) When Macmillan’s Tor/Forge division first published it last year, I went on a whirlwind tour across North America, which gave me the opportunity to suss out some celiac-safe places to eat… though no time to write about them! But I kept notes and want to share a few favorites that stand out in my memory.

Pizza Fusion in Denver, Colorado

The restaurant’s tagline is, “You like pizza. We have pizza. Let’s be friends.” And Pizza Fusion is ready to be friends with everyone — including celiacs, vegans, and lactose-intolerant types. Ingredients are organic and locally sourced, whenever possible. In addition to exceptional pizzas, there are gluten-free salads (I recommend the pear and gorgonzola) and desserts. In addition to wonderful food, Pizza Fusion is ecologically aware (here’s a list of its impressive eco-initiatives), and the Denver outpost I dined at is operated by the Coalition for the Homeless. Food that tastes good and does good? That’s the best. (Plus, it’s not far from the Tattered Cover!)

Bistro 241 in Delray Beach, Florida

The truth is, I ended up at Bistro 241 because it was a few doors down from Murder on the Beach, a terrific independent bookstore, and there was a terrible storm raging the night of my event. I was literally looking for the first indoor spot that was open for dinner, and I lucked into this one. There’s no gluten-free menu, but the restaurant’s owner is familiar with the GF diet and willing to make modifications wherever necessary (substituting a variety of veggies for the pita bread in the Mediterranean Plate, for example). A number of dishes, including the delicious chicken paillard, require no modification at all.

Sauce Pizza & Wine in Phoenix, Arizona

I should be embarrassed to admit that I like eating at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, but I’m not. Sauce Pizza & Wine is phenomenal. The gluten-free pepperoni-and-porcini pizza is so good that I’m already looking forward to my next visit. (Take note: Sauce has several locations throughout Arizona, including Tucson, Chandler, Mesa, and Scottsdale.)

Old Town Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale, Arizona

I have plenty of reasons to recommend the Old Town Tortilla Factory. Great Mexican food? Check. Dedicated gluten-free menu? Check. Neon-bright margaritas? Check. A short walk away from the fabulous Poisoned Pen Bookstore? Check. What more could you want?

Cafe Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona

On my first first to the fabulous Hotel Valley Ho in 2010, Cafe Zuzu didn’t have a gluten-free menu, though it did have well-trained, thoughtful staff who were able to make recommendations and accommodations (which I wrote about previously). While the staff is still terrific, I’m pleased to say that the restaurant now has a dedicated GF menu, complete with roasted cornish hen, grilled lamb, and blackened shrimp. Best of all, my beloved tomato burrata is now served with rice bread.

Z’Tejas in Austin, Texas

Yes, it’s a chain (with outposts in California and Arizona as well), but its proximity to BookPeople and solid Southwestern food (and margaritas) make it a must-visit in Austin. Z’Tejas‘s dedicated gluten-free menu isn’t large, but it includes several vegetarian options (not always easy to find in these parts).

Il Fornello in Toronto, Ontario

This local Italian chain always stocks rice pasta and gluten-free Quejos pizza crust at all of its locations. Il Fornello also offers great salads (the naturally gluten-free Roma salad is a solid bet, with its mix of greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and roasted peppers), and a reasonably priced list of wines by the glass, including several from Ontario wineries.

Reader Report: A Gluten Free Adventure in the Junction (Toronto)

I was so excited to read Helen Nelson’s contest entry for the Gluten-Free Guidebook’s Fifth Anniversary Contest (now extended to July 15, 2013, since I disappeared down the rabbit hole while editing my fourth novel…). I’ve known Helen for several years through an amazing group called Sisters in Crime, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in crime fiction (in spite of the name, it’s just as welcoming to men as it is women). Helen is a talented writer, and I really appreciate her using her talents to share information about gluten-free spots in the Junction, a gentrifying neighborhood in Toronto. Many, many thanks, Helen! (PS Contest rules are here. A big thank you to all who have entered the contest so far. Looking forward to reading more reader reports!)

Helen Nelson: Toronto — A Gluten Free Adventure in the Junction 

In the Junction?

Yes, indeed the Junction has changed. No longer hosting the last remaining Woolworth’s store, a hodge podge of strange little stores and donut shops, it now hosts many of the things that make a neighbourhood fun and funky and dare I say even trendy?

My young niece and I embarked on our gluten free breakfast, lunch and treats hunt at around 10 on a Saturday morning. We started off at Bunner’s Bakery, just a little west of High Park Avenue and Dundas. Bunner’s is a vegan and gluten-free bakery. So for me that’s a bonus as in addition to no gluten, there is also no dairy! There we picked up a pumpkin and chocolate chip muffin, a couple of cinnamon buns, some butter tarts, some chocolate chip sandwich cookies and a loaf of bread that was still hot out of the oven. And we liked it all! OK, the cinnamon bun was too much for me. I couldn’t finish it. Although my husband ate his, we decided that next time we’ll get one and split it! A word of warning — get there early! They were selling out of the bread at a rapid rate. Another word of warning — their Supersonic Gypsy Cookie (which gets huge raves), has oats. So glad I asked before I bought and chowed down! They do have a book you can look at that lists their ingredients. And they are promising a recipe book soon!

For lunch we ventured out again to Gabby’s — right at High Park and Dundas. We eat here often. They have a huge menu with lots of selections and a separate menu that is gluten free. Yes!!! Sadly for me a lot on that menu has dairy, but there are a few things that I can have. In the past I’ve had their burger, ribs, a salad plate and sweet potato fries. Today I had a chicken sandwich (on a GF bun). The chicken and the stuff inside the sandwich is great. The bun, well its a bit dry and crumbly, but I’ve found that is all too often the case since I’ve found I can’t really do gluten (or most grains anyway) any more, a few weeks back. Too bad Bunner’s doesn’t actually make buns! My niece had macaroni and cheese and a bunch of my sweet potato fries. Decidedly NOT GF! But she enjoyed her meal! They have a few too many TV screens for my tastes, but the varied menu with GF items and the food quality makes up for that.

Then we walked back a few steps west along Dundas to Delight Chocolates. They sell some unfriendly stuff — like ice cream and brownies. But mainly they sell chocolate! And they offer many chocolate options that are completely dairy free and soy free. No flour or grains either! Its all fair trade and organic too! For those who can have dairy they also sell hot chocolate that apparently is to die for! For those who are able to do dairy (and others too) they also sell fair trade organic coffee.

There is also The Beet, an organic food café, and The Sweet Potato, an organic grocery store, both within about a block. I haven’t checked these out in a while, but I’ll venture to guess that they have lots of GF options as well!

Shopping in Southwestern Ontario

It’s starting to feel as if a gluten-free grocery store opens in Southwestern Ontario every other week. I used to make a trip to the Specialty Food Shop each time I visited Toronto, but with the number of options expanding, I’m checking out a wider range of places offering gluten-free groceries:

Cabbagetown Organics: The sign in the window advertising fresh bread from Aidan’s Gluten Free is what lured me inside. As the name suggests, the store’s strength is organic produce, but the gluten-free section is substantial. [address] 499 Parliament Street, Toronto [tel] 416-913-7296

Goodbye Gluten: This combination grocery store, bakery, and caterer opened this summer. Everything you’ll find here is gluten-free, and there are also nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan options. [address] 2066 Avenue Road, Toronto [tel] 416-781-9191

Nut’n Gluten: This is a large store, especially when you consider that almost everything on the shelves and inside the fridges and freezers is gluten-free (there are products for people allergic to nuts, too). My impression — based on a single visit — is that some prices are higher than what I’m used to paying, but there are also brands here that I haven’t seen carried at any other shop. [address] 3120 Rutherford Road, Vaughan, Ontario [tel] 905-553-7901

Remark Fresh Markets: Whenever I visit my aunt in London, Ontario, this is where she goes to stock up on celiac-safe foods for me. Lots of choice, with both Canadian and international brands featured here. [address] 1190 Oxford Street West, London, Ontario [tel] 519-474-2561

Specialty Food Shop: Not everything in this shop is gluten-free — there are products for people with food allergies, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. It’s small, but it stocks great staples and snacks and has registered dietitians on staff. [address] At the Hospital for Sick Children (main floor), 555 University Avenue, Toronto [tel] 1-800-737-7976 or 416-813-5294

A few other stores with plenty of celiac-safe options: Whole Foods, which has its own Gluten-Free Bakehouse products as well as items made by other brands; Noah’s Natural Foods, a small, health-oriented local chain with several locations; and Ambrosia Natural Foods, just north of Toronto in Thornhill, which offers some of the best prices on gluten-free goods that I’ve found anywhere. Also, a couple of websites offer shop listings (and, frequently, a lot more): Gluten-Free Ontario and Celiac Canada.

Reader Report: Machiavelli in Montreal

When I read this Reader Report, I realized that it’s been more than six years since I visited Montreal. I’m long overdue for another trip to one of Canada’s most beautiful — and historic — cities. When I do, the first place I will have to check out is Machiavelli, which Alice writes about below. Thanks for sending this in, Alice!

Alice’s Report on Machiavelli in Montreal, Quebec

Machiavelli Restaurant is a wonderful restaurant that serves delicious fusion cuisine dishes. Machiavelli’s talented chef Raymond is very knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and prepares all his soups and gravies from scratch (no pre-packaged bases). They are able to offer delicious gluten-free meals as well as cater to other allergy restrictions.

Machiavelli offers a varied dinner menu with choices of beef steaks, pork, chicken dishes, fish and pasta.  Unfortunately, they do not keep gluten free pasta in stock. Machiavelli offers a different menu every day, with their special offerings listed on a black board. Their daily menu consists of a choice of soup, escargot, Caesar or garden salad.   For a main course there is always a choice of different meats, fish and a pasta dish. The chef uses local produce and fresh herbs from the nearby Atwater Market. The dishes are presented very attractively and with flair. Their prices are very reasonable and include both courses, as well as all local taxes. In other words, the price you see marked on the menu is the price you will pay, plus the customary tip to the waiter, of course.

Machiavelli is a “bring your own wine” restaurant, so do not forget to bring your own wine or beer. Machiavelli has a charming décor & in the summer offers outside garden dining, weather permitting. The restaurant has three small dining rooms so it makes it an ideal place to host a small party. Machiavelli Restaurant is situated at 2601 Centre Street (corner Charlevoix), Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3K 1K2.  Their telephone: 514-315-9981; fax: 514-315-9979; machiavelli.mtl@gmail.com. Machiavelli can be easily reached by subway from any downtown hotel, as it is situated right across the street from the Charlevoix subway station.  On the South East corner there is a liquor store where you can purchase a good selection of wines, but unfortunately the liquor store is open late in the evening only on Thursday & Friday evenings, weekdays it closes at 6 PM and Saturdays at 5 PM. Machiavelli Restaurant is open every day for dinner, except on Mondays.

Roundup: Contest and More Tips From Readers

The Gluten-Free Guidebook is having its first-ever Reader Report Contest (check out this post to enter). I’ve received questions about it from some readers, and I wanted to answer them here, in case others are wondering the same thing. It’s perfectly fine to send a list of your favorite celiac-safe restaurants and shops, without actually “reviewing” each one. Some Reader Reports that are already on the site are actually lists like that, and they’re very helpful to people. The Reader Report can be about anywhere in the world, and it’s perfectly alright to write about a destination already featured on the site. There’s always new information to share. I look forward to reading your entries!

Contest aside, several readers have sent me tips about gluten-free restaurants and bakeries via e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook, and I want to pass these along. I’m always grateful when people take the time to share information, and I know that these tips will help many others.

Kathy, a reader in Montreal, visited New York a few weeks ago, and wrote to tell me about a restaurant she’d enjoyed: Emporio. She described it as having a “great GF menu, helpful staff and wonderful atmosphere.” I haven’t tried it yet but plan to. ([address] 231 Mott Street; [tel] 212-966-1234; [web] www.auroraristorante.com)

Chelsea, a reader in Toronto, wrote: “The Starving Artist cafe/waffle bar in Toronto (near Bloor/Lansdowne) has really awesome gluten-free (and vegan) waffles. You can substitute the GF waffles in any of their waffle meals/desserts.” That’s another place on my list of places to try. ([address] 584 Lansdowne Avenue; [tel] 647-342-5058; [web] www.starvingartistbar.com)

My friend Henny Groenendijk, also based in Toronto, told me about a new gluten-free bakery in Oakville, Ontario. It’s called Voila Gluten Free Bakeree ([address] 22 Lakeshore West, Unit 6; [tel] 289-837-0110; [web] www.voilaglutenfreebakeree.com).

Another friend, Margaret Littman, told me about Fifth Group Restaurants, a company in Atlanta, Georgia, that recently launched gluten-free menus at each of its five restaurants: El Taco, Ecco, La Tavola Trattoria, and South City Kitchen (which has two locations). From the company’s official statement: “We are dedicated to giving our guests as many dining options as possible – and that includes options for those with dietary restrictions. It’s another step in striving to satisfy our current patrons and potential new diners, and with a rise in celiac disease diagnoses, I think it’s a big step that we absolutely must take.”

It’s always exciting to see more places offer gluten-free options. What have you found lately?

Vacation Planning for Celiacs: Resorts

Back in the fall, I got an e-mail from a reader who wanted to get married at a resort, but was having trouble finding one that could accommodate the gluten-free diet. While it’s certainly true that more and more places are offering options for gluten-intolerant and food-allergic guests, it’s not always easy to find those spots. Here are some resorts that are ready and able to cater to the gluten-free. Keep in mind that it’s always important to confirm in advance, via telephone or e-mail, that a resort will be able to accommodate you; even in a celiac-friendly kitchen, ingredients may need to be specially ordered before your visit (particularly if you’re staying at a resort in a remote location).

Canyon Ranch: With locations in very different climates — Tucson (Arizona), Lenox (Massachusetts), and Miami Beach (Florida) — Canyon Ranch offers something for everyone, and that includes the gluten-intolerant. While the company does point out that none of its kitchens are completely gluten-free, they are ready and able to take care of gluten-intolerant guests.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts: When I’ve done the “On the Road With…” interviews, one of the things I’ve noticed is that Hyatt seems to be universally respected for its food allergy awareness and its ability to cook for those on a gluten-free diet. Personally, I’ve found this to be true of Hyatt kitchens in cities across North America, as well as in Santiago, Chile. Oddly, this fact doesn’t seem to be mentioned on the company’s own website.

Sandals Resort Hotels: The company, famous for its all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, doesn’t specifically mention celiac disease on its site, though it does discuss food allergies — which we all know gluten intolerance is often lumped in with. According to Sandals’ website: “You can rest assured that we will work very closely with you and our chef can ensure that the appropriate meals are available. Please provide us with your arrival date and booking number as well as your name and the resort at which you will be vacationing so that arrangements can be made for you to speak with the chef on arrival.”

I’d love to hear about your resort experiences. Please e-mail or comment to let me know which resorts have treated you exceptionally well.

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

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.

The Best of 2009 for the Gluten-Free

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One of my favorite things about the last week of the year is that it’s a good time to take stock of what’s happened over the past 360+ days. In 2009, I found that some posts got a great deal of feedback from readers — and I learned that sometimes it’s impossible to predict which ones will spark the most interest. Below are the posts that garnered the greatest responses, and if you missed them the first time around, you can still read them (and comment) now.

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to e-mail me, follow me on Twitter, join the Facebook group, or make a comment on the site. I deeply appreciate your support, and look forward to hearing more from you in 2010. Happy new year!

Vacation Planning for Celiacs: Cruises

The irony for me was that, after researching different cruise options, I ended up going to Las Vegas instead. But my research wasn’t wasted: because I looked at the gluten-free options onboard different cruise lines, I was able to share what I’d found about Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, MSC and other companies. Better yet, so many readers contacted me about their cruise experiences (mostly with positive reports about dining gluten-free) that it inspired another post.

New York City Day by Day… for Celiacs

When I wrote the New York City Day by Day guidebook for Frommer’s, I was a newly diagnosed celiac. Fortunately, the book didn’t require full-length restaurant reviews; since it was intended as a cheat sheet to the city, and mostly filled with walking tours, I could get away with short mentions of favorite eateries. Of course, that list included many great spots for the gluten-free, such as Rosa Mexicano, Rice, Blue Smoke, and Pure Food & Wine. The book is now available as a download from the New York Public Library; for details, check out the original post.

Philadelphia’s Great Gluten-Free Initiative

Bravo to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness for training so many Philadelphia chefs via its Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program… to the wonderful chefs who took part… and to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation for being savvy enough to recognize this as a terrific tourism initiative.

Smart Businesses Support Celiacs

This was inspired by Starbucks’ “now you see it, now you don’t” gluten-free Orange Valencia Cake. Remember it? But the post was about much more than Starbucks. It was about making smart choices to support businesses that are responsive to their customers’ needs. One of the things I wrote last July was, “At a time when we’re all watching our budgets, I’d like to make a case for spending even more carefully. If a major corporation isn’t serious about serving the gluten-intolerant, I see no reason to support them.” I stand by that position.

Gluten-Free Fast Food at the Toronto Eaton Centre

This post was an accident. While I was in Toronto last June, working on the Frommer’s Toronto 2010 guidebook, a business lunch was canceled at the last minute. Since I was stranded near the Eaton Centre, my hometown’s famous shopping complex, I decided to explore the fast-food options there. The response from readers was overwhelming. It turned out that just about everyone wanted to know more about celiac-safe fast food. This post had an unexpected result: a Toronto reader wrote to tell me that the Druxy’s Famous Deli in Commerce Court had gluten-free bread. When another reader saw that, she contacted Peter Druxerman, Druxy’s vice-president of marketing, to ask if the company could make gluten-free bread available at their outlet inside Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. In the blink of an eye, Druxy’s responded, adding gluten-free bread to its offerings at PMH. Remember what I said earlier about supporting businesses that are responsive to their customers?

On the Road With…

I love finding out the secrets of great travelers. Both Alice Bast, founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and Sloane Miller, who writes the delightful Allergic Girl blog and runs Worry-Free Dinners in New York, were kind enough to share many of theirs.

Mail-Ordering Gluten-Free Groceries

First and foremost, the Gluten-Free Guidebook is about travel and dining out. But even if you’re on the road a lot, as I am, you need to buy groceries sometimes. I’m lucky to have some great spots near me in New York, but there are also some companies that I order from online. And it still surprises me that Amazon consistently offers some of the best prices on gluten-free groceries.

A Celebratory Gluten-Free Lunch in New York

For those of you who know me mainly as a travel writer and celiac advocate, it came as a shock that I have a dark side. My debut crime novel, The Damage Done, will be published by Forge in October 2010. I have been publishing short stories for a while, but I’m still happily surprised about my two-book deal with Forge. What I didn’t expect was that some criminally minded fiction types would be interested in the Gluten-Free Guidebook, too. David Cranmer, editor of Beat to a Pulp (one of the best places to find contemporary crime fiction), asked me about both my novel and my gluten-free travels when he interviewed me. Jen Forbus, the book blogger behind the wonderful Jen’s Book Thoughts, was kind enough to ask me to take part in her Six-Word Memoir project, in which she asked crime writers — including Dennis Lehane, Linda Fairstein, Joseph Wambaugh, Sue Grafton, Lee Child, Megan Abbott, Ken Bruen, and Mary Higgins Clark — to sum themselves up in six words. Have you read mine yet?

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

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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.