Monday, July 25, 2011

Boston Pizza and the GF Pizza

I decided to take the kids out for pizza yesterday after a hard afternoon of wall climbing at Vertically Inclined - so decided to try the West Edmonton Location of the Boston Pizza once again.  I have had a few shaky experiences there with their new "gluten free" menu and the service, but when I did try this location out it was when they were very new at offering this - so thought as it has been some time now I would once again try.  The kids all can eat gluten and not have the ill effects of it, so finding a place that could accommodate us all sometimes can be a challenge.  It was also mid afternoon on a Sunday so the restaurant was pretty quiet and not busy - the best time to try it out again I believe.

Their gluten free menu is a bit basic - but they have a small offering of salads and entrees to choose from - but they have gluten free pizza!  They use the Kinnikinnick crusts for their pizza, and then add toppings that are gluten free, on the menu you have a decent choice of about 12 pizzas and toppings that you can either mix or order one of their favorites.  I selected the Great White North pizza - gluten free - at this location they only have the one size - which would be the individual size - definitely filling for one person - at a cost of $9.90 so a couple dollars more than the individual I ordered for one of the kids.  And it was good - not a wow factor though and definitely like a pizza you could make at home - but good to have somewhere to go if you all want to have a pizza together and you have a mixed group.

Seriously though I haven't seen the menu at other Boston Pizza restaurants - so I don't know if this changes as to location but I have a few comments on the menu and it's presentation.  Quite use to the plain sheet of paper - this one is laminated so of course any changes to it would require new menus to be run, or as in this West Edmonton location and menu that was scribbled all over - and not of things added to the menu - but of items taken OFF the menu (I guess the new recipe for the wings has now taken them off the entire menu) so this was done by crossing them out in pen) and writing the short explanation on the side, as well as there were two (I believe) other things on the pizza and entree bit also messily penned out.  It was quite disappointing - and had I not had three hungry kids with me that I promised pizza too, I really doubt I would have eaten there as that menu did not give any confidence as to the quality of the service there.  There is definitely a risk at eating a restaurant chains that make changes to "accommodate" a gluten free celiac friendly menu ~ and in truth it is a huge challenge to find ones that are dedicated to serving "all" their patrons equally.

And though I think I did pretty well - and didn't feel any huge ill effects from the menu this go around, I do believe it was largely due to the fact that I went at a time where they weren't busy, would I go when they are busy and trust that I would not be made ill, no ... this location has not given me any reassurances that they truly know what it means to serve to the gluten free population.  So thumbs up for not getting ill, and having a pizza somewhere other than my kitchen (which tasted like it came from my kitchen) but thumbs down for this location to inspire any confidence that this chain location knows how to service a patron with special dietary needs, and all that is included - especially that shoddy ugly menu.

Boston Pizza
17002 90th Avenue Map.e41dcdd
Edmonton, AB

The Creperie

January 18, 2011

Kevin and I went for supper on Friday night and we happily chose The Creperie to dine at that evening ~ this dining establishment (for it is surely more than a "restaurant") continues to be my favorite place to have supper at ~ and has fit a number of occasions. I have gone there with girlfriends, just having a friendly supper with two, for group dining - either work colleagues or sister and her friends, and my favorite way to go is of course with my man Kevin ~ for a romantic and lovely meal out on the town. :)

For someone who has high standards being a Celiac - I think the service at the Creperie is an established bar set for other restaurants to look at. From the moment you walk in you are not only struck by the pleasing and cosy ambiance of the place, but the fact that they serve patrons with Celiac/Gluten Intolerance right from the "get go". Not only do they place a menu in front of you that looks the same as the other menus with gluten on them, bound and leather (not a binder or sheet of paper) but it is a full menu - they give you plenty of options. Appetizers, salads, full list on entrees and deserts! And the food is seasoned and sauced just like you would do in your own home, not a plain hunk of meat on your plate devoid of taste.

AND they bring you gluten free bread to the table as a courtesy starter ~ like any other patron that receives this courtesy. That from the first sitting at this establishment impressed me beyond any other experience I have had in a restaurant. MY OWN bread!!! Safe, warm, and yummy. :)

We started our meal with a delicious appetizer of Crab, Artichoke and Parmesan cheese dip with tortilla chips and gluten free bread. It's delicious! For my entree I chose one of the dishes that has become my favorites - the Lamb shank, I remember the first time I ordered this dish how it was explained to me the slow process they have for preparing this dish, it's amazing the meat is so tender and tasty, literally falls off the bone ~ and served with a healthy portion of mixed seasonal vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes. Heaven.

The ambiance of The Creperie is so inviting - the front entrance really is nothing to look at and as you come down the stairs you wonder at first what kind of dive you are entering, and then you are swallowed up by old world charm, the cozy and woodsey feel of wine cellar, very private and romantic, or just cozy and intriguing ~ like I said whatever the reason I go to dine there, the atmosphere has always fit the bill. And I should not forget the staff!! From the host/ess, to the waiters and servers I have always found them to be pleasant, accommodating, and professional. And I have to tip my hat to those I don't see, the men/women in the kitchen who bring such talent in making the fabulous food that is set in front of me, bravo and thank you from the bottom of my heart and my stomach haha. :) The Creperie is a top notch experience and the best service in dining that I have found to this date in the city. :)

Definite thumbs up for us ~ and I can see myself dining there again and again for many years to come!

Friday, July 22, 2011

De Lux Burger Bar ...

I have decided that I have a passion to start a gluten free blog ~ and then I was stuck for a way to start things off ... as I learn to navigate and create this blog I thought I would "lift" a couple of my own posts from my other blog that is a mix between personal and what I would like to create - a dedicated gluten free blog - about learning to live and love life gluten free and dairy free and diving in - and about where I live and all the amazing options ~ and maybe about where I travel and the options I have found there. :) Which I hope to do more of ... so first post grabbed -

"As I am a celiac I have really come to have a deep appreciation for good food ~ and since I have become a part of a couple I have found a love of making good food, as now I have someone to share, cook, eat, love and laugh with. We both eat gluten free and both of us have a lactose intolerance so sometimes eating out can be an issue ~ I know I have blogged about my favorite restaurant "The Creperie" but there is another spot that has also earned my commendations because I have never had a bad meal there - and it is honestly the first place I have found that I have had a decent and delicious hamburger at! Yep a gluten dairy free hamburger - really somethings you do crave once you can't have them like you use to ~ anyway I would be talking about the restaurant Delux Burger Bar on 142st (Crestwood) ~ I recently wrote a comment on the blog "Gluten Free Edmonton" - which on a side note has been a valuable and informative resource I have come to enjoy reading - new and old posts have so much information about products and restaurants and just living gluten free it's been awesome!!

Back to my post:
"WE have been to both West End locations ~ and I have to say I have never been disappointed with the burger (the guilt free gf free burger and bun) at the 142nd ave location. The burgers have always been juicy and cooked perfectly and on a soft and delicious bun, we have it with the side salad with a little of the vinegarette and it is awesome! Our West Edm. Mall experience was not even close to as good, maybe they are too busy in that location to show the same care in preparation?? We did comment on it while there, and the waiter and host were very good in saying they would research why the other burger was surperb and that our next dining experience there would be fabulous ... haven't tried it yet. The chef at the 142 ave location knows how to make a yummy satisfying gluten free burger! :) "

I have to say there is a real sincere effort in customer satisfaction at the 142nd street location ~ my guy and I were there a couple weeks ago (we had gone to a movie in the mall and decided we wanted a burger and so traveled to the Crestwood location - it's just never disappointed us) and when I was up paying our bill the gentleman at the till asked how our meal was. We had a nice little conversation - we talked about our experience at the WEM location and he was very interested in our observations and thanked me for my honest opinion - I did not complain just simply stated the fact that their burger at this location far surpassed the one in the mall. He then handed me his card, I found out he was one of the managing partners - Jim Skagos - said if I ever have any more issues or comments please to make sure to pass them along. It is that kind of attention to care and detail that I find refreshing in todays service market and one that keeps me as a loyal patron to a business. I sincerely believe that they would look into both locations and see how the can better service, and I just may head over to the WEM location one of these days soon and give them another try ... cuz every so often just gotta have that burger! :)"